This is a buttercream that I adapted from my usual buttercream frosting, with a suggestion to add flour to cut the sweetness. Make sure you whip it for at least 6 minutes once all the powdered sugar is added to make it fluffy and light. It’s become my standard buttercream frosting after MANY tries at other recipes.
This yields ALOT. I’m not sure how many cups, never measured, but this yields enough for probably 2 – 8″ cakes (2-layers). I have frozen this with no problems. Enjoy!

Julie’s Less-Sweet Buttercream Frosting


  • 2 c. butter, softened to room temp.
  • 2 c. shortening (I use Crisco)
  • 4 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 t. almond extract
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

  • 3 lbs. 10x confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-4 T. milk


  1. Cream butter, shortening, and extracts until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour to creamed fat mixture. Beat until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 lb. at a time, beating until combined. When all sugar has been added and combined, add 2-4 T. milk, depending upon consistency desired. Beat for an additional 6-8 minutes on medium speed.
  3. I use my KA Professional 600 for this and it works fine. Recipe can easily be halved.
  4. This frosting is a crusting buttercream and can be smoothed using the VIVA method.


ccr03 Says... 2009-09-25 11:14:11

I love this! It has a great texture and while it is still sweet, it is not nearly AS sweet. THANKS!

BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Says... 2009-10-16 17:08:12

I love this recipe. I use only this for my buttercream covered cakes and as the undercoat for my MMF. It is PERFECT!

Do you have a favorite way to alter this recipe into a chocolate butter cream?...I would LOVE to know.

artsycakes14 Says... 2009-11-07 10:22:36

I liked the texure and the less sweet taste. But mine never crusted, I had to stick it in the fridge. Maybe I did something wrong. How long do you have to leave it out until it crusts?

Mokehanali Says... 2009-12-19 00:07:19

Hi, I'm looking for a less sweet icing. Glad you share this. Need to make icing now, but I don't have milk and it's now 4 o'clock in the morning. Can I use water instead of milk?

jdelectables Says... 2010-07-20 19:51:09

to make chocolate, you can add chocolate syrup or cocoa to taste. I have never had any problem with it crusting. Yes, you can use water.

Aimomo26 Says... 2010-08-18 07:40:28

Will it be okay if I use a vegan margarine and a high ratio shortening? I have used vegan margarine in crusting butter creams in the past and its been fine but those all had corn syrup - I don't know if it makes a difference...

kel58 Says... 2011-02-13 06:25:02

Love this recipe! I have used water instead of milk a few times although I do prefer to use milk. I obviously didnt read the directions well because I usually just add he flour into my ps before adding it into the creamed mixture. It works too. I have never have a problem with it not crusting before, I would say it takes like 20 min or so to crust over. I also use salted butter to cute the sweetness even more. Great recipe thanks for sharing.

jdelectables Says... 2011-03-23 06:20:50

Just an fyi, I now make this with cornstarch in place of the flour, I also use 1/3 c. milk instead of 2-4 T. hope you enjoy!

Sheri_e Says... 2011-06-17 08:07:10

Can you use this for decorating also?

tjames30 Says... 2011-08-11 12:50:28

Would some meringue powder help with the crusting?

gingerlycreative Says... 2012-01-14 09:48:54

I just tried this icing this morning and I must say - it would have been nice to see the FLOUR changed to CORN STARCH in the actual recipe and not buried down in the comments. It leaves a grainy texture. It's also got waaaay too much butter and shortening for the sugar you use. And crusting? No way this is going to crust. I started adding corn starch and there's no telling how many tablespoons I had to dump in. I stopped counting at 4. Now it's just kind of . . .ugh. Thank God the cake I'm making today is for family and not a client. I had a feeling that using flour was going to be an epic mistake but was fooled by all the star ratings. Don't ever put flour in a frosting! Just . . .don't.

jdelectables Says... 2012-01-24 19:05:48

GEEZ! Sorry! I actually used flour for a couple years and then switched to cornstarch. If it is grainy, it is not from the flour. Check your powd. brands sometimes leave buttercream grainy. I get RAVE REVIEWS from this frosting and yes, it DOES CRUST. Yeah, if you dump a bunch of cornstarch in some frosting, I would think it would be....UGH. Sorry it didn't work out. Follow the recipe as stated and you will have success with it. I make tons of it every week.

jas31299 Says... 2012-06-17 05:19:32

I used this recipe and it really is not super sweet. I used all vanilla instead of almond. I also added extra vanilla. I did not use all the sugar either. I put it in 1 cup at a time until it was how I wanted it. I did put a little more flour too. I will definitely use this again! Thanks for the recipe.

FrostedMoon Says... 2012-08-11 06:55:49

I am sooo happy to have found this recipe! I really don't like sickeningly sweet bakery frosting, and the "looks like whipped cream tastes like sugar overload" style isn't for me either. I made a few changes to this and it's perfect! First, I have only made it with corn starch, never flour. I use all vanilla extract to avoid issues with tree nut allergies. With those changes it is great right up until I color it. I've noticed with both Wilton and Duff gels that the icing takes on a slight metallic taste, even when not using a lot of color. Maybe not sweet enough to cover the coloring flavor? So next time I made it I cut back slightly on the corn starch (used 3 tablespoons), dissolved a bit of French vanilla creamer in the milk, and added about a tablespoon of corn syrup. The different vanillas add complexity to the flavor, it still was less sweet than other frostings, and there was no change in flavor once the dye was added. Piped and smoothed perfectly! Thank you!

JillB1968 Says... 2012-09-12 18:46:25

With the change from flour to cornstarch, does the icing still freeze well? I want to make and decorate a cake in advance of an event, then freeze it. Just want to make sure this recipe will work for that.

cakeaholic23 Says... 2015-08-12 04:53:34


Can i add some melted white chocolate to this? Will it alter its crusting? Also do i need to refrigerate the cake once its decorated?

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