I was asked to post my recipe here so here goes:

Sugarshack’s icing and Tips


  • 5 1/2 cups hi ratio shortening ( sweetex)
  • 5 pounds powdered sugar
  • liquid which consists of 1)flavorings and 2) a liquid I make by mixing powdered coffee creamer, one cup to one cup hot water. I make this liquid up a few cups at a time and keep it in the fridge till I need it. Use the liquid hot.


  1. I make a big batch in my 5 qt mixer. It gets the level of icing well above the paddle while mixing, and you get very little to no air bubbles in your icing this way. It is important to start with an icing with as little air as possible; so i fill my KA to the rim with this recipe:
  2. mix shortening and liquid first till smooth and creamy. then slowly add a steady stream of PS until it is all incorporated on speed one or 2.
  3. Then I let it go for 5-7-minutes till creamy and smooth on about speed 6.
  4. I ice the tops of my cakes with the open coupler in a pastry bag and give it a quick smoothing with a hot spatuala ( dry, not wet). I then ice the sdies regualry, then use my bench scraper to smooth out the sides. after that I pull the excess icing along the top edge in toward the middle of the cake . I get down eye level with it to make sure that top edge is level all along and not waving. i then use viva with my hands, then viva with a fondant smoother and then computer paper with the smoother to give the final smoothing; which really is the magic touch.
  5. I hope that helped you some!!! Its hard to explain without seeing it!


littlejewel Says... 2009-12-23 17:52:50

I have heard a lot about this recipe. Thank you for posting. I will be sure to try it.

dazmae Says... 2009-12-24 18:52:49

I love, love, love this recipe...the best!!!

deeann11 Says... 2010-01-18 18:06:06

where do i buy sweetex in Canada - and how is it different from normal shortening! i would love to get the look that most seem to get with this recipe of buttercream - ( and lots of practice) LOL

Rosie2 Says... 2010-01-22 11:26:58

Hi...I tried this recipe and my buttercream wasn't smooth :-( it had air bubbles and it's not smooth at all :-( however, my KA is only 4qt and I tried to adjust, but maybe I didn't use the proper ratio....anyone has the measurements for a 4qt KA??

Esalota Says... 2010-01-26 13:22:37

i use this for the first time when i did a baby butt cake, and used the tip to crumb coat with a thin coat while the cake is slightly warm, the leave it set.

what a difference. when i frosted the rounds and smoothed them down, i almost didn't put the fondant on it.

years ago i remember asking a woman how she frosted so smooth and without crumbs, what she told me was one heck of a lot of work and way too much frosting.

it is less greasy, and i've been told it doesn't taste as sweet. but to me it is too sweet. i really don't like over sweet things.

and when i decided to make this, i had no powdered coffee creamer, so i used carnation evaporated milk. came out good.

thank you so much for sharing and sharing the tips.

nmrollins Says... 2010-02-01 18:42:40

does this recipe need to be refrig?

amyoungbl00d5 Says... 2010-02-15 14:02:42

If you need more clarity..you can go to youtube and watcher her make it. I found the video under: how to make buttercream frosting.

emjay83 Says... 2010-03-06 01:39:35

Rosie2: I made this in my 4 qt. KA, and it came out pretty well -- much smoother than other BC I have used. (Would probably have been even better if I had used hi-ratio shortening, but didn't have any available.)

I adjusted the recipe down to just over 4 cups shortening, and 4 lbs. PS, both measured by weight. I added the liquid a little at a time, and ended up using 16 Tbs. total to make the consistency I was trying to achieve. Keep playing with it, and definitely watch the video; it's a big help. Good luck!

AdorableCakes Says... 2010-04-13 10:27:35

Has anyone experienced the icing getting a bubble under the icing. Never had this with shortening w/ transfat. It is bothering me since I purchased quite a bit of sweetex.

vandru10 Says... 2010-04-25 23:40:32

where can i find sweetex?

deeann11 Says... 2010-04-29 13:07:50

I can not find sweetex in Canada ( at least the small town where i live) but i use no name shortening with at least 4g of saturated fat per 2 tsp (10g) . It makes a noticeable difference to me!

zgreenwood Says... 2010-05-23 11:26:01

Does anyone know if this can be frozen? I want to use this on an ice cream cake and want to make sure it won't affect the way the icing behaves.

dacash Says... 2010-05-26 14:29:12

Approx how much liquid is needed?

sugarshack Says... 2010-05-30 23:05:09

about 14-16 tbs liquid total and yes u can freeze it!

shearpamela Says... 2010-06-03 06:17:50

Can liquid flavored creamers be used in place of the powdered and hot water mixture? If so does that alter the refrigeration needs?

Shannellr Says... 2010-07-16 08:44:25

I'm in New Mexico and it appears they've taken away all the trans fat shortenings. The generic brands I can find with 1 or 2 grams of it, but where do you buy Sweetex? This is also a huge batch so can it be halved? And does it crust well?

pumpkinpie1958 Says... 2010-09-05 19:05:41

Where do you buy sweetex shortening? Explain what KA is? Thank you, Susan

workathome Says... 2010-10-06 13:57:21

KA means Kitchen Aid.

michellem79 Says... 2010-11-05 23:49:36

I saw the video on youtube and really want to give this a try. I do have a couple of questions though. If I don't have the wedding bouquet flavoring what can I use in it's place? Would vanilla extract work? Will crisco work in the place of the high ratio shortening? When mixing the hot water and powdered coffee creamer, I am to use equal parts of each? And finally, is this a crusting buttercream? I know I have lots of questions, so thank you for any help you can offer!

Passion4Cake Says... 2010-12-05 20:15:34

I am guessing this is a crusting BC because they use the Viva method to smooth it. Also, the other post called Sugarshack Buttercream Icing (cakecentral.com/recipes/5313/sugarshacks-buttercream-icing) has the info on the coffee creamer - it is equal parts water & creamer and it is supposed to be warm when you use it.

Thanks for posting all of these tips! I am looking forward to trying this icing as I tend to have trouble with air in my BC and it drives me nuts!

msilovecake Says... 2010-12-12 13:55:48

michellem79...In place of cb you can use all vanilla or any combination that you want. I have used Crisco, however I don't like the feel of it, taste greasy to me...I have been using any brand of shortening that has trans fat.., but feel free to use it...When you use the creamer it is equal parts creamer and water. This is also a crusting buttercream..Also, check out Sugarshacks YouTube video, it helped me alot...Good luck

sillywabbitz Says... 2011-01-15 14:44:24

Just for reference this recipe yieleded 15 cups of frosting for me. I finally got around to measuring. Thanks Sharon. It's a great recipe...now if only I can figure out how to clean my mixer afterwards:)

Crissielyn Says... 2011-01-20 16:39:25

For anyone concerned about the Trans Fat issue, just wanted to say that I make this icing with Spectrum shortening (which is trans fat free) and it works out great. Still smooth, no bubbles, goes onto cake nicely and can be smoothed right away with paper towel method. I try to avoid Trans Fats as much as possible costs since they are so so sooooooo bad. :-)

1Cake-At-ATime Says... 2011-02-12 13:49:30

This recipe didn't work for me at all. I followed it to a T only to get a grainy icing, that really didn't have much flavor. I have a 5 QT Cuisinart. Now I have a ton of icing that I have to dump in the trash. I'm sure it has worked for others, but no luck with me. :-(

cloetzu Says... 2011-02-28 12:25:39

I found this icing to be grainy - it was very odd... does anyone know what I mean about it being grainy? and if so why and how to fix it?

MandaMoh3 Says... 2011-03-06 12:00:50

Regarding her YouTube video, is she under "SugarShack"? I can't seem to find the video.... :/

michellem79 Says... 2011-03-06 20:04:09

Thank you msilovecake for answering my questions! I often have many questions as I am new to this cake stuff and it's great to get so much help from this site! I did watch the video and ended up getting some high ratio shortening. Although more expensive, it really does make a difference. Thanks again, and I will be making this recipe my go to buttercream!

sarahkathryncakes Says... 2011-03-14 08:38:49

I like my cakes to be cold and I'm wondering If I refrigerate my cakes If the frosting stays soft? I have always used Crisco, granulated sugar and milk recipe and people love it but this sounds like a great recipe. Thank you!


Partygirlcakes Says... 2011-03-31 20:38:55

BlueSheepBakeShop Says... 2011-04-07 09:23:48

For those who got a grainy texture, make sure you cream the well and add the powdered sugar slowly.

2txmedics Says... 2011-05-24 14:06:19

When I combine my liquid that is 1:1 ratio into the mixer, if I have 5 1/2cus shortening, do I add 5 1/2 creamer liquid?, and if its sweeet can I add a pinch of salt to reduce the sweetness?

2txmedics Says... 2011-05-24 14:14:30

Here's the video for whoever was looking for it

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB4ibkH0V_4 Looks like she uses 4 tablesp. flavoring and 12 hot creamer....???

eastercand Says... 2011-07-23 08:39:07

I use this all the time now. I LOVE IT! You can get Sharon Zambito's dvd's from the library. These are awesome to watch. When mixing large batches, you have to scrap down the sides of the bowl. That may be where the grainyness is coming from. You have to be generous on the hi-ratio shortening. (I use an icecream scoop to get mine out of the box) Beat till creamy and the coffee creamer has to be boiling hot and add to shortening? I find by added the coffee creamer, the frosting is not as sweet as the Wilton recipe. This is very good, creamy, delicious! If you google Sharon Zambito's buttercream recipe this will pull up her u tube video.

fairytalerescue Says... 2011-07-25 04:16:46

Can anyone please tell me how much 5.5 cups of shortening weighs? I have no idea how I would measure my shortening in cups since it's a solid mass and we use weights in Australia. I know that I need 2265g of icing sugar and the tablespoon measurements are fine, but after researching shortening online, I'm not sure what to believe. Some sites say that shortening is the same weight as butter but others say that shortening is lighter than butter. Does anyone know how much shortening to add (either in pounds, kilos or grams)? Thanks!

ibeeflower Says... 2012-05-11 08:57:02

This is a crusting correct? I am assuming it is because there is no butter...and even if there was some butter it would still crust but I just wanted to make sure.

sabaraihan Says... 2012-10-02 13:35:27

I have tried this recipe a few times with and without hi-ratio shortening. I love the flavor of this recipe, although I use my own flavorings. I get a smooth icing when I make it but always have problems when icing the cake. It dries out very quickly and I can never get a smooth finish even with a viva towel. Can someone please help with this drying out problem. It does not look creamy as it shows in Sharon's videos. I live in North California so don't know if its the dry weather that makes it different. shld I add more shortening or more creamer to the recipe?

rosesk82 Says... 2014-03-25 07:35:05

I will try this...

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