No Crust Buttercream Icing

This very simple recipe makes a fluffy and buttery icing that doesn’t crust. It’s luscious and can be made in all sorts of flavors. It is not sweet because of the presence of salt which cuts the perception of sweetness and the combination of vanilla and almond extracts. Citrus flavors also cut the perception of sweetness as does the addition of milk.

No Crust Buttercream Icing


  • 1 1/4 Sticks (3/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • (or 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and 1/4 cup shortening)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (can substitute with vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Beat butter with a hand held mixer on high until fluffy and light in color. (If using shortening, beat butter first and then add shortening). Slowly add 2 cups powdered sugar. If mixture gets too thick to beat, add a few tablespoons milk from recipe. 2. Add extracts and salt. Add milk slowly until buttercream is the soft consistency you desire. 3.Beat on high for 2 to 3 minutes so mixture is fluffy and creamy. You can correct icing consistency with more powdered sugar (a TBSP or two) to stiffen or more milk (same) to make fluffier if necessary — add a little at a time. Storage:Icing can be stored at the cool side of room temperature. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the icing when storing. Stir before using. If the butter is separating because the room is too warm, refrigerate icing and rebeat until fluffy before using.

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