Odessa's Crusting Buttercream

This is an easy buttercream that crusts nicely and has a wonderful taste. Use the best vanilla you can find for the best flavor.

Odessa’s Crusting Buttercream


  • 1½ c. shortening
  • 1 c. butter, unsalted, room temp.
  • 3 pounds powdered sugar (I buy a 2 lb. bag and a 1 lb. bag makes it easier)
  • 1 Tbl. vanilla*
  • cold water
  • *I have also used a combination of ½ vanilla and ½ almond extracts with success.


  1. Cream shortening, butter, vanilla and 1 Tbl. water together until smooth. It should be one color, and will take a few minutes. Stop the mixer.
  2. Add 2 pounds powdered sugar and 3 Tbl. water. Slowly mix in until combined. Add 1 Tbl. water to the mixture, then beat at high speed for about 15-30 seconds. Stop mixer.
  3. Add final 1 pound of powdered sugar and 3 Tbl. water. Slowly mix in until combined. At this point, your icing is, technically, finished. Perfect for roses or other stiff applications. You can add up to 2 more Tbl. of water to the mix to make it the consistency you would like for spreading, writing, etc. If you need it thinner than that, I recommend you put a smaller amount in a bowl and add light corn syrup, a little at a time, until you are happy with the consistency.
  4. [This recipe, essentially, can be found in the book Cakes by Design by Michael Farace and Scott Clark Wooley, without having to measure the sugar with a measuring cup.]
  5. unknown


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