Crusting Buttercream: How to Make Buttercream That Sets Firm

"We must increase our crust!"

When you think of the word “crust,” you probably think more of pie than cake. But crust can also be an important term to assign to cakes — particularly pertaining to buttercream. A crusting buttercream is one that will set up firmly enough so that it can be touched lightly without making a mark.

How to Make Crusting Buttercream

Although still relatively delicate, this buttercream technique can be a very helpful asset to decorators, making a nicely primed surface for all sorts of cake decoration, from decorative piping to fondant or gum paste adornment.

Wooden spoon with cartoon smiley face

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How does it work? In a nutshell, the buttercream will “crust” as a result of the sugar and liquid solidifying.

What is the purpose of crusting buttercream? To give a couple of examples:

Cake with cursted buttercream piping

Photo via Craftsy member Ditut

As a primer.

Crusting buttercream can be an asset as a “base” atop which additional adornment will be applied. Once it sets, you will have a firmer working surface, which will make your life a lot easier when applying delicate piping such as in the photo above. This firmer surface will also act as a wonderful backdrop for adhering fondant or gum paste decorations.

Pink Buttercream Cake with Piped Rosettes

Photo via Craftsy member Jimmy Camacho

As armor.

Cakes that are covered all over with a piped design as its primary icing, such as the one above, can benefit from using a crusting buttercream. The icing is piped while the buttercream is still quite soft, but as it “sets” it will become firm, which makes the delicate shapes a bit sturdier. Additionally, cakes that are decorated or iced with a crusting buttercream are better able to withstand the elements, making it a decorator’s friend when it comes to hot weather cake decoration.

Are there any downsides to crusting buttercream? Here are some considerations that may be of interest:

  • Many crusting buttercream recipes rely heavily on solid vegetable shortening. Some include all vegetable shortening (no butter), some include part butter and part vegetable shortening. The solid nature of shortening and the fact that it doesn’t melt as quickly makes it a good choice, texture-wise; however, many agree that the flavor benefits from the addition of at least some butter.
  • Because confectioners' sugar is vital to getting the texture right, crusting buttercreams tend to be very sweet.
  • This type of buttercream does, as the name implies, “crust” and become firm, so making changes or wiping away part of the icing and having a re-do can be difficult.

Now that you’re educated on the ways of the crusting buttercream, let’s discuss how to make it for your next cake! Before offering the recipe, here are some notes and suggestions:

  • Be sure you have your cake(s) baked, cooled, leveled and ready. Although a crusting buttercream won’t set up instantly, it is best to be used to ice a cake fairly soon after whipping up a batch.
  • If you are not able to ice your cake directly after making the icing, it’s OK. Although it is best the same day made, the icing can be stored overnight at cool room temperature in an airtight container, or refrigerated for several days in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using to ice a cake.
  • Be sure that you have enough time allotted to allow the buttercream to set before adding other decoration or icings.
  • If you want a pure white crusting buttercream, strive to use butter without colorings added (read the label to see if it has any added) or consider using all shortening instead of part butter. Also, use clear vanilla extract instead of the regular brown-tinted extract, which will add a slight beige tint to the buttercream.
  • If you’d like to impart a different flavor, you can use any number of different extracts instead of vanilla, but be aware that if they have a tint, it may impart a color to the buttercream.
  • Adding coloring to the buttercream is fine, but keep in mind that you may want to reduce the amount of liquid you add to the mixture.
  • When it comes to the milk in the recipe, you can also substitute water, lower-fat milk or even cream. Just be sure to add the liquid a little at a time to see the quantity that will give you a consistency that works for you. Keep in mind that the amount of liquid you add may vary depending on the season, as weather conditions (humidity and heat) can affect the texture.

Crusting buttercream icing

buttercream icing ingredients

This recipe is adapted from what is often called the “Viva” method--named after a brand of paper towels, which, owing to their flat (non-quilted or textured) surface, works extremely well for flattening the surface of your crusting buttercream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (2 pounds) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ cups solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ to ½ cup whole milk (to desired consistency)

(Readers outside the U.S. might enjoy our handy metric conversion guide.)

Step 1:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening and vanilla extract until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed. Stop the mixer.

Step 2:

Add about ¼ of the confectioners’ sugar. You need to add this gradually, or you might have a sugary snowstorm in your kitchen when you start to mix.

Mix on low speed until incorporated. Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula and add another ¼ of the confectioners’ sugar. Continue mixing and pausing down to scrape the sides of the bowl and add more confectioners’ sugar until you’ve added it all. This mixture will likely be quite thick.

Step 3:

Add ⅛ cup of the milk and mix at low speed until incorporated. At this point, it’s up to you whether or not you’d like to add more--it’s a matter of your preference for the consistency.

Step 4:

Ice your cake. Try to apply the icing as smoothly as possible.

Step 5:

Let set for 20-30 minutes to form a “crust”.

Step 6:

If you’d like a flat surface on your cake, once it has crusted, you can use a square of un-patterned paper towel (or, if you don’t have that, a sheet of clean, white paper or parchment paper will do). Lay the paper on the area of the cake you want smoothed and using your hand, a spatula, a fondant smoother or even a clean and unused credit card, smooth the icing.

Step 7:

Once smoothed, decorate in any way you’d like!

Crusting Buttercream

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110 Comments

Sheena Hudson

I find it very frustrating as a member of Craftsy, but not an American, that you cannot provide weight measurements in a universal manner i.e. grams?

Could this be resolved so that all your members can provided for.

Lets see if I get a response…..

Reply
Stacy Brown

I would simply convert using an internet resource as that’s what I do when the opposite is given for measurements. There are many many options on line for computer, apps, Ipads, etc…

Reply
mamagoose

I imagine most Americans are not even cognizant that in some parts of the world grams are used to measure ingredients. ?The tone of your request was a bit harsh

Reply
Aya

It’s not that we aren’t aware; nobody uses standard measure but us, so use of metrics is pretty noticeable when traveling, purchasing online, watching shows, etc. I heard a woman describe something as weighing such and such a “stone” on a show once. That’s not metric, but is sure isn’t a version standard measure I’m used to either. I felt a little clueless, but I decided that if I really wanted to know, I could just look it up. This issue comes up a lot when I search for recipes online. What I do is just google whatever the metric measurement is/ us measurements. The answer appears at the top of the page. You don’t even have to click on anything. Hope this helps!

Reply
Vicki

I am fully aware of the differences in how ingredients are measured between U.S. And other countries. I’m in the US and use both methods and many times use my scale. I’m sure most avid US bakers are aware of the differences as we see recipes offering both options. As in this recipe above, readers have the option of using both measuring options.

Reply
william

Your comment is quite condescending! As most Americans are aware yet choose not to use the metric system. Sorry, life is not always your way. Get over it.
William

Reply
Sonia

In Craftsy materials ,they always include a Conversion Chart..Greetings from Colombia
South America.!

Reply
Lea Wofford

So, does that mean your special? As others have said, convert it.

Reply
Monica

“As an American” I take offense to your mean, condencending remarks. Learn some manners or don’t visit sites that offend you.
Use the tools available on line to help you measure the way you were taught. I have always graciously done the same when I find a European recipe.
This icing recipe is delicious and as a baker I appreciate being able to pin it.
My mother was from Europe and raised me with manners. “If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.”
It is easy to be mean to someone when you can hide behind a monitor. In America we call that being a coward. Have a nice day.

Reply
CakeSpy

Hi there Sheena, I’m Jessie, the writer of the article. I apologize for the frustration! Luckily there are a lot of different tools that you can use online to enter your ingredients and get the conversions.

I did it for this recipe, and here’s what I got. I apologize for not knowing, but I’m not sure if butter is measured in the same sticks where you are. I have left it as is below.

907 grams confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into ½ inch cubes
339 grams solid vegetable shortening
22 ml vanilla extract
up to 119 ml whole milk (to desired consistency)

I thought this guide was helpful. http://www.foodgeeks.com/resources/conversion_charts

Reply
Ber Gear

about that stick of butter in this recipe~one stick= 1/2 cup 🙂

Reply
Sheena Hudson

Thank you all for your generous help and no we don’t have “sticks” of butter in England. Just plain old packs weighing a universal 250g.

Time to get “buttercreaming”

Reply
cakingit

Grams, are not “universal” and not everyone uses weights. In fact the majority of Americans (and there are over 300 million of us) use cups instead of weights and as this is obviously an American recipe hence the Crisco it is understandably using American measurements… good luck procuring Crisco or an actual substitute in the UK if finding a weight converter is beyond you. The person who wrote this article was being incredibly helpful and there were much more polite ways of asking for it to be made so you can understand it. The internet is a diverse and exciting place with information from around the world, you can not expect everything to be tailored to you, I wouldn’t think of going on Delia’s Smiths page and bemoaning the lack of cups.

Toni Browne

I agree. Grams are NOT universal. There are plenty of us that would have to use a coversion table to use the recipe if it were given in grams… WE have to do this to convert European recipes, so I think it’s fair play for others to have to convert ours… Minor issue to be complaining about….

Jam David

Sheena.. did you use Trek for this recipe?

Jessica

Is the vanilla extract really supposed to be tablespoons??? Mine tasted horribly like vanilla extract…

Reply
Cynthia Lorow

I have been decorating cakes for less than 2 years, and am always trying to learn new techniques.I use Swiss meringue butter-cream and home-made fondant which my clients love. I have seen crusting butter-cream mentioned a number of times but even after reading this article I don’t really understand why anyone would choose to use it. Do clients like it? Not all my clients want to eat the fondant but they know it can be peeled back . Is this only used on the outside? Do you make SMBC or IMBC for the filling? I really don’t want to offend anyone, but I really want to know. I live in South Florida where heat and humidity are always an issue. So if this would hold up for an outdoor wedding here, I might have to consider it. Thank you for your assistance.

Reply
Maria

Hi Cynthia i live in south florida as well, and yes i can totally understand heat and humidity are a serious issue.

Reply
Katarina

I dont know if anyone has tried this recipe. I really dont mean to be rude but it tastes terrible! That veg. shortening has such a strong taste! I am not sure but i used Holsum, is anyone experiencing the same? I need to cover the cake today but i wont use this mixture.

Reply
Cheryl

I think possibly by “universal” the comment meant “universal” to her country. No “sticks” of butter and there is just one form to buy it in, which is 250g.

That being said, I’ve recently started an food allergy friendly blog in the U.S. and I will not be providing conversions, but if I had members or subscribers from other countries, I would have a handy conversion chart or ap available as a curtesy.

Let us all be tolerant and kind!

Reply
ShoonooBanana

Thanks, Cheryl. Your response is a considerate one. I live in South Africa and here too we use grams as a measurement. I often find it tough to follow American recipes and for many years I’ve felt frustrated when recipes flop. I have a great deal of respect for bakers who can toss in a half a cup of this and a pinch of that and pull a perfect cake out the oven – but that’s not me. To complicate matters, I live 6000ft above sea level so baking for me is always a technical and carefully measured exercise in order to get it right.

I no longer use cup measurements for non-fluid ingredients because the outcome is always off. Weighing out my flour for a recipe was the best thing I’ve ever done. I use cake flour mostly because it’s brilliant and we get it in abundance here. But it’s lighter than all purpose flour, therefore a cup of cake flour substituted in place of a cup of all purpose will cause the recipe to yield a less than perfect result. Hence I weigh.

For me, when a recipe provides weight, it does make it loads easier – but if it does not, then it means I must really want to try out the recipe to be in the mood to quantify all the ingredients beforehand. I think that overall, for any baking blog that aims to reach the world, it’s kind to consider the baking challenges that enthusiastic bakers across the globe endure – simply putting in the weight of each ingredient along with the US measurements is something that may ensure more people are keen to try out your recipe.

It’s just a consideration… 😀

Reply
TrudieB

Cheryl, you win the prize for Grace, Common Sense, and Easy-going-ness (!). I was also put off by the snarky replies to the OP, Sheena. Of course this is the Internet, where it’s come to be expected. (in addition to a conversion chart, maybe Craftsy could install an IGNORE button, so certain rude responders posts just didn’t show up! Of course the minute I clicked it, I’d be sure to miss something truly useful from said Rudes.)

Anyway, thankyou for being the Voice of Reason—we’re all just here to learn something from each other, and as we know, you reap what you sow, right?

Also, your first Reply, from Shooboo, deserves honorable mention for recognising your sensible comments, AND for helping me to understand the weight vs volume measurements a little better. There’s a cinnamon roll recipe floating around (Pinterest?) calling for weighed ingredients for the reasons Shooboo stated. I actually have bought a scale to use making them. Now I have to hunt down that recipe, again.

And finally, to Sheena: On behalf of Crazies from Sea to Shining Sea, apologies to you for any rude responses. … Welcome to America, where they’ll honk at you for backing out of your parking space, even if they’re still five slots away!

Reply
Anniee

Sheena did not have to be so rude and condescending in her initial request. My god people are horrible and so disgusting. You could just simple ASK for international measurements. Whatever happened to being simple and asking in a simple manner! No need for America hate either. The snarkiness and rudeness came because of the first person who asked in a snarky and rude way, who is clearly not American lol.

Reply
sonia

Is it posssible to do a white chocolate version of this crusting buttercream??

Reply
Sandra C

Maybe a white chocolate ganache could work in place of a buttercream. If you’re worried about the heavy shortening flavor, white ganache is an excellent alternative. If you refrigerate your cake, it will be a nice hardness. I find the two behave similarly in smoothing, covering, and resisting gentle touches.

Reply
CakeSpy

Hi Sonia: I have never tried it, but honestly I don’t see why not. White chocolate certainly couldn’t hurt the stabilization, but if it were melted you’d have to wait until it was sort of lukewarm before you added it or it might melt the butter or shortening. I will try to look for a recipe for you, ok? Thanks for the great question.

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Machelle

I’ve used white chocolate, salted caramel, preserves etc in this recipe. You have to adjust the sugar/milk based on the amount of liquid but it works well

Reply
Toni Browne

Any chance you could post a recipe for the white chocolate version?? .. Thnx.

Reply
Sara

Hi, Ms. Moore.
I just wanted to let you know, I am a 20-year-old, budding cake artist and your recipe and advice saved my first wedding cake! I originally decorated my cake with italian meringue buttercream, but my fillings were so soft and the cakes so delicate, that the buttercream just couldn’t hold up and began to slide and crack. I was devastated when I looked in the fridge and saw them that way, so I rushed to my computer, looked up “stiff buttercreams” and was brought to your post. I fashioned new cake boards a 1/4″ thicker than the cakes and re-frosted them with your buttercream. Sure enough they are staying in place and look beautiful. Thank you so much for your wisdom!

Reply
nikoo

I agree with Katarina. I don’t know how you guys like the terrible taste of shortening in you cake, compare to delicious taste of swiss or Italian Buttercream. It’s true that by using shortening your cake sits out longer, but how about the taste of the cake?

Reply
Elena

It’s funny you should say this, I to find it has a acquired taste and that only for younger children that like shop made cakes?
My children older and younger love that disgusting synthetic taste but personally for a wedding cake….. I’m not to sure?
Even so I just use butter and icing sugar and flavourings whipped up with a little milk, fridge it and cover ASAP!
I’m yet to try Italian buttercream and meringue buttercream but, if anyone has a recipe available I will defo give it a go!
👍🏻

Reply
Mel

Hi Elena 😊 I’ve used this recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream regularly & love it!! Don’t even have to use a thermometer & the kitchen mixer does all the hard work. I found this recipe so easy & delicious that I’ve never tried any other. Totally recommend. 😊 Good luck!

Reply
Mel

I’ve tried adding the link but it’s ‘awaiting moderation’. If it doesn’t come through, it’s on cakejournal.com and the post is titled How to Make Italian Meringue Buttercream.

Reply
Jessie Oleson Moore

Thank you so much, Sara! That really makes me feel wonderful. I am so glad the tips worked in such a serendipitous way for you!

Reply
Lynn

Hello! Ms. Moore, I would like to thank you for this recipe on how to make a very tasteful buttercream. I didn’t add as much milk as you had called for nor did I add as much Crisco(I only used one cup of Crisco and one stick of butter). The buttercream was a hit. Thanks.

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CakeSpy

Lynn: I am so glad to hear it. One thing I love about buttercream is that unlike a cake recipe, you can adjust more easily the quantities and not mess up any chemical reactions. So you really can tailor it to your taste! Sounds like you did so in a wonderfully successful way!

Reply
Kerry

Hi just a quick question can I use ‘crust buttercream’ if I’m wanting to cover with fondant? As I find with justrnormal buttercream you see all the bumps etc under the icing.

Thanks 🙂

Reply
Jodi

When I leave it to crust, is this in the fridge? I live in Australia and it is really got here right now. I did a cake the other night and left it to crust (albeit, with a different butter cream recipe, but not far off this). We don’t have viva so I tried parchment paper and the butter cream stuck to it. Would the heat have affected the crusting? Thanks.

Reply
janet

hi re measurements: in professional bakery weights are generally used as there is much less margin for error. weights can be imperial or metric. cups,spoons and other volume containers are inherently prone to error, depending on how you fill your container etc. Bags/sticks are usually specific to a region or country. In a global baking community it would be convenient to all speak the same measurement language; but conversions are easy to find …make a chart and keep it nearby when googling

Reply
CakeSpy

Hi Jodi: Based on what you tell me about the heat where you are, I would probably use the refrigerator if you don’t have access to a cool, air conditioned place. Ideally, a cool dry place would work, but it sounds like you don’t have that luxury right now!

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Jodi

Thank you so much for your reply. I will try aircon, but it was 38 degrees (100 for you guys!) yesterday so I don’t think that would even help, so may have to try fridge! Thanks again.

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Johanna

hi!is it the same.buttercream that they use for filling? will they also crust or hardened? I’m so confused. thank you.

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Wendy

First off, Thank you so much for taking time and sharing this with us all! For buttercream, I’ve always relied on a crusting formula, similar to the one you listed here, as a tool for decorating, it’s just easier to smooth and takes color better, in my opinion. I fill my cakes with a variety of things and have used swiss meringue buttercream to fill so many times while still finishing it in a crusting buttercream. I recommend using a shortening/butter combo in hotter weather as the shortening doesn’t melt the same as butter. I’d hate to spend hours making a cake a work of art just to have it melt in a matter of minutes. But, everyone has a different preference. There’s a learning curve to everything, and thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

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Wendy

I’d also like to add, high fat ratio shortening, not crisco, will make a much smoother buttercream. And make sure to sift the powdered sugar, makes a world of difference.

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Bridget Tarvin

Could you possibly give an example of a ‘high fat ratio’ shortening? in other words, what besides crisco is a better shortening? I love hearing new ideas! And if you have something that would make it even better..hey! Cool! Lol thanks!!

Reply
Elly

Bridget, you can find high ratio shortening on amazon. Just search high ratio on their website and it will show you varieties of high ratio you want.

Reply
Elly

High ratio shortening does taste a lot better than Crisco. It’s a little pricey but a lot better. I used it when I baked for people.

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Cristi

Thank you so much for your recipe!! Although it nearly burned out my cheapie mixer…it tastes great!!

Reply
Trisha

I am in the UK and one of the biggest benefits for me of using the net is being able to use recipes and techniques from around the world. I use a conversion chart from Diana’s Desserts.com which is fantastic as it converts ingredients to every method of weight
Hope this helps

Reply
Maria

Hi I was wondering if I can substitute the butter with margarine since I am lactose intolerance and also the milk with almond milk or coconut milk.

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Jessie Oleson Moore

Maria, I have not tried it that way but I see no problem.

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Machelle

I’ve been using this exact recipe for years. Any suggestions on how to get it where it’s not so overwhelmingly sweet?

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tgress

Machelle, I found the way to cut down on the sweetness is to use salt. I’ve been using a similar recipe for years now and it’s always a hit. To cut down on the sweetness I add about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt and that does the trick. For those who complain about the taste of the shortening, just add more flavoring to it and it will go away. A combination of almond, vanilla and butter flavoring gives great results.

I am also in Florida but also bake in the Caribbean and when it’s really hot if the cake will be outside I choose to use all shortening. If the cake will be in a cool environment I use half butter half shortening. The butter flavoring is key and will mask the unpleasantness of the shortening.

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Bridget Tarvin

I agree! Just experiment with a combo of these your flavors, taste a little as you go, and also write down what you did as you go! and with a little practice and patience, you’ll hit your magic combo! Don’t overdo it on the salt! With any of this, you realize you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!! 🙂

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Kristina S.

I found to cut sweetness… to add 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt… cut the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon and to use 2 tablespoons of flavored extract.. I have always used butter extract. My family and clients love the results.

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Carla

I have found that if I use more of the Crisco and less of the butter is cuts the sweetness in the buttercream for me and my customers like it more that way. There have been times I have used just the Crisco or just the butter to make the icing but here to it would depend on the customer and what it was for. Occasions are what I mean when I say what it is for. For it to hold up for a long period of time I use more Crisco in the mix and it holds up for a very long time for all the guesses at the event.

Reply
Finlay

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Reply
Hefziba Ramirez

hello for this recipe how many cupcakes can it decorate? Or frosting?

Reply
Aimee

Hi, I’m planning to make my cake 2-3 days in advance. If this buttercream added milk to it, does it have to be kept in the fridge? Can I substitute water and keep it out of the fridge? Also, to confirm, because I’m not in America, is 1 stick of butter 1 cup or 2 cups? Thanks

Reply
Bridget Tarvin

Well this is too late to help you now! But yes, you can sub water for milk; I have used milk before though, and it was just fine….tasted fine, no one was sick, everything was cool! In America, one stick butter=a half cup….as in ” 1/2 of a cup” …… I see how that could look confusing to someone!

Reply
George Fowler

I use one cup of Sweetex per one 2 pound bag of C & H, water and flavorings. I’ve never understood why many recipes call for 2 cups of shortening per one 2 pound bag of powdered sugar. This is the only icing I use for all my cakes. Everyone likes my icing, even those who don’t eat icing like my icing. Also, it does not leave a film on the roof of your mouth like other icings do. And, it does hold up well in warm, humid weather.

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Bridget Tarvin

At some point we’re gonna hear the answer to this question—hopefully!!! Lol

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Beverly

I’ve always used this buttercream icing for my cakes. My trick is to add raspberry Lorann Oil flavouring to the icing while mixing it. You can use other flavours of course, but the taste is outstanding. You only need a few drops. You should never use only shortening – the butter is essential for taste.

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Beverley

I am British but always follow US recipes using cups, it’s very easy to buy a set of cups, baking is a science and working by volume is no harder. Converting individual ingredients to grams doesn’t work out as well. Americans use imperial weights (pounds and ounces) and the only item you need to weigh is the butter and it’s easy – a cup of butter is half a pound – just switch your scales from grams to lb and oz. If you keep dry ingredients in large jars like I do it’s really easy to stick in the cup and level off the top. You can even buy a cup with a lip for wet ingredients. 🙂

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Melanie

I agree about about how easy it is to use and find a conversion chart and since I live in south Louisiana in the USA it gets extremely hot and humid. Most of the time I use a chocolate ganache icing but if my cake has to be outside I use the buttercream and add a little ganache to it.i also prefer the hi ratio shortening it makes a smoother icing and add more flavorings. thanks for the post Jessie!

Reply
Liz

If you use a US recipe in Australia you have to remember that their cup and spoon measurements are different so you need to check that you are using US cups and spoons.

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TrudieB

haha
Reminds me of Nigella, and her “tablesthingy” (which I gathered was a tablespoon). All of our Foremothers used whatever spoon they had, and probably used the same one every time for consistent results. I’ve heard British bakers say to “add a dessert spoon of Brandy” (or whatever); in USA, when you’re eating dessert with a spoon, it’s a TEASPOON! And that’s the same as what you stir your coffee with! European “Tablespoon” is about the same as a soup spoon, here (US).
I suppose that’s why there are so many cooking shows on TV, if we SEE them doing it, there’s more a chance of getting results worth serving.

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Leah

HA! It’s funny reading those comments metric and imperial.
US said grams is not universal because they dont use it. Do you know how many country in this world that use imperial units? ONLY 3: US, Myanmar, Liberia. Well, it makes metrics not universal enough, eh?

“We reject all British-Thingy (taxes, laws, accent, and tea), while we praise King’s Henry’s foot as measurement unit”

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TrudieB

I hate to admit it, but maybe that’s why we still refuse to embrace metric measurements. (centimeters rather than inches I mean) STUBBORN! I mean they tried to teach it to us 40-50 years ago, but we all had the same attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” And still do. I think we’re one of the last few to still measure things in inches and feet. I confess it’s one of the things i have to Google EVERY TIME there’s a millimeter of this or that mentioned.

I loved your comment about King’s foot being an accepted measurement. But we’ll grow our own dam tea! (uh, no you won’t)
I’ve also always wondered why we don’t all have British accents.

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maralyn adderley

I live in the Bahamas and have been baking for some time now am trying to fine the name of the shorting used as a stabilizer on cream cheese icing most of my customers love ceram cheese icing but during the summer months it’s very had to work with the smell of the shorting is very sweet

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Elena

I to am British and use conversions all the time, I was told that Americans had changed to the metric measurements but I must be wrongly informed. Nevertheless I do agree that the young lady in question could of asked in a more appropriate manner as I would of.
Yes it is frustrating when weights are not in mertric but hey-ho! It’s easy, just convert as I do, it’s not hard surely?
I’m sure when we put receipts on in metric you to have to convert?
Even so I will be trying this recipe out ASAP!
Cheers all!
Happy Days!! Xx

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TrudieB

HA! It’ll never happen!! I seriously think there’d be a revolt if we were ever told, “From now on…”. As I said above, they tried to teach us years ago but it didn’t stick! I bet the teachers hated it just as much. (I do think they teach it nowadays, but not sure how it’s going over.)

To be a little more serious about it, how much trouble would it be to put both the Lb/Oz AND the Kilo/Gram weights on products (they already do on some, but still only use ounces/cups in the nutrition info.) It would help lots of people if all the measurements (and recipes!) were given in both forms. I can’t imagine coming over to USA to live and finding you had to guess at what you should add to your recipe… Again, that’s why God invented Cooking Shows! And Google.

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Kathy

I followed the recipe and I let my cake sit on the counter for 30 minutes no crust. Move to fridge 30 minutes no crist. I used 1/8 cup of water only. What could I have done wrong.

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Andre

In the recipe it uses WHOLE MILK…

Maybe the WATER you used instead had a lot to do with it…

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TrudieB

Water should work; it was suggested above, in fact. I think using more powdered sugar (“icing” sugar or 10X) would result in a better crust. Milk has fat that water does not, so if anything that should contribute to crust not forming.

Kathy, you might consider the humidity of your weather/climate; that might be a problem keeping the crust from forming. If so, higher ratio of sugar might get you there.
(FYI, you can find your town’s exact humidity on Google, just search for “My City Weather”– they have all those details we usually ignore when they tell us the Weather Report on the local news!)

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maryam

Hello there
very important question that i have and i really would appreciate an answer , as far as i know for crusting buttercream recipes uses meringue powder , so with this recipe it doesn’t , and as far as i know the meringue that helps the buttercream to dry and crust , so with your recipe how can i still get crusted buttercream without adding the meringue ?
Thanks

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Pam/P.K.s Custom Cakes

This recipie is fantastic. I have been looking for one that “crusts” but has some butter for better taste, all so it looks very similar to fondant, but isn’t since fondant as you know does not taste good. I am using it on a wedding cake with fantastic results. Tip: make sure you do a very thin crumb coat first and not too thick final coat, or it won’t crust well. It spreads on so smooth too!! Love love love it. Thanks Craftsy

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Michael Koren

I got to this page because I was astonished to see the image of crisco. I thought crisco would have been outlawed by now. Obviously I’m wrong. But seriously, who in their right mind would want to knowingly endanger themselves, their family or their friends to such a health destroying ingrediant?

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TrudieB

Maybe because they only will have a slice of wedding cake and go home! I seriously considered hoarding CRISCO recently when there were mumblings about banning all transfats. I am still considering the hoarding. I just want to know it will keep in storage until the Apocolypse!
I haven’t made fried chicken but two or three times in 40 years marriage, but i grew up on it, mom’s Sunday specialty. HOWEVER! my killer chocolate chip cookies demand it. Hence, the hoarding temptation. I am not ashamed!

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marie

:o( I followed the directions as it said too. it’s been sitting for hour hasn’t even thought about crusting. disappointed. i needed it to crust by tomorrow

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Sunita

I have two queries. 1. How many days I can preserve and keep it in frige?? 2. Should I use veg shortening cold or room temperature? And also butter should be room temperature or cold?

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TrudieB

I don’t think the shortening would really get cold, but I never tried it. I would soften the butter to room temperature on the counter (not the microwave!), but not to the point it starts losing its shape, just soft. Then make up your frosting, and refrigerate until you’re ready to do your cake, but let it sit on the counter for awhile until you can beat it easily. I have an older Kitchenaid mixer that could take it, but some of the newer ones may need it to be brought to room temperature so as not to cause over heating of your appliance. If using a hand mixer, really let it warm up (not warm, just soft enough to stir by hand), even beating by hand at this point would be fine. I like the consistency beating with my mixer gave me after chilling, but keep in mind cold icing is harder to spread on a cake.
GOOD LUCK!

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TrudieB

Oh, PS: I think I read on another recipe for professional cake decorators (I’m not one, BTW), they made huge portions, enough to frost three or four cakes, and claimed it would keep in a covered tub in the fridge for several WEEKS! Personally I’d rather make fresh for each project, but pros have to be ready to turn out a product fast, so it must make sense for the trade. I’m guessing you could easily keep a cake or two worth in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for at least a week. It would be worth experimenting— try it for a month and post your results!

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Simmi

How many cups or grams is 1 stick of butter? I’ve seen different sizes of sticks of butter, so this is very confusing.

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Riy

Excellent write up. Was looking as to how to firm up the buttercream. So this is of help. With regards to the conversion…i’m not worried as much because i guess every bakers go through trial and errors to come up with something which meet their own expectations. It works for one baker but may not works for another. So chill & happy baking everyone ! Cheers 🙂

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Debbie

There is a link to a metric conversion chart listed just before step 1

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KatharinaR

As a continental European in the UK I struggle daily with the non-metric but imperial units stll used here, but I am the “guest” so it is me who has to adapt.
I’ll get in trouble though, when a recipe asks for a “cup of butter” Is that measured when the butter is melted? The measure will be different. Furthermore a US cup has a different volume than a UK or continental European one. Therefore I always prefer weight measurements (btw 1 US pound is 453g while its German eqivalent would be 500g) over volumetric. It is always more accurate.

To the point some readers make here about the bad taste and/or setting properties of their “butter”cream [sorry I am German and buttercream asks for butter not margerine, shortening or whatever you call it in your country 🙂 ]
Shortenings/margarine consist of different fats. Some are hardenend (stay away from partly hydrogenated ones they contain “trans fats” or TFA, that is recognised as being carcinogen) some are naturally getting solid at room temperature. Some need a “desodoration” step during refining to become neutral in taste (which is not done in every country).
In short, depending which fats (coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed/Canola oil…) your shortening contains and in which proportions, it will taste and behave completely different. This is most likely the key why a recipe asking for a generic “shortening” does not work for everyone.

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Linda L.

You should all just move to Canada!
Metric was introduced here 40 or 50 years ago but we still use both systems. If you were through school by the time it came in, you probably cook and ‘speak’ in Imperial measures but have some level of understanding of metric. Younger people are the reverse. A lot of us will have two sets of measuring spoons and our liquid measuring cups usually have both measures on them. In the grocery stores, a lot of items are described in both systems – for instance, meat is priced by the pound and by 100 grams or for larger cuts, by the kilogram. Things like canned soup still come in a 10 oz tin but have the millilitres (ml) on the label.
You do have to be careful with liquid measurements over a cup since, while our cup is 8 ounces, our Imperial pint is 20 oz and a quart is 40 oz or 5 cups as compared to an American pint of 16 oz and quart of 32 oz. or 4 cups so you need to know where the recipe came from.
The great advantage is that you can often do the conversion yourself since you see the amounts so often.

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Patricia

Hi ! I’ really looking forward to using this recipe for my cake this coming May. But was worried about the shortening taste that could MAYBE be evident. Could i use butter flavoured shortening? Thank you so much !
Greetings from Australia

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RachelG

Some help for the rookie please. I tried this recipe and my buttercream has air bubbles in it. Can someone explain where in the process I went wrong?

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Kim Willis

I have been using this exact recipe to decorate my cakes in North Florida for about 15 years…I use the exact ingredients listed and everyone loves this frosting…not sure what strong Crisco taste you are describing…I mix my frosting for at least 10 minutes on low speed of my Kitchen Aid…hope this helps…

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Renee

I made this for my daughters birthday cake. Recipe covered a 2 layer 11″x3″ round with a little left over. I didn’t have any issues with it having taste of the crisco. Was sweet but not canned frosting sweet. Many compliments on it. It was
Smooth by not professional cake maker smooth and that’s totally because I’m still learning! Will be my go to recipe

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