American Crusting (& Non-Crusting) Buttercream
Recipe type: Icing
Serves: This amount will cover and fill a 6″ cake, with maybe a little to spare.
Used to achieve a smooth, buttercream finish cakes. *Not recommended as the layer of icing underneath fondant if you're trying to achieve sharp edges, because the shortening used in this recipe won't allow the buttercream to harden enough before adding your layer of fondant. (You can just take the shortening out of this recipe and replace it with more butter if you want a great, delicious buttercream to use underneath your fondant and still achieve sharp edges on your fondant! Just place your buttercreamed cake into the freezer for 20 minutes before you cover it with fondant so that you’ll have a nice solid base to work with!)
  • 1 cup butter (2 American sticks)
  • 1 cup high ratio shortening (look for at least 3g trans fats/serving on label)
  • (^^^ swap out for one more cup of butter, instead, if using this recipe under a fondant covered cake!)
  • 2 tsp extract of choice (I use vanilla and/or almond, usually)
  • 2lbs (8 cups) powdered sugar (no cheap brands here, they tend to have more clumps)
  • 4 TAB water (add more if in a very dry, cold climate)
  1. Cream shortening and butter in mixer with beater blades or flat blade (NOT whisk), on medium for 2 minutes
  2. Add extract and water and beat on low ’till incorporated
  3. Gradually add sugar, beating on LOW (very important to avoid air bubbles) until just mixed.
  4. *Add more water, a TAB at a time if too thick. But remember, you don’t want a thin consistency.
  5. *You can color the buttercream by using gel colors
  6. *Keep your bowl covered until ready for use
  7. *Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks
Recipe by McGreevy Cakes at