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Crusting Buttercream Icing

Good-tasting and creamy with a smooth texture. Ideal for icing cakes, making borders and flowers like roses, sweet peas, and drop flowers. Buttercream is not recommended for making thin-petalled flowers, flowers made on lily nails or flowers made on florist wire. This type of icing is excellent for using the paper towel method of smoothing.


2 pounds sifted confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup or 1 stick of softened butter
1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons clear vanilla extract
1/3 cup water for icing the cake -or-
1/4 cup water for stiff consistency
1/4 teaspoon imitation almond extract


Cream butter, shortening and extracts. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and water. Mix thoroughly on medium speed (hand mixer), or low speed (stand mixer) until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix or mix on high speed.

If you want a whiter icing try to use butter without all the dyes which can be found at the Natural food stores. If you want a stiffer icing use 1/4 cup of water. If you live where it is humid, you can add meringue powder 1 - 2 tablespoons.

If you want a very smooth, iced cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing. Then smooth with the non-printed side of a Viva paper towel. Viva towels do not have a pattern. The icing will take the patterns of printed paper towels. Bounty paper towels have a diamond pattern which can be transferred to the icing.


Icing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Iced cake can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Additional Information

Flowers remain soft enough to be cut with a knife.

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