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Discussion Forum

Topic: What makes Buttercream Icing Crust?
pennyjoshua 09/17/2009 12:07 PM
Hi, I was wondering what part of the Buttercream recipe makes it crust? I have played around with quantities of butter & shortening to get perfect bc icing for piping on my shaped pans but have hit a problem when trying to do smooth bc icing on a large cake. I have been following Sharon's "Perfect Buttercream Icing" DVD but my icing never seems to get to the point that I can use a viva paper towel to smooth it. I normally use an angled palette knife and boiling water to smooth after using the cake icer tip on my shaped pans and this works well. I would like to be able to do a large round cake completely in smooth buttercream but I don't think I will get a perfect finish with a palette knife and boiling water. Will it crust better if I increase the shortening and reduce the butter or the other way round? Currently I use 2/3 shortening to 1/3 butter. Any help greatly appreciated. When I try and use the viva towel method the icing sticks to the towel and pulls off the cake. Thanks Penny
ladycatisadiva 09/17/2009 12:56 PM
It's the confectioner's sugar. Maybe you need to use more confectioner's sugar.
Jeanne G 09/17/2009 1:00 PM
Crusting is controlled by the ratio of fat to dry ingredients. It may make a slight difference whether the fat is shortening or butter -- I'm not sure -- but the main factor is how much fat per powdered sugar. I don't know exactly what the cutoff point is, but the more fat the less crusting.

Stop using the hot knife on frosting you intend to use the Viva towel on. You may be melting the top crust of the frosting slightly, making the job harder. Also wait for the crust to start forming on the frosting before you apply the towel. In my kitchen my recipe takes 8 to 12 minutes for this to happen (or if the gremlins are active, it may be longer. )

Good luck.
pennyjoshua 09/18/2009 9:32 AM
Thank you both very much, I am going to tweak my recipe a little next week and give it ago. I don't think I am leaving it long enough to crust. thanks again Penny
ladycatisadiva 09/18/2009 10:14 AM
pennyjoshua, the crusting process should only take about 10-15 minutes, depending on humidity and climate control of each individual household or building,
cpeffer 09/18/2009 8:38 PM
Hey Penny just wanted to tell you how I do my buttercream it works fantastic.
I buy the individual crisco sticks--they come in a pack of 3--I use one complete stick, 1 stick plus a half of real butter, a entire 2 lb bag of dominos powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk.
It works fantastic for me every time. Hope this helps ya. Happy Decorating