Traditional Crusting Buttercream
- This type of crusting buttercream is close to noncrusting buttercream frosting recipes. This recipe uses butter, shortening, powdered sugar and water to create a crusting buttercream that is firm enough to make decorative flowers with. Start by blending together a stick of room-temperature unsalted butter and 1 1/2 cups of shortening. Alternate adding 2 lbs. of sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Frost your cake, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then use a paper towel to smooth out the frosting.
Flour-Based Crusting Buttercream
- This recipe differs from other buttercream recipes in that it uses flour to stabilize the frosting and give it a firm but spreadable consistency. Start by creaming together 1 1/2 cups of shortening and 1/2 cup of cake flour. Then alternate adding 2 lbs. of sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of very hot water. Frost your cake, and then smooth out the frosting to get the perfect surface for decorating.
- There are dozens of flavor variations that can be used on crusting buttercreams to make them better fit the flavor profile of the cake, although there is certainly nothing wrong with using just the base recipe. Common additions are vanilla extract and almond extract, both of which would be suitable for a number of different cake flavors. There are also fruity extract flavors available such as lemon, coconut, orange, cherry and raspberry. More complex flavor options include butter pecan, rum, bourbon, champagne and mint.
- Crusting buttercream frosting can easily be colored to suit your needs with the right combination of food coloring. The key to coloring your frosting is to add a drop or two of food coloring at a time until you achieve the right color. You can always add more, but there is no way to fix going too far. Depending on your decorating plans, you may prefer a completely white crusting buttercream. To achieve this, you can use colorless butter, which can be purchased at health food stores, and if you add any flavor extracts, make sure they are clear.