Sharon Zambito’s Famous Crusting Buttercream

Sharon Zambito’s Famous Crusting Buttercream

If you want to make amazing crusting buttercream follow these simple steps and tips and you’re sure to be a success!


5-5.5 generous cups Sweetex shortening or other brand of hi-ration shortening or half butter/half shortening

5 pounds powdered sugar

4 tablespoons Wedding Bouquet flavoring (or substitute your flavoring of choice in the appropriate amount) (

11 – 12 tablespoons hot coffee creamer liquid



Cream the shortening, flavorings, and hot liquid with the paddle attachment until well combined and creamy. Then stream in the first 3 pounds of powdered sugar with mixer running at speed one. When incorporated somewhat, stop and scrape down sides of bowl well. Stream in last 2 pounds of powdered sugar at speed one. When incorporated, turn the mixer up to speed 6 and let it beat for 5 – 7 minutes, until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl very frequently while the mixer is going at speed 6.

The goal is to get all of the icing down into the belly of the bowl and fill the bowl from side to side with no air gaps around the walls, as well as covering the paddle up to the springs. If the icing is making a “kissing” noise after all the sugar is in, add just a few drops more of liquid, while scraping down the sides, with the mixer running, until that stops. You should create a bowl full of icing side to side, where the paddle is completely submerged and beating in a vacuum under the icing. Five to seven minutes at speed 6 and you should have a smooth as silk and nearly airless icing. Cover and cool before using.

I make this recipe to fill my 5 quart mixer. Adjust the recipe volume to fill your mixer properly.

Notes for making crusting buttercream:

Amounts for 6 quart mixer bowl:

3 lbs Sweetex or other hi ratio shortening

6.5 lbs powdered sugar (use a 4 cup measuring cup, 4 cups = 1 lb)

9 tablespoons wedding bouquet or flavorings of choice (adjust total liquid as needed)

11 tablespoons hot coffee mate liquid

Cream sweetex and liquids on first speed very well. add half amount of powdered sugar, let mix 30 seconds, then add rest of powdered sugar. scrape sides of bowl very well turn speed up one notch, mix for 9 minutes. scrape sides of bowl around top, mix for 1 minute longer. (Do not turn off mixer during this scraping) Now, turn off mixer, remove paddle and cover with plastic wrap. let sit for 1 hour or longer.


Sharon has been decorating cakes for 25+ years, and has appeared on TLC’s “Ultimate Cake Off.” She is an ICES member, has judged competitions at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, and founded SugarEd Productions and its multi-faceted online school. Please visit Sharon online at

More recipes can be found here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *