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What Is Crisco® Frosting?

Crisco® frosting is a creamy, versatile topping made with Crisco® shortening, offering a smooth texture and rich flavor to cakes and pastries. Unlike butter-based frostings, it's stable at room temperature and ideal for intricate designs. Curious about how it can elevate your baking? Discover the secrets to perfecting your desserts with Crisco® frosting in our full guide.
Megan Shoop
Megan Shoop

Crisco® frosting is creamy, flavored cake icing made primarily with Crisco® shortening. This shortening is made from vegetable-derived fats and butters that have been partially hydrogenated, or crystalized, to make a semi-solid, spreadable substance. Shortening is generally denser and thicker than butter, often making it ideal for making frosting. Frostings made with Crisco® shortening usually stand less chance of melting or becoming runny than those made with butter.

Traditional Crisco® frosting starts with 1 part butter, 2 parts Crisco® shortening, 8 parts powdered sugar, and a about a capful of vanilla extract. All of the ingredients are typically blended together with the wisk or pastry beater attachments of an electric stand mixer. Cooks without a standing mixer may also use an electric hand mixer, or even a fork. Fork-mixing Crisco® frosting typically takes quite a bit of time and effort. Those without any electric mixing appliances may want to borrow one, if possible.

Chocolate flavoring can be added to Crisco® frosting.
Chocolate flavoring can be added to Crisco® frosting.

Allowing the butter and shortening to soften for about 10 hours, or overnight, typically helps Crisco® frosting mix together more easily. The softened ingredients should blend together faster and more thoroughly than hard, cold ingredients. Adding the powdered sugar about a handful at a time usually helps the frosting blend more easily and keeps the mixer or fork from gumming up and becoming stuck in the mixture. The end result should be a smooth, creamy frosting that spreads easily, but is not runny.

A stand mixer may be used to mix ingredients for Crisco frosting.
A stand mixer may be used to mix ingredients for Crisco frosting.

Vanilla is one of the most popular Crisco® frosting flavors, but cooks may create any frosting flavor they like. The modern food market contains a wealth of both naturally-derived and artificial flavoring extracts, making it relatively easy to swap vanilla extract for mint, chocolate, strawberry, orange, or any extract the cook likes best. Some may also enjoy mixing extract flavors. Chocolate-mint, strawberry-orange and pineapple-coconut are just a few combinations to try.

Recipes for Crisco® frosting also often also work well with ground spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves can transform vanilla frosting into a mixture suitable for a carrot or spice cake. A touch of spicy chili powder in chocolate frosting could turn an ordinary chocolate cake into a Latin-style dessert. Chopped nuts and finely chopped or shredded fruit may also blend well with Crisco® frosting. Sliced strawberries can add freshness to chocolate or vanilla frosting, while crushed pineapple could give an orange-flavored frosting an extra punch of tropical flavor. Flaked almonds and crushed peanuts both typically go well with chocolate or coconut frosting flavors.

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    • Chocolate flavoring can be added to Crisco® frosting.
      By: RoJo Images
      Chocolate flavoring can be added to Crisco® frosting.
    • A stand mixer may be used to mix ingredients for Crisco frosting.
      By: VL@D
      A stand mixer may be used to mix ingredients for Crisco frosting.