Buttercream and heat is never an easy task to overcome. Especially if you live somewhere that reaches temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and even worse if the humidity is 80-90%.

UGH! (to say the least)

So when it comes to baking and decorating in the heat, there are many ways we can help the process along easier. Mainly… the beloved air-conditioning!

But what happens when the customer takes our little precious edible creations away and they may not have air conditioning, or maybe having an outdoor party right in the middle of summer?

Well… I have a great recipe for the traditional American Buttercream here, with one simple change that can make your caking days just that little easier.

I generally don’t use this recipe during the winter months, but when it hits Spring, Summer & Autumn, this recipe comes out to play. And it gets adjusted throughout to suit the heat and humidity.

So what is the secret recipe? Well, it’s not a secret… it’s right below:


2 sticks of salted butter

¾ cup of vegetable shortening (like Crisco)

2 lbs powdered sugar

1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you the icing to be more white)

1-3 tablespoons of heavy cream, or as needed to achieve the desired consistency 


  • Using a mixer, beat the shortening and the butter together until creamy and pale in color.
  • Sift your powdered sugar and add it 1 cup at a time.
  • Add the vanilla, and mix until smooth
  • Add heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

And that’s seriously it!

Just like any other American Buttercream, but replacing some of your butter, with shortening. It really does help stabilize your buttercream!

Hot Weather Buttercream Notes:

  • In hotter months – I use 50% butter and 50% shortening for a more firm consistency.
  • Using shortening also makes your buttercream slightly more white. However, it can change the taste ever so slightly.
  • I have heard of some bakers using a 100% mix of shortening and no butter when the heat and humidity gets really bad. However I have, never tried this myself.
  • This recipe is also great for special diets such as gluten free and vegan. Simply use a GF icing sugar and replace the butter with a vegan margarine.

Do you have any “hot” tips for caking in hot and humid conditions??  Share your feedback!

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Nicole, Owner & Lead Instructor

Cake Business School LLC dba Angel Foods