Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Buttercream

Decorating By Jackie Updated 26 May 2016 , 8:00pm by gfbaby

Teddi A Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 8:40pm
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How much powdered sugar and shortening do you use when adding 1/4 cup whipping cream to your Buttercream Frosting?  (I guess, basically, I'm asking for the recipe that you use. I would love to try a Buttercream Frosting with whipping cream in it.)  Thanks for any help.

Molzipan Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 8:23pm
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APaper towel to smooth frosting? I never heard of it.

MBalaska Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 8:34pm
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Originally Posted by Molzipan 

Paper towel to smooth frosting? I never heard of it.

Yes, but the most recommended paper towel brand is "Viva" and I can't get it here, so I sometimes use parchment paper instead.


ps: I think there are photo and video tutorials on how to do it.

Teddi A Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:46pm
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When using Whipping Cream in your Buttercream, what are the portions used?  Say, you're using 1/4 cup Whipping Cream, how much Crisco, Butter and Powdered Sugar are you using? 

AnnieCahill Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 5:09pm
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ATeddi, I sent you a PM a couple of weeks ago when you asked me. Check your messages and if you didn't get it let me know and I will resend it.

mjd65 Posted 8 Feb 2014 , 11:40pm
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ACan you share?

Vickistack Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 12:12am
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AI also use heavy whipping cream in my buttercream, it gives it a nicer texture

Gerle Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 12:19am
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If using whipping cream instead of your other liquids, do you need to adjust any of the other ingredients?  Annie, I'd be interested in your recipe, too, if you don't mind.  Thanks!

nancylee61 Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 4:43am
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ACarol, I am newer to buttercream and when I started, I used butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Everyone said it was so sweet, so I asked here and tried the ones with Crisco and the other recommended vegetable shortenings. I can't even take a taste of them, to me, they taste so chemical and I really dislike them. So I tried the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, and, OH, MY GOD! Not too sweet at all, incredible smoothe texture (powdered sugar can be grainy) and everyone who has tried it has just flipped out over it! It was a little tricky the first time, but follow the directions, and read this blog here, because it is very forgiving.


Here are the directions I use:


You will not regret trying it. Maybe I am very sensitive to taste, but this is the only one I can eat, and this and the Italian Meringue Buttercream are the standard for the frosting.

Nancy PS - make sure everything you are going to use is wiped down with lemon juice, as the eggs won't whip into a meringue if there is grease or oil on anything.

adoo67 Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 7:49am
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how do you use heavy whipping cream in your buttercream?

Vickistack Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 2:14pm
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AI just add 2-3 tabs to my reg half butter half Cisco recipe (wilton) mix on med speed

AnnieCahill Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 7:16pm
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AGuys, I just heat it up and pour it in. I don't use a specific measurement. I heat up about 1/3 cup and start with that. Many of you use crusting recipes and rely on Vivas for the smoothing so you might not be able to use that much cream if you want your icing to crust. Mine is about the consistency of stiff whipped cream and it doesn't crust. If I'm making cupcakes I use a lot more cream and whip a lot of air into it so it's not so heavy.

I don't make any adjustments to the other ingredients. I guess I'm just used to working with a softer buttercream so I add more liquid from the start.

CakeDecInstruct Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 8:02pm
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First you have to tell everyone the differences between real buttercream icing, ie. Swiss, Italian, French Buttercreams and American Buttercream which is shortening-based. Then you have to consider all the different types of shortenings there are, such as Crisco with fats vs. Crisco with no trans fats or Hi Ratio shortening. Then there are the combinations that people seem to come up with and call them buttercream. Personally, I got tired of dealing with the shortenings we get in California so I only make Swiss or Italian Buttercreams (the cooked types) and use them for everything needing icing. I give the recipes to my students once I know they will be able to make it properly because so many people don't know how to read instructions or want to buy the proper ingredients and have the proper measuring tools and a thermometer.

nancylee61 Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 1:16am
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AHi, I tried the SMBC for the first time last week. I read this recipe on here and luckily found the trouble shooting guide on sweetapolita. It was hard the first time, and even my third time through, my heart is in my throat over whether it will come together, and it does. It is very forgiving! I've heated it too much and cooled it too much, but it does come together! And it's fabulous! Nancy

dzone223 Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 2:22pm
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I only add abt 2-3 tbls of whipping cream at the very end. usually i use 1 cup of better to 1/2 cup crisco.

dzone223 Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 2:22pm
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butter** not better lol

jerseybakerx Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 5:56am
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I decided to make an account on Cake Central because I desperately need someone to tell me how to properly thin out my buttercream!


I always assumed that adding more heavy cream would do the trick, but apparently, it just makes it more fluffy and airy, not exactly smooth and creamy. Should I use skim milk, or water? HELP!

CakePrincessPE Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 6:59am
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Thin out buttercream with milk. Teaspoon at a time till you get the right consistency.

CakePrincessPE Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 7:03am
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Originally Posted by MBalaska 

Yes, but the most recommended paper towel brand is "Viva" and I can't get it here, so I sometimes use parchment paper instead.


ps: I think there are photo and video tutorials on how to do it.

Is parchment the same as baking paper - I also do not get Viva here...?

MBalaska Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 7:40am
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It may be.  It's the stuff you can line your baking pans with.......(not wax paper.)

adoo67 Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 10:17am
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Ai add nearly one cup of whipping cream to wilton recipe abut could not soften with viva towels i use hot water and a long spatula!I should say the taste was wonderful and my guests likes it.

AnnieCahill Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 12:09pm
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AI don't use viva on mine, just a scraper. If you whip it too much then yes it gets light and airy. I only mix mine on medium low for two minutes after adding all the whipping cream. For cupcakes I crank it up and whip it longer so it is fluffy.

jerseybakerx Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 4:34pm
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Thank you! Does it matter how long I beat it for or on what speed?

AnnieCahill Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 6:30pm
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AFor cakes, I go about two minutes on the lowest speed after everything is added. Cupcakes, about the same amount of time but on medium/medium high speed.

adoo67 Posted 22 Feb 2014 , 8:18pm
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AThank you I get my answer

jerseybakerx Posted 24 Feb 2014 , 4:22am
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Question:  Do you charge the same for cupcakes as you do for a slice of cake?


OR do you charge less/more?


In one sense, I feel that cupcakes are easier. Maybe for me, that is. But in another sense, I feel like it's alot of work to decorate each one.



AnnieCahill Posted 24 Feb 2014 , 12:19pm
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AMost people charge based on the work involved, as well as ingredients, overhead, supplies, etc. That's usually going to vary depending on the complexity.

Zanobia Posted 3 Mar 2014 , 9:57am
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Good tip, I agree 100%

Cakeladytrainer Posted 8 Mar 2014 , 12:53am
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I recently tried something different. I used a standard buttercream recipe from Wilton but used almond extract instead of the vanilla. Then I added cocoa powder (didn't measure it). OOOHH my! It was the best frosting I had ever tasted!

cobby50 Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 10:14am
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Hi I had an old processor which made wonderful sponges but it has broken and have tried mixers and processors including the magimix and kenwoods but my sponges aren't the same,sometimes sinking in the middle. I have now resoreted to an electric hand mixer but although the sponge seems ok the crust is always hard. I always take the tops off but leave the sides on.  What I want to know is once the sponge has been butter creamed and fondant iced will this soften the crust a little.I would really appreciate any help here. 

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