Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Buttercream

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

DiscoLady Posted 1 Feb 2006 , 7:55pm
post #91 of 708

Adding meringue powder to your buttercream will help it crust better. I alos add a bit to the bc I use when making roses; when I airdry them they get really firm on the outside but stay moist on the inside. I can just pick them up with my fingers and place them on the cake.

Euphoriabakery Posted 1 Feb 2006 , 8:24pm
post #92 of 708

hmmm, my icing always seem to crust nice and hard without the meringue powder. I used to think it helped crust the icing better, but then I stopped using it and my icing still crusts?

DiscoLady Posted 1 Feb 2006 , 10:03pm
post #93 of 708

I don't always add it either and my icing crusts nicely all the time too.
I've heard it helps dark colors from bleeding onto each other also, but I've never tired it.

ChrisJ Posted 2 Feb 2006 , 3:31pm
post #94 of 708

Did I miss the article?

all4cakes Posted 2 Feb 2006 , 3:50pm
post #95 of 708
Originally Posted by MariaLovesCakes

In my humble opinion:

Buttercream with only Crisco is best for birthday cakes that need a lot of work like characters and stuff.

Also, this type of buttercream is also good for weddings because in case they have to sit out in the heat for a few hours, Crisco stands and holds much better than butter based icings.

Buttercream with part Crisco and part butter is best for cakes that are not intended to be in the heat very long and for more delicate cakes like Mother's day, Father's day, anniversary, etc...

I like Swiss Buttercream and am experimenting with French buttercream because of their silky texture... However, I am still trying to master in making the icing whiter... I will probably buy Wilton's white color to add to the icing to see if it works...

To achieve pure white icing, use white shortening,
and clear vanilla extract, instead of the brown,
pure vanilla.

Clear vanilla extract is available at most cake
decorating stores. Including here:


Here's a great recipe for pure white Buttercream Icing
(Feel free to double this recipe when needed.)

2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups of vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cool water
2 tbs corn syrup
2 tsp clear vanilla flavoring
2 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp salt

Cream salt and shortening.
Add sugar and flavoring.
Beat on high speed for 20-minutes until smooth and creamy.
Beat at low speed for two more minutes.

Just keep in mind, the slow beating time is crucial.
(It'll reduce the air bubbles created by the high speed
beating and produce a smoother mix.)

To use the same icing for decorations or flowers,
put some icing in a different bowl and add your food
coloring, etc.

Add a small amount of sifted powdered sugar to firm the
icing for decorating. This icing should come out snow white.

You can use unsalted stick butter or margarine and
you'll have buttercream icing - but it'll most likely be
more of an off-white color. (If you've got it in your area,
try "Land O Lakes" brand butter to keep your icing white.)

If you use one stick of butter, reduce the shortening
by the same amount.

jenscrativecakes Posted 2 Feb 2006 , 8:27pm
post #96 of 708

I was just wondering why no one uses the rolling pin idea for smoothing cakes that "crust". Thats all I use and it's wonderful. I have a mini rolling pin for the sides of the cake and for the top I use the normal rolling pin once over the top and it turns out perfect everytime!!!!

Rexy Posted 8 Feb 2006 , 4:00am
post #97 of 708

Has anyone used the Italian Meringue BC out of The Whimsical Bakehouse? I just recently did and it's WONDERFUL! Here's my question, has anyone used it to decorate? Does it smooth easily? Does it last outside of the fridge? Thanks!

MomLittr Posted 13 Feb 2006 , 3:20am
post #98 of 708


HELP! Am a beginner and am having trouble figuring out if my bc icing is the correct consistency for the different applicatons. Is there a way to test (other than a sample bag) the consistency of icing to determine if it is correctly stiff, medium or thin? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


kaecakes Posted 13 Feb 2006 , 3:31am
post #99 of 708

if you stick your spatula in to the icing and it stands with out moving when you wiggle the cup or bowl it is stiff consistency, if it moves some and when on the spatula it settles some it should be a medium consistency, if the spatula moves a lot and the icing settles a lot when you tap it on the side of the cup it is thin. If your icing starts to look like curdled milk it is to thin even for a crumb coat. Hope this helps, and you will get use to the feel and know exactly what consisency you are working with.

judycakes Posted 15 Feb 2006 , 2:45am
post #100 of 708

I also use the mini rolling pin, but sometimes even when the icing looks crusted, it will stick to the rolling pin. What is the cure for this ? I have never used the Viva method, but since I've read so much about it, I will certainly use that on my next cake. But again, will the icing stick to the Viva as it does the rolling pin?

kaecakes Posted 15 Feb 2006 , 1:21pm
post #101 of 708

I also use the rolling pin method with parchment paper. Once dry to the touch place parchment or Viva towel on the cake and roll lightly with pin.

judycakes Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 2:28am
post #102 of 708

thank you for your reply - something so simple as using parchment paper! I will try that tomorrow.
thank you again

curlybop Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 2:54pm
post #103 of 708

Hi everyone,

After reading all of the tips on Italian Meringue Buttercream, I decided to make a batch last night. It was absolutely wonderful, and my daughter enjoyed helping add the butter. icon_biggrin.gif

My biggest tip about it is, keep mixing! After we added all the butter, it looked like soup. DH came in and asked what in the world that was supposed to be. Just remember to keep mixing until it turns white & creamy. It took my mixer about 8 minutes I believe....but the results were oh so delicious.

My question is though, is it safe to leave out? Should it be refrigerated?

Thanks for all the great info. I'm having a wonderful time browsing around!

kellygray79 Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 5:27pm
post #104 of 708

I have found that I just love the Bakehouse Buttercream (not the Kayes buttercream but the other). It has sucha great flavor! Anyone who hasn't tried it definitely needs to give it a shot!

BalloonWhisk Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 7:56pm
post #105 of 708

My question is though, is it safe to leave out? Should it be refrigerated?

Refrigerate it to store, but serve at room temp.

crisseyann Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 8:41pm
post #106 of 708

Oh man Kelly, you aren't kidding. I haven't tried Kaye's yet, but totally LOVE the house buttercream from the Whimsical Bakehouse. Everyone but my DH loves it...he likes the super sweet standard buttercream. lol

dreamcatcher3287 Posted 20 Feb 2006 , 5:16pm
post #107 of 708

I have made character cakes for my daughter for 14 years now and just recently in the last 2 years have started making them for friends - always too critical of my freehand cakes to venture out, and sometimes the flavor of black and no-taste red comes out. One fun flavoring method I have used to off set the bitter taste - or when requested - is when I have a large area of a solid color is add a tiny amount of packaged kool-aid - and let sit for a couple of hours (flavor will intensify) until you reach a light (not over powering) taste to the BC icing. I generally use the same flavor as the color of icing, cherry to red, lemonade to yellow, grape to black, etc. Don't mix to each color used! Creates a jumble of flavors which are not very complimentary. Great for cupcakes as well!

*Hope to have album up soon and would love your professional comments - I want to expand on cake business but little insecure about branching out*

lcdmarie Posted 1 Mar 2006 , 2:22pm
post #108 of 708

Your cake is so cute.icon_wink.gif

Cakey Posted 7 Mar 2006 , 2:13pm
post #109 of 708

I would love to credit the person who posted this information, but it was a while ago and I searched and couldn't find it. Anyway, she recommended using only 1/2 cup crisco mixed with 1/3 to 1/2 cup water when using 1 lb. of powdered sugar. It makes the icing less greasy tasting and it tastes more like the canned icing (at least to me it did), which is what I was looking for. I just used the Wilton Class Buttercream recipe and modified it this way and it came out great. I only used 1/3 cup of water to see how stiff it was, and it was perfect for roses and other things you need the stiff consistency for. Then I just added 1 tsp per cup for medium and 2 tsp per cup for thin.

cakesondemand Posted 17 Mar 2006 , 4:42am
post #110 of 708

I mix 1 cup crisco 1/2 cup white marg. to 5 cups icing sugar, add 1tsp clear vanilla, 1tsp butter flavoring and 6 tbsp water. Its not as sweet and very smooth. This recipe was from a baker.

tsauce Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 12:39am
post #111 of 708

Where can I buy a product called Brite White? It is an ingredient for buttercream icing.

peanut2 Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 2:14am
post #112 of 708

I think I saw it at the Bulk Barn.

meems Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 10:17am
post #113 of 708

Yeah, I know I'm picky, but I can't stand the cloying sweetness of a powdered sugar icing -- though I like the texture, and I can't stand the too-greasy texture of an Italian buttercream -- though I like the lower level of sweetness.

My solution? I make a batch of both and mix them together. Viola! All issues are resolved, not only for me, but apparently for others as well!

I've had people ask me to make cakes for them just so they could eat the oh-so-myterious and oh-so-perfect icing!

chellesunshine Posted 22 Mar 2006 , 3:25am
post #114 of 708

My Wilton class buttercream always seems too soft. Can over beating it cause this? What's the best speed to mix it on for a kitchen aid?

MomLittr Posted 22 Mar 2006 , 3:27am
post #115 of 708

Meems, how well does your "mysterious" icing pipe and do roses? Sounds like a great solution to the too sweet problem


FunCakesVT Posted 22 Mar 2006 , 2:18pm
post #116 of 708

I just found this site about two weeks ago and am TOTALLY ADDICTED. Having touched on cake decorating as a child with my grandmother and now having a small child, I have taken it up as a regular hobby. Before taking the Wilton class I never knew there were other frosting besides buttercream, and on this site I find so many new buttercream recipes even - it is exciting.

One thing I never learned was how to smooth buttercream icing, but I found LOTS of suggestions here - THANK YOU ALL!

I am working on three cakes this week, so iced one Sunday night and put it in the fridge. It is a square with two smaller circles on top (you guessed - my first castle). Because it had been refrigerated for a couple of days, I used Saran Wrap last night and VERY gently rubbed the spatula marks out and smoothed the edges. It is not perfect, but MUCH improved.

On the other cake I frosted last night, I waited ten minutes and used parchment to smooth and it worked really well. Having never done stacked cakes of different sizes it was really helpful to have a way to go back and smooth.

I look forward to third cake I will frost this weekend for my final Wilton II class.

Again, thank you all, and I look forward to learning more from you. I am already avidly collecting ideas for new cakes, hoping to get a side business going to keep my skills honed and continually improving.

Rexy Posted 22 Mar 2006 , 11:31pm
post #117 of 708

OH WOW! You're right!!!! I thought I'd try that mysterious icing, I had some of both in my fridge, IMBC and my traditional BC. I mixed the two together tonight and it's fantastic! Great idea, THANKS! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

dolcesunshine20 Posted 23 Mar 2006 , 5:19pm
post #118 of 708

Wow!!! What an awesome idea to mix the two buttercreams!!! I've gone back and forth as to which buttercream I should offer my customers. Personally, I like the powdered sugar frosting, but I know others don't care for it that sweet. This may very well be my solution!!! Thanks!

dolcesunshine20 Posted 23 Mar 2006 , 5:22pm
post #119 of 708
Originally Posted by chellesunshine

My Wilton class buttercream always seems too soft. Can over beating it cause this? What's the best speed to mix it on for a kitchen aid?

Michelle, I usually use my kitchen aid to make the Wilton buttercream and I find that the weather can make a difference as to the soft or firm aspect of it. I generally mix mine between 2 & 4.
Hope this helps!

manatee19 Posted 24 Mar 2006 , 12:06am
post #120 of 708

I just found this awesome thread, and got a little confused....

I like the idea to mix the two buttercreams but which 2 am I mixing? Regualr buttercream and ?????

I don't know what IMBC. I would love to try this.


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