Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Buttercream

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

jessireb Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 2:52pm
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I think being able to tell stiff BC from medium BC and thin BC. Being new at cake decorating, I still have a hard time telling the difference between all three of these. When I make a new batch how do I know if it is stiff, medium, or thin?

SugarHighCakes Posted 18 Jun 2006 , 3:29am
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I use whipping cream instead of water....anybody else?

nokddng Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 5:11pm
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Originally Posted by crisseyann

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

I just made this over the weekend for later this week to use. It is good! It's the first time I've ever made bc and am a bit worried about it holding up since I'm not sure what the consistency should be and the weather is hot and humid. I'm hoping it works out the way I want it too! icon_biggrin.gif

Vacation Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 3:48pm
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If any one has a good recipie for crusting buttercream I would sure appreciate it. I don't know how to tell if a brttercream frosting will have a crust or not.

Thanks so much

Vacation icon_biggrin.gif

bakerbaker Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 8:41pm
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Originally Posted by meems

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!

you are soooo right i think that it makes the best butter cream. i came across it by mistake! i've used it for bday cakes, but do you think that it can last in the heat for a wedding cake?

mistiek2006 Posted 25 Jun 2006 , 11:02am
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Today, I made my recipe a little different. Instead of using milk, I used water and instead of unflavored Crisco, I used butter flavored. My family thought it was even better than usual. It also seems that it didn't dry out as quickly as it sometimes does with the old way. I think that this is the way I'm going for now on.

yycr111 Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 4:03am
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Originally Posted by MariaLovesCakes

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.

When should i put the corn syrup? What is the function of it? If i live in a hot weather country, is it necessary for me to add the cool water? Did anybody knows, can overbeating cause the BC to melt?

blondie500 Posted 2 Jul 2006 , 6:07pm
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I just made the buttercream dream icing, which tastes wonderful! However, it seems really soft (my house has air conditioning, so it's cool in here). Does anyone know if this will crust? I'm thinking about mixing it with the Wilton buttercream recipe (the all shortening one) to help it crust if it needs it. Can anyone help me out? Thanks so much.

Amish Posted 2 Jul 2006 , 6:22pm
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Originally Posted by crouton800

Great choice of topic! I'm waiting with anticipation for the article!

My questions are:-
1. why are some buttercreams easier to color that others? Found some "colour separation" with some receipes.
2. Everyone has their favourite buttercream receipes, it would be great to have a chart stating which buttercreams are suitable for different cakes..eg. novelty, wedding and buttercream receipes for sweet-tooths and those that want a less sweet buttercream.
3.differences with meringue based buttercreams


I totally agree I would love to find out wich recipes work best for different occasions. I just started experimenting with different recipes other than wiltons classic. I found that I love the taste of the buttercream dream recipe so much better(not as sweet), but I have had a harder time smoothing it and with it crusting. I do know that a great tip that someone gave me on whitening buttercream recipes with real butter in them was to use the wiltons icing whitener. Worked like a charm!

MicKindle Posted 5 Jul 2006 , 2:58am
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I have learned that if you add a dash of salt to your buttercream it cuts some of the sweetness.

Cake_Mooma Posted 6 Jul 2006 , 3:03am
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I just did a cake for my mom this weekend and I had never tried the wilton white coloring. I really didn't like it. I don't know if I added too much or what but I found that it changed the texture of my icing. thumbsdown.gif I have not tried the all shortening icing I am afraid that it will be to greasy tasting or something. I have been useing the Wilton basic buttercream and it works great, what I have found is that if I use the "hispanic" (dominican Vanilla- you can find this in your local spanish store or the hispanic section of the suppermarket) you get a very nice flavor and since it is clear it keeps your icing very white. Caution: A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY. It is very strong.

P.s. I just found this site a couple of weeks ago and I find myself looking in here every night. It is so addictive. I would love to thank all for sharing reciepes and all the knowledge all of you have and for letting us newbies learn from it all. It is amazing you learn something new everyday on this site. icon_biggrin.gif

funkychica1_2004 Posted 16 Jul 2006 , 10:08pm
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How long will buttercream last in the fridge? It doesn't have any butter in it...just crisco.

ninaross Posted 17 Jul 2006 , 12:05am
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i bought my buttercream frosting from sams club. yea i didnt know they sell that well any ways its a 4-5 gal and the exp. date is sep 2006 but ive seen yalls answers and its suppost to last 2 weeks in the fridge why does sams bcf last longer? oh and i need to find out how to make a true red without bitter taste and i dont want to use the whole bottle of no taste red i read something about using kool-aid to tint bcf has anybody tried this please let me know thanks

Cake_Mooma Posted 18 Jul 2006 , 1:12am
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Well, I just asked my teacher and she says that it has a shelf life of two weeks. If it doesn't have any dairy it does not have to go in the fridge but it has the same shelf life- two weeks. hope that helps.


JoJo4 Posted 18 Jul 2006 , 7:21pm
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So I read through this entire thread and there are so many different opinions on what buttercream frosting is the best. One poster said the frosting with Crisco was awful - however I've used CaliDawn's buttercream for transfers and it's wonderful and everyone who has eaten my cakes love it. I am however thinking of trying the Hi-Ratio shortening recipe if I can find it the ingredients. Anyway, my point is I feel more confused then when I started reading the thread! I'm making a golf cake for a party this weekend. The person I am making it for does NOT like frostings that are too sweet so I'm worried about using my normal recipe. However, I read that putting a dash of salt in the frosting helps cut down the sweatness. Any other suggestions? or recipes? Thanks.

Beckalita Posted 18 Jul 2006 , 7:42pm
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Originally Posted by bfisher11

Is there a good way to color buttercream icing black WITHOUT the awful taste??? I am doing a batman cake this weekend, and I dont want to have to use the MMF thumbsdown.gif . I personally think that is the worst tasting stuff to put on cakes. An suggestions would be great! Thank You in advance!

If you start with chocolate icing, it doesn't take much color to turn it black.
However, if you cannot use chocolate (allergies, etc) I've heard that Americolor colors (sold on this site) are not as bitter as Wilton when making red or black buttercream.

CrystalsCakes5 Posted 20 Jul 2006 , 8:36pm
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Does anyone know when jackie will be posting this article?

shrek Posted 20 Jul 2006 , 8:48pm
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it would be very helpful

artofbaking Posted 26 Jul 2006 , 5:08pm
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For myself, I would like to know how to use this frosting for flowers. As far as making them, then freezing them, best way to get them on the cake in one piece. I just had an experience with BC drop flowers and I am changing my frosting to decorators frosting for this cake. They keep on breaking when I pick them up.

LeckieAnne Posted 27 Jul 2006 , 1:08am
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I'm no master decorator, that's for sure, but the one thing I really feel I learned the hard way, is that the consistency is everything. If it's too thick, or too thin - and whatever you're trying to do isn't working - it's probably because the consistency isn't right.

Don't get impatient and try to rush it. If it isn't working - put down the bag - step away from the counter - and try a different consistency. Once I figured this out -- I was amazed at what I could actually make work. icon_smile.gif

spanishflycup Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 10:35pm
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This is a helpful tip I learned if you melt 1/2 of your BC, while you whip the rest of the BC using a paddle attachment. Attach the balloon whip attachment to your mixer and Slowly add the melted BC to the BC in your mixing bowl and whip you will have super smooth BC and this tip is also good if your BC breaks!

CakeRN Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 7:03am
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Originally Posted by yycr111

In my country, the hot weather seems to be a big factor. I am still searching for the right frostings that will hold still during the practices. I have seen many recipes that used meringue powder (which is difficult to find in my country), any ideas how I can actually changed the recipes or substitute the powder into something else?


Try using flour in place of meringue powder for high humidity places. You can also use Dreamwhip powder if you have it available in your country. One of my instructors said flour helps with the humidity.

JoMama Posted 6 Aug 2006 , 3:45am
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I have been using the 1/2 butter, 1/2 Crisco Wilton recipe ever since I started doing cakes about 8 months ago, and, lately I am having problems with it cracking. That didn't happen at the beginning, and, I can't decide what may have caused this. One of the threads mentioned the Wilton white coloring changing the icing texture. Could this be it? Or, another thread cautioned against beating at too high a speed? Any thoughts, or, is there a buttercream troubleshooting guide?

kjgjam22 Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 4:29pm
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I have a question about crusting butter cream...2 questions really.

1.) Do you taste the flour in the recipe?
2.) Can you use half butter and half crisco?

Please help. I want to make some flowers and put down so that I dont have to make them when I am decorating a cake.

kansasjill Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 6:56pm
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Awesome idea! My biggest buttercream quandry is...Swiss -vs- American. I prefer the taste of the classic American (butter/powdered sugar/cream) recipe but LOVE the workability of the Swiss (egg white/sugar syrup/butter) version. I'd love to know how to get my American buttercream to behave like my Swiss.

madronaleah Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 8:20pm
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I have read every post but still have the questions.....

1. What is the best crusting buttercream to use to get the best edge on a square cake?

2. What is the best consistancy for the frosting to get the smoth, straight edge effect?

All tips and ideas would be a great help.

I have used the viva teq. and smothed the my fondant smother but was thinking about using the rollingpin teq. for a large 16x16 square cake this weekend. What would be the best to use with this teq., parchment or viva? Would wax paper be an o.k. substitution for parchment? icon_confused.gif

I am also looking for a rec. that works well for piping and things but dosnt break down with the heat of my hands. I have fond that I have that problem with both butter and crisco. It is so frustraiting! icon_mad.gif


kjgjam22 Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 3:26am
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Originally Posted by kjgjam22

I have a question about crusting butter cream...2 questions really.

1.) Do you taste the flour in the recipe?
2.) Can you use half butter and half crisco?

Please help. I want to make some flowers and put down so that I dont have to make them when I am decorating a cake.


JanH Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 3:38am
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kjgjam22 ,

The small amount of flour acts as a stabilizer and enhances the consistency of the buttercream by making its mouthfeel less "greasy".

And yes, you can use a butter and crisco combination which would be more stable than all butter, but less greasy feeling than all crisco.


kjgjam22 Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 2:34pm
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hi janh, thanks for the answer. i will try it soon.

loves2bake Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 2:40pm
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Originally Posted by CrystalsCakes5

Does anyone know when jackie will be posting this article?

I would imagine that Jackie is giving everyone a chance to post all there questions so that she can include everything. My guess is that she'll probably wait until post is off the board to compile her article.

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