Bulk Buttercream Questions

Business By vickster Updated 26 Mar 2008 , 6:47pm by DNBunny

vickster Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:05pm
post #1 of 15

I've always made my bc up as I made each cake, but I'm busy enough now I would like to mix large batches ahead of time. How long is it safe to leave bc in the fridge (I use a half shortening half butter recipe)? How long will it go in the freezer? Do you wait, then, and add your meringue powder as you mix up the smaller batches? Thanks for the input.

14 replies
love2makecakes Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 9:19pm
post #2 of 15

I am not sure of the answer to your question, but would really like to know too. However, I use a half butter/ half shortening too; but what do you use the meringue powder for? Just curious...

littlecake Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 2:25am
post #3 of 15

i use about 150 pounds of icing a week...i never refrigerate it.

in the bakeries i worked at...used way much more than this...never kept it in the fridge either....

but...i always use it up in a few days....are you talking about keeping it for weeks?

when i used to buy the 50 pound blocks of icing from the distributer, many times in came in frozen...so i'm guessing they keep it frozen at the warehouse.

indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 2:44am
post #4 of 15

I use an all-crisco recipe, so I may not be much help, but I'd make up 10-15 or so batches (a batch uses a 2-lb bag of p.sugar) and it would sit on my counter for days. I'd usually use it up within 3 weeks. The bulk of it on the wedding cake I had one weekend, and the balance for smaller cakes and samplings.

HerBoudoir Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:44am
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

I am not sure of the answer to your question, but would really like to know too. However, I use a half butter/ half shortening too; but what do you use the meringue powder for? Just curious...





Meringue powder helps the buttercream to form a crust.

beccakelly Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 3:15pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerBoudoir

Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

I am not sure of the answer to your question, but would really like to know too. However, I use a half butter/ half shortening too; but what do you use the meringue powder for? Just curious...




Meringue powder helps the buttercream to form a crust.




thats actually a common misconception. its the ratio of fat to sugar that causes a buttercream to crust. i've never used meringue powder in my BC, i use half butter/ half hi ratio and it crusts perfectly and very quickly. what i heard is that wilton added meringue powder to their recipe after they started making meringue powder. coincidence?

and to OP: i make about 50-75 lbs each week, and i don't store it in the fridge. i keep it in large buckets at room temp. i go through it within a week though, if you're keeping it around for more than 2 weeks you should refrigerate it. it should freeze well for 1-2 months.

indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 3:34pm
post #7 of 15

I'm with beccakelly ... I've never used meringue powder either. I spent 20 years not really knowing what it was or what it was for. My bc crusts great.

maisyone2 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 3:43pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccakelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerBoudoir

Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

I am not sure of the answer to your question, but would really like to know too. However, I use a half butter/ half shortening too; but what do you use the meringue powder for? Just curious...




Meringue powder helps the buttercream to form a crust.



thats actually a common misconception. its the ratio of fat to sugar that causes a buttercream to crust. i've never used meringue powder in my BC, i use half butter/ half hi ratio and it crusts perfectly and very quickly. what i heard is that wilton added meringue powder to their recipe after they started making meringue powder. coincidence?




The Meringue Powder is an emulsifier. Here is an offical Webster's definition of what an emulsufier is:

EMULSIFER: Generally, any ingredient used to BIND together normally noncombinative substances, such as oil and water. Egg yolks contain a natural emulsifier (LECITHIN) and are used to thicken and BIND sauces such as hollandaise sauce, as well to BIND ingredients in baking. XANTHAN GUM is a commercial emulsifier used in numerous foods like salad dressings and dairy products. Some commercial emulsifiers also inhibit baked goods from going stale.

The above refers to the egg yolks, but pertains to the egg white as well. The only purpose for using meringue powder in frosting is to bind the liquids (milk, water, liquid creamer) with the solids(shortening/margarine/butter frosting) to prevent them from separating.

Personally I don't use the meringue powder in my half margarine half high grade shortening frosting and it crusts nicely.

Gayle
SE Michigan

pianocat Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 3:51pm
post #9 of 15

I was taught by instructor that the meringue powder is added for strength-as in making flowers.
Not necessary otherwise.

scoobydid Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 3:58pm
post #10 of 15

I too have wondered about the life expectancy of bc, especially when my sister threatens to throw out the leftovers because I made a cake last week. The bc recipe I currently use calls for 2-3 tbsp of half and half. I'd like to know if your bc uses milk, half and half, creamer, etc. because I'm wondering if that also factors into the counter/fridge/freezer life. Thanks!

indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 4:03pm
post #11 of 15

mine uses milk .... and I use anywhere from whole milk to 1%. the sugar stablizes the milk. Great shelf life.

tyty Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 4:07pm
post #12 of 15

I use a recipe with 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening and 2-4 tbs heavy cream. If I'm going to use it within 2 days I just leave it on the counter, if not I put it in the fridge or freezer.

tippyad Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 4:09pm
post #13 of 15

I have a recipe from a former "caker" who says the bc will stay fresh for months. It has meringue powder and nondairy coffee creamer in it. I'd say 2-3 months is a good bet, but there is no way I could make enough bc to keep that long w/ as many cakes as I make.

vickster Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:53pm
post #14 of 15

Well, thanks for the heads up on MP, because I was going to ditch it anyway. I agree. My frosting seems to be crusting fine without it and just seems to add extra expense. Plus, seems to make it crust faster which on a big cake can be a pain.
Thanks also on the responses about "shelf life" of bc. I would like to make first of the week to be used that week. So, especially if I keep it in the fridge, I should be good to go.
The reason I asked about the freezer thing is because of colors. It always seems like you just need a tiny bit of black or tiny bit of yellow and it's just a pain to mix the individual colors. I thought it would be handy to keep a cup or two in the freezer.

DNBunny Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 6:47pm
post #15 of 15

In a pinch, you can get buckets of buttercream from Sam's Club. They have pretty much every color in small buckets and chocolate and white BC in big buckets (5 gallons?). I've gotten both from Sam's Club bakeries with no problems. Just give them a heads-up that you are coming in for a bucket. They have an expiration date that is 3 months or so, unrefrigerated.

It doesn't crust too well. Also, I'm not crazy about the taste because it's the icing taste on Walmart cakes. However, buying buckets of passable BC is convenient if you don't have time to make massive amounts of BC from scratch.

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