I have been using Sugarshack's buttercream recipe for a good long while now and I absolutely love it. The flavor is out of this world! But I have always had to use shortening other than Sweetex because it's not available in my area. I've used Alpine, Crisco, brown label brand hi-ration, you name it. I've never been able to get a good consistency with my icing and I had completely sworn off all buttercream cakes. Everything must be hidden with fondant!
Fast forward to last week, my dad asked me to make a birthday cake for my grandma's 86th birthday. My dad hates fondant, he always says, "You're not puttin' that shoe leather crap on there are you?" So I really wanted to do a buttercream cake but I can never get the darn things smooth. I've even spent many quality hours with Sugarshack's buttercream DVD, but with inconsistent icing it just wouldn't work.
So I bit the bullet and ordered Sweetex online. It got here a little mushy but it made it despite the insane heat. So I whipped up a batch and used it on a wedding cake mid-week. The difference was unbelievable! The flavor, the texture, the smoothing, everything. So the birthday party rolls around and I was all ready to fondant that cake anyway, and lo and behold that icing was going on insanely well, so I just kept working at it and by golly I pulled it off!
All that to say, if you haven't gotten to try Sugarshack's recipe with the Sweetex she recommends, run, do not walk, and get yourself some. The difference is indescribable! Armed with that icing and her DVD, anyone can pull off a gorgeous buttercream cake!
Thanks again Sharon! I think I've said that a hundred times but it will never be enough!
Your cake looks AMAZING!
I am so thrilled for your success and thank you for the props too!
Great job on this one!!!!!!!!! Sharon's bc is pehnominal!!!!!
I have been decorating buttercream for years and don't have trouble getting pretty smooth cakes. Love the viva towel and Sugarshacks method of covering works great even w/ Crisco and butter. I have heard Sweetex has a chemical taste. Does it really or is the flavor pretty much like Crisco? Crisco is so frustrating lately that I want to try hi ratio. So Sweetex is the only one that really works. Do the hi ratio have different tastes and textures? My understanding is they taste less greasy cup for cup that Crisco. Want to order Sugarshack's video, but is there a lot more than frosting the cake and making the frosting. If you don't want to answer that is fine, I understand. Hope this makes sense.
I haven't tried Sharon's recipe but I think the Sweetex doesn't even have a taste. I use it in a regular buttercream recipe and usually I half it with butter. I never get the right consistency, but that's more to do with other things...I need to make a bigger batch to cover the mixers, since that seems to be Sharon's trick for keeping out the air..Anyway, taste is great!
Thank you! I didn't want to spend that much and order it online if it had a chemical taste. I am just so disappointed w/Crisco and Sweetex or any hi ratio shortening for that matter is not available locally.
Aunticake, just try it out and see if you like it. Sweetex does not have a chemical taste at all. It doesn't taste like anything! You just have to flavor it. You will love it!!! It mixes so well, the texture is amazing!
the cake came out flawless and beautiful congrats. where did you end up finding the sweetex?
I had to chime in here! I love Sharon's recipe as well, but I had been using Penguin Hi-Ratio for it (and Buttercream Dream as well). Everything would usually come out just fine, but I still would get frustrated from time to time. Also, the Penguin brand has a sweet smell to it, and I can definitely tell when I have recipes that it is in because of the taste and smell...it wasn't bad mind you, but you know how weird us decorators can be . Fast forward to a week ago when I finally bought some Sweetex that I found at Restaurant Depot in that wonderful 50lb block, and I was so pleased when I opened that sucker up and THERE WASN'T ANY SMELL!!!
Also, I noticed that the Sweetex is kinda fluffy compared to the Penguin brand...needless to say, but I tossed my remaining sub-standard hi-ratio
Definitely recommend the SWEETEX, and your cake is amazing! Great job!!
I can't believe you said the smoothing was "ok." I thought I was looking at a frosted dummy! What a great seam on the top edge!
What a stunning cake!!!! Absolutely beautiful! Makes me wanna get right in the kitchen and whip up a batch myself!!!
I wanted to ask, though, where you purchased your Sweetex. I tried very recently to get it sent to PA from MN, and was told it would not make the trip. I purchased Alpine locally instead, but I have yet to use it.
I tried to order sweetex from GSA and they said they don't offer it in the summer. Where can I get it from right now?
I personally prefer alpine...I think it has a better texture then sweetex I also have used bakemark Hi ratio and think its works pretty well!! ANYTHING but crisco. Why people put Crisco in their buttercream is beyond me. YECK.
But I don't use sugarshacks recipe...I dont care for the taste and smell of coffee creamer! So dont know if Alpine would work with her recipe or not. I have wanted to try it with using whipping cream...just haven't had time to try!
Sweetex is also more expensive then Alpine....
But you can get sweetex at bakers nook..
oh my gosh that buttercream looks flawless....great job! and what a great advertisement for the dvds!
Your cake is amazing, You did a beautiful job
Believe me you wont be disappointed with sugarshack's BC DVD. It's so much more then just making the icing. It's very inexpensive compared to other caked videos and IMO worth so much more. Her fondant and stacking DVDs are also excelent. If I could only have 3 videos for caking those are the 3 I would want. I don't know Sharon personally nor am I getting a kickback for promoting her videos but I am a true believer in her methods and her style of teaching.
Thank you guys so much for all of your wonderful compliments! I really just wanted to share what a difference that shortening made. Maybe it will make life easier for someone else too!
I ordered my Sweetex from The Baker's Kitchen. I ordered it, I think, in early June, but their site doesn't mention anything about not shipping it during the summer months. I'd just say use your best judgment on the heat in your area. Right now in Oklahoma nothing would get here in a solid state. hahaha
And Sharon's buttercream DVD is definitely so much more than making icing and icing a cake. That DVD alone has completely changed (and improved!) the way I do cakes. I would recommend that DVD to anyone and everyone...and I do! I haven't ordered the Fondant and Stacking DVDs yet but they are definitely on my list of must haves.
Your cake is gorgeous! And I too just ordered Sweetex, I've never worked with hi ratio shortening. Its not available where I live.
FYI - Sharon's bc recipe works with both Crisco and Alpine. Before having the capital to purchase my 50-lb block of Alpine, I used her recipe with the new Crisco. Better than Wilton's classic bc recipe.
But the Alpine takes her recipe to a whole new level from which I'll never desend.
Not everyone can afford the 50-lb blocks of hi-ratio, so please don't knock those of us who have to use Crisco.
missmeg - I wasn't knocking anyone. I don't know why it would come across that way. I have been making this recipe with Crisco for many months now. And for that very reason I wanted to post and show the difference the hi-ratio really makes. And I don't buy 50lb cubes of shortening. I bought a 4lb tub of it. It'd take me 5 years to use up 50lbs of shortening. lol
I'm sorry Copa - it wasn't you. Another poster's reply was:
ANYTHING but crisco. Why people put Crisco in their buttercream is beyond me. YECK.
It rubbed me the wrong way a bit - it took me 5 years to be able to afford Alpine. Many, many people use Criso, so I don't think it's fair to knock it. That's all.
No worries missmeg Just wanted to make sure I wasn't the one who offended you.
Nah Copa. I'm not easily offended . I just didn't think it was a fair judgement to make.
I recently switched to Alpine, using Sugarshack's recipe and it's the BOMB! I never thought my icing would be that smooth .
missmeg - The smoothness is just an unbelievable difference isn't it? Alpine was the first hi-ratio I ever tried, and I ended up with a ton of air in my icing. I've been afraid to try it since then. I'm sure it was user error. lol But it sounds like it works great for you so if that's my option next time I will give it another go. My local cake shop used to carry Alpine and at my last visit he said they had some problems with it leaving little chunks of shortening in their icing? Have you experienced that at all? I'm guessing they just got a bad batch. They've switched to some brown label hi-ratio, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.