Buttercream With Butter Vs. All Shortening

Decorating By angiev77 Updated 1 Nov 2008 , 6:09pm by Sweet_Guys

angiev77 Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 12:51am
post #1 of 22

Does anyone know if it is better to use half butter and half shortening or all shortening in the buttercream recipe? In my wilton classes the recipe they gave is all shortening but I keep seeing recipes that use both.

21 replies
indydebi Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:00am
post #2 of 22

"better" is subjective. To some, it's personal taste on whether they like a butter taste or not. To others, it's the purity of using real butter vs. a white fat product. There's also the factor on how it's going to be used. Butter has a lower melting point than shortening, so it's probably not good for outdoor weddings or overly warm areas of the country.

Experiment with different combinations to see what works best for you in your part of the country, with the applications you'll use it for.

tracey1970 Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:06am
post #3 of 22

I use a half butter, half hi-ratio shortening recipe. That way, I get the taste of butter with the stability of shortening. However, the icing isn't super-white if you are concerned about that. I also don't use it on any cakes that would be sitting out in the heat (which is absolutely not an issue in Canada much of the year anyway!)

kel58 Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:14am
post #4 of 22

I perfer the taste of 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortnening but i do find it harder to work with than all shortening. I find that is gets really soft while im working with it from holding the piping back in my hot little hands. I think if I were going to do some flowers or something 3D I would use all shortening or I have had issues with things flopping casue the icing is too warm from my hands. The Hi-ratio helps though??? maybe i should try that one out next time.

JanH Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:15am
post #5 of 22

Butter is more expensive than shortening.....

When you're practicing making flowers, etc. in your Wilton class, using an all shortening b/c recipe results in a more cost friendly recipe that is more heat stable and reusable.


Edited to fix typo. icon_redface.gif

momvarden Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:42am
post #6 of 22

my bc is 2 parts butter to 1 part shortening i use this for just frosting the cake and borders other things like that. For flowers from butter cream i have a different recipe.

djoyce Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 1:56am
post #7 of 22

Hi all -
I usually make mine with 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening, but for really white frosting, I recently tried the Wilton recipe with the butter flavoring. It did not do the trick for me. I ended up playing a bit and made more of a frosting my dad made me as a kid with just shortening, milk, and powdered sugar. Ah the memories it brought back. I did end up using about 2x the butter flavor the recipe called for and about 2x the powdered sugar and milk. It was for my first wedding cake, so I wanted really white frosting.

liapsim Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 2:10am
post #8 of 22

I use the Wilton Extra Creamy buttercream-with all shortening. I've used a couple of other recipes with 1/2 and 1/2 or all butter...and neither worked for me. They tasted too buttery or too greasy or they weren't that white that I needed.

The Wilton Extra Creamy is smooth, the perfect sweetness, bright white, and not greasy. It also crusts easily....HTH!

msulli10 Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 2:23am
post #9 of 22

liapsim - would you mind posting the Wilton Extra Creamy buttercream? I also prefer using all shortening since it is easier to work with and is pure white. I recently tried Sugarshack's buttercream. It's very good and creamy but I didn't find that it crusted that well. Maybe it's just me.

JanH Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 2:30am
post #10 of 22

Wilton's Extra Special Buttercream recipe:



SeriousCakes Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 2:35am
post #11 of 22

I also do 2 parts butter to 1 part shortening, but I use mine for everything, frosting the cake, making the flowers, etc. Crusts after about 7-10 minutes, smooths very well with the Viva, love love love it thumbs_up.gif

kakeladi Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 2:50am
post #12 of 22

For your class work please, Please, PLEASE use the recipe given to you.
The instructor know how that icing is suppose to look, feel and handle.
When you come in w/something different he/she maynot be able to help you when something you are learning is not working out....it could be the difference in the way the icing works.

forthwife Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 3:47am
post #13 of 22

I hate shortening. I live in Florida and am having to learn to deal with it because butter melts so quickly here. I'm not sure how anyone can argue hi-ratio shortening is less expensive...it's $3 a lb here. I've yet to use hi-ratio however, that in itself may be why I hate shortening. icon_wink.gif

JanH Posted 26 Oct 2008 , 5:18am
post #14 of 22

[quote="forthwife"]I hate shortening. I'm not sure how anyone can argue hi-ratio shortening is less expensive...it's $3 a lb here. [/ quote]

If purchased in 50# cubes locally, hi-ratio isn't $3.00/lb. Purchasing in small quantities from specialty stores is ALWAYS the most expensive option.

Also hi-ratio shortening can absorb more powdered sugar and liquid than regular Crisco shortening so that makes it more cost effective. If you choose to substitute hi-ratio 1:1 for Crisco, you're not taking advantage of hi-ratio's superior performance properties (and wasting money).

Hi-ratio shortening brands are not limited to Alpine or Sweetex. There are other hi-ratio brands that are less expensive but perform just as well.


mclean Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:35am
post #15 of 22

The Wilton's recipe interests me but I take a step back when it says that the cake must be refrigerated. I just don't have the space to be storing cakes in my fridge!

SeriousCakes Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:56am
post #16 of 22

mclean-you mean the 'extra special' recipe? I was just looking at that, they use almost a full cup of heavy cream in that recipe, wow! No wonder it needs to go in the fridge! I use cream in my recipe but it's less than a 1/2 c., no need to keep in the fridge because the sugar acts as a preservative icon_biggrin.gif

tracey1970 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:56am
post #17 of 22

You shouldn't have to refrigerate Wilton icing if it's all shortening or even half-butter/half-shortening. The powdered sugar acts as a preservative.

SeriousCakes Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 2:41am
post #18 of 22

Yeah, but this recipe was different from their norm-Wilton themselves recommend refrigeration, I think due to the high amount of cream. I read on a website that as long as it's a small amount, say under 3/4 c. that you didn't need to refrigerate.

Sweet_Guys Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 11:41am
post #19 of 22

We use 100% butter in our recipes (Paula Deen would love us!!!). We live in central Florida and our cakes sit out in rooms all the time. The only time our cakes are refrigerated is when we want to harden the crumb coat quicker or we're using chocolate that needs to harden to the sides of the cake. Other than that, cakes with butter are left out. No one has gotten sick.

The reason we use butter is that we make all of our cakes from scratch. In our opinion, using shortening is not making a fresh ingredients product.

Also, people are willing to pay our cake prices when they know they're getting a quality product.


Paul & Peter

missmeg Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:36pm
post #20 of 22

I use Sugarshack's recipe base, substituting a 3:1 ratio of hi-ratio shortening and unsalted butter. It gives it a lovely pale cream color, tastes divine, and all the proprerties and workability of a 100% shortening bc. I use it for absolutely everything and get raves from my customers on its smoothness.

Sweet Guys - I love you, but your comment about using shortening has me disappointed. There are many of us that use shortening, and I know my cakes are of high quality and made with fresh ingredients.

buttawhench Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 11:42pm
post #21 of 22

Ditto!! Mismeg. Thought it was just me.

Sweet_Guys Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 6:09pm
post #22 of 22


We're sorry if we offended anyone. We didn't mean to. We feel that using butter is more of a fresh ingredient than shortening. With our friends, family, and customers, the 100% butter taste is more pleasing to the palate than using any combination of shortening.

We didn't realize we hurt your feelings!

Paul & Peter

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