White Buttercream?

Decorating By AlixsCakes Updated 18 Jan 2009 , 11:50pm by lindambc

AlixsCakes Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 8:33am
post #1 of 11

Hello again

I just want to say quickly how much I love this site and how great it is to be able to call on all your expertise - you've all been such a great help.. Thanks again!! thumbs_up.gif

OK, now for the question. How di you make white buttercream? It seems that cake-makers in the US use buttercream a lot and it looks great, but I don't understand how it is white!! My recipes all use icing sugar and butter and the 'base' colour is always cream / yellow, and it never looks as smooth as the cakes I've seen. Is there a secret??

10 replies
MikeRowesHunny Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:24am
post #2 of 11

To get white buttercream Americans use vegetable fat instead of butter (such as white Flora), which IMO is revolting and vomit inducing , it shouldn't even be called buttercream (seeing as there is no butter!!!). Please don't waste your time or money trying this, your bank balance & tastebuds will thank you!

I use buttercream a lot (and I'm British like you), using all butter and to make it whiter you can use the optical trick used in many washing powders! Add a tiny, tiny amount of royal blue or violet colouring to your buttercream (I mean the tip of a cocktail stick at a time), and beat this into your buttercream, it will whiten before your very eyes! Keep adding until it is white enough, and as a last measure you can get whitening powder colour which you can dissolve in with the liquid you use in your buttercream (milk also helps).

To get really smooth buttercream, I highly recommend the Melvira method in the articles section on the site - brilliant!

Hope that helps!

josumiko Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:26am
post #3 of 11

Yes...we don't use real butter in the "buttercream"! here is a recipe that i have used that is simple and gets good results..

1Tbsp. meringue powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
combine in large grease free bowl and whip to soft peaks, set aside

1lb. powdered sugar
2cups shortening
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. vanilla (or other clear flavor) extract
cream sugar and shortening together until light & fluffy, add salt and flavors, beat well
start adding meringue mixture 1/3 at a time to the shortening mixture and continue until all the meringue mixture has been added. Do not underbeat or your frosting will separate.

This mixture is good for icing a cake, but will not "crust" and is not very stiff for making decorations (although it can be done)

here is one that is stiffer and will crust so that you can use some of the smoothing techniques talked about on this board...warning...this is very sweet!

2lb. powdered sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1/2tsp vanilla extract (or any other clear extract...almond is yummy)
1/4 tsp butter flavor
1/4 tsp. salt
1Tbsp meringue powder
1/2 cup water.
Cream sugar and shortening
add all other ingredients except water. beat until smooth and creamy. add water to thin to a desired consistency.

hth

miss_sweetstory Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:59am
post #4 of 11

I think there are also the factors of what brand butter you use and how vigorously you cream it. I make only butter-based buttercream, using as US brand of butter (Land O Lakes). I beat it in the Kitchen Aid for quite awhile, and it seems to go quite pale (not white, but not as yellow as a lot of buttercream.) I haven't gotten quite as pale a color using UK brands of butter, but the extensive beating does seem to help.

As an example, I took a Lindy Smith class last September. We provided our own buttercream and when she saw how pale mine was she commented on how Americans liked to use veg fat in their icing. She was very surprised when I told her that I had used HER all-butter recipe to make my icing.

AlixsCakes Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 8:45am
post #5 of 11

Brilliant - I'll give all of those tips a try. Thank you.

sasporella Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 9:05am
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovibabe

To get white buttercream Americans use vegetable fat instead of butter (such as white Flora), which IMO is revolting and vomit inducing , it shouldn't even be called buttercream (seeing as there is no butter!!!). Please don't waste your time or money trying this, your bank balance & tastebuds will thank you!

I use buttercream a lot (and I'm British like you), using all butter and to make it whiter you can use the optical trick used in many washing powders! Add a tiny, tiny amount of royal blue or violet colouring to your buttercream (I mean the tip of a cocktail stick at a time), and beat this into your buttercream, it will whiten before your very eyes! Keep adding until it is white enough, and as a last measure you can get whitening powder colour which you can dissolve in with the liquid you use in your buttercream (milk also helps).

To get really smooth buttercream, I highly recommend the Melvira method in the articles section on the site - brilliant!

Hope that helps!




If i used the royal blue or violet trick first could i then add more blue to make blue buttercream. I have tried many times and my blue always turns green when i add it to my buttercream and the more blue i add the deeper green it turns.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 9:22am
post #7 of 11

What coloring are you using? I find many of the British made ones are weird colours that turn out different when you use them. I have a black by Squires Kitchen that turns a muddy green, and other blacks that are more purple than black! I now only use Americolor gels (also called Spectrum in Europe), and they are the best I've ever used. Very concentrated so they last a long time and they work! All the sky blue cakes in my photos were made using their Electric Blue/Sky Blue and the dark blues using either Royal Blue or Navy. Hope that helps!

banba Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 10:32am
post #8 of 11

I am in Ireland and I have the same problem using butter. I get a very pale cream colour buttercream too.

I use to drool over the lovely white buttercream cakes I see here and wish I could obtain the same bright white but not anymore!

I don't want to go anywhere near the veg shortening and now people that order my cakes know by the natural colour of my buttercream that my cakes are homemade and don't contain any dreaded veg shortening (which imo is awful stuff on the palette)

I never tried the tinting with violet trick as I am now happy to show a more natural looking buttercream.

Beating the buttercream a bit longer does help make it even paler and I would suggest using the "k" hook or "paddle" beater and not the balloon whisk attachment which adds too much air to the buttercream leading to air bubbles later when smoothing.

SeriousCakes Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:27am
post #9 of 11
AlixsCakes Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:35pm
post #10 of 11

Wow - that is beautiful brushwork - I must watch the video. I find the US recipes a bit hard to translate sometimes - I don't think we have corn syrup in the UK? Does anyone know what a suitable substitute is?

It looks like I should look out for some Spectrum colours rather than the Squires ones, which I have at the moment, I've had similar problems with the Squires black in the past.

Also, thanks for the extra beating tip - I'll give that a try too.

Lots to keep me busy for a while. Thanks again folks thumbs_up.gif

lindambc Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:50pm
post #11 of 11

I use the wilton white coloring to get my buttercream white. Works great for me. Its also nice to have around just in case you made a mistake on a color like I did today. Just added a bit of white to it and lightened the color.

HTH

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