New To Buttercream Frosting!

Decorating By 1cupcake Updated 18 May 2009 , 6:00pm by 1cupcake

1cupcake Posted 18 May 2009 , 2:35pm
post #1 of 3


I read through a lot of posts in this forum and can understand why so many people say it's addicting here!

I used to think that powdered sugar frosting was gross because they always turned out gritty and crusted. Then I bought a cupcake that used powdered sugar and while it was gritty, it wasn't overly so and I really liked the soft consistency. It was really soft yet still pipeable and held it's shape although it melted a little in the car, but it was really hot that day. I'm guessing that there was no shortening or very little in this recipe then?

I decided to try the no crust buttercream icing recipe I found in the recipe index, but I misread the ingredients so basically the proportion ended up being 1 stick of fat to 1 cup of powdered sugar. (I made a half recipe). In the original recipe, it would have been 1/4 cup +2 tbsp of fat to 1 cup of powdered sugar.

6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp high ratio shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk (It was supposed to be 2 tbsp, but I added 1 more tbsp to soften it up, and it still wasn't soft enough)

This didn't crust, which was good but it wasn't as soft as I would've liked. Is it because of the shortening? After reading through a lot of posts, I thought I would save myself the trouble of using Crisco since it has a weird plastic and greasy taste and they removed the trans fats, which seems to be causing frosting separation. I used high ratio shortening instead, but I couldn't find out what brand because it was at a bulk store (not sure if it matters, but I read some posts comparing Alpine vs Sweetex).

I was thinking of trying the recipes from Magnolia, Whimsical Bakehouse and the no crust buttercream again with the right proportions and also with only butter to see if there's a difference in stiffness.

The one from Magnolia, judging by the pictures seem to be what I'm looking for in terms of consistency, but it seems like it might be really sweet. I guess if I throw enough salt in it, it should cut the sweetness down a bit so that might be ok, I'm just worried about it crusting.

I actually tried the buttercream from the Whimsical Bakehouse and didn't like it, but I used all butter. I'm thinking of trying it again with the high ratio shortening + butter combination. Could it be that since the recipe uses water and I used only butter that it couldn't incorporate well?

By the way, I'm not looking to do anything fancy with frosting. All I can do is the swirl using the 1M and even that, I end up scraping off the cupcake a few times until I can get it right.

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too confusing or annoying, but it's really frustrating when I have to scrap my frosting off my cupcakes because I can't eat it. My main questions are:

* Does shortening make frosting stiffer?
* Does the Magnolia recipe crust?
* Has anyone tried the Whimsical Bakehouse recipe with more butter and less shortening? Personally, I don't think I could go over a 1:4 ratio of shortening to butter because I felt like I could almost feel it was there when I made the no crust buttercream.

Ahh.. so many questions! Why does frosting have to be so difficult?! And I thought that finding a cupcake recipe was hard!

Thanks so much!

2 replies
umgrzfn Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:44pm
post #2 of 3

I can't answer all of your questions however, what makes the BC stiffer is the amt of PS that you use which is also what makes it crust. Have you thought about using IMBC or SMBC?! They use tons of butter so I add about 2T-3T vanilla extract and it turns out AMAZING. The texture is so smooth. Just a thought.

1cupcake Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:00pm
post #3 of 3

Thanks for the reply! I actually love SMBC and IMBC, but my family thinks it's too smooth..haha. Plus, American style buttercream is good for emergency situations when you don't have egg whites or the time to heat them up.

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