Help! Can I Use Butter In My Buttercream?

Decorating By Jessamarie22 Updated 15 Aug 2009 , 3:20am by madgeowens

Jessamarie22 Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:11am
post #1 of 36

I'm making my first wedding cake for Saturday. I'm planning to cover the whole thing with fondant and am making my own buttercream to go under the fondant.

I want to use all real butter for the buttercream because I don't like the taste or texture of buttercream made with shortening. Is this okay, or is the butter going to cause the frosting to melt out from under the fondant?

The recipes I see on this site seem to use shortening. Please help!

35 replies
madgeowens Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:24am
post #2 of 36

I don't think I would use just butter.........but half and half with shortening yes

varika Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:27am
post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessamarie22

I'm making my first wedding cake for Saturday. I'm planning to cover the whole thing with fondant and am making my own buttercream to go under the fondant.

I want to use all real butter for the buttercream because I don't like the taste or texture of buttercream made with shortening. Is this okay, or is the butter going to cause the frosting to melt out from under the fondant?

The recipes I see on this site seem to use shortening. Please help!




I make my buttercream with real butter all the time. It is a bit softer, but it crusts up just fine, so as long as it's not an outdoor venue, you should be fine, I'd think.

madgeowens Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:28am
post #4 of 36

Doesn't it make it really creamy? I wouldn't think it would crust......I will have to try this...

antonia74 Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:29am
post #5 of 36

Sure you can use butter! My customers and I don't care for the shortening varieties either, so IMBC is all I use....even under fondant.


You'll want to use a recipe like Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) or Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC). No, these don't crust...which is another bonus IMHO.

You'll find great recipes in the Recipe section on this website, or try Martha Stewart's website too.

Here's a great step-by-step how-to about making IMBC. It's a little trickier, but the taste and creaminess of it will be worth it! thumbs_up.gif

http://www.cakescanada.com/HowTo/IMBC2.pdf

If you want more tips, PM me. icon_smile.gif I'll be happy to send you tips on smoothing it perfectly, etc.

madgeowens Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:32am
post #6 of 36

See I am scared to use raw eggs......

Bonavolonta Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 3:59am
post #7 of 36

I only use IMBC also. Haven't had a problem with it under fondant yet. It's super easy to make as long if you have a KA.

Bonavolonta Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:06am
post #8 of 36

I watched a youtube video that was much different from the link posted here. Maybe it's not IMBC that I've been making? I put 5 egg whites and 1 1/4c sugar in my KA bowl. I hand whisk that over simmering water for about 4-5 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the eggs will get "cooked" and frothy. Also, you can rub the mixture between your fingers and it will feel smooth, not gritty. I then whisk it with my KA until it's very stiff and cooled down. (maybe 5 min) I switch to the paddle and add a pound of butter a little at a time. It will make a distinct slapping sound when it's done. Then you just add your flavorings. SO easy and SO yummy! Try it out. You'll be hooked.

CakeandDazzle Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:11am
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by madgeowens

See I am scared to use raw eggs......



they are not raw, since they get cooked in both imbc & smbc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonavolonta

I watched a youtube video that was much different from the link posted here. Maybe it's not IMBC that I've been making? I put 5 egg whites and 1 1/4c sugar in my KA bowl. I hand whisk that over simmering water for about 4-5 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the eggs will get "cooked" and frothy. Also, you can rub the mixture between your fingers and it will feel smooth, not gritty. I then whisk it with my KA until it's very stiff and cooled down. (maybe 5 min) I switch to the paddle and add a pound of butter a little at a time. It will make a distinct slapping sound when it's done. Then you just add your flavorings. SO easy and SO yummy! Try it out. You'll be hooked.




That's SMBC... but they both taste the same! and are very very yummy! I use only SMBC (i dont like the shortening/ps bc) and under all my fondant cakes... works great esp if you refridge the cake then put the fondant on... it just cant be put outside...

varika Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:12am
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

Sure you can use butter! My customers and I don't care for the shortening varieties either, so IMBC is all I use....even under fondant.


You'll want to use a recipe like Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) or Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC). No, these don't crust...which is another bonus IMHO.




I beg to differ. Not that IMBC and SMBC are not to DIE for, because they are, but if you just want to substitute butter for the shortening in your regular ol' American buttercream, it works just fine; I make my version with salted butter and it tastes delicious without being too sweet, too.

Bonavolonta, that's SMBC, not IMBC. The difference is in how you acheive the meringue (heating the egg whites with the sugar vs. meringue first and then adding hard crack sugar) more than the flavor, though.

madgeowens Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:19am
post #11 of 36

IS IT REALLY WORTH ALL THAT EXTRA WORK?

varika Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:25am
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by madgeowens

IS IT REALLY WORTH ALL THAT EXTRA WORK?




You mean IMBC and SMBC?

YES, YES IT SO VERY MUCH IS.

But as I said, if you don't want to do it that way, you can also just make American buttercream--the icing sugar kind--with butter instead of shortening, and no, that doesn't affect its crusting ability at all. Just the taste.

Bonavolonta Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:25am
post #13 of 36

Oooohhh. Thanks guys. Now I know! What would I do without CC?

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:32am
post #14 of 36

Oh very much worth all the work! It's the difference between a Kia and a Cadillac, if you really want to know my opinion!

madgeowens Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:34am
post #15 of 36

really........oh darn, now I will have to try it

xstitcher Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:48am
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonavolonta

I watched a youtube video that was much different from the link posted here. Maybe it's not IMBC that I've been making? I put 5 egg whites and 1 1/4c sugar in my KA bowl. I hand whisk that over simmering water for about 4-5 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the eggs will get "cooked" and frothy. Also, you can rub the mixture between your fingers and it will feel smooth, not gritty. I then whisk it with my KA until it's very stiff and cooled down. (maybe 5 min) I switch to the paddle and add a pound of butter a little at a time. It will make a distinct slapping sound when it's done. Then you just add your flavorings. SO easy and SO yummy! Try it out. You'll be hooked.




That's SMBC. I believe your thinking of this video:





ETA: I got so busy checking out different tutorials on youtube I forgot to hit submit. icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 4:51am
post #17 of 36

Just make sure to get unsalted butter. And use it and eat when it is room temp. The colder it is, the more buttery it is apt to taste. Not that that would bother me...lol, I can take a nibble off a butter stick any day! icon_biggrin.gif

PinkZiab Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 5:05am
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

that's SMBC, not IMBC. The difference is in how you acheive the meringue (heating the egg whites with the sugar vs. meringue first and then adding hard crack sugar) more than the flavor, though.




Just a note: IMBC is made using soft ball sugar, NOT hard crack sugar.

To the OP: Yes you can use all butter in your BC.

Karenreg Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:28pm
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonavolonta

I watched a youtube video that was much different from the link posted here. Maybe it's not IMBC that I've been making? I put 5 egg whites and 1 1/4c sugar in my KA bowl. I hand whisk that over simmering water for about 4-5 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the eggs will get "cooked" and frothy. Also, you can rub the mixture between your fingers and it will feel smooth, not gritty. I then whisk it with my KA until it's very stiff and cooled down. (maybe 5 min) I switch to the paddle and add a pound of butter a little at a time. It will make a distinct slapping sound when it's done. Then you just add your flavorings. SO easy and SO yummy! Try it out. You'll be hooked.




Hi Bonavolonta :- Cud u plez advise if u use regular granulated sugar or confectionery sugar for ur recipe to make SMBC .Also I'd like to know when you use a double boiler to whisk the eggs & sugar , does ur bowl need to touch the water from below or do u hold it above the water & let it cook in the steam of it.

Is there a way to make Chocolate SMBC? If yes whats the proportion of chocolate/unsweetened Coco powder I need to add to it, & at what stage do I do that?

Sry bout the list of Questions but wanted to clear my doubts.

TIA

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:40pm
post #20 of 36

No, SMBC is not made with powdered sugar. The cooked granulated sugar is what gives it such a soft light texture. I make heavenly choco SMBC. Melt good chocolate, and stir it in after it has cooled into the SMBC. Gauge for yourself when you think it's enough. NO cocoa powder. This isn't like making shortening based BC. Whole different ballgame.

Karenreg Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:59pm
post #21 of 36

Thanks Jamie, but what about the bowl thats placed in simmering water.Does the bowl (in which u whisk the egg & sugar) touch the simmering water or i just need to hold it in the steam of that water,I'm so not getting that part. Is there something that explains this part in detail maybe a video or some text?

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 10:06pm
post #22 of 36

Basically, you can "make" your own double boiler. Take a small pot of boiling water, and place larger bowl over that, NOT touching the boiling water. You'll scald your egg whites quicker than snot. I bring the water to a boil, and turn the heat down so it's only gently bubbling. Breaking the surface, but not at a full roiling boil. I would say the water is at least 2 inches away from the bowl I am whisking in.

Bonavolonta Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 10:10pm
post #23 of 36

I do the same for chocolate. Just melt some good chocolate, let it cool a bit and drizzle it down the side of the bowl on low/med speed after you've done all the other steps. I never really measure it. Just go by taste.
As for the water issue, I bring the water to a simmer and put the bowl over it. I try to fill the water to a point where the bowl won't be in it. It's nothing too exact. Just be sure to keep whisking! It's kinda hard to mess this recipe up. The only time it didn't work for me was when i got a little yolk in my whites. I had to throw it all out and start over because the whites would NOT whip. I tried to half the recipe once and it almost didn't work. I just kept adding butter until I heard the "slapping" sound though, and all was well! I hope you try it out. I'll never go back to buttercream!
BTW - I got the recipe from a decorating book by Kate Sullivan. I forgot to add that she includes 1 tbls of vanilla at the end.



Karenreg Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 10:12pm
post #24 of 36

Thats exactly wat I was looking for.Thanks a ton Jamie. I appreciate ur clear & prompt response .

Cheers to all my buddies on CC 4 being soo helpful thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 10:12pm
post #25 of 36

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-5453-The-Well-Dressed-Cake-Swiss-Meringue-Buttercream-with-variations.html

This SMBC recipe is from our very own SMBC Goddess herself, Jeanne aka From Scratch. It is divine. It's all I will ever use.

lillermom Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 11:16pm
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Basically, you can "make" your own double boiler. Take a small pot of boiling water, and place larger bowl over that, NOT touching the boiling water. You'll scald your egg whites quicker than snot. I bring the water to a boil, and turn the heat down so it's only gently bubbling. Breaking the surface, but not at a full roiling boil. I would say the water is at least 2 inches away from the bowl I am whisking in.




icon_lol.gif "quicker than snot!" I love it!

Karenreg Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 11:18pm
post #27 of 36

Thanks 4 sharing the link to the SMBC recipe.

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 11:18pm
post #28 of 36

Heh heh!

antonia74 Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 11:44pm
post #29 of 36

Here, these are step-by-step photos & instructions for making SMBC....

http://www.cakescanada.com/HowTo/how-to-SMBC.pdf


icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 11:51pm
post #30 of 36

Some things I would recommend are NOT using liquid egg whites, crack the eggs yourself. Cut up the butter, don't add it one stick at a time like that tutorial shows (that's odd), and switch to the paddle attachment before adding the butter. Using the whisk will just put a lot of air in.

Not room temp butter, slightly firmer than room temp, and when it's all incorporated, let the mixer turn for a few minutes on the lowest speed to work some of the air back out. And here's another tutorial for ya:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-594605.html

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