Buttercream Question

Decorating By vandru10 Updated 22 Dec 2009 , 6:34am by madgeowens

vandru10 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:12am
post #1 of 7


I am new to the world of cake decorating and was wondering what the difference is between crusting and non crusting buttercream???!!!

Any answers will be helpful!

6 replies
indydebi Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:40am
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Welcome to CC, the best resource for all things cake!

A crusting buttercream will get a slight "hard crust" on the outside, while still remaining soft and creamy inside. When icing slightly crusts, it helps to enable you to smooth icing, holds the shape of roses, borders and other decors.

I'm a little biased but here is my icing recipe that I've used for 30 years. It crusts really well and holds up in extreme outdoor heat. It's gotten lots of rave reviews here on CC. http://cakecentral.com/recipes/author/indydebi

My favorite method to smooth a crusting buttercream is the Melvira method: http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method Once I discovered this method, I never used anything else and I love how my cakes look now!

A non-crusting buttercream stays soft after it's on the cake. I've never used a non-crusting, so I can't tell you much about it. I'm sure other CC'ers, who have a much higher expertise than I, will pop in here and help you out.

Texas_Rose Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:49am
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Don't let Indydebi's modesty fool you, she is the Buttercream Goddess!!!

Her recipe is the best that I've ever tried. It tastes great and it's really easy to work with. It's the first buttercream that has ever worked right for me, and when you use her recipe and the Melvira method together, it works so well and is so easy that even my husband can make a perfectly smooth cake icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 5:53am
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I forgot to tell you that the ability to crust is dependent on the sugar/fat ratio. More sugar, more crusting. More fat, less crusting.

I always remember that by thinking if there is more "sugar", it makes me "sure" it will stay in place (crust). If there is more fat, the icing is more "slickery" and will "slide" off of the cake (it doesn't literally slide off but that's just how I remember).

So if you're ever making an icing that's suppose to crust, but isn't ... add more sugar. If it's crusting too fat ... add more fat (butter or crisco).

My recipe uses approx 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups fat to 2 lbs of p.sugar. If I see recipes with more fat than that, I get suspect on how it's going to work out.

prterrell Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 6:18am
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Eurpean-style buttercreams (Italian Meringue Buttercream, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and French Buttercream), which contain egg (whites in IMBC and SMBC, yolks in FBC), butter, and granulated sugar, and involve cooking, do not crust. These are much richer, buttery-er, and less sweet than the American-style buttercream.

American-style buttercream, which are made of butter and/or vegetable shortening (although some argument can be made that icing that does not contain any butter cannot truly be called buttercream and should simply be referred to as frosting or icing) and powdered sugar, do crust. This is the buttercream most Americans are familiar with. It is very sweet, some people find it sickenly or tooth-achingly so.

The techniques used to smooth the icing on the cakes are different, depending on which type of buttercream you are using. Also, the cake's ability to stand up to heat and humidity will also be affected by the type of buttercream you are using.

Not everyone is going to like the same kind of buttercream. You find what you like and what works best for you. icon_biggrin.gif

vandru10 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 6:19am
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Thank you!!!!

madgeowens Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 6:34am
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You should really check out sugar shacks recipe, it is excellent!!!!

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