Icing To Sweet???...hmm I Dont Get It...

Decorating By cakesdelight Updated 22 Aug 2010 , 7:19pm by KimmyKakes4Me

cakesdelight Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 1:30am
post #1 of 36

WHY DO "SOME" PEOPLE SAY "hmmmm THIS BUTTERCREAM IS TOO SWEET.." REALLY?!!! well I've never heard of no sugar added- buttercream..... Can someone PLEASE help me comprehen this?? I just don't get it, the recipe calls for powder sugar! TIA

SANDY icon_cool.gif

35 replies
Cake_Bliss Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 2:58am
post #2 of 36

I know!! LOL! I actually read on another post here about adding a dash of popcorn salt and it works. i tried it this weekend and it took the sweetness but didn't make it salty just a perfect smooth tasting buttercream.

mamawrobin Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 4:05am
post #3 of 36

Yeah..I don't understand not wanting to add more sugar to thicken bc because it will "make it too sweet"...it's sugar and fat anyway...how is more sugar going to make it any sweeter... icon_confused.gif

scp1127 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 6:49am
post #4 of 36

"Classic Buttercream" with egg yolks, cooked sugar, and butter is not overly sweet. I am personally not a fan of very sweet icing and I use this for my immediate family. BUT.... I am vey aware that I am in a minority. When I make cakes for other family members or for my daughter's many school events, they all say "Make it sweet". If you want the recipe for someone who wants a less sweet icing, let me know and I will post it here.

sweettreat101 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 7:11am
post #5 of 36

Adding salt does cut down on the sweetness. The reason people say to use popcorn salt is because it is a smaller grain and dissolves faster. I use salted butter in my butter and don't add extra salt.

ncsmorris Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 11:30am
post #6 of 36

I don't have a clue how to make it less sweet, but I definitely don't eat the stuff because I think it's too sweet. The whipped frosting, that's the stuff I like! And cream cheese frosting

kger Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 12:30pm
post #7 of 36

I got a tip from my cake store lady to add a touch of lemon juice for the sweetness. Now I add salt and lemon juice. But I still notice people not eating it, scraping it to the sides of the plate. I, too, prefer whipped. I wish there was a not so sweet option for decorating and piping.

Crimsicle Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 12:56pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

"Classic Buttercream" with egg yolks, cooked sugar, and butter is not overly sweet....snip...If you want the recipe for someone who wants a less sweet icing, let me know and I will post it here.





I'm always on the lookout for the perfect buttercream. I personally like the fluffy frostings, but find that structurally, they are not a good choice. I'd love to find one with enough body that I can feel confident about my borders staying put. Please post your recipe. I'm testing buttercreams this weekend and would love to add another!

cakesdelight Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 1:51pm
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

"Classic Buttercream" with egg yolks, cooked sugar, and butter is not overly sweet. I am personally not a fan of very sweet icing and I use this for my immediate family. BUT.... I am vey aware that I am in a minority. When I make cakes for other family members or for my daughter's many school events, they all say "Make it sweet". If you want the recipe for someone who wants a less sweet icing, let me know and I will post it here.





I would like to try your recipe, does is crust easily? well for the cake I'm going to make it doesn't need to crust becuase its going under fondant, but if it does crust I would like to use it for the customers that order cakes with the "not too sweet butter cream". Thanks! icon_razz.gif

SANDY

cakesdelight Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 1:54pm
post #10 of 36

THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR TIPS! I'VE NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF USING POPCORN BUTTER SALT.... IT TOTALLY MAKES SO MUCH SENSE NOW! I GUESS YOU NEVER KNOW TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING AND YOU ALWAYS LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY! THANKS!

SANDY icon_smile.gif

cakesdivine Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 3:09pm
post #11 of 36

Edited to add: this will piss some of you off, and yes I am an icing snob icon_lol.gif

My buttercream is less sweet, doesn't crust (I prefer it that way). YES ICING CAN BE TOO SWEET. And those that can't decern that end up losing customers. I personally have a major sweet tooth, but can't stand crusting buttercreams because generally they are way too sweet, and over power the flavor of the cake. The icing should complement the flavor of the cake not overpower it. That is why you see so many people scraping off BC and just eating the cake, or they prefer whipped cream icings which are much less sweet than typical BC's.

I also think that BC's made with shortening only are too sweet. You have to mix a certain amount of the dry in to get rid of the greasy texture of the shortening, by the time you achieve that all you taste is sugar and whatever extract is included. Shortening has no descerning flavor to offset the sugar, and extracts tend to leave an aftertaste due to their, alcohol content, so butter is a must in BC to balance the flavors (and I am not talking butter extract, I am talking REAL butter!). If you use a hi-ratio shortening and butter you generally don't have the issue with it being to soft, or super heat sensitive.

The other way to achieve the correct dry to fat ratio is to use cornstarch in your BC and less powdered sugar. And to further make the icing incredible I use meringue (made from either meringue powder or pasturized egg whites in a carton). To make the butter flavor really pop I use SALTED butter AND about 2 oz of whipped creamcheese. The result is a light, fluffy, full of buttery flavor amazing tasting BC. My clients rave about my BC.

My wedding cake was ruined by a pastry chef who used a shortening and sugar only BC. The icing was so hard and so sweet and the cake so terribly dry that no one ate the cake. I made the grooms cake, and it was devoured in 5 minutes. I ended up throwing away almost all (about 300 servings worth) of wedding cake. Thank goodness the cake was a gift (but I bought all the ingredients so I was only out that cost). I didn't question the chef when I purchased the ingredients because it was my best friends mom, the lady who inspired me to become a caker in the first place. It was really beautiful though, just inedible.

So if a client is complaining that your BC is too sweet, LISTEN to them! Some might like the pure sugar taste, but there will be just as many if not more who don't. Experiment to find what works for you or offer a crusting BC and a non-crusting BC.. If I get a customer that wants a crusting BC and they like it super sugary then I oblige, but I still will crumb coat with my less sweet BC first. In my 26 years of decorating I can count on one hand the amount of people who have preferred a crusting BC to my non-crusting BC.

cakesdivine Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 3:23pm
post #12 of 36

Okay this is totally off topic...

Any punctuation I have put into my post if it follows and underlined acronym disappears. There is a period after BC in my last paragraph. Really odd. I even added 2 periods and extra spaces between the sentences hoping that would work... It didn't..LOL!

Okay back to your regular programming icon_wink.gif

kger Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 4:23pm
post #13 of 36

I totally get what you're saying cakesdevine. I can't even stand my own bc anymore but I've yet to find something that will hold decorations well. Even Buttercream Dream is a PITA to cover a cake with in this humidity. I also agree that the cake and the bc should complement each other and not overpower.

Can you share your recipe? How does it hold up?

cakesdivine Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 6:47pm
post #14 of 36

kger - sent you a pm with the recipe.

scp1127 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 9:15pm
post #15 of 36

I'm on my way out the door, but I will post that recipe for classic buttercream when I get home. It does not crust but I had no problem getting it smooth and it piped well. It is butte rbased so heat is not its friend. I kept it on my counter for two days and it held up great in just ac. I would post pictures but my camera charger won't work.

Larkin121 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 10:41pm
post #16 of 36

Sure, icing can be too sweet - there is not only one kind of icing, so some will be sweeter than others. And no, not all buttercreams contain powdered sugar. Meringue buttercreams do not, and are not as sweet. Customers who don't want it so sweet may prefer those. The classic recipe talk about by a previous poster is similar to a SMBC or IMBC except uses yolks instead of whites, I'm assuming, and I believe it's considered a French Buttercream.

But yes, I personally can't stand a powdered sugar based buttercream... it is so sweet to me that it ruins the flavor of the cake it's with.

KayMc Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 11:26pm
post #17 of 36

Cakesdivine-you said this better than anyone else to date! Great explanation!

scp1127 Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 2:00am
post #18 of 36

Here is the classic buttercream recipe I use:

9 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
6 sticks unsalted butter, cut in pieces at room temp

Beat yolks in mixer until pale yellow. Meanwhile, boil sugar and water to 238 degrees. Pour sugar mixer into yolks down the side of the bowl with mixer on medium. Mix until room temp. Add butter and mix until smooth.

Flavor with espresso, vanilla, or anything you want to taste.

I am not near as experienced as most of you but I can get this completely smooth except for a last swipe across the top. I can pipe with it and the look is shiny and smooth, not crusting. As I said before, it sits out perfectly for days and would firm up for transport in the refrigerator.

KoryAK Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 3:37am
post #19 of 36

Also try using a meringue based icing. Like whipped cream in texture and kinda in flavor, but great for icing and decorating. Not too sweet at all.

tesso Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 4:08am
post #20 of 36

dash of salt or salted butter really cuts down on the overly sweetness.

cakesdelight Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 4:31am
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Edited to add: this will piss some of you off, and yes I am an icing snob icon_lol.gif

My buttercream is less sweet, doesn't crust (I prefer it that way). YES ICING CAN BE TOO SWEET. And those that can't decern that end up losing customers. I personally have a major sweet tooth, but can't stand crusting buttercreams because generally they are way too sweet, and over power the flavor of the cake. The icing should complement the flavor of the cake not overpower it. That is why you see so many people scraping off BC and just eating the cake, or they prefer whipped cream icings which are much less sweet than typical BC's.

I also think that BC's made with shortening only are too sweet. You have to mix a certain amount of the dry in to get rid of the greasy texture of the shortening, by the time you achieve that all you taste is sugar and whatever extract is included. Shortening has no descerning flavor to offset the sugar, and extracts tend to leave an aftertaste due to their, alcohol content, so butter is a must in BC to balance the flavors (and I am not talking butter extract, I am talking REAL butter!). If you use a hi-ratio shortening and butter you generally don't have the issue with it being to soft, or super heat sensitive.

The other way to achieve the correct dry to fat ratio is to use cornstarch in your BC and less powdered sugar. And to further make the icing incredible I use meringue (made from either meringue powder or pasturized egg whites in a carton). To make the butter flavor really pop I use SALTED butter AND about 2 oz of whipped creamcheese. The result is a light, fluffy, full of buttery flavor amazing tasting BC. My clients rave about my BC.

My wedding cake was ruined by a pastry chef who used a shortening and sugar only BC. The icing was so hard and so sweet and the cake so terribly dry that no one ate the cake. I made the grooms cake, and it was devoured in 5 minutes. I ended up throwing away almost all (about 300 servings worth) of wedding cake. Thank goodness the cake was a gift (but I bought all the ingredients so I was only out that cost). I didn't question the chef when I purchased the ingredients because it was my best friends mom, the lady who inspired me to become a caker in the first place. It was really beautiful though, just inedible.

So if a client is complaining that your BC is too sweet, LISTEN to them! Some might like the pure sugar taste, but there will be just as many if not more who don't. Experiment to find what works for you or offer a crusting BC and a non-crusting BC.. If I get a customer that wants a crusting BC and they like it super sugary then I oblige, but I still will crumb coat with my less sweet BC first. In my 26 years of decorating I can count on one hand the amount of people who have preferred a crusting BC to my non-crusting BC.




Thanks Cakedive for this input, it really helps alot especially for us that haven't been doing it as long as you have, like I always say, " the best mistakes to learn from are the ones of other peoples"

If you can please share your recipe to compare to the one I have. Because the one the lady taste was a butter based and 1/4 C shortening. I didn't use salted butter though. I didn't use vanilla extract I used Creme Bouquet xtract. When I make a crusting buttercream recipe that calls for more shortening (this is the one I use when not using fondant, so that I can get it real smooth) I get lots of compliments.... its only when I make my butter based buttercream... I don't think its too sweet, personally it taste better then the shortening based one. I am still looking for the "right one" Thanks Again for this info.

SANDY icon_smile.gif

KayMc Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 12:25pm
post #22 of 36

scp1127
Thanks for the recipe. How does this hold up for piping decorations? (borders, flowers, etc)

cakesdivine Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 1:17pm
post #23 of 36

Here is my recipe icon_smile.gif

1lb SALTED butter (I found that Walmart Great Value brand is the best choice. It has the right balance of fat to liquid ratio, Land O Lakes is my second choice with Borden a close 3rd. European butters tend to have too high a water content and you end up with icing soup)

1/4 cup egg whites or one large egg white or enough meringue powder to yield one cup of whipped meringue.
If using raw eggwhites include the following...25 drops of lemon juice or 1 tsp. of cream of tartar - this will stablize the meringue.
1lb of Hi-ratio shortening (this is important - do not sub with a grocery store brand or Crisco, you must get this from a cake or restaurant supply store)

1/2 to 3/4 cup of cornstarch

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs of powdered sugar

1 to 2 oz of whipped cream cheese

1 tsp pure vanilla extract.


Whip the egg whites/meringue powder into a merigue. If using the egg whites add the lemon juice or C of T after the meringue is fully whipped to a dry stiff consistancy, the mix on high to incorporate..

Immediately add the room temp butter, shortening, and 1 oz cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Mix on high speed until fluffy and increases slightly in volume. It should be near white in color.

Add 1/2 cup of the cornstarch and mix on low until incorporated then whip on high for about 10 seconds.
Next add in 1 lb of the sugar and again mix on low until incorporated and then mix on high for about 15 seconds. Add another 1/2 lb of the sugar and mix again as before.

Now taste it. If you feel it needs more sugar add the remaining quarter lb. If the right sweetness but still needs to be stiffer, add the remaining cornstarch. If the butter isn't popping in your mouth add the other ounce of cream cheese. You can always add more cornstarch or sugar to get to the right taste and texture you are looking for. This icing will NOT crust and is a bit softer than typical crusting BC's but is quite able to handle humid hot temps up to about 85 degrees. Any and all icings however will be problematic at temps higher than that and if exposed longer than half an hour to extreme heat.

If using it to pipe with and it starts to become soft from your body temp, simply place in the fridge for about a minute or two and it will be fine.

KayMc Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 2:08pm
post #24 of 36

Cakesdivine,
thank you SO MUCH for the recipe! I will give this a try.

gourmetsharon Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 2:26pm
post #25 of 36

I use unsalted butter but add a tsp of salt to my recipe and use powdered sugar.

There's a famous cupcake shop in Baltimore that everyone raved about. But I found their BC gritty and way too sweet. It's a balance of all ingredients that's key.

Some of my best customers are very willing to try samples for me in exchange for free cupcakes. I have people in the wings waiting to be my tasting experts. icon_smile.gif

sullymel13 Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 2:48pm
post #26 of 36

cakesdivine, thanks for the recipe! Does it come out a little off-white? I prefer a buttercream with actual butter in it, but don't know what to do when I need a white-white. Thanks!

cakesdivine Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 2:50pm
post #27 of 36

It is just slightly off white, the only way you can tell this is if you put something stark white next to it. I use the White-white gel color from Decopac if I need it super white. Doesn't take much of that to make it perfectly white. (about a tablespoon to a whole batch of icing). It does not change the flavor at all.

scp1127 Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 10:47pm
post #28 of 36

KayMc, it piped perfectly and I am just an amateur. My house stays in 68 degrees so the butter didn't melt. All of the details of the star tip were sharp three days later at room temp. This was just a cake I made for my family so I just edged it and put rosettes around the top with espresso beans on them. I can't post a picture because the charger died.

indydebi Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 1:28am
post #29 of 36

just a suggestion for those who add lemon to their icing.

Like coconut, I find lemon flavored icing disgusting and if I ordered a cake with vanilla icing and it tasted like lemon, I'd want a refund or I'd just never order there again. (I have a short list of retail cake places I won't buy from just for this reason.)

As a guest at events with cake made by a baker who thinks adding a little lemon makes it taste "fresh" (No it doesn't .... it makes it taste like lemon), I've also scraped the icing off to the side and not eaten it.

I only suggest that you be sure to mention you put a little lemon in your icing (at least to new customers ..... your current and repeat customers are obviously ok with it).

Just in case you get a customer like me! icon_biggrin.gificon_rolleyes.gif

SillyJacs Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 2:19am
post #30 of 36

Cakesdvine, thank you for posting your recipe. This sounds exactly like what I have been looking for in a buttercream recipe. I am a total believer that BC must have real butter in it, but haven't found one that is just right for me yet. I can't wait to try it. Thanks!!

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