Newbie Needs Buttercream Advice.

Baking By nanceann Updated 12 Sep 2010 , 12:43am by deMuralist

nanceann Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 6:35pm
post #1 of 15

So, I'm new to all of this decorating. What is the best recipe for buttercream for a newbie decorator? I have a few Wilton tips and bags, and just want to be able to do an Elmo cake for my nephew's birthday in a few weeks. I don't think I want to do wedding cakes or anything, I just want to have fun! Any advice is appreciated!

14 replies
DeezTreatz Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 6:40pm
post #2 of 15


I use this buttercream all the time!

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar (Add one cup at a time - and mix)
2 Tbsp Water or Milk (I use water)

For chocolate buttercream add 3/4 cups cocoa

Add more water (1 tbsp at a time if you find it to be too stiff)
It should be a medium consistency to ice the cake!

Uniqueask Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 6:44pm
post #3 of 15

You can also look in the recipe section for Indydebi's buttercream, or Sharon Zambito's buttercream recipies, lots of us use them, for Sharon's you need Hi-ratio shortening, you can make Debi's with Crisco.

ellentwn Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 6:50pm
post #4 of 15

semi-newbie here also, and i started out with Indydeb's and it works great!

nanceann Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 7:33pm
post #5 of 15

OK, another newbie question, what is high ratio? I have plenty of Crisco, brand new unopened container.

Pickulz Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 8:03pm
post #6 of 15

I always used Indydebi's it...and its easy to work with...though im finding it a tad sweet now im thinking of trying Sharon's BC i have the same question...what is high ratio shortening?

tonedna Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 8:33pm
post #7 of 15

High ratio Shortening is a vegetable shortening but high quality. It has all the transfats needed to make a great icing. The transfats have been taken out of the crisco and other brands, leaving the icing a bit drier or gritty. It can be fix by adding creamer or high fat milk, but the high ratio will give you a much better quality than a brand that has no transfats.

As for the Wilton recipe..It aint bad, it's a matter of knowing how to make it.

In my website there is a tutorial on how to make buttercream. Indy and Sharons buttercream are really good too. All of them are based in the same crusting style of buttercream
Edna icon_smile.gif

Apti Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 8:37pm
post #8 of 15

Hi ratio shortening is somewhat controversial at the moment. This is a specialty cake or bakery supply purchase; you can't get it at the grocery store. It contains trans-fats and apparently imparts a smoothness and much improved "mouth feel" to the icing. I'm in California and have never used it because it has been made illegal. If you wish to try it you can purchase online or at a local specialty cake supply store.

You are probably best off using IndyDebi's Crisco based buttercream. A zillion people on Cake Central have used it and give it a big thumbs up. I've used it and it is great.

durell87 Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 9:38pm
post #9 of 15

I prefer a butter and shortning recipe I think it tastes much better than an all crisco one. However if I need to make something that has to stay out in the heat a crisco one will hold up better. My go to recipe for taste is super similar to the one above.
1\\2 cup crisco
1\\2 cup unsalted butter
1lb powdered sugar
2tsp vanilla
1tsp butter flavor
1\\4 cup heavy whipping cream or liquid coffee cream (any flavor)
1\\2 Tbs meringue powdwe (this is optional but I think it improves the taste and helps to crust)
If too sweet add a dash of salt

Cream together crisco and room temp butter until fluffy add powdered sugar and some of the cream. Blend well then add the extracts, merangue powder, salt and the rest of the creamer if to stiff.

This is a great tasting icing and very smooth. I found the more u whip it the less sweet it becomes as well! U can sub any flavors in there like almond extract or coconut or put in some hersheys yrup for the liquid yum![/center]

deMuralist Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 9:56pm
post #10 of 15

For a beginner, indydebi's is great. the all shortening recipe allows it to be a really nice consistency at room temperature and the humidity has less effect. The cake will not need to be chilled with this BC

A few additions to the instructions...

beat the crisco until it looks like sour cream (about 15 minutes),

while you are doing this add the dream whip to your liquid (about half of what the recipe calls for warmed to about body temp.-I use 1/2 and 1/2),

after everything has been added, blend another 15 minutes or so.

Use it the next day. Just give it one or two swirls with a spatula and voila, beautiful creamy icing.

IrishTorte Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 10:25pm
post #11 of 15

I'm with you Pick... I've been on this forum for a while and was looking for a new bc recipe that wasn't as thick and sweet as the typical. Indydebi's is the best recipe I've tried, and I've tried my share. It's so light and fluffy yet maintains the yummy regular bc taste. It's kind of a good mix between a light whip cream recipe and bc. LOVE IT

nanceann Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 11:35pm
post #12 of 15

Thanks, I tried Indydebi's Crisco BC recipe. It is very nice and creamy. Although I do have an issue with buttercream not made with butter. Do any of you feel that for decorating and sculpting you like one type of frosting, but for cakes you aren't necessarily decorating, you might use something else? Again, just asking and learning!

Apti Posted 6 Sep 2010 , 1:49am
post #13 of 15


while you are doing this add the dream whip to your liquid (about half of what the recipe calls for warmed to about body temp.-I use 1/2 and 1/2),

Could you please explain the above? I'm not sure if you use half the liquid called for in her recipe, or just add the dream whip to half the liquid that is tepid, then mix that with the rest of the liquid.


DeezTreatz Posted 6 Sep 2010 , 11:51pm
post #14 of 15

For Indydebi's buttercream - Can I use water instead of milk?

deMuralist Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 12:43am
post #15 of 15

gosh, sorry I thought I responded, must not have hit the button...

Yes you can use just about any liquid you want, I think you would be better off with one that had some flavor to it though.

I add the dream whip to half the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, and I usually use 1/2 & 1/2. then after I have added that and mixed I decide if I need any more liquid depending on what consistency I need for whatever I am doing. Also I don't measure the Crisco, so some times I use more than the amount of liquid called for and sometimes less.

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