Just wanted to get some opinions. Before I started doing much decorating, I used a "Butter Frosting" recipe out of my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. I really love the chocolate version. This frosting comes out very light and whipped, and stays somewhat soft. Tastes very good.
I guess when comparing that recipe to buttercream, the biggest difference is the addition of crisco.
I wondered what your thoughts are on decorating with a recipe that just uses butter, no crisco. I'm sure that for piping, it probably wouldn't crust over, but for frosting the cake itself I wondered if it would work.
You can get an all butter buttercream recipe to crust it just depends on the ratio of fat to sugar.
Shortening based buttercreams hold up to heat better than straight butter. Think about butter at room temp vs shortening at room temp.
Many people do 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening. I use sugar shacks recipe with hi-ratio shortening which is a baker's shortening that has a much better texture than crisco. It's more expensive but worth it for the ease of use and flavor. I actually use the hi-ratio shortening as my frosting and I make several fillings by adjusting traditional all butter buttercreams. It gives me the benefit of a really good easy to work with frosting and a great flavored filling.
There is a ton of information on this site concerning European buttercreams. You may like them too. They usually show up as FBC, IMBC, and SMBC.
I had just posted a similar question that may relate to the information that sillywabbitz is sharing with us.
Along the lines of a butter based icing, I have been using a cream cheese based icing with 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup crisco and 1 pound of cream cheese. The icing is really good but it is always soft and gooey and will not crust. I end up with elephant skin-like cracks on the top of my cake.
Would this recipe be along the same lines - too much butter and cream cheese and not enough shortening? Is there an adjustment that could be made in this case?
Something just clicked when you used the reference to butter at room temperature analogy.
Cream cheese frosting is pretty tough to work with and get really smooth sharp lines. There are a few decorators cream cheese frostings in the recipe section and on Earlene Moore's website. I avoid cream cheese because it requires refrigeration in most cases. I believe Earlene's recipe is shelf stable for a few days but most cream cheese frostings don't have enough sugar content to keep down the spoil rate. If you refridgerate the frosting before applying it you might have more control and then pop it straight back into the fridge when you're done and maybe you wouldn't get the elephant skin at the top.
I have just started playing with the meringue based buttercreams and they taste awesome but I need to practice a lot more on getting the recipe texture right and getting those suckers smooth
It looks like MUAKPsi and I joined CC at about the same time! I apologize for straying from MUAKPsi's first question about the butter based icing.
I believe I will have to just use the cream cheese icing for my family's enjoyment and try to use a different frosting for other outside projects. If you are a long-term baker and feel cream cheese icing is too difficult, then I know I'm in over my head.
Where would we purchase/order the high ratio shortening you suggest for our frosting?