Buttercream Vs Imbc/smbc

Baking By mbyrne Updated 9 Oct 2011 , 11:32pm by scp1127

mbyrne Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 2:16pm
post #1 of 15

PLEAE HELP! I am having a huge issue finding the right frosting to use for my cakes. For the last few months I have been using a crisco/sweetex based buttercream frosting for my cakes. It tastes ok, but it is still nothing like the awesome frosting from my local bakery or Costco. I still need help perfecting this. I tried to add 1/3 butter and cut some of the sweetex to see the difference and I could taste the butter (not a fan!)

I also tried to make a SMBC last night from a post I found here. IT WAS AWFUL! It tasted like straight butter! The consistancy was really nice and smooth, but it could never serve it. I tried to resurrect it with powdered sugar and even a whole pound later it was bad.

Maybe I am not searching the correct thing. Not only do I want to perfect my buttercream (nice and sweet with a good flavor), I would love to find a frosting that is like a whipped cream consistency that does not taste like butter. I have a cake for 30 adults tomorrow and I know adults tend to like things a little less sweet.

PLEASE HELP ME! I appreciate it!

14 replies
KimLynnC Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 3:10pm
post #2 of 15

I'm a fan of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I never liked the crisco powdered sugar buttercream I used to make, it tasted too fake if that makes sense. You did say you do not like the taste of SMBC, did you try just a bite or have you tasted it on a piece of cake? You may like it better if you taste it on the cake. My family and friends have been raving about how good my cakes are now that I am using the SMBC.

inspiredbymom Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 3:42pm
post #3 of 15

I make the sweetex butter cream and have had great luck with it. I cut down the butter flavor though. I actually put in 1 T. and 6 vanilla so it cuts down on the butter "flavor". I also use a bit of popcorn salt with it to cut down the sweetness.

I have tried the smbc and although some people liked how airy it was, it was definitely buttery! It was a ton of work and a bit more expensive to make for me as well. I will do it upon request only.

As far as the stores go, most of them around here use a better cream type product as well as stabilized whip cream products. Some places will even sell you a bucket if you ask them. I have not done this myself but my SIL has. Then she froze what she didn't use for another cake.

Good luck with whatever you try. That is part of the fun!

mbyrne Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 4:58pm
post #4 of 15

Thanks for the tips! I am going to try and use a bettercream. I don't think SMBC is for me.

SweetPea_HeatherG Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 5:02pm
post #5 of 15

I'm with you Melissa! I cannot seam to make the same ingredients to create the awesome frosting like Costco. You can always taste the butter, too much. I even went as far as asking for their recipe! lol No chance! haha If you happen to find out anything, outside of this forum, please let me know! =)

inspiredbymom Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 5:51pm
post #6 of 15

Hope this link that gives some info on the bettercreme:


scp1127 Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 8:08am
post #7 of 15

The European buttercreams are meant to be flavored. Also, salt and salted butter will bring out the butter taste. Off brand butter can be stronger than premium. Mine definitely doesn't taste like butter, nor do the flavors from another local bakery that uses the Europeans.

If it tasted like a mouthful of butter, it wouldn't be the buttercream of choice of every master pastry chef. And I'll eat butter any day over shortening.

AnnieCahill Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 11:49am
post #8 of 15


Did you use salted butter? What Susan said is correct. You need to use unsalted butter of the highest quality (I generally use Land O Lakes).

Also, flavoring is VERY important. I use upwards of two TABLESPOONS of vanilla in my IMBC, and it tastes just like vanilla ice cream. I use Warren Brown's recipe which can be found on YouTube (he gives you the basic recipe but not the flavoring amounts).

Give it a try again and make sure you use the unsalted with a lot of good vanilla. It really is a good icing.


kakeladi Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 1:31pm
post #9 of 15

.......I also tried to make a SMBC last night ..... IT WAS AWFUL! It tasted like straight butter!.............

Oh I soooooo agree w/you on this. I have never liked either IMBC or SMBC for that reason. One might as well just eat a stick of butter straight.

Have you tried the recipe I have posted titled "Two of everything" ?

Here it is:

2 cups of butter
2 cups of shortening (whatever kind you want - I usually use Crisco)
2 pounds of powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of flavoring - see note below
2 pinches of salt (I usually forget this)

Cream together shortening and butter well; add 1/3 or so of the sugar and blend well; add next 1/3 sugar and flavoring, blend well; add remaining sugar and mix on low speed for up to 10 minutes. The longer the bettericon_smile.gif
This is a NON-crusting recipe. If you want a crusting icing reduce the amount of shortening OR butter by 1 cup.
It does NOT use/need any liquid. It is very flavorful, smooth and easy to pipe as is.

NOTE: Yes, that is Tablespooons. Most people don't use enough flavoring in their recipes. Here's what I use: a combination of 1 part vanilla; 1/2 part of butter flavoring; & 1/4 part of almond. A "part" can be *any measure* you want from teaspoon through a gallon! Just be sure to keep the 1; 1/2 and 1/4 ratio listed. Flavoring is *very personal* - what I like you may hate; just like our dislike of the SMBC icon_smile.gif Some countries eat dog or monkey or snake whereas most of us would find it aweful. Find whatever combination *you* and your customers like. I had a student/friend who did not like almond and after experimenting settled on using lemon for that part.

scp1127 Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 10:02pm
post #10 of 15

All I have to say is something is wrong, because butter is not what I taste in European buttercreams. I must have made 100 flavors ot the fabulous four. Not one person ever has said they taste butter. And people have not liked a particular flavor, but that butter issue has never ever come up.

You do need to flavor it as Annie said. Skimping on flavoring may be your issue. Another issue could be that your recipe is off. I can see how a recipe can call for too much butter. Just like anything else, recipes can be bad.

tigachu Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 11:04pm
post #11 of 15

I only use IMBC/SMBC because you cannot beat the taste and texture of it. I have tried other butter creams but I always came back to the European butter creams. I agree that when flavored correctly with quality extracts, your buttercream will taste great and transform to the overall taste of any cake you bake. My vanilla bean and chocolate butter creams taste like ice cream.

Give it another try. It is soooo worth it icon_smile.gif

CalhounsCakery Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 11:19pm
post #12 of 15

People love the IMBC I have made in the past. I've tried a toffee flavour, cookies n'n cream and a vanilla. I didn't care for the vanilla flavour because of the butter taste, but after reading this, I will have to try again with different higher end butters. My personal fav is English Buttercream. It's exactly like AMC, but uses butter instead of shortning. Super yummy! But I have an amazing sweet tooth, so this is right up my ally!

scp1127 Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 11:29pm
post #13 of 15

Calhoun, your recipe is ABC... buttercream! With butter!. The shortening based recipes are not buttercreams. When the trend to use shortening started in the US about 50 years ago, they didn't change the name, just like many products that leave out key ingredients because of economics. The shortening bases are frostings or icings, but they are in no way a buttercream.

mbyrne Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 11:19pm
post #14 of 15

Here are the ingredients:
12oz butter
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2T vanilla

Maybe I did not flavor it as much as I should. I just need a basic non-super sweet frosting for my cakes. Thank you all for your input! I really appreciate it!

scp1127 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 11:32pm
post #15 of 15

Warren Brown has a recipe and tutorial for IMBC on his site, Cake Love. I use his recipe.

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