Icing By Sugarshack (Sharon Zambito)

Decorating By Neophyte Updated 11 Mar 2013 , 6:23pm by kikiandkyle

Neophyte Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 2:11am
post #1 of 11

Today, I purchased high ratio shortening for the purpose of trying Sharon Z's buttercream recipe.  I have a few questions before I start:


1.  The Cremora mix - I read that it's 1 cup of Cremora to 1 cup of very hot water.  Is this correct?   


2.  I live in the DC metro area.  Has anybody from my area used the recipe?  If so, how many tablespoons of the Cremora mix do you use (summer vs winter for factoring in humidity)?


3.  Does Sharon use this base recipe to make chocolate buttercream, too?  If so, what does she add?  When I make chocolate buttercream, I use both cocoa and melted chocolate to achieve the rich taste I desire.  While it's flavorful, it has a tendency to "harden up" during the frosting process, making it more challenging to smooth than vanilla buttercream.  I'm wondering if a chocolate version of the SugarShack recipe would make for a more user friendly frosting; greater ease of spreading.


4.  I've read on numerous blogs Sharon's buttercream can be stored at room temperature for up 2 weeks or popped into freezer for a longer period if necessary.  Anybody with firsthand knowledge of this?  


Would love to hear from anybody with helpful tips or challenges they've overcome with this particular recipe.  I'm determined to gain more confidence in my buttercream.  While it usually works well enough,  I made a cake the other day which took CRUSTING to a whole new level.  IndyDebi's recipe has always been tasty but some days are better than others in terms of texture.  This time fairly creamy, next time too crusty.  Hoping that's where the high ratio shortening comes into play, though I was only able to purchase CK brand this time, not the much preferred Sweetex.  Wish me luck!  And thanks in advance for your help.

10 replies
Spooky_789 Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 3:33am
post #2 of 11

For the creamer mix, yes, you can mix a cup of each, but if you are making up the 5# batch, you only use 12 tablespoons of it.  You'll have some left over.


I'm not in DC, so can't help you with that.  I'm in Colorado and I typically use 12 tablespoons.


Not sure what she does for chocolate. 


Yes, it can be left out that long, although I typically don't.  I'll leave it on the counter for a few days, put in the fridge for up to two weeks, but then freeze it in freezer ziploc bags.

Neophyte Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 3:44am
post #3 of 11

Spooky, are you able to get the Sweetex shortening, or have you used other brands?  I was able to find a cake supply store carrying the CK brand at a good price, so that's the one I'll practice with to start.

Spooky_789 Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 5:25pm
post #4 of 11

No, the brand I get is HyCakes.  I'm able to get it through my husband's restaurant distributor.  I've never used Sweetex.

Neophyte Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 5:29pm
post #5 of 11

Thanks, Spooky!  I hope I have some success with this.  It was cheaper to purchase the CK brand locally than order Sweetex online.  Unless/until I'm convinced, I figure I'll go this route.

Neophyte Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 4:48pm
post #6 of 11

NOT AT ALL HAPPY!  icon_mad.gif  I tried SugarShack's buttercream without the desired results.  I'm wondering if Sharon's recipe is for a 5 qt KA but whipped up in a 6 qt bowl.  My KA is a 5 qt Artisan.  Using the 5qt recipe (5 cups shortening to 5 lbs powder sugar), I found my bowl filled too full, no matter how I attempted to scrape it down, right up into the mechanism where the beaters are inserted.  No buttercream is worth wrecking a pricey KA, nor is it particularly sanitary if I can't reach all the openings to properly clean out the buttercream after I'm finished.  There's also this dangerous instruction to consider,"Do NOT stop the KA while scarping down".  That's not practical or doable on my model; a recipe for a 911 call.  Call me crazy, but no buttercream is worth wrecking fingers or face.


No matter the details, all of the special care and instructions yielded a product that doesn't look much different than what I produce with IndyDeb's recipe.  At one point, I thought I saw the  "air bubble free", shortening-smooth substance  but after it was completed it was not quite that.  I used high-ratio CK brand shortening.  Unlike Sharon, I don't think I'll be waiting to wait "years" to perfect a frosting, working each time with such persnickety directions.  I'll attempt this recipe one more time, but I'll try cutting back to 4 cups shortening and 4 pounds powder sugar.  I think these measurements will cover the beater, but not work the frosting up into the mechanism of my KA.  Did I mention my poor appliance was as hot as a woman going through menopause (don't ask how I know about that.  icon_biggrin.gif)?   I draped a cold towel over her  after all her hard work.  Hopefully, she'll recover.  


I'd love any suggestions/tips others have encountered with their overly full KA bowls, and/or the less than perfect results.  And if you've done this multiple times and finally met with positive results, what was the detail(s) you had missed in previous efforts?  

Charmed Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 5:08pm
post #7 of 11

Maybe you could send her a PM or go to her facebook and send her a message. she is always very helpful.

Neophyte Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 5:45pm
post #8 of 11

You're probably right, Charmed.  I have to say, though, I searched the internet high and low before I attempted this, checking and rechecking recipes and video.  Each time someone has written about problems, the response is usually the same - ensure there's a 1 to 1 mix, use high-ratio shortening, and make sure the beaters are covered.  Yes to all of the above.  It's been my experience there's always a detail that makes the difference; one not always relayed in mass communications.  And often, the very person who started things rolling may be too close to the situation to notice it.  Eventually, someone will come up with that small detail and share it, making this a perfect fit for more home bakers.  

kikiandkyle Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 5:50pm
post #9 of 11

If you're interested in taking your KA apart to clean it I highly recommend the YouTube video from ereplacementparts. 

Neophyte Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 6:08pm
post #10 of 11

KikiandKyle, who knew?  I saw the diagrams of various KAs.  Where to start?  I then Googled for videos and found a couple.  Don't you love the internet?

kikiandkyle Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 6:23pm
post #11 of 11

I actually fixed mine using that video, the parts diagrams online and good old Amazon! 

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