Stupid Buttercream Question

Baking By CakesbyMichele Updated 15 Apr 2013 , 1:15pm by CakesbyMichele

CakesbyMichele Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 3:32am
post #1 of 6

So it finally happened.  My store brand got rid of the trans fats!  My husband felt my frosting was heavier than normal using the non transfat shortening.  I felt it had a bit more of an aftertaste too.  I was reading about the imitation flavorings may cause this so I want to eliminate the imitation butter and use real vanilla.  But how to get the butter taste?  My recipe is 2 cups shortening, 32 oz of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. meringue, 2-3 tbsp cornstarch, a little salt, 1/2 c water, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. butter extract. 


Now for the stupid question.  Since I want to keep the frosting as stable as possible in the heat, I don't want to use a lot of butter.  Could I just eliminate the butter extract and add a tbsp of real butter?   Or am I better off splitting the shortening and butter?  Does this hold up in the heat?  Would I still want to use meringue and cornstarch?  I hate having to revamp my recipe!  I got so many compliments on it for years.  Those darn bad for you trans fats!  As always, greatly appreciate the feedback and advise!

5 replies
Annabakescakes Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 3:41am
post #2 of 6

First, try to add some more fat. Cream, and butter will definitely help, and will not make it have to be refrigerated, due to the high amount of sugar, which is a preservative. Try not to mix it too much, which makes it grainy, and separated looking. I use real vanilla, but you don't have to, if you prefer the taste of artificial, that is not what is causing your problem. I did read that some people have had luck with the cornstarch, as well, to help hold it together, as it was just separating and sliding off the cake! Yuck!


It is hard to give specifics without your recipe, so please share it if you don't mind, and get a chance to.  (some ides are maybe replace your liquid with cream, and half your shortening with butter. Take a teaspoon of sugar out of every pound, and replace it with cornstarch...)


Good luck! Please post your experiments and results for others to learn from, as well ;-)

kazita Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 4:17am
post #3 of 6

AEasy fix buy high ratio shortening and use that. And my recipe I also use 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream instead of water.

CakesbyMichele Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 12:18pm
post #4 of 6

I did post my recipe in my question. 

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 12:43pm
post #5 of 6

AHow in the heck did I miss that? What a dunce, I am! I am so sorry!

Yes, hi-ratio will work, and work well, but, if you don't have an account at a restaurant store, or buy it in small amounts, it is very expensive.

Definitely use cream, and half butter. The trans fat free shortening's enemy is over-mixing, so keep that in mind. If it starts to get separated, it will only get worse the longer you mix.

CakesbyMichele Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 1:15pm
post #6 of 6

No problem.  I probably should have separated out the recipe from the text for easier reading but that's what happens when I'm typing late at night!  THanks for the help.  I'm not sure if I want to spend the $$ on the hi ratio so I may try the 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening.  Does this hold up in heat and humidity though? 

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