Flavoring cake and buttercream with extract? Is that the best way? please help

Baking By Anna1211 Updated 16 Sep 2013 , 2:00am by mfeagan

Anna1211 Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:01am
post #1 of 16

Hi guys,

  Do you think the best way to flavor a cupcake or buttercream is by using extract? Let me know your thoughts and what you guys typically do. What are my options besides using extract? Thanks for your time in advance!



15 replies
scrumdiddlycakes Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:08am
post #2 of 16

It depends what you are flavour I want, if I am using a fruit or berry, I will use a puree or cook them down to make a concentrate.

The only extracts I think I even own are almond, peppermint and the princess emulsion.

I use IMBC, it is much easier to add to than American buttercream, it can handle quite a bit of extra liquid or puree.

Is there a certain flavour you are trying to achieve?

Anna1211 Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:15am
post #3 of 16


Thanks for your fast reply! So happy! I am new at baking. Can you give me some tips on how you would add the fruit puree into the frosting or cake batter? I am trying to achieve rasberry or strawberry flavor cake and buttercream. By the way, what is imbc? The butter cream that i make at home is bascially just unsalted butter and powder sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. It usually cant take in too much liquid. Do you have a buttercream recipe that can take in more liquid and can pipe well?

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:59am
post #5 of 16

Yes, it's a meringue buttercream. This is a good, easy to follow, recipe, and he explains things very well. http://www.joepastry.com/2008/italian_meringue_buttercream_imbc/


For raspberries and strawberries, I cook them down with a touch of sugar and a small amount of water, until the berries have broken down and are mostly a liquid. For strawberries I then give them a quick blitz, and push it through a fine sieve, for raspberries I skip the blitzing and just sieve it.

Let it cool, then add it, about a tablespoon at a time to the buttercream until you get the flavour you want.


I rarely flavour my actual cakes with fruit/berries, I prefer to rely on fillings and frosting for that.

aprilfromLa Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 3:16pm
post #7 of 16

AI can't give expert advice because I just bake at home for family and there are way better ways of doing things lol but last week I used strawberry purée and a little juice from thawed strawberries that had sugar in it and added that to the Wasc recipe I got from here in place of the water it called for but instead of sour cream I used strawberry flavored yogurt. I also added a little neon pick color to the batter so it would look really pink. It was really strawberry and really good lol hopefully one day I can replicate it because I'm horrible about writing down recipes. I just added strawberry extract and maybe a tsp of the strawberry purée to the buttercream I made. It was super sweet so I need to work on that part.

Anna1211 Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 7:10pm
post #8 of 16


Thank you for your awesome reply! I really appreciate it and definitely looking forward to experiment with this. Does SMBC take in more liquid then regular butter cream? Regular butter cream that i make at home with butter and powder sugar, i barely even have to put in any milk. Also, I was wondering if you can explain the blitz process. I'm not too familiar with that term. Also, instead of butter and I use high ratio shortening for SMBC? I plan to use HR shortening due to temperature control part. Thanks in advance!

darkchocolate Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 10:45pm
post #9 of 16


I've been experimenting with a strawberry cake and frosting recently.  I also had a very sweet frosting the first time, so the second time I made it, I started with a cream cheese base and that helped cut the sweetness.  I also always add a dash of popcorn salt to help cut the sweetness.


I didn't want to add anything artificial (strawberry extract), so my frosting was too runny with the pureed strawberries.  I really wanted a strawberry tasting frosting.  I ended up using more powdered sugar which just made it all that much sweeter and not a lot thicker.  So I ended up using about 1 tsp. maybe a little bit more of strawberry gelatin to help firm it up (hoping anyway that it would and it did).


Next time I will reduce (cook on the stove) my strawberry puree to half and see if that helps. I found the recipe below on All Recipes.  I love reading their reviews for helpful tips.



Anna1211 Posted 15 Sep 2013 , 5:06am
post #10 of 16


Thanks so much! Im gonna try this recipe tomorrow! Super excited! Also, did you use a strawberry flavor gelatin on top of the strawberry puree?

Anna1211 Posted 15 Sep 2013 , 5:08am
post #11 of 16


 Do you also have a good strawberry cupcake recipe to share? Did you also use strawberry puree to flavor your cake? Thanks for your time!

Anna1211 Posted 15 Sep 2013 , 8:35pm
post #14 of 16

Hi Scrum,

Thank you for your previous post! I was wondering when you make fruit purees, do you usually sift it after you boil it? If you dont or do, does it go for both cake batch and your frostings? Thank you again in advance! You been super helpful since i join this site, i am very grateful to have your advice!

mfeagan Posted 16 Sep 2013 , 2:00am
post #16 of 16

I use LorAnn oils a lot when I am looking for a certain flavor. I really have never used any of their strawberry or raspberry flavorings. I would rather do as other posters have said and make my own real fruit puree. I have made blueberry, strawberry, raspberry. I use them in place of any liquid in my buttercream! I add quite a bit right to the butter to cream it together. That way I can slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time for the right consistency, and to make sure the buttercream doesn't taste like sugar. 


I squeeze my own lemons for lemon buttercream. The same with orange and lime. 


You can melt down chocolate chips and add them to the buttercream for awesome chocolate frosting! 


Make salted caramel and add that into the buttercream. 


If you are a newbie at baking, you may want to nail down regular American buttercream before you try any of the meringue based buttercream. While they are AMAZING and life changing when you eat them, they are a little trickier if you are not familiar with cooking sugar or egg whites and making a meringue. 

Don't be stingy with the butter! That's what buttercream is! 3-4 sticks in every batch - MINIMUM! otherwise it will just taste like powdered sugar. 


I actually use a NYC bakery's recipe. 


1 pound butter

6-8 cups powdered sugar

1-2 Tablespoons milk (if needed for consistency)

1 Tablespoon vanilla

(or other flavoring)


Be sure you taste as you go...if you are adding flavoring oils, add a drop at a time. They are very strong! If you are adding fresh juice, you may need to use less butter or a little more powdered sugar. 


You'll get the hang of it! 

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