What Do You Prefer - Buttery Buttercream Or Sweet Buttercream?

Decorating By Snowflakebunny23 Updated 30 Aug 2014 , 1:41pm by Cevamal

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 11:33am
post #1 of 29

I have always preferred to put a little more sugar in my buttercream than the recipes state.  I've always found that the majority (standard 2:1 ratio of icing sugar to unsalted butter) taste way too much of butter to me and, well I just don't like it.  Most of the people I know have similar thoughts but then I sent a cake into work with my partner and some of them said they wanted it less sweet... so, i just wondered what your thoughts are?

 

How do you like your buttercream?  Sweet or with a hint of buttery goodness?

:-D

28 replies
Laetia Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 1:00pm
post #2 of 29

AActually, I'm still looking for a buttercream I would really like! ABC is way too sweet fot my taste and IMBC is too buttery (greassy). Never tried SMBC thinking it would be the same as IMBC. A well balance sweet-to-butter buttercream is what prefer, I just did'nt find it yet!

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 1:13pm
post #3 of 29

Ai want both i want a balanced, creamy compliment to the cake -- do you mean just vanilla frosting?

my ratio for american bc is 1 cup fat to 2# powdered sugar so in cups that's 1:7 --

can you get buttermilk there? makes a nice bc.

did you mean american buttercream?

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 1:36pm
post #4 of 29

but i think the sugar should be tempered esp for weddings -- 

radtech Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 3:17pm
post #5 of 29

In my opinion you can't beat IMBC or SMBC but if you don't like that much of a buttery taste consider replacing some of the butter with shortening.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 3:50pm
post #6 of 29

@-K8memphis I was thinking more generally in terms of what you/your customers preferred as a general, all purpose buttercream for filling plain (vanilla) sponge cakes.  I have never tried IMBC/SMBC although I really want to.   Over here, I think most people are just familiar with the butter/icing sugar combination which we grow up with and you find on every cake from victoria sponge to store-bought cupcakes (granted with more chemicals)!  Even swapping out a bit of butter for trex (shortening) turns heads with some of my customers so I'm not sure how they would react to SMBC other versions.

 

We can get buttermilk though...how would you make a buttercream out of that?  Add it to the butter/sugar?  I'm intrigued...

AZCouture Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 3:54pm
post #7 of 29

AI like SMBC and ganache, so that's what I offer. I have no earthly idea if people really would rather want that ABC stuff, I've never offered it, nor had anyone ask for it. So, I offer what I love, which is the silky smooth, not too sweet, hint of butter, real buttercream SMBC, or ganache when I need to do a true wonky cake, or someone really wants chocolatey goodness. :)

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 4:02pm
post #8 of 29

snowflakebunny-- so we are talking about buttercream that uses powdered sugar/fat/liquid/flavor yes?

 

so just substitute the liquid for buttermilk straight up -- adjust to get your preferred consistency -- buttermilk is tangy right so it tones the sweetness a bit -- very good stuff --

 

my customers just went with whatever kind of vanilla icing i was into at the time :-D 

no choice for you! :lol: 

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 4:21pm
post #9 of 29

-k8memphis - yes, that was what I was thinking...but I'm only familiar with powdered sugar/fat-based buttercream ;-)

 

Ok, I'm going to make SMBC this weekend.  I have kicked my other half out to his grandparents so I can devote myself to cake, peony-making and, now, BUTTERCREAM!!! :grin:  There are boatloads of recipes out there - do you have any preferences?  I have one from a Craftsy tutorial somewhere by Joshua I think...are there better ones?

xx

FrostedMoon Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 5:23pm
post #10 of 29

Funny, I've never liked butter very much, and hated when frosting tasted more like butter than anything else.  Turns out I have a dairy allergy, which may be why I never liked it much.  I would love to work with SMBC, but I can't legally sell it in my town as a residential baker, so I make an ABC.  The funny thing is I've had many people tell me they love my buttercream because it's not the "make your teeth hurt" it's so sweet type as opposed to some of the other popular bakeries in the area.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 5:28pm
post #11 of 29

i use the one i got out of margaret braun's book -- 

 

3 egg whites 

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup unsalted  butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

 

makes enough to fill and frost a 10x4" cake-- about 2.5 cups

 

to me the hardest part is getting your double boiler set up-- you want your top bowl to sit deep in the lower pot but the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl  -- i use a big stainless steel bowl and a dutch oven-- i used to use my mixer bowl but it did not fit my pot well --

 

you're supposed to use medium heat but i ramp it up and stand on a stool so my arm doesn't fall off from reaching up and stirring -- it takes me just a few minutes but might take you longer at first -- so get your water boiling -- then combine your egg whites and sugar with a whisk then place it on the pot of boiling water and beat constantly till the sugar melts--otherwise your eggs will cook --some people use thermometers to get to 165 degrees -- believe me this will never happen unless your bowl of eggs fits down into the boiling water pot so no steam escapes around the join -- you can stir all d day ;) and stir even when you're checking your instant read thermometer -- you need to juggle a bit there -- but i just pinch the mixture and when it's not grainy i'm there --

 

have a towel ready to set it on and get it off the boiling pot and pour it into your mixer bowl and beat into a soft peak stage nice white fluffly meringue--from slow speed gradually up to high so that you're sure to gather all the egg bits up well, nobody lagging behind --takes about 5 minutes give or take -- make sure it's not too hot for the butter -- butter should be room temp-- add it several tablespoons at a time -- get the vanilla in there -- just keep mixing even if it looks broken and curdled -- have no fear it will come together--

 

if you want a whiter icing add the vanilla to the butter before you add it to the egg whites and also mix it for a long time after it comes together --

 

there are good great tutorials out there too -- this amount of vanilla to butter has always worked-- some recipes need more vanilla because all you can taste is butter --

 

and this recipe multiplied by 5 is the max that will fit in a 6 qt mixer fwiw -- 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 28 Aug 2014 , 9:19pm
post #12 of 29

What "-K8memphis" said. Personally, I find "The Recipe That's Been On The Back Of The C&H Powdered Sugar Box Since Before Most Of Us Were Born," made with all real butter (plain, ordinary, salted store-brand sweet butter, the same kind you put on your toast in the morning, not some exotic gourmet stuff), to be nicely balanced.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:08am
post #13 of 29

james, what's the ratio of fat to powdered sugar in that recipe? 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:23am
post #14 of 29

The back of the one-pound box is reproduced online, right here, at sufficient size and resolution that you can read it for yourself.

 

But it calls for the entire 1-lb box of powdered sugar, a 1/4 lb stick of salted butter, 1/4 cup of milk, and 1 tsp vanilla.

 

And I hand-blend with an ordinary dinner fork because I LIKE my BC dense and candy-like.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:32am
post #15 of 29

 it's exactly the same as mine which i got from colette peters recipe--

 

*:-)/\:-) high five 

MBalaska Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:44am
post #16 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

How do you like your buttercream?  Sweet or with a hint of buttery goodness?

:-D

 

Sweet with a hit of buttery goodness is a good description.  Snowflakebunny23, as long as you're going to try Swiss Meringue Buttercream here's what I do.

 

8 oz. Egg Whites

14 oz. Sugar granulated  (Yes- 2 whole cups)

 

3 sticks of Unsalted butter   (only 12 oz.)

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon of Double Vanilla extract.

 

My friends say that it tastes much like sweetened Whipping cream, while having the smooth silky texture of a creamy buttercream icing. 

 

Whatever recipe that you use Snowflakebunny23, best of luck to you,  just go for it!!! :razz:

Cheers,

mb

FrostedMoon Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:53am
post #17 of 29

Hmm, I don't like whipped cream either.  I just found a recipe for vegan SMBC that I was looking forward to trying.  Wonder if I still won't like it...

freesia777 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 2:36am
post #18 of 29

AI personally love thick, dense, American buttercream, like James. I think it's because it's what my mom always made when I was growing up-- she used almond extract instead of vanilla because it is clear. To this day the smell of almond extract transports me back to childhood.

I tried making a meringue based buttercream once recently- I don't remember if it was Swiss or Italian though. I found it to taste too much like a stick of butter.

Here's is what I think is a nice happy medium. It's a cooked flour frosting. It's a little too soft for intricate piping, but it is extremely creamy. Not too buttery and not too sweet. Very yummy.

[URL=http://leelabeanbakes.com/blog/frosting-filling/even-better-cooked-flour-frosting/]http://leelabeanbakes.com/blog/frosting-filling/even-better-cooked-flour-frosting/[/URL]

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:11am
post #19 of 29

A

Original message sent by freesia777

I personally love thick, dense, American buttercream, like James.

You mean, there's more than one of us? Do you hand-mix yours, too?

kakeladi Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:26am
post #20 of 29

It isn't so much what we want but what your customers want.  

I preferred to work in ABC.  Over the yrs I had my bakeries I used several different recipes - but almost always using 2 cups fat (usually 1/2 butter, 1/2 Crisco) to a 2# bag of powdered sugar.  An excellent recipe I posted on here is "2 of everything". 

As for what I want to eat - bring on the ABC!  I'd like more icing than cake so hand over the end pieces please (or the bowl!) :)

AZCouture Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 3:28am
post #21 of 29

AHowever, give me a schmear of that C&H kind on a big fat sugar cookie anyday, cause I can't do those fancy schmancy cookies with royal icing. Meaning, I can't get excited about eating one unless it's got a thick layer of buttercream. :D

freesia777 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 11:10am
post #22 of 29

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

You mean, there's more than one of us? Do you hand-mix yours, too?

I make mine with an electric hand mixer, but beat for considerably less time (maybe 2 minutes total) than what now seems to be the norm (5-10 minutes or more). It's amazing how the consistency and sweetness changes with more beating. When I make cake for friends, I typically beat for longer time because of the "sweet-factor," but when it's just for me, I make it the way my mom always did. Her recipe, incidentally, was Crisco, powdered sugar, almond extract, and an egg white. Yep, raw egg white. I suspect this recipe (at least 40 years old) was before the days of meringue powder!

Original message sent by AZCouture

However, give me a schmear of that C&H kind on a big fat sugar cookie anyday

Oh my gosh, that sounds sooooooo good!

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 12:43pm
post #23 of 29

Hmmm, thanks for the advice everyone - I'll be watching a few videos as well beforehand to get the whole cooking/heating the egg whites done without making scrambled eggs.  I'm excited about this experimentation now :-)

 

Sadly the other half is staying home this weekend now so he will just have to put up with me walking about like a frosted marshmallow (last time i made butter cream, I forgot to put the lid on the kitchenaid before turning it on...apparently the effect was that of a walking frosted marshmallow).

 

Will let you know how it goes!! xx

AZCouture Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 2:29pm
post #24 of 29

AI was brought up on sugar cookies with powdered sugar and butter icing, it's hard for me to get excited about the fancy decorated ones nowadays. They're pretty and I knoooooow they taste great, but I want a big spread of buttercream on mine.

MBalaska Posted 29 Aug 2014 , 6:39pm
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I was brought up on sugar cookies with powdered sugar and butter icing, it's hard for me to get excited about the fancy decorated ones nowadays. They're pretty and I knoooooow they taste great, but I want a big spread of buttercream on mine.

 

You must have grown up in a mansion!  ours was that super-duper vanilla  icing you like, spread between two graham crackers......and I don't think that I tasted real butter until adulthood.

 

 

 

Snowflakebunny23 Here's the two most helpful links, that were helpful to me.

 

read this superb tutorial:

 

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

 

Watch this video:

 

http://www.woodlandbakeryblog.com/drum-roll-buttercream-is-here-tada/

megpi Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 5:20am
post #26 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

I have always preferred to put a little more sugar in my buttercream than the recipes state.  I've always found that the majority (standard 2:1 ratio of icing sugar to unsalted butter) taste way too much of butter to me and, well I just don't like it.  Most of the people I know have similar thoughts but then I sent a cake into work with my partner and some of them said they wanted it less sweet... so, i just wondered what your thoughts are?

 

How do you like your buttercream?  Sweet or with a hint of buttery goodness?

:-D

 

I think salt is the key to making an american buttercream less sweet. I add about 1/4 oz of salt for every 1 1/2 lbs. of powdered sugar I use. I do like my stuff on the salt side, so it may be more than you like, but adding salt makes a world of difference in not just reducing the sweetness, but also bringing out more flavors.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 7:48am
post #27 of 29

ASugar cookies with butter cream were something I didn't even know existed till I moved to the usa, but I made up for lost time... :)

I really don't like abc on cake, my preference is imbc with loads of vanilla bean. It's not cloyingly sweet, or too buttery, takes flavours amazingly, easy to use and doesn't overpower the cake.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 12:31pm
post #28 of 29

Thanks for the tips on SMBC creation everyone!  I went with the Joshua (from Craftsy) recipe as a starting point seeing as I could watch while I was mixing for the first time and it seemed to be sortof 'in the middle' ratio wise between the various suggestions.

 

Verdict?  ...LOVE the texture, it was nowhere near as buttery as I expected but maybe still a smidgen more than I'd like so will add more sugar next time.  For some reason, it tasted a bit artificial to me - totally nuts I know, seeing as everything that went into it was about as natural as can be.  I thought it had the flavour of vanilla ice cream...just not frozen!  Lol.  Guess it's what you're used to but certainly not a dislike :-)  And, my other half loved the stuff...I put some on a vanilla cupcake and he was licking it :lol:  In his words, 'I never want to eat that other stuff again'.  I'll be popping it on some cake later and taking it around my network of critics for their thoughts.

 

xxx

Cevamal Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 1:41pm
post #29 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

Sugar cookies with butter cream were something I didn't even know existed till I moved to the usa, but I made up for lost time... icon_smile.gif

I really don't like abc on cake, my preference is imbc with loads of vanilla bean. It's not cloyingly sweet, or too buttery, takes flavours amazingly, easy to use and doesn't overpower the cake.

Do you use actual vanilla beans or a paste/etc.? Amounts/directions? Please??

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