Need An Alternative To My Usual Buttercream

Decorating By Mybearsbaby Updated 11 Mar 2015 , 12:04pm by ropalma

Mybearsbaby Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 5:05pm
post #1 of 12

So, I was approached by a client after making a baby shower cake and cupcakes and told that her fiancé didn't care for my icing (crusting buttercream using butter and shortening, vanilla, powdered sugar, milk.) because it 1) lacked flavor (first time I have ever got this complaint) and 2) was hard. (It is a crusting buttercream...so yeah, it firms up).

I am also supposed to make her wedding cake and cupcakes and bridal shower cake. She wants me to use a different icing, and wants to sample them beforehand, and now she says her grandma didn't care for the icing either.  (which btw she didn't mention until AFTER I said I would do some research and then let her and her fiancé sample before the wedding for her cupcakes. Then supposedly a grandma piped up and said she didn't like the icing either and wants a taste testing before the shower too.)  

I am kind of at a loss because I usually get rave reviews on my icing, and if anyone has ever had a critique, it is that it is "a little too sweet", so the comment that it has no flavor kind of threw me. 

Anyways, they Said they like "whipped icing". I don't really do whipped icing (personal preference because my buttercream usually hold up to whatever I need done) and I told her that whipped will probably not hold up for the design of her wedding cake ( she chose a design that really needs a crusting buttercream in my opinion. I could be wrong though.) she is also getting wedding cupcakes, so I told her I may could do a different icing on those. She said that would be fine, but she does want something different for the cuocakes so her fiancé will be happy. Their wedding is in June. Outside. Since they want to do some taste tests, I am using this as an opportunity to experiment with different icings. I just haven't really had the need to branch out icing wise until now, because most everyone has liked my buttercream and flavored buttercream. When something isn't broke, why fix it, right? Lol ;) 

Is there a non buttercream icing recipe that will hold up for decorating, has "flavor", looks pretty piped on a cupcake, does well at room temp, etc? Should I try a different TYPE of buttercream? I do have a crusting cream cheese recipe but that doesn't hold up to me as well as bc, and definitely doesn't do as well in heat.  What would you do? TIA! 



11 replies
-K8memphis Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 5:20pm
post #2 of 12

brides like this make me tired -- but providing a whipped icing is not a huge request -- but when you factor in the big ball of fire in the sky that will be blazing here in the states anyhow in june her request becomes ridiculous --

so not counting the heat factor i'd recommend a swiss meringue buttercream or the one we always called french buttercream (wilton's fbc) that currently is being called cooked flour icing no eggs in it --

http://www.wilton.com/recipe/French-Buttercream-Icing-1

there are tons of smbc recipes -- i use margaret braun's from her book -- lemme know if you want it --

but all that to say butter still melts around in the 90's whether you're getting married or not -- the reception being outside is a big hairy deal with a whipped icing -- can you just envision the big swarm of gnats whirring closer and closer....to the soupy mess that used to be a cake...


don't mind me just being over dramatic ;) sort of ;)

Mybearsbaby Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 5:34pm
post #3 of 12


Quote by @-K8memphis on 1 minute ago

brides like this make me tired -- but providing a whipped icing is not a huge request -- but when you factor in the big ball of fire in the sky that will be blazing here in the states anyhow in june her request becomes ridiculous --

so not counting the heat factor i'd recommend a swiss meringue buttercream or the one we always called french buttercream (wilton's fbc) that currently is being called cooked flour icing no eggs in it --

http://www.wilton.com/recipe/French-Buttercream-Icing-1

there are tons of smbc recipes -- i use margaret braun's from her book -- lemme know if you want it --

but all that to say butter still melts around in the 90's whether you're getting married or not -- the reception being outside is a big hairy deal with a whipped icing -- can you just envision the big swarm of gnats whirring closer and closer....to the soupy mess that used to be a cake...


don't mind me just being over dramatic ;) sort of ;)


Lol!!! The visual I just had (complete with a beautiful cake table and a big heap of soggy cake and melted icing covered in gnats ) looked like something from a wedding comedy film! Cue overly dramatic bride crying big crocodile tears while screaming "NOOO...WHYYYY...!!!!!" While her wedding guests whisper and look on in horror. :D 

Thank you so much! I will try these out. And I would love your recipe if you don't mind sharing. :) 

remnant3333 Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 5:56pm
post #4 of 12

I love the icing with the flour in it. It will make great borders. It colors easily and does not run.  It tastes more like whipped icing. It spreads very easily on a cake and is not as sweet as regular buttercream. 

remnant3333 Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 6:03pm
post #5 of 12

Don't know how to add to my reply but I was going to say that I really do not know how or if flour icing will hold up in hot weather. I am sure the experts here should have an answer for you soon. Good luck and let us know how your cake turns out and what kind of icing did you finally use.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 6:53pm
post #6 of 12


BUTTER CUPS1 1/32 2/345 1/36 2/389 1/310 2/3VANILLA TABLESPOONS12345678SUGAR CUPS3/41 1/22 1/433 3/44 1/25 1/46LG EGG WHITES3691215182124




6 QT MAX

12 QT MAXYIELD CUPS2 1/257 1/21012 1/21517 1/220

6 & 10 qt max means what fits in my 6 qt or 12 qt mixers --

the most important thing is your bain mairie, your double boiler -- i use a deep large stainless steel bowl that fits down into a dutch oven -- you want a careful fit so you can get this to temp because it will never get to temp (165) if the double boiler leaks steam out the sides and is wonky -- and you do not want the bottom of the bowl to touch the boiling water --

i started using my mixer bowl but it did not have a good fit and i never could get it to temp --

get your butter softened a little in the microwave -- don't melt anything -- just so you can squish it with your hands

so separate your eggs cold one by one into a container then toss it into the big bowl (make curd or pastry cream out of the yolks) if any yolk gets in there you can get it out handily using a cracked piece of shell -- it clings to that -- add the sugar --

when the water is well boiling place the bowl of eggs on there and whisk immediately/constantly or the eggs will cook -- within 5 minutes the sugar will be melted and you can take the temp to 165 and/or use pasteurized eggs -- 

i stand on a step at the stove because my arm will fall off otherwise and i'm a little tall too--

so remove the bowl from the pot of boiling water onto a towel and pour into your mixer -- start on slow gradually increasing the speed until you get a beautiful meringue -- make sure the bowl is not too hot for the butter-- stick in fridge if you need to cool it off and add vanilla -- it can be a little warm the butter will bring the temp down -- start adding the butter and continue mixing on low -- mixture might curdle -- no worries keep going it's ok -- add all the butter -- mixer 'er up and enjoy--


-K8memphis Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 6:55pm
post #7 of 12

oh whoops  i tried to make an ingredient table and the edits vanished on me -- i'll try it in a pm



-K8memphis Posted 7 Mar 2015 , 7:07pm
post #8 of 12

one recipe that makes 2 1/2 cups of icing enough to fill & frost for a 10"

butter  1 1/3 cups

vanilla 1 tablespoon

sugar 3/4 cup

egg whites 3 large


for enough to fill a 6 qt ka

butter  6 2/3 cups

vanilla 5 tablespoons

sugar  3 3/4 cup

egg whites 15 large


for enough to fill my 12 quart

butter  10 2/3 cups

vanilla 8 tablespoons

sugar 6 cups

egg whites 24 large


it's easier to deal with in a grid but the board isn't ready for that yet



julia1812 Posted 8 Mar 2015 , 9:07am
post #9 of 12

Since I started using smbc I'm hooked and could never eat abc again. Taste is different, so if that is what she wants...

 I simply do smbc by weight. One part egg whites, two parts sugar, two parts butter. So f.e. 100g egg whites with 200g sugar and 200g butter.

 

 And had the ultimate test of heat resistance last weekend in 100'F. Cake and cupcakes with smbc frosting on display for hour...holding up well!

 "Swiss meringue is stable because the eggs are partly cooked which holds the albumin amino acids in their unfolded state. Unlike French meringue, which is the simple beating of sugar and whites together, the Swiss foam structure is more stable and not prone to weeping. Weeping occurs when the amino acids refold thereby releasing water that was previously orderly arranged around the unfolded amino acids."

 

 

ropalma Posted 10 Mar 2015 , 1:11pm
post #10 of 12

I have a recipe that uses cornstarch in the buttercream.  It does crust but I have been outside in 90 degree weather and the chocolate decorations on the cupcakes were sweating and buttercream did not even get soft.  It stood up to the heat like a charm.

Mybearsbaby Posted 10 Mar 2015 , 4:46pm
post #11 of 12


Quote by @ropalma on 3 hours ago

I have a recipe that uses cornstarch in the buttercream.  It does crust but I have been outside in 90 degree weather and the chocolate decorations on the cupcakes were sweating and buttercream did not even get soft.  It stood up to the heat like a charm.

Neat! I have never heard of one with cornstarch... I would love to try it if you don't mind sharing and see how it hold up in this southern humidity. 

ropalma Posted 11 Mar 2015 , 12:04pm
post #12 of 12

I use

2 lbs. of powdered sugar,

l tsp. salt,

1/2 cup water I use heavy whipping cream in place of water at times, but not in hot weather.  

1 1/3 cup of Crisco.  

I used 1 tablespoon of both meringue and cornstarch

 

The addition of the corn starch and meringue powder really made a difference!  It was not gritty at all.  Smoothed perfectly to the point that it looked like fondant.  The flavor was awesome because it was not overwhelmingly sweet.  

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