Cake Wars

Decorating By joeyww12000 Updated 7 Apr 2016 , 9:32am by cakebaby2

joeyww12000 Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 10:02am
post #1 of 14

So, I know if your a cakey you've had to watch the TV show Cake Wars. I was watching the other night and one of the contestants made an American buttercream and the judges literally almost vomited when they tasted her cake. Is it me or is American buttercream the lowest on the totem pole when it comes to the buttercream varieties? What do most cake decorators and bakeries use on their custom cakes. Should I just switch to SMBC or IMBC? 

13 replies
kramersl Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 12:10pm
post #2 of 14

Most of the bakeries in my area use American buttercream and it seems to be preferred by decorators because it crusts unlike classic IMBC, SMBC and FBC. I, however, don't like American buttercream because it is sickly sweet to me, but I am more of a cake person than a frosting person (I've noticed that people who love frosting more than cake prefer American buttercream) so I use IMBC and occasionally SMBC. I say to go with what you and your customers/friends/family/colleagues prefer. 

cakebaby2 Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 12:33pm
post #3 of 14

In the UK buttercream is just that butter, sugar a little cream and usually vanilla, I believe ABC contains shortening and is very sweet. I've read here on CC that it coats the roof of the mouth with the vegetable fat which is used for pastry making here.

It seems that its very popular with many stateside, I've never tried it but love SMB and its that which I use when I make my cakes, very fluffy and not too sweet, like you Kramersl I prefer a good cake to lashings of frosting.

As an aside I'd point out the Food descriptions Act in UK forbids calling/selling anything buttercream if that is not the main ingredient, and for competition work at fetes and fairs we couldn't slip shortening in instead of butter, instant disqualification.

kger Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 12:42pm
post #4 of 14

I adore Leah's adaptation of Charlotte's buttercream  (whipped and non-crusting) and use that for anything that is piped.  If I need a crusting bc, I use a standard American bc.

costumeczar Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 1:36pm
post #5 of 14

It totally depends on personal preference, food isn't a one-size-fits-all. I'll do cake tastings and have someone say that the meringue buttercream is the best they've ever tasted, and the next person who comes in will say that they don't like it. When industry people judge things they have very different standards about what "should" be good than a non-industry person would. I've seen those shows where the foodie judges turn their noses up at something, but the guest judge (who generally isn't a food person) loves it. It's totally personal preference. 

640Cake Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 3:04pm
post #6 of 14

If its the same episode I watched, Ron Ben-Israel wasn't ripping on her for using American Buttercream, he was ripping on her for using shortening.  I don't think she was even using ABC because I thought he said something about her making a nice meringue, but then used shortening.  I use ABC, but I do not use shortening.  I do not like the mouth-feel of shortening, so I use all butter.   I know some people swap butter for shortening in ABC, but I didn't think you could do that with SMBC or IMBC...not that I would ever want to...


Could have been a different episode, though.  I don't watch regularly...I just tuned in to see Kaysie Lackey/Nathalie Sorenson.

joeyww12000 Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 3:28pm
post #7 of 14

It was another episode. I saw the one you are talking about too. I do use shortening and butter 50/50, but I dont use a pure vegetable shortening. Its a walmart brand shortening for baking and frying. I got the recipe from Krazy Kool cakes on youtube. It doesnt leave any film whatsoever in your mouth, unlike the wilton recipe I used to use. I prefer the taste of the SMBC but it is a little labor intensive. I offer it on my menu but only use it if a customer specifically orders it.

kramersl Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 4:27pm
post #8 of 14

I haven't tried it myself, but I recently came across a blog where a woman makes SMBC a little less labor intensive. She makes the "syrup" by cooking the egg whites and sugar and the sugar is dissolved then cools it in the fridge. She says that she keeps extra on hand in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. Then she beats the butter in the mixer until light and fluffy and drizzles in half of the syrup and beats for a minute then adds the other half. She says it is just as good, but again.... I haven't tried it. If I can find the link I'll post it.

ropalma Posted 6 Apr 2016 , 6:39pm
post #10 of 14

@joeyww12000 - I bought the shortening you are talking about by mistake, so I thought.  But you say you use it for the frosting.  Does it make crusting buttercream?

kakeladi Posted 7 Apr 2016 , 3:02am
post #11 of 14

I agree w/customczar............it is totally a personal thing.   I made frosting using 50/50 Crisco & butter.  Following the recipe I posted "2 of everything Icing" you get a wonderful tasting, non greasy, easy to use frosting.  I'm one of those who is a 'frosting' person more than a cake person.  I tried IMBC just once and thought I was eating a straight stick of butter :(  Not for me, thank you very much!  So Ron Ben-Iserial and I would not get along very well LOL

MBalaska Posted 7 Apr 2016 , 3:44am
post #12 of 14

Yes cake wars.  the name says it all.  Where are those nice programs where they went to the different cakeries around the country and showed the pros making their own products, in their kitchens, in their own time.  Lovely shows with very pretty cakes.  Pleasant to watch, lots to see and learn from.

Wars about cakes on tv are hostile, with lots of  nasty comments, &  vile overdramatized blather. Everyone competing is a skilled experienced caker and do not deserve the ugly crap thrown their way........but then for the cash prize they must thing that it is ok.

kakeladi Posted 7 Apr 2016 , 5:06am
post #13 of 14

,,MBalaska said...............Where are those nice programs where they went to the different cakeries around the country and showed the pros making their own products, in their kitchens, in their own time.  Lovely shows with very pretty cakes.  Pleasant to watch, lots to see and learn from ...........


Yes, yes.  Most of those were very, very good and interesting but these 'wars' are stupid.  When they announce "30 minutes left" it has to be screamed by each person working.....how stupid!  And the dumb humor isn't even funny :(  

cakebaby2 Posted 7 Apr 2016 , 9:32am
post #14 of 14

I prefer Game of Thrones...less sadism.

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