Buttercream Or Swiss Meringue Buttercream? Which Do You Think Is Best?

Decorating By vona26 Updated 22 Apr 2016 , 2:34pm by Singerssoul

vona26 Posted 14 Apr 2016 , 11:02pm
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21 replies
kakeladi Posted 14 Apr 2016 , 11:30pm
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Vona it's a personal thing.  What tastes best to one does not taste good to another.  I worked mostly in b'cream - that's ABC. I tried IMBC once and hated it.  When fondant started getting a good foothold I started learning to use it but not many of my customers liked it.   I found it much easier to work w/ b'cream for most applications.

Pastrybaglady Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 2:21am
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I'm in the SMB camp. Once I tried it there was no turning back.

costumeczar Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 2:39am
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Totally personal preference. I use IMBC for cake fillings and American buttercream on the  outside of the cake to give people a little of each.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 10:39am
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i would recommend that across time you make each one so you can refine your decision -- those three plus the ermine aka cooked flour recipe -- tons of recipes all across the internet --

i use swiss for outside icing -- but before that i used the recipe that i found in Wilton yearbooks, called 'french buttercream' it's not the french one with the egg yolks it's the cooked flour one -- is a wonderful cake covering -- gets smooth as glass --

plus for piping especially flowers i use abc or royal for flowers and dots -- different icings for different tasks --

best to you

kristykgs Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 11:39am
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I use SMBC. Have never tried cooked flour or IMBC, but will eventually. Not a fan of ABC, as I find it is too sweet and gritty (but maybe I am not making it right). But as others have said, it is a personal choice. Depends on  your taste buds.

cakebaby2 Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 12:50pm
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Not a fan of b/cream at all really, reminds me of those revolting Angel cupcakes (with the tops cut into little wings) that dominated kids parties when I was growing up.

No electric mixers or even hand beaters in those days, just someone's mum working herself into a frenzy with a wooden spoon or one of those gadgets you had to hand crank.

The result, always gritty with undissolved sugar, however in the UK at least it actually was butter and sugar.

Then I found this site and the mystery of SMB was shared with the masses.

Its gorgeous, silky, not too sweet and doesn't leave grit, or worse, shortening on the tongue or roof of the mouth.

Very personal taste though, who are you baking for?

Will they notice?

Will they pay?

(To quote a fine lady on here, cant remember who it was)

joeyww12000 Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 12:54pm
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I like the taste of both, but I find that its just easier to use ABC for everything. I haven't had any complaints from clients yet! I offer SMBC if they want to try it though.

cakebaby2 Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 1:32pm
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Quote by @joeyww12000 on 34 minutes ago

I like the taste of both, but I find that its just easier to use ABC for everything. I haven't had any complaints from clients yet! I offer SMBC if they want to try it though.

Is that with the white vegetable fat used instead of real butter or do use all real butter in it?

I'm glad you're going so well joey, you seem to be booked out the park for such a short time x

joeyww12000 Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 3:26pm
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I use 50/50 blend of Walmart brand shortening for baking and frying and real butter. I found the recipe from Krazy Kool cakes on youtube. I never liked the vegetable shortening because of the greasy film it leaves in you mouth. The shortening I use doesn't do that at all. 

cakebaby2 Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 3:50pm
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Ah yes, in UK its called TREX.

We use it for pastry making.

It  makes awesome pastries and tops for our traditional pies at New Year..Hogmannay in Scotland.

It makes a light crisp topping for meat and savoury pies and tarts even " Danish style Apple Fruit and Cinnamon ."

It  is NEVER used to make a buttercream.

EU law forbids us calling anything buttercream if any other fat is used instead in fact the WRI now called The Rural, would kick you out for such .

I hate the EU with a passion....but I like to know what's in my food....that much I can concede to the trough snorting evil little  pigs on an EU salary....?

Trex wont EVER be buttercream here, so if you ever want an icing without vegetable shortening that can call itself buttercream.?....xx

forjenns Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 4:33pm
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I always feel like with something different (I do the same thing with Red Velvet) that I can make it but I am not really sure if it is good or not.


With AMBC I can make it and freeze it and whip it back up and know that it is good.  Or I can make it on Wednesday for using on Thursday.


With SMBC I am never really sure what it is suppose to taste like so I don't know if it is good.  I don't know of any bakerys that make SMBC to compare against so I don't make SMBC.  I always tastes like I am eating a glob of butter and while I hear people rave about it I wonder if I am making it wrong or if there is something I am missing or if that is just the way it is and my taste buds don't are not in agreement.

kakeladi Posted 15 Apr 2016 , 5:29pm
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forjenns said:.............With SMBC I am never really sure what it is suppose to taste like so I don't know if it is good..... always tastes like I am eating a glob of butter and while I hear people rave about it I wonder if I am making it wrong or if there is something I am missing or if that is just the way it is and my taste buds don't are not in agreement.....

This is exactly how it tastes to me and I just do not care for that.  But then, I'm a sweet eater!  I love what is sweet.  I don't think I have ever tasted anything that was too sweet for my taste buds :)


Nana52 Posted 16 Apr 2016 , 11:28am
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I almost always use Gretchen's Swiss Buttercream recipe.  It's a little sweeter than a regular SMBC, but not as sweet as ABC.  It holds up better in heat than regular SMBC, but not as well as ABC.  So far, friends and family rave about it.  

http://www.gretchensbakery.com/swiss-buttercream-recipe/

As everyone else says, it's a matter of personal taste.  

Nana52 Posted 16 Apr 2016 , 11:31am
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One other thing regarding Gretchen's Swiss Buttercream - I often make it ahead, refrigerate it, freeze leftovers.  It always comes back after thawing, bringing to room temp and re-mixing.  

810whitechoc Posted 17 Apr 2016 , 7:53am
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Personal preference, I prefer IMBC, it is easier to make than SMBC.  Our apprentice makes it in 10kg batches and we freeze in smaller portions that are taken out defrosted and beaten when needed.  We only use 100% New Zealand butter, I'm Australian but have to concede that the Kiwis know their stuff when it comes to dairy.  It is silky smooth and I use the cold set/scrape method to get a perfectly smooth, sharp edged, fondant like finish on my buttercream cakes.

810whitechoc Posted 17 Apr 2016 , 7:57am
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I read this whole thread and Vona is probably more confused than ever now, or thinking OMG I'll be making and tasting buttercream for a week!

vona26 Posted 18 Apr 2016 , 9:00pm
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Yes 810 LOL I'm pretty confused, but going to definitely be figuring out what all of these are and making and tasting LOL

Singerssoul Posted 18 Apr 2016 , 9:49pm
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I like Mike McCarey's uncooked SMBC, which is sweeter than my IMBC and so easy!  It uses powdered sugar and tastes like lightly sweetened whipped cream (so said my daughter). I like IMBC for the less sweet taste it provides, but using my all natural water based TruColors, well not so much. So that had me try Mike's buttercream.  It takes the coloring and is a sweetness that is a nice middle ground between ABC and IMBC.  My ABC is not gritty, but I use all butter and whip the daylights out. That gives me a very light and creamy, albeit very sweet buttercream frosting.  My husband actually prefers my ABC over the other two (but he is not a fan of whipped cream). 



joeyww12000 Posted 18 Apr 2016 , 10:45pm
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Let's throw Ermine's frosting in the mix just to add to the confusion! I just made it the other day. I wouldn't want it on every cake, but it's definitely good.

Youngcakebaker Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 10:29pm
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I use American buttercream and all my customers love it. It's also cost effective, easy to work with and quick to make! I've tried SMBC many times but my customers always tell me they like American better.

Singerssoul Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 2:34pm
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I think standard SMBC uses granulated sugar.  Mike's uses powdered sugar so it is sweeter than standard SMBC and IMBC.  For me the plus is that there is  no cooking, so it is even easier.  It does have a LOT of butter in it and I taste it a bit (but no where near as much as with the IMBC) while others in my household think it tastes like lightly sweetened whipped cream.  We use only real butter in the household, so we might have a prejudice for it. Also, I make the SMBC without eggs, so the sub might be cutting down on the butter taste as well.

Quote by @forjenns on 6 days ago

"...With SMBC I am never really sure what it is suppose to taste like so I don't know if it is good.  I don't know of any bakerys that make SMBC to compare against so I don't make SMBC.  I always tastes like I am eating a glob of butter and while I hear people rave about it I wonder if I am making it wrong or if there is something I am missing or if that is just the way it is and my taste buds don't are not in agreement."


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