Need A Cake And Frosting With No Artificial Or Natural Flavors

Baking By mrsmac888 Updated 22 Jun 2016 , 8:48pm by mrsmac888

mrsmac888 Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 8:36pm
post #1 of 20

So, here's a new one for me.  I just got a request for a birthday cake for a lady who cannot eat artificial or natural flavors.  She can only eat extracts.  Ok, not really so hard.  But how do I flavor the buttercream frosting, which is supposed to be white?  I always use the clear vanilla extract, but it's imitation and cannot be used.  Should I just use regular vanilla extract, even though it'll make the buttercream slightly ivory?  Is there something else I can use so to keep it white?  What about putting a vanilla bean in the powdered sugar for a couple of days?  Would that work? If so, how many beans to 2 lbs of powdered sugar?

Thanks!
Christina

19 replies
kakeladi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 8:47pm
post #2 of 20

I regularly use 'regular'/brown/real vanilla in my b'cream.  It doesn't change the color THAT much.  To most people it is not even noticed.  Your idea of flavoring by putting vanilla bean in the sugar sounds like a good one to me but.....isn't that a 'natural' flavoring?  

mrsmac888 Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 8:57pm
post #3 of 20

" Your idea of flavoring by putting vanilla bean in the sugar sounds like a good one to me but.....isn't that a 'natural' flavoring? "

Hmmm, good question.  I guess I'll need to ask the customer that one.

:-)

C~


jgifford Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 1:28am
post #4 of 20
  • I'm familiar with oddball allergies, but this sounds really strange to me. If she can't eat "natural" flavors, what does she live on? 
jgifford Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 1:28am
post #5 of 20
  • I'm familiar with oddball allergies, but this sounds really strange to me. If she can't eat "natural" flavors, what does she live on? 
jgifford Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 1:33am
post #6 of 20

I don't know why that posted twice, once would have been enough: )


Pastrybaglady Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 3:14am
post #7 of 20

How are extracts not an artificial or natural flavoring?

costumeczar Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 11:46am
post #8 of 20

That sounds bogus to me, another fake food allergy I'll bet. Extracts are either natural or artificial flavorings, so she's full of it. I'd clarify with her because I've had people tell me that they're allergic to this or that, and when I tell them I can't do their cake they say "well, I'm not really allergic, I just don't like it." One woman told me her granddaughter was allergic to peanuts and I said no way I'm touching that order, and she practically begged me to do it by telling me that she was only a little allergic. No no no. So clarify what the problem is because extracts are flavorings, and there are only two kinds of flavorings, natural or artificial.

kakeladi Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 1:07pm
post #9 of 20

Yah, custom is right......how in the world can anyone live without any natural flavorings.  The request sure does sounds phony . I mean there is NO food that does not have some natural flavoring in it.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 2:38pm
post #10 of 20

idk -- does she have cancer -- would that make that difference or a replaced liver -- those kind of patients have some weird rues to follow -- but it does sound strange -- but extracts would be cooked a lot so a more consistent purer product?

I just buy sam's club McCormack vanilla -- it has a lot of sediment

idk it's a strange request

sugarbritches Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 7:37pm
post #11 of 20

I'm curious about the "natural" flavors too.  I always use pure vanilla extract in my buttercream -  because I use all butter it's never pure white - but it's pretty close even with the vanilla extract.  I use swiss meringue buttercream not american.  The only problem with adding vanilla bean to the sugar is that the only way to infuse the vanilla flavor would be to scrape the vanilla "caviar" and put it in the sugar but you would have the bean specks in the buttercream.  I don't think just adding the bean would work.  But I could be wrong.

AAtKT Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 7:51pm
post #12 of 20


All fruits and vegetables eaten raw have "natural" flavoring... 

How else would they taste like themselves?  LOL


Maybe she just eats things that taste like cardboard... or boiled till they have no flavor left in them...


Even salt is a natural flavor enhancer...



-K8memphis Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 8:14pm
post #13 of 20

sugar britches -- it does impart a really nice vanilla ambiance -- so using it as is as a topping sprinkled on is perfect -- in an icing it needs more vanilla punch though

-K8memphis Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 20

mrsmac888 -- I would ask her to clarify this -- it's too broad -- she needs to explain

mrsmac888 Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 8:29pm
post #15 of 20

Thank you all for your input.  The best I can tell you is the customer said what she said.  No artificial or natural flavorings.  I asked about extracts and she said they were fine.  I don't know, it does sound "wonky" to me.  But who knows?  Maybe she's just very sensitive to certain flavorings.  I'll clarify with the customer, just to be sure I wrote it down correctly.

C~

Singerssoul Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 9:10pm
post #16 of 20

A lot of things list "Natural Flavorings", which can be code word for things that are natural but possibly "enhanced".   Along the lines of this: "So what distinguishes an artificial flavor from a “natural” flavor? The largest difference is that natural flavors are coming from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food.” To me, this is what she means. So she is looking for real natural rather than created natural I would bet.  And since these enhances "Natural Flavors" can contain things that might be an allergy trigger, she is looking for cake and frosting that might be made from say real lemon juice, zest, etc.  She probably feels real extract is ok, since pure extracts are basically alcohol and a real flavor source like vanilla beans.  Bottom line, if you want to clarify exactly what is at issue, then I would address this with the client to further clarify rather than guess. Since this could be an true allergy issue, clarify ahead of time to take the guess work out.  

As for white buttercream, I use an all butter buttercream with a pure Madagascar vanilla (alcohol and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans). I beat the every living daylights out of it and while it is a very, very light off white (yellow butter & brown vanilla) it has not been an issue for any bride.    I do always ensure I explain that fact thoroughly (and usually with pictures of previous cakes) and the color is noted within the contract they sign.  HTH! smiley.png



costumeczar Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 9:36pm
post #17 of 20

My guess is she's full of it.

kakeladi Posted 21 Jun 2016 , 11:12pm
post #18 of 20

.......I use an all butter buttercream with a pure Madagascar vanilla (alcohol and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans). I beat the every living daylights out of it and while it is a very, very light off white (yellow butter & brown vanilla) it has not been an issue for any bride.  


I basically did the same.   Only one time did I have someone get upset w/the color.  She had an outdoor reception and the linens  used were sooooooo blue-white they might as well have been BLUE instead of white :)  Of course, I slightly off-white is going to look coffee colored.

Singerssoul Posted 22 Jun 2016 , 1:52am
post #19 of 20


Quote by @kakeladi on 2 hours ago

.......I use an all butter buttercream with a pure Madagascar vanilla (alcohol and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans). I beat the every living daylights out of it and while it is a very, very light off white (yellow butter & brown vanilla) it has not been an issue for any bride.  


I basically did the same.   Only one time did I have someone get upset w/the color.  She had an outdoor reception and the linens  used were sooooooo blue-white they might as well have been BLUE instead of white :)  Of course, I slightly off-white is going to look coffee colored.

Ouch!  And that is why I make sure the contract has it noted and the bride (or bride proxy) must initial they understand and approve it. I also have the same rider for brides who order my Vanilla Bean Icing or Cake, so that they understand by having real vanilla beans, it will contain small black specks.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but I do it just so if something like you mention comes up, I am covered. God help me if someone actually thought vanilla bean was only a favor and encompassed no actual beans smile.png

mrsmac888 Posted 22 Jun 2016 , 8:48pm
post #20 of 20


Quote by @Singerssoul on 23 hours ago

A lot of things list "Natural Flavorings", which can be code word for things that are natural but possibly "enhanced".   Along the lines of this: "So what distinguishes an artificial flavor from a “natural” flavor? The largest difference is that natural flavors are coming from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food.” To me, this is what she means. So she is looking for real natural rather than created natural I would bet.  And since these enhances "Natural Flavors" can contain things that might be an allergy trigger, she is looking for cake and frosting that might be made from say real lemon juice, zest, etc.  She probably feels real extract is ok, since pure extracts are basically alcohol and a real flavor source like vanilla beans.  Bottom line, if you want to clarify exactly what is at issue, then I would address this with the client to further clarify rather than guess. Since this could be an true allergy issue, clarify ahead of time to take the guess work out.  

As for white buttercream, I use an all butter buttercream with a pure Madagascar vanilla (alcohol and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans). I beat the every living daylights out of it and while it is a very, very light off white (yellow butter & brown vanilla) it has not been an issue for any bride.    I do always ensure I explain that fact thoroughly (and usually with pictures of previous cakes) and the color is noted within the contract they sign.  HTH! smiley.png



Bingo!  Singerssoul nailed it.  I asked the customer to clarify her instructions.  She told me that natural / artificial flavors that are listed on labels are extracted from their source and mixed with msg or even formaldehyde, which are flavor enhancers!!!!!  confounded.png  EGAD!  Extracts are just that.  Extracts.  Nothing is added to them.  The lady for whom the cake is being made can have flavorings from natural sources, such a lemons and such, just not flavorings that are changed or enhanced by the manufacturer.  

So, I think I'm good.  I can use the Madagascar Vanilla and should be fine.  I did tell her about how it and the butter will alter the color of the buttercream and she said that was fine.  

Thanks for all the help on this!
Christina  

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