Buttercream Too Sweet...how To Fix?

Decorating By venus909 Updated 22 Mar 2014 , 12:23am by FrostedMoon

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venus909 Posted 5 May 2006 , 10:48am
post #1 of 14

I made a batch of Buttercream for a cake that I'm need to frost this am.

I followed this recipe: Crusting Buttercream Icing

these are the ingredients:
2lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
1/3 or 1/4 cup of water ( I used 1/4)
2 tbsp clear vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

So I mixed everything fine...the texture looks good... BUT it's way too sweet!!!! This is for a cupcake cake for kids...not sure I want them to eat the frosting the way it is.

Is there anything I can add to the frosting that is already mixed to make it less sweet but still taste good???



13 replies
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emilykakes Posted 5 May 2006 , 11:03am
post #2 of 14

I always put a little bit of salt in my buttercream, you may want to try that. HTH!

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 5 May 2006 , 11:07am
post #3 of 14

Too late now, but next time use salted butter, it really will help cut the sweetness! I use an all butter buttercream using only salted butter and no-one complains that it's too sweet. If you are going to add salt to this batch of buttercream, use the really fine stuff (popcorn salt), I've read that normal table salt can leave white/coloured dots in coloured icing. Hope that helps!

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Rodneyck Posted 5 May 2006 , 2:45pm
post #4 of 14

If the recipe is to sweet, then I would try a buttercream that uses less sugar. I posted a French Vanilla buttercream (taste like ice cream) and not overly sweet here;


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carflea Posted 5 May 2006 , 2:47pm
post #5 of 14

Don't do the almond and the vanilla extract. I put a little salt in mine and some lemon juice. If you want the recipie. PM me

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alicia_froedge Posted 5 May 2006 , 2:47pm
post #6 of 14

That is the recipe that I use as well. Someone told me they loved it but with the cake it was too sweet for her. I tried adding 1/4 tsp. of salt. It helped but I didn't like it. Guess I have a sweet tooth!

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patton78 Posted 5 May 2006 , 2:48pm
post #7 of 14

You really should add some salt. It brings out the flavor of vanilla and cuts the sweetness of the sugar, just a pinch or so.

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Rodneyck Posted 5 May 2006 , 2:49pm
post #8 of 14

P/S: This recipe on that link is not a crusting buttercream, more like whipped cream. If you must have a crusting buttercream, that means you will need a recipe with more sugar (more sweet.) It is one of those ying and yang (balancing) cake decorating things, lol. Crusting or less sweet, less sweet or crusting...hhmmm?

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Ironbaker Posted 5 May 2006 , 5:02pm
post #9 of 14

I also add salt and when I do, I dissolve it in the liquid I use. (water in this case) That way it mixes in better.

I've added it in after the buttercream is made too by taking a tiny bit of water (as much as I can get away with without making the icing too soft) and dissolving a bit of salt in it and then mixing again.

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pamcake3 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:35pm
post #10 of 14

I've had this problem on and off with my buttercream.  I don't understand it.  I am starting to wonder if some powdered sugar brands are sweeter than others?  I got the house brand from walmart this time and I am so frustrated!


One of my tricks besides adding extra salt and butter extract is adding a little extra whipping cream.  Somehow that adds volume and thereby spreads the sweetness out a little.  I can't add anymore to this batch though...already thin and soft enough!  None of my tricks seem to be working today, though.  Ugh!

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chasingmytail Posted 27 Jun 2013 , 10:30pm
post #11 of 14

I also like to mix double/whipping cream - it has a lovely light texture as I want to boak at sweet buttercream.  Works well and a cake full of buttercream is my worst nightmare even my children arent keen.  Here in the UK we just use 1:2 butter to icing sugar we dont add water, veg fat (churning) and a touch of flavouring.  There are other buttercreams - swiss etc.

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WickedGoodies Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:08am
post #12 of 14

I've noticed working in different kinds of bakeries that when people complain of buttercream being "too sweet," it's because the recipe contains shortening. Vegetable shortening is a chemically altered fat that some bakers prefer to use in place of butter because it has a long shelf like and is less sensitive to heat. However because shortening does not melt at body temperature, it coats the inside of the mouth, prolonging that flavor of sweetness, which for some people results in an undesirable, cloying sensation. Butter melts at body temperature so it makes a more palatable frosting.  

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pamcake3 Posted 21 Mar 2014 , 10:53pm
post #13 of 14


Thank you!!!

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FrostedMoon Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 12:23am
post #14 of 14

Some people add a couple of tablespoons of corn starch to their buttercream to cut the sweetness.  It stands to reason since most powdered sugars have cornstarch as an ingredient that some brands may have a higher ratio of cornstarch to sugar and therefore would not taste quite as sweet when buttercream is made.

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