Milk Or Water In Buttercream

Decorating By JLG Updated 25 Sep 2006 , 10:49pm by JLG

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JLG Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:42am
post #1 of 25

Ok, so I've only used the all shortening (crisco) buttercream recipe. Was taught this in my classes and just didn't know to try something else.

I heard its better to use water than milk in the buttercream, but can't remember the reason.

Can anyone tell me if there is a drawback to using milk? Do you have to refrigerate it if you use milk?

I'm thinking if you use part butter then you have to refrigerate it - right?

Thanks
Janet

24 replies
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tiffy76620 Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:50am
post #2 of 25

I use Milk!!!!!

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dailey Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:53am
post #3 of 25

nope, icing with butter can be left out. i would used milk.

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jsmith Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:54am
post #4 of 25

My teacher said the difference between using water and milk is that water makes the BC crust and the milk doesn't. If you use milk and part butter it doesn't need to be refrigerated. Unless you have leftover BC. Then I would put that in the fridge so it would last a couple of weeks. But I'd be interested to know what others say. I usually just use water.

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TexasSugar Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 5:19am
post #5 of 25

It's a personal choice.

We tell students to use the water over milk in the class so you can use your icing week after week and can leave it sitting on your kitchen cabinet.

If you go looking around you will see many different things used for the liquid part of buttercream. I've seen people that use powder milk mixed with water, as well as someone that uses yogurt. There are also some that use half and half or cream.

Play around with your recipes or different recipes to find what works best for you. icon_smile.gif

Water or milk does not affect the crusting factor.

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Princess3 Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 5:26am
post #6 of 25

Hi I was stuck on wiltons bc too, and actually liked it. It crust well and I liked the flavor. I did not realize there was any other. Until someone recommend the recipe on here Buttercream dream. I made it the first time this past friday and it is really really good in my opinion. It is made of 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening and uses milk. It is creamy and taste more homeade. I did not refridgerate the cake I used to make it with, but did the leftovers. Hope this helps. Try the recipe though. It might cost a little more to make it because is recommends unsalted and salted butter and its more expensive, but worth it.

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hockeygirl658 Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 5:36am
post #7 of 25

You can use water in buttercream? icon_surprised.gif Who knew?!? icon_lol.gif

I was only taught (by my grandma, not in a class) to use heavy cream to increase the volume. I will have to make some with water to see the difference.

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springlakecake Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 1:52pm
post #8 of 25

I ususally use 1/2 (salted butter) and 1/2 crisco. I use heavy cream for for the liquid, but I usually use water to thin the consistency (or corn syrup) This type of bc can be left out for a 2-3 days, probably longer. I refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. I do think an all water recipe does crust a little more than the dairy (that is why I use the water to thin) My recipe doenst crust "hard" but more sets enought to smooth with viva etc. I think that the water evaporates more than the dairy (causing more crusting) But I could be wrong...I think I read where someone stated this.

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Wendoger Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:06pm
post #9 of 25

I use half salted, half unsalted butter, crisco and milk.....light and fluffy and yep, it crusts icon_smile.gif

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vicky Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:22pm
post #10 of 25

I've always been nervous when hearing about using milk. I'm so worried about spoilage and no one can assure me, for sure, that milk or butter will not spoil. I think it is taking too big of a risk. I'd like to hear more on the topic.
Vicky

Heh Hockey Girl, are you a former St. Louisan or do you just like Blues Hockey? thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif

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hockeygirl658 Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:30pm
post #11 of 25

Vicky- I have lived in Oregon all my life, but hubby is formerly of STL. He addicted me to hockey. icon_lol.gif And yes, we "Bleed Blue"!

BTW--Can I tell you how excited I am that we got Weight back and that we actually acquired a GOALIE!!!! icon_lol.gif icon_cool.gif icon_lol.gif thumbs_up.gif WOOOWHOOO!!!

You wouldn't be a hockey fan too would ya?

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vicky Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:42pm
post #12 of 25

I sure am, but have been mad at them last couple of years for bad choices. Will be watching this year, though!! thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif icon_lol.gif
Vicky

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cakemommy Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 25

Whatever version of icing that I make I used water or milk. I like to use whipping cream too!!! I decorate my cakes entirely approx 24 hours or less before the event and never refrigerate it because I don't have room in my fridge for it. I have never had an issue about my icing!!!!!


Amy

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imartsy Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 2:59pm
post #14 of 25

What kind of milk do you all use? DOes it have to be whole milk? Can you use soy milk? What about those non-dairy creamers??

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Wendoger Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 3:15pm
post #15 of 25

I've used 2% and whipping cream...love'em both....just seems to make the bc real light and fluffy, not too sweet...

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kaste28 Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 3:30pm
post #16 of 25

I've always used fat-free milk in my buttercream dream with no problems. And you can leave the frosted cake out with no problems with spoilage - sugar is a preservative.

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springlakecake Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 3:38pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky

I've always been nervous when hearing about using milk. I'm so worried about spoilage and no one can assure me, for sure, that milk or butter will not spoil. I think it is taking too big of a risk. I'd like to hear more on the topic.
Vicky

Heh Hockey Girl, are you a former St. Louisan or do you just like Blues Hockey? thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif




Even the recipe in the back of the wilton book that calls for milk instead of water says that it can be left out for 2-3 days. I have never had a problem with spoilage. The high ratio of sugar acts as a preservative. You can not leave the whipped icings due to the lower ratio of sugar.

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vicky Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 3:52pm
post #18 of 25

What prevents the whipping cream or 2% milk from spoilage? Is there a preservative in the crisco?
Vicky

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springlakecake Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:40pm
post #19 of 25

No sugars act as a natural preservative. I believe that fats do as well. That is the reason that when all of the "fat free" items started showing up on selves (like in the 90's when fat free everything was the rage) there were just as much calories-or more!-in those foods as the not so fat free counterparts (like twinkies for example) In order for it to be "preserved" when the fat content went down, they had to increase the sugar or vice versa. There is an explanation about this from www.baking911.com where they talk about this with ganache for the same reason it doesnt need to be refrigerated. Like I said before, the whipped kinds of icing with a lower sugar to dairy ratio, they need to be refrigerated because there isnt enough sugar to preserve it.

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springlakecake Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:45pm
post #20 of 25

okay here is the excerpt from the baking 911 site. This of course is discussing ganache, but it is a similar principle

baking911.com/chocolate/ganache_truffles.htm

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vicky Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:53pm
post #21 of 25

Thanks for the answer, I'll feel a little more comfortable trying butter and milk in my buttercream.
Vicky

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Fishercakes Posted 18 Sep 2006 , 4:57pm
post #22 of 25

I use milk in my all crisco BC. I have used water once for someone who was lactose intolerant. I found that with water my colors bled but they didn't with milk.

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JLG Posted 19 Sep 2006 , 9:08pm
post #23 of 25

Thank you for all your replies! I give all my cakes that I've made in class and 'testers' for decorations to my husband for his work. I'd like to make one with the 1/2butter 1/2 crisco method and see how that tastes for them. Interested to see if there is a big taste difference. Plus, I wouldn't mind trying the milk now that I know it's not a spoiling issue.

Thanks again - This is what I love about this site, 'friends' helping friends with issues that might seem sooo simple.

Thanks again
Janet

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fabbo Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 1:06pm
post #24 of 25

I was nervous about milk or creamers in my frostings too. Thank You so much guys! thumbs_up.gif I'm not afraid to try making Chocolate/ vanilla bc with liquid creamer now (was going to cover with choc mmf- putting fondant in fridge whole other issue, I know) fabbo

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JLG Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 10:49pm
post #25 of 25

I love this recipe! I just used it in my final cake for my course 3 class I just took. What a great tasting frosting/icing. I think I ate more than I put on the cake when I was decorating it. hehehe

Very creamy - very tasty!

Thanks for sharing
Janet

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