How To Make Buttercream Icing Less Sweet?

Baking By Lin74 Updated 9 Feb 2010 , 11:32pm by prterrell

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Lin74 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 9:41pm
post #1 of 7


This is my first post to the here it goes...I'm currently taking a Wilton cake decorating class and made this buttercream icing that very sweet. I prefer less sweet icing but would still like the icing to be able to be used in decorating the cake with fine detail. Is there a way of doing this? I've read in a couple of places that you can increase the amount of butter/shortening. Is this the only way? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


6 replies
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brincess_b Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 10:15pm
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first of all butter creams main ingredient is sugar, there is only so much you can do - especially for the classes where you really need to use their recipe so the instructors know what they are dealing with - turn up with imbc, which is not the wilton way, and you may be on your own.

so to desweeten the basic bc, you can try to add a bit of popcorn salt. try adding some flavouring - vanilla being the main one, a lot of people like almond.
and really thats it - putting in less icing sugar means really, by the time its less sweet, you are just using butter.

try some different recipes (again, at home, not in class) like indydebis or some of the others on here.

try imbc or smbc, which are less sweet, but as they are noncrusting, very different to work with, although (im lead to beleive) you can still do all the piping etc with them, its something else to learn.

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Lin74 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 10:21pm
post #3 of 7

Thanks for the reply...what does imbc and smbc stand for? So if buttercream is mostly made from sugar...what is the icing that I taste from bakeries and grocery stores that are less sweet? Thanks.


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FlourPots Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 10:37pm
post #4 of 7

You can add lemon juice, and I've even read about adding vinegar...not enough to taste though.

Here's what I use, I love it:
I add 1/2 tsp. of salt and only 6 cups of sugar instead of 8 (2lbs.)...that does the trick for me.

imbc is italian meringue buttercream
smbc is swiss meringue buttercream

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TitiaM Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 10:38pm
post #5 of 7

SMBC--swiss merengue buttercream
IMBC--Italian merengue buttercream

If you want a less sweet icing they are the way to go. They pipe very nicely, but are softer than the American (butter, shortening and powdered sugar) buttercream. I like icing with them because they are very smooth, but there are certain things that you can't do with them.

The grocery stores usually use a fully shortening based icing, that comes premixed.

There are other crusting buttercream recipes on here that are probably better, or less sweet than the wilton recipe.

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brincess_b Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 10:39pm
post #6 of 7

if you see abreviations, hover your mouse over them, most of them have an explanation that pops up. they are cooked buttercreams.

the store icings... well, i dont think they have real ingredients in them that we would recognise! some of them will sell you buckets of them, there have been posts about them and how to use them before.

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prterrell Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:32pm
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Switch to IMBC (Italian Meringue Buttercream) or SMBC (Swiss Meringue Buttercream) or FBC (French Buttercream).

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