Hi all, I do all of my pricing and my frosting cost seems pretty high to me. For example: my crusting american buttercream costs me $5.75 to make (one batch makes enough to fill and frost a 2 layer, 9" cake). My crusting cream cheese buttercream costs me $6.90 to make. Does that sound right? I use a high quality butter (Land o' Lakes) so it costs $0.40 more per stick than the cheaper option but it really makes my frosting taste much better and nicer. Maybe I'm just a bit crazy but do my costs seem right? Are your frosting costs about the same? Part of me wonders if there are any cheaper versions I could be doing but the other part of me says that my recipe can't be changed because it tastes soooo good! Here is the recipe I use for my buttercream:
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups shortening
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/4 cup cold water
This recipe came from my Cake Boss cookbook and when your shortening and butter are freshly bought, it tastes amazing.
i never buy land o lakes -- i'd use store brand butter if i had to buy at the grocery store -- but my first choice is sam's club or maybe restaurant warehouse for buying in bulk -- do you have any of those around? or any restaurant supply places?
y'know if you were running a blind taste test among chefs with exquisite palates maybe they could tell but the high cost of that butter is not worth any type of negligible flavor difference to me -- add more vanilla hahahaha
now sometimes i will buy the kerry gold butter with the extra whatever it is in there -- fat/cream content i guess -- but just for a special family cake -- to make the filling or something -- where it will be noticed because i will run my mouth about it
To me that sounds about right. Mine is even a bit more (around 6.50$ for one kg). I pay almost 6$ for a pound of butter.
i get crabby if i have to pay more than $3 a pound -- i've gone as high as $4 but i try to buy in bulk
I agree with k8memphis nobody (average person) would notice the difference Butter has. a grade standard if you stick with highest grade you shouldn't have a problem. I live in northern Illinois close Wisconsin and many times I have bought AA butter for $2 in Wisconsin. I also buy sam's club butter. I have worked in a few commercial kitchens and none of them used land o lakes butter. I remember a America's test kitchen episode that reviewed butter and they found no significant difference in taste
I bought Sam's Club butter a couple of times and each time the frosting came out horrible. The taste was awful and it had a 'buttery' smell to it, and not the good kind of smell! So after that I figured it was because of the brand of butter but since you ladies have good luck with other brands, I'll try one again. I have been getting lucky and buying Land o' Lakes on sale so the price has been much closer to the cheaper brands but that's not always a guarantee. I'll try another brand out, fingers crossed it turns out great!
@kaybray3 I use a 50/50 ratio of shortening to butter. You have 2 1/4 c shortening to 6 TBSP butter. I don't see how you can even taste any butter there! I buy my butter at Aldis or Sams Club $2.78-2.99 a pound. I have tried to go the route of using all butter, like the Georgetown cupcake shop does. My taste testers could not stand it. Said it tasted too heavy. The recipe I use is from Wilton.
I haven't done a cost out of my recipe but a blend of 50/50 butter/shortening usually does wonders. But the real clincher is upping the flavoring.
Try using a mixture of 3 different flavors such as vanilla, almond or lemon and butter. There is what I usually use:
1 part vanilla extract
1/2 part butter flavoring 1/4 part almond flavoring A “Part” is any measure be it teaspoon; tablespoon; cup or quart. Since I made many wedding cakes I usually mixed it up by the cup:)
The icing recipe I used most often is this: http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/22469/2-icing
kaybray -- and julia is quoting prices from kenya so take that into account too --
Sorry did not know you are in kenya, all are butter advice goes out the window. I didn't realize land o lakes can be bought outside the us and Canada. Your butter is probably much different than the us butter.
wait -- no -- kaybray who started the thread and asked about butter and pricing is in the states probably -- julia who quoted $6 a pound lives in kenya
Lol...sorry about the confusion. I should have kept my mouth shut or mentioned that butter is expensive here and that's why my costs are higher...
I'm glad you posted because I like to know the price of butter everywhere -- it's a great equalizer a common denominator -- let's us all know what we all deal with -- important -- instead of NASDAQ and all that they should run tickers with the price of butter eggs vanilla sugar chocolate across the globe :) yes!
No, America's Test Kitchen did find a difference in flavor, they liked Land O Lakes because the wrapper is better and keeps the butter from being contaminated by other flavors/odors possibly contained within your refrigerator. (Leftover French Onion soup, anyone?)
That said, I'm not sure I could taste the difference with that ratio of shortening to butter and I'm a farm girl who grew up making butter from our own cows. I do the 50/50 ratio and it works for me, but I agree on Sam's Club butter, it tastes vile... sometimes. Other times it's OK. Maybe it's a storage or shipping issue, because Walmart's is consistently awful.
I do buy other store brands on sale and have used those without anyone noticing although I also really hit the flavoring bottle pretty hard.
Your costs seem about right to me, but I do think prices in the Midwest are lower than elsewhere.
maybe so -- our sam's club butter comes cellophane wrapped to hold it together besides each pound wrapped -- i kept it in a dedicated fridge -- before i got that -- everyone knew no cut onions or anything suspect in the fridge during a cake --
idk it always seems like packaging is prominent with sam's club products -- thankfully i've never had a problem with their butter --
fwiw -- odors also travel from the freezer
and if it's your own french onion soup -- it's not sam's club's butter's fault right? i guess i'd have to read the atk report
No, it's not the fault of the Sam's Club butter, and if you have a dedicated fridge, that's a good thing. Not everyone has that, though, and sometimes the butter HAS to share space with the rest of the food. But, if the wrapper on one allows the odors and flavors to permeate and the other one doesn't, it makes sense to choose the wrapping that prevents/slows that transfer of flavors. According to ATK, Land O Lakes does, and the others don't. That's why they advertise their "special" wrapping on the boxes. However, if I'm not going to store it, the local store brand is good at Meijer and even Aldi.
As for Sam's Club, though, some of the time it's clear that the butter melted and re-solidified, and sometimes it just tastes "old". Butter does get rancid if left out long enough, so maybe it goes unrefrigerated at some point. Walmart has an "off" flavor that I just don't like, and it's all of it, not just an occasional box, so I'm assuming it's just what it tastes like.
As you know, taste is not objective, it's subjective, so what you may like, I may not. It's a matter of personal taste. For what it's worth, I've also had a problem with Walmart's powdered sugar, a couple of times it tasted musty or like dirt, so I avoid the Great Value Brand when I'm buying baking supplies.
.......As you know, taste is not objective, it's subjective, so what you may like, I may not. It's a matter of personal taste......
THIS is soooo true! If people would just keep this in mind when talking about ANY part of our work it would stop many of the heated discussions there has been on here :)
annie yes i see what you mean -- and yes you always have to watch for melted butter like a hawk at all the stores --
as far as objective and subjective -- i like cheap butter but i also like butter than is harder/smoother than the others -- leaves the wrapper the cleanest -- the ones with less water -- i never buy lolakes so i can't include them to compare but sam's is typically harder than any store brands around here anyway --
i do have reservations about aldi's though -- they are so different -- while they have the best frozen haricort verts aka green beans ever and i love all the material goods aka garage sale fodder they sell -- ok some of their chips too -- they had eggs at 99 cents forever when everybody else was sky high -- something about them idk -- i do love they let their clerks sit down though! that is huge
anyway i getcha -- thanks for responding/clearing that up
Here I just don't have a lot of options. I have Walmart and Meijer, Aldi and Save A Lot. If I drive 60 miles I can find Costco, Sam's, even Trader Joe's, along with a slew of grocery chains, but sometimes I just can't take 3 hours to drive for butter! I raise grass fed beef and free range chickens, and have a huge garden, so my freezer space is precious, sometimes I just have to buy what's available. So, Aldi will do. Meijer is better, Walmart is off the list for the above reasons and Save A Lot is just so inconsistent, you don't even know if they'll HAVE butter. I also have chickens for eggs so thankfully that wasn't an issue for me.
So, given my limited options in Northern Michigan, Aldi is acceptable. And they do have a chocolate/coffee candy bar that my DH just loves. :-) Their really cheap milk, though, will be sour in 2 days, far before the sell by date.