Best Shortening For Buttercream?

Baking By dillluvsbaking Updated 30 Jan 2018 , 6:28am by johnson6ofus

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dillluvsbaking Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 5:06am
post #1 of 14

Hey Fellow Decorators!

So I recently made a batch of buttercream for some cupcakes and the frosting ended up tasting strictly of shortening, which means I ended up tossing it out. I used the plain Crisco brand and the smell of shortening is how it tasted. I did also use unsalted butter (I always use both) and that didn’t mellow out the taste.

I work at a bakery where we use butter, shortening and sugar and the frosting is by far the best I’ve ever had!  Especially since it doesn’t leave a greasy feel. However, the owner uses a special kind of soy or sometimes palm oil shortening which I myself can’t find in any generic grocery store here in AZ as she buys it bulk in 50lbs. 

Would anyone have a recommendation for a soy or palm shortening or any other shortening that doesn’t make my frosting taste gross? I’ve experimented already and I’ve ruled out the butter, vanilla and sugar as my problem. 


13 replies
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katy_cakes Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 6:15am
post #2 of 14

Hi-ratio shortening (I found my online) is what I used this summer for the first time and I thought it was great. It doesn't leave a greasy feel and just works better in buttercream. I've used it with butter (for a hotter month cake) and without butter (for a person with a dairy allergy) and it turns out great. 

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dillluvsbaking Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 8:07pm
post #3 of 14


Mind giving me a link to something online or the brand you use? That way I can look it up and see? I’d appreciate it. 

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cai0311 Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 8:56pm
post #4 of 14

Try Sweetex. I buy it in a 50 lb block from GFS. They don't care it in the store but when I order it they get it 24 hours later.

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kakeladi Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 9:04pm
post #5 of 14

I always used Crisco and never thought it tasted like shortening.  What extract (and how much) did you use.  Most recipes call for only about 1 teaspoon.  If you increased that to 1 Tablespoon I bet you would not notice the shortening taste.  Here's a great recipe that does not have a shortening taste to it:     I have had comments from many on this board (and others) that this is their favorite icing recipe :)

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kakeladi Posted 8 Jan 2018 , 9:05pm
post #6 of 14

Just a thought:   It is always possible you got a bad batch of shortening/Crisco.  It does happen but very infrequently.

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dillluvsbaking Posted 9 Jan 2018 , 12:29am
post #7 of 14


I may have had a bad batch but I’m not a 100% certain. I’ve always hated the smell/taste of Crisco and the kind of shortening we use at the bakery I work at doesn’t have a smell that I notice. Maybe that’s just me though. I can always try other variations of Crisco as well (I won’t use the Butter flavor though.)

As as for the Vanilla I use Imitation Vanilla that you can buy in bulk and depending on the quantity of buttercream I’m making I can use anywhere from 1/4c - 1c (I usually do the 1c when I’m making giant batches that are over 20lbs of Buttercream total) and the Vanilla never makes it taste bad. Like I said I’ve experimented with Vanilla quantity already and ruled it out to the shortening being my problem. 

Any further advice is always appreciated. I love hearing your feedback. You’ve commented on previous posts of mine and they’re always helpful. 

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Cake-Monster Posted 10 Jan 2018 , 9:30pm
post #8 of 14

What liquid are you using and how much? Are you adding salt? How long are you beating the mixture at each stage? Have you considered using real vanilla instead of imitation?

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dillluvsbaking Posted 10 Jan 2018 , 10:32pm
post #9 of 14


I personally prefer the imitation over real for my buttercream. Besides the cost being super expensive for real and for the amount I do use in imitation it’s cheaper and my personal preference. Currently I’m using the McCorming Imitation Vanilla. 

No no salt is used as I use Unsalted Butter and beating time varies but I usually go 30 seconds to a minute per round to ensure all Butter/shortening creams well enough. 

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aldonza Posted 11 Jan 2018 , 5:17am
post #10 of 14

Alpine icing shortening is awesome!

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Cake-Monster Posted 11 Jan 2018 , 8:24am
post #11 of 14

If you prefer imitation, that's fair. You should add some salt, though. Unsalted butter is fine, that's normal. But a buttercream recipe should have some salt added, that might be one minor reason you're not getting the desired taste.

You didn't answer the question about liquid. What do you add at the end of the recipe to adjust consistency? Milk, heavy cream, etc.? Please tell me it's not water. You need dairy to help with that flavor profile. And how much do you use?

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dillluvsbaking Posted 11 Jan 2018 , 2:08pm
post #12 of 14


I never use any liquid to adjust consistency as I’ve got my measurements down to exact weight needed. This method of mine ensures I don’t add too much dry (powdered sugar) to the wet (butter/shortening) I know that may seem unrealistic or not always true but if you’re someone like me I’ve experimented long enough to find the exact amount I need so I can avoid just that problem. Though I have used Heavy Cream in the past and that’s always helped thin it out before I started weighing everything. I found milk works too but it’s more wet if that makes sense and I’d rather the creamier consistency from cream  

I’ll defintely try salt as I’ve heard that does help but I feel like you also missed my main question which was about shortening and how the shortening I use affects the flavor (Crisco always seems to overpower everything else)

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Jenn123 Posted 30 Jan 2018 , 12:42am
post #13 of 14

Could you just buy some from your employer and tell her you want to make some things for your family?

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johnson6ofus Posted 30 Jan 2018 , 6:28am
post #14 of 14

The ban on transfats has affected everything. Crisco formulation is different now. 

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