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Butter question -Cream cheese frosting

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I think it was From Scratch SF who said what kind of butter you use matters. I should have listened . I have used Walmart brand with no problem. I went to Mejiers thinking I saw Land O 'Lakes on sale in the Ad..But it was the store brand .and so I bought the store brand. Their box looks almost like LO'Ls. My cream cheese frosting seems almost runny . Its in the fridge now. I used Philadelphia brand cream cheese. I already added too much sugar. I like to use less sugar make my frosting have a little tang to it . Everyone has commented on how good it is.

Well good thing its only a carrot cake for family.

Didn't someone say you can freeze butter ? If I get a deal on LO'ls I think I will try it .
post #2 of 12
I haven't noticed a difference between butter brands. If I can get a good price on LOL I will buy it and freeze it. If it doesn't come on sale I use different brands but haven't noticed a difference in my icing. I try to always have some butter in the freezer so I don't run out. I have never noticed a change once butter has been frozen and thawed.
post #3 of 12
Cheaper butter has more water in it and it will wreck a delicate batter or frosting. It's not really water, but a lack of fat that makes it more liquid. The higher butterfat butters are sold as premium. European butters and fresh churned butter have more butterfat.

I tried to bake with high fat butter (fresh churned) and found that it threw off my recipes. I stick to Land O' Lakes for baking. Frostings can handle the higher fat.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
It had to be the Butter unless it was the cream cheese which was Philadelphia brand. I made another batch and it was the same way .
Like I said its for my family . I added some coconut and pecans to make it a little more stable . Of course I put it in the fridge .
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Cheaper butter has more water in it and it will wreck a delicate batter or frosting. It's not really water, but a lack of fat that makes it more liquid. The higher butterfat butters are sold as premium. European butters and fresh churned butter have more butterfat.

I tried to bake with high fat butter (fresh churned) and found that it threw off my recipes. I stick to Land O' Lakes for baking. Frostings can handle the higher fat.



Hi scp,

Hope you don't mind sharing how higher fat content in the butter throws off some recipes. icon_smile.gif

Thanks.
post #6 of 12
Another factor is how much liquid you added, next time don't add all the liquid the recipe calls for unless it is needed. To make what you already have work better and firm it up without more powdered sugar, could you add a bit of flour? I have seen flour as an ingred in some icing recipes and might be worth a try to stiffen your up. Just a thought.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Its frosting I didnt add any liquid not even vanilla extract. It firmed up in the fridge .But it just wasnt the same as usual.
Im sure it was the butter.
post #8 of 12
Definitely your butter. My regular buttercream calls for butter and cream cheese and I always use LO'L and Philly cream cheese. No problems.

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post #9 of 12
I also mistaken Meijer brand butter for LO'L butter,in a hurry and no time to go back and get the LO'L.Made two different cake batters with the meijer brand and both cakes were DRY so I would say it was the butter.
post #10 of 12
Hi mclaren,

I am always looking for better quality ingredients. During Christmas, 2010, I decided to use the Amish Market fresh churned butter and was planning on a switch. At the time, it was $6.00/lb to LOL $4.00/lb. Plugra European butter in my area is $10.00/lb, so that was not an option at the time.

To test the butter, I used it in my personal holiday baking. My tried and true recipes slightly altered due to the high fat content. My brownie gems (in mini cupcake liners) had a pool of liquid butter on the bottom of the foil liner and some cookies were flatter. I immediately realized that if I chose to use this butter, all of my recipes would have to be adjusted for the additional fat and I felt it wasn't worth it.

I use local dairy products but the higher fat content is offset by a much thicker product. I have to shake the heavy cream to get it to start pouring. But I think the additional body (like changing out buttermilk for sour cream) was enough to offset the higher fat.

You just have to be careful with fat changes, lower or higher. It throws off the balance of the recipe. I have recently started mixing whole milk and heavy cream instead of buying half and half. It has changed one of my recipes. My yellow cake is now more delicious and helps the cake last a little longer. It's a butter based cake and for me, these tend to dry out faster. The higher fat seems to give me another day.

On the other hand, subbing a butter, sour cream, milk, cream cheese, or any dairy product with a lower fat product or one that is higher in liquid content will hurt the flavor and the structure. Dairy fat, to me, adds a fuller, deeper flavor. That's why for cheesecake, it is best to use a low fat recipe rather than just sub out the lower fat or off brand product. Cheaper dairy products seem to have more liquid and less fat. Another factor in dairy is ultra-pasteurization, which robs the milk, etc., of the rich taste and some thickness. That's why I use the local dairy products. They are pasteurized at the minimum by law and have much more flavor and body.

I looked for an explanation that will explain it better than I have. I studied the balances, but I use that knowledge to modify and create recipes. Here is what I found for you. It pretty much covers the needs of a baked good.

After several attempts, I cannot make the link work. CC has obviously blocked it. Just email me and I'll give the link.
post #11 of 12
In response to your question can you freeze butter, yes you can. I have done it for years. Recently I found butter @ $2.50 a pound and stocked up.

To use it I take it out of the freezer a day or so a head of time and place it in the fridge.
I use the microwave to soften it on the defrost cycle but I don't walk away from it. I do it for 30 seconds, 15 seconds and 15 seconds. When I pinch the stick of butter and it has some give, I know it's ready. Then I beat the dickens out of it on the KA.

The only issues I have had with butter was recently. I made a cake the night before and when I went to check it the next day, there was a puddle of fat, at the base of the cake. (In the 30 years I have been baking, I have never seen this happen before) The only contributing factors I can come up with is A} 80% Humidity in the air (I live on an island, I am always battling this problem} or B) I used unsalted butter.

I used the same batch of butter cream yesterday on the Minnie Mouse cake with lower humidity (33%) and I had added just a little bit of salt when I softened it up on the mixer and it was almost perfect.

After doing this for all these years, I have become a firm believer that weather conditions can effect icings.
post #12 of 12
I was just reading a test run by cook's illustrated. They were primarily concerned with taste, however. But they did rate Land o lakes as the best non-european butter. I have had good results with the kirkland/costo brand as well
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