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Butter cream frosting vs high ratio shortening frosting

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can any one speak to the flavor differences between an American Buttercream frosting and a frosting made with butter and high ratio shortening. I love the flavor of a buttercream frosting but the consistency can be tricky - especially with temperature changes. I am finding I need a stiffer buttercream and cream cheese frosting. I will do some testing using the high ratio but wondered if folks feel one is better than the other and why? Thanks for you input?
post #2 of 15
You'll get a LOT of different opinions on this one. I'm a hobby baker and give away my cakes so nobody is picky about which frosting I use; they love all of the buttercream versions.

Here's a link to a thread on Wilton.com with 2 superb crusting buttercream recipes which I use all the time. One of them is the Indydebi Crisco based buttercream. Indydebi posted her recipe in 2008 when Crisco still had trans-fats. When Crisco changed to zero trans-fats, I quit using it and only use high-ratio for my recipes.

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=146466
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Re: the taste~~Buttercream with real butter in it tastes better. I don't think anyone will disagree on that point. However, the majority of regular (non-cake-obsessed) people, probably can't tell the difference. You may want to make 3 batches, high-ratio only, high-ratio and butter 50/50, zero-trans-fat Crisco only and have friends/family do a taste test comparison.

Also, frosting made with high-ratio shortening will taste better, smoother, etc. than frosting made with zero-trans-fat Crisco. The high-ratio formulation allows the liquid and shortening to "blend" much better than zero-trans-fat Crisco.
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If I know that a cake may not be refrigerated properly (which is most of the time.....), I use a suggestion from BlakesCakes for a room temperature, stable buttercream filling/frosting:
Equal amounts (50/50) of homemade high-ratio frosting (with no real butter), and canned cream cheese frosting.
post #3 of 15
I had such trouble with American Buttercream. It always had this horrible sweet taste no matter how much salt I added...often it would ruin it. I love using Hi-ratio shortening only for frosting unless doing a cream cheese where I then rely on butter. I have done 50/50 as well as it tastes ok but I really like all high-ratio better. People that have had my cakes and cupcakes like the high-ratio I use and never complain. I use Sugarshack's recipe.

A couple took a Wilton course and they were using Crisco and the husband couldn't stand the frosting but when I made a cake for them using high-ratio they loved it. They said there was no greasiness to it and the taste was good. It depends on what flavorings you use. I use a high quality vanilla, or recently I have used Creme Bouquet and will be trying Wedding Bouquet to see if the taste changes.
post #4 of 15
I use Sugarshack's recipe too and people love it. I use the wedding bouquet flavoring -- it's like crack! LOL. I don't use butter or Crisco in my icing especially in the summer. I live in the Midwest and currently we are experiencing record-breaking heat. The high ratio -- for me -- holds up way better than a butter-based icing.

Lately I've had brides who have had their receptions in a barn at a local fairgrounds -- and of course on the hottest weekends. I found out that someone who had a wedding there back in early May had their wedding cake melt. So, one bride was worried about her wedding cake melting. I wasn't worried because I use the high ratio.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukesbox

I use Sugarshack's recipe too and people love it. I use the wedding bouquet flavoring -- it's like crack! LOL. I don't use butter or Crisco in my icing especially in the summer. I live in the Midwest and currently we are experiencing record-breaking heat. The high ratio -- for me -- holds up way better than a butter-based icing.

Lately I've had brides who have had their receptions in a barn at a local fairgrounds -- and of course on the hottest weekends. I found out that someone who had a wedding there back in early May had their wedding cake melt. So, one bride was worried about her wedding cake melting. I wasn't worried because I use the high ratio.



I'm getting my wedding bouquet in the mail in a few days! I'm pretty excited to try it. Yes, high ratio holds up so well especially in the heat people are experiencing. But if the cake is indoors and at a cool temperature then it should be ok.
post #6 of 15
ibeeflower & jukebox: From which company/brand is your wedding bouquet flavor.???
post #7 of 15
Global Sugar Art has it. There is a link on this site to it.
post #8 of 15
Thank you!!!!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsgoodies

ibeeflower & jukebox: From which company/brand is your wedding bouquet flavor.???



Yes, Global Sugar Art does sell it. Make sure it says B & B on the bottle. I bought mine straight from B&B for the same price.
post #10 of 15
Taste is *SUCH* a personal thing! What one finds sweet another will say is just right. I personally don't like the meringue icings (SMBC & IMBC) as to me it's like eating a stick of butter....but I love ABC - especially the one I used for yrs and yrs in my bakery. Here's a link to it: http://cakecentral.com/recipe/2-icing

One of the best things one can do ti improve the flavor of most any icing recipe is to increase the amount of flavoring used. Most call for only 1 or 2 *teaspoons*. If you use 2 *Tablespoons* you will see a vast difference icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Re: the taste~~Buttercream with real butter in it tastes better. I don't think anyone will disagree on that point.


In our taste tests, dairy-free buttercream made with high ratio shortening (zero trans fat Sweetex Z) and soy-based margarine beat buttercream made with butter every time.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Re: the taste~~Buttercream with real butter in it tastes better. I don't think anyone will disagree on that point.


In our taste tests, dairy-free buttercream made with high ratio shortening (zero trans fat Sweetex Z) and soy-based margarine beat buttercream made with butter every time.



Get outta town!!! No kidding? That's something I didn't expect to hear. How does the soy based margarine work as far as being creamy and "buttery" tasting? Does it improve the melting point of the frosting? How about the cost?

Thanks!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

[How does the soy based margarine work as far as being creamy and "buttery" tasting? Does it improve the melting point of the frosting? How about the cost?


The margarine we use (Earth Balance buttery sticks) tastes similar to butter, in fact we use it at home as a spread instead of butter. As far as temperature sensitivity, there was more of a difference when we switched between Sweetex and Sweetex Z than between the butter-based and margarine-based BC recipes. The only place we were able to find the Earth Balance sticks was Whole Foods, and IIRC it was about $4/package.

We were originally planning on using two different recipes for our buttercream frostings (one dairy-free and one with butter) but after product testing that turned out not to be necessary.
post #14 of 15
Thank you for sharing the information, Jason. Although I currently hobby bake and give my cakes and candies away, if the California Cottage Food Act goes into effect, this sounds like is great option.

(Even if the CCFA goes thru, I may not sell cakes--too much work! When I bake them and give them away, everybody, especially me, is happy. I get to choose my own designs and recipes and play.)
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


The margarine we use (Earth Balance buttery sticks) tastes similar to butter, in fact we use it at home as a spread instead of butter. As far as temperature sensitivity, there was more of a difference when we switched between Sweetex and Sweetex Z than between the butter-based and margarine-based BC recipes. The only place we were able to find the Earth Balance sticks was Whole Foods, and IIRC it was about $4/package.

We were originally planning on using two different recipes for our buttercream frostings (one dairy-free and one with butter) but after product testing that turned out not to be necessary.



I wouldn't have expected that. The impression I've gotten from reading information online is that they're pretty much the same sans the trans fat. Of course these guys were selling it, so anything to sell the product I guess.
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