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Need recommendation for buttercream icing!!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have been making cakes for several years just for fun when I have time. I have always made the Wilton buttercream recipe, but I can never get it really smooth. Yes, I have tried the paper towel techniques and it helps a little but you can still see some cracks and imperfections. I see people who use post pictures of cakes and the buttercream is so smooth it looks like fondant, so I was just wondering if anyone out there knows what this awesome buttercream recipe is, because I have searched and searched and cannot find it!!! Thanks!!! icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 13
I've had much better luck with both Sharon Zambito's (SugarShack's) and Indydebi's buttercream than with Wilton's recipe. Both of these are in the recipe section here on CC. The addition of the coffee creamer to the first one and Dream Whip powder to the second one seems to make for a much smoother and more spreadable icing. I also got a lot better at using buttercream (not to say that I'm actually good at it yet!) after watching Sharon's buttercream video. It's got a lot of common-sense tips that make the buttercream go on easier and look a lot better.
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
post #3 of 13
It's more about the smoothing technique and less about the recipe. If you are dealing with cracking buttercream then you either have too much sugar in your recipe or not enough liquid. You want to make sure you are working with a medium to medium-thin consistency. My buttercream is like a stiff whipped cream when I apply it to the cake. I only have to apply light pressure and the icing moves smoothly. I don't use paper or rollers or paper towels or anything to smooth my icing. I just use a bench scraper and an angled spatula. I have tried both of the recipes that Marianna mentioned but I don't care for either. I understand that in some climates people need the all-shortening recipes but I just can't stomach them. I have to have butter in my buttercream!
post #4 of 13
I'll go a step further and say that I can't stomach American buttercream at all. I only use one of the Meringue buttercreams (Swiss or Italian) or yolk based like Rose Levy Beranbaum's Neo-classic buttercream. (Note: I'm a hobbiest, not a pro, though I have gone to pastry school.)

Put on a good crumb coat and refrigerate it. Then it's just a matter of using an offset spatula (and bench knife if you want). Put about 1/3" of icing on top, out over the edge. Then do the same to the sides, pushing the icing up over the top edge. Then you start taking icing off by holding your spatula edge straight up and down and turning the cake as you go. Just keep doing it until you've got nice smooth sides. Then you do the same with the top, by going from the outer edge toward the middle. Once you've got it where you want it, refrigerate it until firm. Then dip your spatula in very hot water and run it around the top and sides to smooth out any little imperfections.

Here's a cake I did for a dear friend's wedding. It's all Italian Meringue buttercream, and smooth as silk: http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1858376/one-big-wedding-cake
post #5 of 13
Yep I love IMBC too. I do what you do to smooth meringue buttercreams. Unfortunately, my friends and family prefer the American style so I go with that usually. But I would take IMBC over grainy, sweet American BC any day.
post #6 of 13
Properly made "American" buttercream is NOT grainy NOT overly sweet NOT greasy and NOT bad tasting.

It has to be mixed for long enough to make it smooth and it has to have enough liquid to make it creamy and light.

The choices that people make have to do with keeping the cake out of the fridge for longer or shorter periods of time, and that they want the stuff to crust over.

That compromises the excellence of a well made "American" buttercream with butter, 10X sugar, cream/liquid.
post #7 of 13
I respectfully disagree, especially regarding the grainy part. There is no comparison between a European buttercream and an American buttercream. They are totally different textures and tastes. With European buttercreams, the sugar is completely dissolved, resulting in a silky texture. This is not true of any American buttercream I have ever had. I can always tell when there is powdered sugar in icing. Some are definitely more grainy than others. That is more a characteristic of the sugar than anything else. I can feel it between my teeth. The American buttercream recipe I use doesn't crust at all. I use a lot of hot whipping cream and I mix it well but I don't over mix. I also use lemon juice and popcorn salt to cut the sweetness. It is a very good recipe, but it is nowhere near as texturally elegant as the IMBC recipe I make, which melts in the mouth with no resistance. It's like comparing apples to oranges, but I think each has its place in decorating. It's all subjective.
post #8 of 13
I'm with AnnieCahill. By it's very nature, "crusting buttercream" can't be silky-smooth. I grew up eating it like every other American, but that doesn't mean I think it's good. It crusts over for goodnessake. Ick! (In my less than humble opinion icon_biggrin.gif )
post #9 of 13
Well I guess I should say that MY buttercream recipes are European in origin, from a cookbook by Savella Stechishin. They are distinguished by their larger amount of liquid, and that the icing is mixed until all the sugar dissolves.

These recipes do NOT crust. They ONLY call for butter. NO shortening or fake creamer or anything else fake.

I have had different sorts of buttercream at potluck dessert tables, and when they have been properly mixed, you have no idea of what kind of sugar was used.

I think the American recipes are structured to be mixed as fast and as cheaply as possible, and it is the technical demands like no refrigeration and crusting that makes them as bad as they are.
post #10 of 13
I experimented with my buttercream for the fun of it one day. I made 2 different batches of buttercream. I used generic powder sugar, and then Dominos 10X sifted powder sugar. Tasted them both, and the generic definitely had a grainey taste, whereas the one made with Dominos tasted smooth and creamy.
post #11 of 13
Please stop! There's enough crap going on in the world without arguing on a cake site about which country has the worse buttercream!!

Be respectful of each other's opinions, which in ALL the world, people are entitled to have.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtcake

Please stop! There's enough crap going on in the world without arguing on a cake site about which country has the worse buttercream!!

Be respectful of each other's opinions, which in ALL the world, people are entitled to have.



Not sure what you're reading. I didn't see anything disrespectful in these posts. Just sharing opinions, which is what makes the world go round!

Please try to be a little more light-hearted about it. In the end, each of us has to sort through the opinions and form our own.
post #13 of 13
Going back to the original question about BC, I have also used Wiltons bc and also did not like that grainy feeling in between the teeth, I researched and tried a few other bc recipes and have found several that work for me, keep in mind that temp and humidity plays a big roll in deciding which works for you, I was looking for a bc that was creamy and still would crust, these are the ones that work for me...."Amazing stabilized whipping cream" if im not mistaken, this one does not crust icon_confused.gif , "Wedding-Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting", "Indydebi's Crisco-Based Buttercream". Good Luck and Happy Baking!! icon_biggrin.gif
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