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Buttercream doesn't dry/harden/crust, but tastes great. Help!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Here is a copycat recipe I found for my favorite store-bakery buttercream frosting. It tastes great, but it does NOT dry, and when you clean up your fork, etc. it feels like it was recently dipped into Crisco, not frosting. I'd like to use it on my daughter's first birthday cake, but there is no way to decorate with this stuff. Any suggestions on how I can fix it to make it usable? Like I said it really is delicious.


Ingredients

1/2 pounds butter
2 cups Crisco Vegetable Shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 pounds confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 tablespoon milk if needed
Instructions

Mix butter, Crisco, and salt together on low speed for 5 minutes. Add vanilla, butter flavor, and almond extract, beat until well blended. Turn mixer off and add meringue powder and 1/2 confectioners sugar. Turn mixer on the slowest speed the mixer has, add remaining confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the sugar is mixed in. Turn mixer up to medium and beat until smooth and creamy, this should take about 5 minutes.

Meringue powder and butter flavoring can be found where cake decorating supplies are sold. The recipe can be made without these two ingredients, but the icing tastes better if you use the butter flavoring, and the icing with hold its shape better with the meringue powder.

I highly recommend sifting your confectioners sugar before using, sifting eliminates those clumps that sometimes form in the confectioners sugar. Once you have sifted the confectioners sugar it blends together better than unsifted confectioners sugar. If you don't have a sifter you can use a regular colander, it works well.
post #2 of 30
I believe you have to much fat ( shortening and butter ) in your recipe for it to crust. My recipe has 2 cups shortening no butter. I also use high ratio shortening not cisco.
post #3 of 30
High ratio shortening makes a world of difference taste wise , you can buy it from a cake supply store or online it is a bit pricy but well worth it. Looking at your recipe if you cut back on the fat you will need to add liquid , one tablespoon milk probably won't be enough I use heavy wipping cream in my recipe
Edited by kazita - 3/24/13 at 11:47am
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Crisco isn't shortening? What's high ratio? Would that make it better, or would I need to change more things?
post #5 of 30
Sorry to confuse you . Yes criso is shortening but in my opinion its gross, makes things greasy . High ratio shortening makes buttercream fuffy and creamy and well yummy. The recipe you put here has to much fat in it it well probably never crust but if you remove some of the fat it needs liquid in it . Your recipe here is close to mine with a few changes . I use 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tablespoons meringue power. But I only use 2 cups shortening and no butter so I have to add in liquid I add in a half cup heavy whipping cream. Here's my recipe

2cups high ratio shortening
2 pounds powered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons butter flavoring
2 tablespoons meringue power
1/2 cup to start with heavy whipping cream
A pinch of salt

This makes a stiff buttercream you will need to add more cream in a tablespoon at a time mixing it in to get the consistently you want.
slice-heaven.com/store/show/HRS77320 you can buy high ratio shortening online its pricey but I think worth it. You can also use criso but I personally hate criso.
Edited by kazita - 3/24/13 at 2:57pm
post #6 of 30
If you have a cake supply store by you they would probably carry high ratio shortening not a michaels or a hobby lobby they don't carry it.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I'll give it a try. I made the above recipe twice already thinking maybe I did something wrong. The second time I omitted the almond extract. I hate almond extract... So yours sounds better already. icon_wink.gif
post #8 of 30
you're welcome and I too hate almond extract
Edited by kazita - 3/24/13 at 3:28pm
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita View Post

Sorry to confuse you . Yes criso is shortening but in my opinion its gross, makes things greasy . High ratio shortening makes buttercream fuffy and creamy and well yummy. The recipe you put here has to much fat in it it well probably never crust but if you remove some of the fat it needs liquid in it . Your recipe here is close to mine with a few changes . I use 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tablespoons meringue power. But I only use 2 cups shortening and no butter so I have to add in liquid I add in a half cup heavy whipping cream. Here's my recipe

2cups high ratio shortening
2 pounds powered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons butter flavoring
2 tablespoons meringue power
1/2 cup to start with heavy whipping cream
A pinch of salt

This makes a stiff buttercream you will need to add more cream in a tablespoon at a time mixing it in to get the consistently you want.
slice-heaven.com/store/show/HRS77320 you can buy high ratio shortening online its pricey but I think worth it. You can also use criso but I personally hate criso.
Tried this recipe tonight and it crusted perfectly. However, my husband said that he prefers the sweetness of my original recipe. This one is much, much sweeter. I'm wondering how to get the less sweet of the original with the crusting ability of this one...
post #10 of 30
By adding in more salt that will cut some of the sweetness and I can't remember what the other thing was I want to say alittle tiny bit of lemon juice I might be wrong see if anyone else says anything. Did you use high ratio shortening that changes the taste for the better by leaps and bounds
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Not yet. Thought i would try it with what I have first. The only problem for us really was the sweetness. Not sure if HR helps that? I'll try more salt next time. Is if ok to add more sale after you've already mixed it all and it's fluffy? I feel like it won't blend well.
post #12 of 30

Use all butter, and while you're creaming it, add popcorn salt.  It's finer so it will dissolve better.  You can also use a little bit of lemon juice.  You won't taste the lemon, but the acidity will cut the sweetness a little.

 

Just because it doesn't crust doesn't mean you can't decorate with it.  My recipe doesn't crust and I use it for everything.  You just have to get used to icing with a flat scraper instead of going over the base coat with a paper towel to smooth it. 

 

I don't add meringue powder and I only use a bit of shortening if it's really hot.  High ratio is good, but it's expensive and it is NOT a 1:1 substitute in recipes calling for regular Crisco.  Don't make that mistake!  Your buttercream will be almost chewy if you substitute 1:1.  If you do use high ratio you need to use a recipe specifically formulated for that kind of shortening. I would use all butter.  If you cream it long enough it will turn white.  I cream mine for about 15 minutes with the salt before adding any sugar or flavorings.

post #13 of 30
The recipe I gave you I use high ratio shortening and it works out great not chewy at all it turns out very light and creamy and fluffy. I thought about telling you to use butter but again you would be right back to your original problem of it not crusting. I would imagine butter would taste good but it doesn't crust . You can use popcorn salt and lemon juice to cut some of the sweetness in the recipe I gave you. I've never tried adding salt after its been all mixed together not sure what that would do
post #14 of 30

To get it to crust, all she would need to do is add more sugar or reduce the fat/liquid in her regular recipe.  Crusting is based on the ratio of sugar to fat, not the type of fat used.  In the past I have used crusting all-butter recipes.  When I was talking about the chewiness I was referring to replacing high ratio 1:1 in a regular buttercream recipe.  Once I tried Indydebi's recipe with high ratio and it was awful.  If your recipe is already formulated for high ratio I'm sure it's fine.  Other decorators have complained about the texture in the past when replacing shortening 1:1 in their normal BC recipe.  There is some tweaking involved.  I just prefer butter because it's not shortening, LOL.  Butter also tastes way better in my opinion. 

 

I think the doors would open for a lot of people, taste-wise, if they could learn to use a non-crusting buttercream. 

post #15 of 30

Do you think it would be possible to use margarine instead of shortening or butter?

We don't get shortening here (Paris, France) and I don't use butter bc I'm Jewish and don't use milk ingredients unless making a specific cheese cake (I have 2 ovens). I usually use margarine with no trouble, the recipe I use is margarine, icing sugar, soy milk, vanilla pudding and I usually add some lemon essence to cut the sweetness, however, your recipe sounds really good and although I'm very happy with mine I'd love to try a new one.

Oh and I always add some vodka to get rid of the margarine taste.

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