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Is buttercreme icing "unprofessional?"

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

As I have said in my previous thread, I am very new to this site, and in many ways, to the cake community at large. I have posted several of my favorite cakes here and I have gotten good responses on many of them but there is a recurring theme among the comments.

 

"I can't believe that is buttercreme"

"I can't imagine doing that cake in buttercreme"

"I wish I could do something like that in buttercreme"

and so forth...

 

I started in a grocery store and so am most comfortable with the buttercreme icing.  I use fondant on occasion but mostly just for decorative accents and never to fully ice the cake.  Most of my clients tell me that they don't like the taste of fondant, but fondant seems to be the universal standard for "professional" cakes. 

 

I like to think outside of the box and have a background in art and drawing which had helped me greatly with my piping skills and my ability to sculpt buttercreme icing. This is what I do everyday but on here, 3D and elaborate themed cakes in buttercreme seem like extremely foreign concepts.

 

So, long story short, is buttercreme icing largely considered a grocery store or armature icing in the world of "professional" bakeries and decorators?

post #2 of 30

No I don't think buttercream icing is unprofessional at all.  I use both buttercream and fondant in my bakery, and honestly, I get the same comments you have heard about people not wanting the taste or the additional cost of fondant on their cakes.  I actually book a lot of cakes because I will do them in buttercream when other local bakers are insisting on using fondant.

 

I think when you hear the comments like:

 

"I can't believe that is buttercreme"

"I can't imagine doing that cake in buttercreme"

"I wish I could do something like that in buttercreme"

 

It is an indication that the design is something they want to achieve, not something that's beneath them.

post #3 of 30

Hardly!!  I think it's that there are so many options out there now.  Buttercreme/buttercream and piping is old-school.  And I don't mean that in a bad way!!  I have seen so many gorgeous and painstakingly time-consuming creations in buttercream!! 

I guess I started totally backwards with mastering fondant first and then moving to buttercream. It took much more effort and time to master good buttercream work.  But I also get orders now, that I wouldn't have gotten before because I work in buttercream.  The folks around my area have only been exposed to W type fondants and that has resulted in a negative view on fondants in general.

I look at buttercream as a classic, baby!

post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

I never meant to imply that is was. I only mean that it seems that butterceme is an uncommon medium in elaborate themed cakes. I hope you haven't taken offense.  I was deeply flattered by your comment.

post #5 of 30

I've always read comments in that vein as meaning that the person making the comment didn't think doing a particular design in buttercream was practical, or maybe even didn't think it was possible, and was surprised that anybody would attempt it, much less succeed.

 

And of course, there are dozens of different kinds of buttercream, meringue and non-meringue, simple-syrup-based and powdered-sugar-based, whipped and non-whipped, crusting and non-crusting. I, for example, use a dense, non-whipped BC, made from the recipe that's been on the back of the C&H powdered sugar box since before most of us were born, and hand-mixed with an ordinary dinner fork. No shortening, no margarine; all butter. The texture and flavor is completely different from that of a whipped meringue buttercream. (And it has occasionally gotten me into trouble when, as with my own 51st birthday cake, I didn't adequately thin it before attempting to spread it on an unusually delicate [and not crumb-coated] top-crust.)

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #6 of 30

Not at all. I think it is harder to master. Most people do fondant and it is easier to get that smooth finish and polished look. Doing the same look with buttercream takes real skill and knowledge of the medium. What some people can do with it is amazing. 

post #7 of 30

There is a spelling distinction between buttercream (made with various ingredients) and Bettercreme, which is a commercial product that comes frozen and you just thaw and whip it (it's sort of like stabilized whipped cream). The abbreviation BC is used for buttercream. If the actual term "buttercreme" is acceptable somewhere, I'm not cognizant of that. If I'm wrong, someone please enlighten me.

 

Any cake with any frosting is fine--it depends on the taste and texture that you want and what is physically possible for the design, construction, and usability for the location (inside or outside) and temperature.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

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There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bct806 View Post

Not at all. I think it is harder to master. Most people do fondant and it is easier to get that smooth finish and polished look. Doing the same look with buttercream takes real skill and knowledge of the medium. What some people can do with it is amazing. 


Which is the gist of what I said, just stated differently, which puts us in complete agreement.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter View Post

There is a spelling distinction between buttercream (made with various ingredients) and Bettercreme, which is a commercial product that comes frozen and you just thaw and whip it (it's sort of like stabilized whipped cream).

And a lot of people around here (myself included) consider it entirely justified to look down our noses at "Bettercreme," given that it's rather fake, even compared to an all-shortening "buttercream" (And indeed, some of us, myself included, question whether an all-shortening BC can truly be called buttercream.) Unless I'm frosting something in chocolate (which I don't eat, making me as ill-prepared to make a chocolate frosting as I am to prepare anything else I don't eat, so I use canned), I make my frostings from scratch, whether it's a vanilla BC, a maple or maple-cinnamon BC (real Vermont Grade B in that one), a strawberry BC (with real strawberry jam, as well as partially-real strawberry extract), or a dairy-free maple glaze (again, Vermont Grade B).

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl View Post


Which is the gist of what I said, just stated differently, which puts us in complete agreement.

Absolutely!

post #11 of 30

Agreed on more skill required to make a "fondant" style cake in buttercream.  I prefer any style of buttercream made with butter, but not a fan of fake or shortening based recipes.  I would take those comments as a compliment!

 

Liz
 

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #12 of 30

I find buttercreams and modelling chocolates to be the classiest finishes (I also like chocolate glaze). Fondant may be the mostly widely used cake decorating medium at the moment but that doesn't make it the best or most appealing. I think buttercream is awesome and extremely versatile on its own. When I say buttercream, I mean with real butter, not shortening (shortening creeps me out!). I also love to pipe 3D in buttercream too :)

from Kristen at Wicked Goodies http://www.wickedgoodies.net <<blog, tutorials, tips, and videos on baking, cake construction, cake decorating, and modeling chocolate.  

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from Kristen at Wicked Goodies http://www.wickedgoodies.net <<blog, tutorials, tips, and videos on baking, cake construction, cake decorating, and modeling chocolate.  

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post #13 of 30

Buttercream is not unprofessional at all.  It's just that a lot people don't have your awesome buttercream skills, so our buttercream cakes wouldn't look as good.  I think the comments you are getting are more in awe of your talent, because what you are doing in buttercream is very challenging!  Wow! 

post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
That was super nice. Thank you. I guess I can get really critical of my own work sometimes. I just wondered because almost everything I see out there is fondant. I just didn't know if it was because they just think buttercream isn't as good or what.
post #15 of 30

Take a bow and a round of applause for your talent. Your turquoise topsy turvy cake is the only topsy turvy cake I've seen that I actually love.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
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