looking for: whipped frosting...not too airy

bybfbhSeptember 20, 2008


I'm looking for a whipped buttercream frosting that isn't too airy. I've had some recently that is clearly more whipped than the traditional buttercream I usually make. It was light, but it still had body. It did not have the texture of whipped cream...it was heavier than that.

I've had trouble figuring out what it is to look up a recipe. Do I just continue to whip my buttercream or is this a different recipe? I found a recipe that included gelatin posted by Ginger St. Thomas. I wondered if that's the texture I'm looking for. ???

Any ideas? Thank you!

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It might be. Try it & see if it's what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:31PM
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Think that perhaps you are looking for a Swiss or Italian Buttercream! Click on the link and see what Martha Stewart has on the topic!

I always use an egg white in my buttercreams (as M.S's site will show you) and my buttercreams always turn out well. At one point it will appear as though your mixture has curdled, but just keep on whipping and it smooths its self out and becomes silky and creamy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buttercream

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Thank you. I'll try them each.

Do they get that outer layer of "crustiness" or do these frostings stay creamy textured?

Thank you again!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:45AM
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I thought I copied and saved Ginger's recipe and now I can't locate it!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:48AM
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"bybfbh".......No, the buttercreams with egg do not form a crust. The buttercream just turns out to have a bit more body and still creamy. I learned about using the egg white at an early age from my Dad...he was a great cook!

I just make a regular buttercream with the exception that I add a raw egg white while beating. However, with all the controversy and warnings about raw eggs, I guess the best way is beating over hot water is the way to go.

The egg white seems to tame down the sweetness, too.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Thank you Lisbet!

Before I saw your response, I found a recipe to try. I let the simplicity of the recipe cloud my better judgment! Yes, you're right...I do want that "buttercream" basis.

The recipe I used produced the "look" I'm going for...whipped-looking frosting that I can swirl like soft-serve ice cream...but the taste was not sweet enough. The texture was just the opposite of what I wanted. It was very, very airy, like meringue, yet soft...not firm like meringue. It does, however, hold shape very well when piled high.

My fault...my brain knew it wasn't a buttercream...but it was fast! And it looks elegant!

Okay...I've never added egg whites to my buttercream. I'll try again this weekend. No one seems to mind eating my experiments!!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Hope you find just what you are looking for.....I does take a lot of experimenting and trying to get exactly what you want. That's how recipes are developed and perfected.

That recipe with gelatin sounds interesting. I have used it in stabilizing whipped cream, but didn't know about its use in buttercreams for frosting. Sounds like something I'd like to try, too.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 3:01PM
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When I made cakes for weddings at church I used this receipe. 2 lbs powdered sugar, 1 1/3 c.Crisco, 1/2c hot water (milk)1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp flavoring (real vanilla, almond, or lemon) Sift powdered sugar so no lumps. Mix all at high speed 5 minutes. Keeps well for several weeks in fridge. In air tight container. If you want choc take 2 cup icing & add 6 oz melted semi-sweet choc chips mix well.
It also flows nicely out of decorating tubes. I usually made extra cake as so many men wanted a 2nd piece. They loved both the icing & cakes. After Duncan Hines ruined their mixes I made everything from scratch. I used water in icing as you don't have to worry about food poisoning like you do with milk or using egg whites. If you use egg white powder it makes icing hard,as when Lucy Johnson got married at White House & they couldn't cut the cake, also tastes lousy. This buttercream has a great flavor & doesn't get hard. To try it you could use 1/2 batch as plenty for 1 cake. 9 in 2 layer or 9x13! Hope this helps! Jan


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Okay, so I googled around for cupcakes that had frosting piled up high like I'm trying to do. I figured I'd work backwards and try out what others I've seen have done. I ended up on the Martha Stewart website. Here's her recipe:

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

Makes 5 1/4 cups

* 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
* 6 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 pinch of salt

Put butter in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well, about 3 minutes total. Add vanilla and salt. Raise speed to medium-high; beat until smooth, about 1 minute.


This is essentially the same recipe I use for my own buttercream except I add a little milk. I wanted chocolate, so I add 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa. I forgot to reduce the conf. sugar by the same amount and I mixed the cocoa ans sugar together. I didn't want to add milk, so I went with it. It came out a little firmer than it should have...but...

It's still too heavy for what I'm looking for! I think it would have been too heavy if I hadn't added the 1/3 cup cocoa. It was very, very good. I love buttercream so much I'll lick the beaters. But I'm still looking for something a little more airy.

I'll keep trying.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 1:15PM
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Still talking to myself ;-)

Here is the recipe I tried today:

Cook following until thick, stirring constantly:
1 Cup milk
3 tbsp flour
Cool and set aside.

Cream together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
Beat until fluffy and add 1 tsp vanilla.

Combine with the milk/flour mixture and beat 10 minutes ( it may appear to curdle).
This makes lots of frosting.

The first time I made it...I had gotten ahead of myself and the cupcakes hadn't cooled enough to frost. I put the frosting in the fridge. When I pulled it out about an hour later, it had separated. I tried whipping it back up, but it looked and felt all curdled.

I made it again and immediately frosted the cupcakes. The taste is nice. Not too sweet. The texture is okay...a little too thin. Seems on the fragile side...like a whipped cream.

Why didn't it hold together in the fridge? What if all the cupcakes aren't eaten today? I'll store them in an airtight container tonight, but I'm wondering what they'll be like tomorrow. Guess I can't put them in the fridge.

I feel like the frosting I'm looking for is right between this and a traditional buttercream. What would have happened if I had added some powdered sugar? Wondering if that would have firmed it up without losing the fluffiness. ???

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:45PM
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Nancy zone 6

I hope you find the frosting you are looking for, & please share when you find it. I've searched for something a little lighter than regular buttercream but had no luck. I've used that last recipe before, but it was as a filling for a cake roll. I don't know how it would do as a frosting, but as a filling it held up well. I used that recipe because it didn't need refrigerating like whipped cream. I am not sure at all why it would separate in the fridge. I know I have refrigerated the cake roll before & it did fine then. It does seem a little too delicate for a frosting, especially for a piped frosting. Wish I could help, I'm not sure that adding powdered sugar would solve it.
I've never tried the Italian buttercream because it looks like old fashioned 7 minute frosting to me. Which I love it, but not what I want for regular cakes.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 9:19AM
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"bybfbh"....in looking through my collection of recipes, came upon a recipe that an Italian friend gave to me years ago. It seems to be like the recipe that you mention in your last post.....only slightly different proportions in ingredients. My friend called it "French icing":

3 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 pound oleo, crisco, or butter
vanilla extract, to taste

Cook flour amd milk in a small saucepan, until thick. Set aside to cool. When cool beat in the shortening with vanilla until light and fluffy.

I like it because it is not so overly sweet! Give it a try.
Maybe it will give you the consistency that you are looking for.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Thank you ngraham and lisbet for helping me on this journey to a better frosting!

lisbet...I tried the recipe you posted the day I saw it. I hadn't made any cupcakes, but I figured...what the heck! I used Crisco since that's the one ingredient I hadn't tried yet. Blech! Mistake. I need to try the recipe again with butter.

I made a "no cook" 7-minute frosting that came out just like the cooked version. It was yummy, not to sweet...but it was marshmallowy (as I expected)...so that wasn't the right texture.

I've found a couple of "professional" recipes. I didn't know there was a difference until now.

I'll keep plugging along and report as I go. I'll try anything! Doggone it, though, why won't that cupcake lady who has started this craze of mine just GIVE me her recipe??!! I'm not looking to sell cupcakes...just eat them!!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 1:13PM
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No more progress..but I did want to pass on that I've gotten a bit of "info" from an employee of the "cupcake lady" whose frosting I'm trying to nail. It's NOT a cooked frosting.

Hmmm...maybe I should go back to the basic original buttercream and start over. Her white frosting is very white and doesn't taste like shortening. I'm hard-pressed to believe it's butter, though, because of the bright white color.

Thank you for following me on this journey! I'll certainly report back when I come up with anything!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:38AM
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Only way to get white buttercream is to use Crisco & clear vanilla that you get at cake decorating store or maybe good market would have it these days. Butter always makes an ivory to yellow frosting. Also doesn't make roses,etc as nicely as the true buttercream decorator icing. This icing holds up & can be piled up if that's what you want, I never had a single complaint as I said, I made extra cake as the men always wanted 2nds!!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 11:46PM
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Hi sunny!
Is that the "class" recipe? Yeah, I use that all the time, especially for flowers and other decorations. That's what I think I'm going for...but a much more whipped-up version...but not too airy. I want a soft, yet sturdy enough to pile high like soft-serve ice cream. That's a good analogy...scoop ice cream is to soft serve ice cream as decorator BC is to ___________? That's why I've been thinking it's some kind of whipped up butter cream...but it's just not holding up for me. And I want it to stay soft...no crustiness.

I feel we're getting closer!

I do appreciate the suggestions. I will give these another try and report back!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 5:49AM
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It's the 1 I posted up above, it came from the 1st cake decorating course I took at a park, I later took course in MN. They had a different receipe I didn't care for. This is a decorator icing & keeps well, do have to rebeat it if been in fridge,Easy to use & great taste. I made a varity of cakes but they always wanted the buttercream icing, I did flavor some with lemon if they wanted that & understood it would be more ivory colored. This icing is great with the choc added too. Not greasy tasting like many or "off flavored" as some I've had. Just cut receipe in 1/4 & try a little. I liked my roses more like real ones & I could get great edges on them. I never used royal icing on my cakes. People wanted to eat the roses!! I did make my bro a German Choc. cake with the coconut pecan top & the buttercream with choc added for the sides & put choc border around both the 6 in. & 12 in. cakes & top borders too. I got a lot of giggles as noone had seen a groom's cake before but once cut it was a hit besides my bro said he wasn't getting married without his favorite cake-couldn't ruin his life, could I!!Figuring out a topper for it was hardest part. Found a little birdbath at cake shop & filled it with pink roses so matched roses on cake & bride's color. My favorite cakes I gave on the post about the lady wanting cinnamon cake for her daughter's wedding. I made the cake didn't care for it. Neighbor's like it. She asked for my receipes so I gave her my favorites actuallythey wereginally from Maid Of Scandianavia Mailbox News magazine-national cake decorating magazine. Computer messed up on above line. Anyway if you try tell me if you like it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:26AM
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Hi bybfbh,
Any luck? I too would like a good 'whipped' type white icing. A few years back I tried gelatin w/some whipped cream and it was great when served on day made with chocolate cake & fresh strawberries. But even w/refrigeration, if trying to keep for a day or two, not too surprisingly it would 'sweat' out moisture into cake following day.
Let me know if you figure it out.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:12AM
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Still looking !!! My receipe is from a park that used to have great classes & my kids went to preschool program. You may be wanting a product called "Brite-white" that some professional bakers use. I took cake decorating course at Maid of Scandinava in MN. & I didn't like frosting they used.Can't remember what they used. My block wall fell in '71 earthquake & neighbor behind me was the one that talked me into learning to do cakes, I thought it was hopeless as my DS 1st birthday cake was a plastic train on top & with a tube of blue icing I wrote Happy Birthday ! It was a mess so I sure needed lessons! The teacher was very good & we got quite good. Neighbor was an actress & took some of her cakes to work. I did for friends, relatives & church showers & weddings. It's fun to try new things!! I still try new receipe about once a week!! Good Luck in your search!! Jan

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 3:18AM
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Thank you everyone! Nope, still looking!

Jan, I tried your recipe. Hmmmm....I like it, but it's just not hitting what I'm looking for. I cannot get it to whip up so it's not as dense. Plus it crusted. I'm trying to get something that doesn't crust.

I had high hopes that were rapidly dashed....I found some cake decorating forums that were heavy into discussing frosting recipes. Lots of these folks kept referring to Dixie's Icing in Nebraska. They were all raving and said they don't even bother making it anymore. They just all use Dixie's. So, I rushed and ordered a sample pack. It arrived today. I had already baked the cupcakes...waiting for the frosting to be delivered. Bummer. :( It just is not right.

Okay. I'm not giving up yet. I'm going to try several other recipes I found. In the meantime, I'll also have to figure out a way to bribe the cupcake lady. LOL! I will certainly come back and post as I plug through!

Thank you for following my journey!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Your best bet is to find someone who worked at the shop. i don't think the cupcake lady will give up her receipe. If I remember right there were couple of things you could add to icings. Trying to remember what they were supposed to do. Don't know if Karo light syrup would keep it from crusting or not. The receipe I used above you do beat for at least 5 minutes at high on a Kitchenaid. I will look in couple of my Cake decorating books, 1 has lot of receipes. Might find something as they touch on South African decorating & other delicate things. Jan

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 1:26AM
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Well, I went through my books & didn't find anything. I went through my receipe box & have 1 with an uncooked egg white. If you can get pasturized egg white in your area you could try it. Comes in carton looks like whipping cream or half & half. Am. Home Fluffy Uncooked Frosting 1 c sugar, 1 unbeaten egg white, 1/4 tsp cr. of tarter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 c boiling water. Mix sugar, egg white, cr. of tarter together. Add boiling water & beat on high speed with mixer about 5 minutes. Add flavoring & if desired coloring mix well. This holds it;s shape nicely & will not become crusty. It can be stored in fridge & is delicious on shortcakes, & cakes. Jan

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 2:17AM
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Hi Jan!

This is the recipe I found adapted to a 4.5 qt KA mixer:

The 4.5 is:
4 1/2 cups hi-ratio shortening
4 lbs powdered sugar
4 tab flavoring
2 tsp salt
12 tab coffee creamer mixture

I wonder what the coffee creamer does. ??? I noticed recently when I bought a cupcake for cupcake lady...the frosting had more of a shortening taste than it had before. It has a slight greasy after-feel to it. Blech! It was SOOOO good before.

I'm going to give your recipe with pasteurized egg white a try, too. I'll report bakc!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:09AM
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The problem is a lot of products are being changed for 3 reasons, profit,trying to stay in business or transfat! There may be other reasons but Crisco is different, just like margarine has changed in last 10 yrs & most has so much water in it that damages receipe & taste is changed. I used to get some store bought cookies as a treat for my kids as they had them at someone's house. After my kids were grown I saw them at a very low price & got some just to recall old times I guess & I couldn't swallow something was stuck in roof of my mouth, it was cheap shortening, you could roll it in a ball,just pure grease. Never bought that again. I opened my can of tuna today & didn't look or smell like good albacore,Geisha has always been good,packed in water, less salt than some. Ugh , says product of China, & guess what, I have 2nd can & I'll bet it is OK it says product of Thailand I had noticed that country before & it was OK. Also noticed pears at 99 cent store made in China so now we have to check our food supply. If the coffee creamer stuff has very many ingredients I don't think I would use it. I can't eat a lot of chemicals,get stomach ache from sweeteners,nitrates,nitrites, msg etc. You could make 1/4 batch of the above stuff & try it. The creamer may make it creamier.What country is this receipe from? tab=tablet or tablespoon-tbs. hi-ratio shortening???hi-ratio of what transfat???? Bad shortening will leave a feeling in your mouth like your teeth need brushing, another reason I make almost everything from scratch. Can't win tho. TV show followed 2 families,1 all natural including house specially built of hay(I'd be dead in no time in that) but it looked normal. Family 2 lived off of McDonald's & other fast food & snacked at home on junk food, chips & dip & such.They were all overweight. Natural bunch were trim(but kids would have fought for candy bar I'll bet as they had never had choc. Tested 2 families for about 90 toxins & the natural family(all food they ate was organic) actually had high levels of a bad 1 & close to same levels of 2nd family on most of rest. Bad 1 was little higher on couple than other family but it was pretty much a tie. So a lot of our problems are in the food before we get it home, great reason to garden. Can't wait to see your next taste test!Jan

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 11:43PM
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Ok. I've decide some of the problem is the change in trans fat. The recipes I'm finding are US ones. I haven't tried the one I posted above yet. Besides, I want to use butter and not shortening.

I finally flat out asked Cupcake Lady for the recipe or some hints. We laughed over how I didn't really expect to get the recipe from her, but she did offer that she lets it beat for about 10 minutes to get it fluffy. When I beat the frosting that long, it seems to get too warm. So, off I went to search for more recipes.

I've managed to come up with a frosting that I can work with for now. I have combined several recipes together and put this together. I've adjusted flavorings to what seems to be my family's preferences. I'll keep tweaking, but for now:

A Buttercream I Can Work With!!

 2 cups butter (or 1 c butter 1 c shortening)
 2 lbs powdered sugar (8 cups)
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 ½ tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
 1 teaspoon almond extract
 4-6 ounces heavy whipping cream


1. Cream butter until fluffy.
2. Add sugar, meringue powder and half the whipping cream. Cream until well blended.
3. Add salt, flavorings and enough whipping cream to make the desired consistency.
4. Beat at medium speed until icing is fluffy.


1. I used all sweet cream, unsalted butter. I did NOT use clear vanilla. The frosting was nearly white.
2. I saw some recipes said to add clear butter flavoring. I didnÂt have any, so I havenÂt tried adding it.
3. I did use meringue powder. In fact, I increased the meringue powder above what most recipes called for. I tried 1/2, 1, and 1 1/2 Tbsp, and determined 1 1/2 Tbsp held up the best for me. The frosting was not crusty.
4. Most recipes I found called for 1/2 tsp of salt. It tasted too salty to me, so I halved the salt.
5. I found that adding heavy whipping cream did seem to lighten up the texture...just not quite to where I want it. I'll keep adjusting measurements.

Other Notes:
Everyone who has tried my cupcakes with this frosting recipe seems to love this recipe hands down. I like the taste. ItÂs not too sweet. The texture isnÂt quite as fluffy as IÂm trying to achieve, but it produces a frosting that stays on the cupcake (I pipe it with huge pastry tips) and holds its shape.

I'm not completely there yet, but I think I'm finally on the right path. Thanks for following my journey. Let me know if you try it out and have any thoughts/comments.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my original plea. And Jan, thank you! Your comments have been particularly helpful to me.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 3:16PM
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Hi! I haven't been on here for a while!! Glad you found 1 you like. Cream makes any frosting taste great!!!LOL! The cupcake lady may be using some sour cream in the carton like cottage cheese comes in or she may add a little cream cheese. Either of those would make the icing less likely to crust & give it interesting flavor. If you were selling cake to a bride & you didn't use white vanilla you probably wouldn't get paid!! That is only reason to use wh. van. as it keeps the icing as white as possible & usually the buttercream had Crisco instead of butter, I used a butter from 1 store that was almost white that didn't bring any complaints but it makes icing softer & roses & decorations more likely to "kind of melt" into the cake. I think it's arrowroot- a white powder that used to be used in baking some also. Anyway I'm copying this receipe & will try it.Already know it's good with butter & cream how could it not be??? I make a sauce for cranberry steamed pudding at xmas & it is butter, sugar & cream cooked to a boil & poured over hot. Love it!!!!Jan

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:13AM
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