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May 16, 2009 07:44 PM

Need Frosting Help!

Today, I made the following frosting recipe outlined in this video:

The results were less than stellar. The resulting buttercream was very soft and yielded a whipped-cream-like consistency. Although it became more spreadable after refrigeration, I doubt it holds up in room temperature.

Can anyone recommend a genuinely full-proof frosting recipe? Essentially, I'm looking for something that's stable at room temperature. I've used confectioner's sugar icings in the past, but I find them way too cloy and dense. Morevoer, I think they look unappetizing when they inevitably crack and get flakey on cakes.

Please help!

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  1. I wonder if you cooked the egg white mixture the proper amount of time before beating. EZ to cook too long or not long enough. That's a pretty difficult recipe to follow; they don't provide a specific temperature for that step.

    1. I like the custard buttercream in this post

      I found it easy to make and use, and it's neither super-sweet like many powdered sugar frostings, nor extra-buttery and rich like classic buttercream. It has a nice, somewhat fluffy texture.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        That icing is a variation of the classic southern "gravy icing" made with a cooked flour and milk base which is then beaten with butter and sugar.
        It's the traditional icing used on Red Velvet Cake and a very stable icing, good for hot humid weather or anytime a cake has to bear up under tough conditions.
        It's lighter than a standard buttercream and seems less sweet and heavy.
        It's discussed at length in this thread, including some back-and-forth on some problem solving with it.
        Once you learn to make this this one, it may well become a favorite in your kitchen.

        1. re: MakingSense

          I just made this one last weekend for a red velvet cake and it was amazing! Seriously easy (although you have to keep beating it - for a while it looks like you messed it up, but then it all comes together perfectly), and everyone raved about the flavor! I highly recommend it.

          1. re: jenhen2

            sorry to butt in but why does it look "messed up" and at what stage of the frosting process? as if it curdled?

            1. re: midtownDiner123

              The whole recipe appeared to go smoothly until I reached the final stage. But the resulting buttercream wasn't an unsightly curdled mess -- it was just softer and runnier than I expected it to be. It looked more like whipped cream than buttercream.

              1. re: midtownDiner123

                Yes, exactly. I beat the butter and sugar and it was fluffy, but still had the solid sugar crystals in it, which had me wondering how it would turn out. Then, I added the milk and cornstarch paste and it looked okay, but then I beat for a little while and it looked like a curdled mess, but the crystals were dissolved. Then, I kept beating it, and it was suddenly perfect. Everyone raved about the flavor (not to sweet) and the texture was soft and easy to spread, but then firmed up in the fridge.

                1. re: midtownDiner123

                  My "messed up" fears always stem from the granulated sugar never seeming to dissolve when I think it should.
                  I've been using Mama's recipe since at least 1960 and hers says "beat 10 minutes." That is important. Don't give up.
                  Thank you, Kitchen Aid, for that stand mixer! We didn't have that almost 50 years (yikes!) ago and relied on Mama's old Sunbeam.
                  Magically, the sugar does dissolve and, just as jenhen2 says, the icing comes together in this wonderful fluffy soft buttercream.

                  This is a less-sweet, lower-fat buttercream since it uses less sugar and half the amount of butter as a standard buttercream to make the same volume.
                  That's also a nice economical thought right now. Remember that this recipe dates back to the Depression and WWII when our grandmothers were pinching their pennies too and many things were rationed.

              2. re: MakingSense

                Ok, I've put that recipe in my favorites to try later. Love the fact that it uses less butter and sugar than typical frosting recipes.
                You know, I have never had real red velvet cake. Once I had some at a potluck and didn't think much of it. Turns out it was a box mix, which I am not knocking, just saying that from what I have read it is nothing like the real thing when it comes to red velvet.

                I may or may not make the cake the first time I try the icing but both are now on my list.


              girlwonder88 posted this link to Billy's Bakery buttercream frosting on a cupcake thread recently. I made it for our Easter cakes and it was really good. Stood firm and lovely on the cupcakes (for 3 days at room temp!) and then melted in your mouth. I think I would decrease the sugar just a tiny bit, but that depends on your crowd. It was VERY good. I piped it on and the results were really nice.

              Good luck and please let us know what you end up doing, hazelnut spread.