Using too much butter

Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Hi, Im very new to cake decorating & baking. Whenever i make american buttercream i follow a recipe that makes enough to frost an 8 inch cake, but that never makes enough frosting for me. I made a cake today and I had to use 8 sticks of butter in order to make enough buttercream (it was an 8inch basic layered cake) i dont like serving a cake with that much butter in one serving but a basic recipe with two sicks of butter is never enough, why? Thanks

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8 Replies

Sandra Smiley ...

It depends upon how much frosting you like on a cake. If you torte the layers, it really increases the amount of frosting required. Four cups of butter (8 sticks) sounds about right for the amount of frosting I make for an 8 or 9 inch cake, but I usually have a little bit left over.

When you break it down into serving sizes, there is not really that much butter in each serving.

ChezPA Caterer ...

Wow, 8 sticks of butter for a single batch of buttercream – that doesn’t even cover an 8 inch cake – does seem excessive. Are you making a standard American buttercream, or perhaps a Swiss style buttercream? I have recently started using the recipes for both from Global Sugar Art (globalsugarart.com) and find both recipes, which use no more than 4 sticks for a single batch recipe, are ample with enough to frost and pipe decorations on a 9" layer cake, with some to spare.

The Garden Baker ...

Eight sticks does seem a bit much. Maybe you’re being overly generous with the amount that you apply between the layers?

June ("Clarky's Cakes") ...

Most of my icing recipes only use 1 pound or 4 sticks of butter. That’s either all buttercream, smbc, or cooked flour icing. For me, that will do two 8” x 3” cakes, with icing between layers. With a small amount leftover. When I put icing between my cake layers, I don’t make my icing thick.

gracefull ...

First thing, American Buttercream recipes do not use butter. You make them with a high ratio shortening. You can add butter to the recipe by replacing a half cup shortening with a half cup butter if you want to add a light butter flavor to the icing. If you are not yielding enough icing then double the recipe.

Sandra Smiley ...

gracefull, what am I making with butter, powdered sugar, flavoring and a few tablespoons of milk, if not American Buttercream? I know it can be made with shortening for a more heat resistant frosting, but I almost always use all butter. It is entirely different than Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Italian or French.

June ("Clarky's Cakes") ...

I agree with Sandra gracefull a true American buttercream is made with either all butter or half butter and shortening. I don’t know when ABC was ever designated as strictly all shortening icing. I have a ABC recipe from a 1970’s Wilton cake decorating book, and it calls for all butter. And half & half butter/shortening icing for warm weather.

The Garden Baker ...

I third Sandra and June’s comments :) My American BC is always made with all butter, the only exception for me being if I really need something non dairy.