American to French: Exploring the Five Types of Buttercream Frosting

American to French: Exploring the Five Types of Buttercream Frosting

In the first two weeks of April, there are two birthdays in the house which means two cakes and two frostings. Whether its cakes or cupcakes, I typically lean toward buttercream frosting as the topping choice because it’s easy to whip up and generally a crowd-pleaser especially with kids.

Buttercream frosting is a classic and versatile icing that is commonly used in baking. It is a rich, creamy, and buttery topping that can be used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. But it’s not one size fits all with buttercream frosting. There are several different types of buttercream frosting, each with its unique taste, texture, and appearance.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of buttercream frosting in baking.

  1. American Buttercream
    American buttercream frosting is the most straightforward type of buttercream and the most commonly used. It is made with butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. This frosting is easy to make and can be customized by adding different flavors and colors. American buttercream frosting is thick and creamy, making it ideal for piping and decorating cakes and cupcakes.

  2. Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    Swiss meringue buttercream frosting is a light and airy frosting made by combining sugar and egg whites, which are then whipped into a meringue. The meringue is then mixed with butter and vanilla extract to create a smooth and silky frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream frosting has a delicate texture and a subtle sweetness, also making it ideal for decorating cakes and cupcakes but has a less intense sweetness than its American cousin.

  3. Italian Meringue
    Italian meringue buttercream is the fussy identical twin to Swiss meringue buttercream. It is more complex to make to say the least but can put a dessert over the top for a special occasion. Or just a baking challenge. This frosting is made by heating sugar and water until it reaches a temperature of 240°F (115°C). The sugar syrup is then poured into whipped egg whites to create a meringue. Butter and vanilla extract are then added to the meringue to create a rich and creamy frosting. Italian meringue buttercream frosting is light and airy with a silky texture and a subtle sweetness.

  4. French Buttercream
    French buttercream frosting is made by combining egg yolks, sugar, and water to create a custard base. The custard is then mixed with butter and vanilla extract to create a smooth and creamy frosting. French buttercream frosting has a rich and decadent taste and a velvety texture, making it ideal to use as a filling.

  5. Ermine Buttercream
    If there was a trivia question asking about buttercream types, this is the one everyone would miss. There is no tiny European country called Ermine. Ermine buttercream frosting, also known as flour buttercream frosting, or the frosting for people that hate frosting, is made by cooking flour and milk into a thick paste, which is then mixed with butter and sugar to create a smooth and creamy frosting. Ermine buttercream frosting has a light and fluffy texture and a subtle sweetness.

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In conclusion, buttercream frosting is a versatile and delicious icing that can be used in a variety os ways and in a variety of baked goods from decorating cakes, filling cupcakes, or complementing other desserts. Each type of buttercream frosting has its unique taste, texture, and appearance, making it ideal for different types of desserts and occasions. Whether you prefer a rich and decadent frosting or a light and airy one, there is a buttercream frosting that will suit your taste and needs.


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