ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is the Difference Between Wilton Buttercream and Classic Buttercream Recipes?

Updated on August 29, 2012

What is the Difference Between Wilton Buttercream and Classic Buttercream?

Buttercream icing is said to be the most versatile and best icing for decorating cakes, but everyone’s opinion on buttercream icing is different. There are those that claim the only recipe is the classic buttercream from which renowned chefs and bakeries never vary. Then there are those that swear by the Wilton Buttercream recipe that is now common place in almost every out-of-home cake business in the country. So, what is the difference? There is one and it is BIG.

Which Icing Do You Use?

Which of these icings do you prefer?

See results

Wilton Buttercream

Wilton is the leading company for cake, candy, cookie, wedding, and bakeware products today. The company started in 1929 when Dewey McKinley Wilton opened cake decorating classes in his home in Chicago Illinois. As a youth, Wilton worked in a candy factory where he learned and specialized in sugar pulling. You could almost call him a real life Willy Wonka. Eventually he started trading his sugar pulling knowledge with German and French pastry chefs who in turn taught him to decorate cakes. Wilton then began to make cakes for high-end hotels and caterers around the Chicago area. It was then that he began teaching classes out of his house. At first he charged $25 dollars a lesson (quite a bit of money for the late Twenties and early Thirties).

The Wilton recipe is wonderful because of its simplicity. It basically consists of shortening, butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. By adding more powered sugar you can stiffen the mixture for higher consistency piping such as figures, intricate borders, and upright flowers. On the other hand, adding more milk to the recipe creates a slightly smoother (or medium) icing consistency for piping borders, stars, and flowers with flat petals. Also, by adding 1-2 teaspoons of corn syrup per cup, the icing becomes more flexible for techniques like writing, vines, and string work.

The Wilton recipe is the icing recipe that I like to use. It’s easy and most people seem to really enjoy it. In addition to the standard recipe, adding a few drops of assorted flavorings can give your icing more diversity.

How to make the Wilton buttercream.

 

For a Christmas gift a couple of years ago, my mother found a book I had been trying to hunt down for months, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  In the book she gives a similar recipe for icing, and then she boldly declares that icings made with these ingredients should only be used for practice and should never be eaten.  She claims that recipes including shortening are not real buttercreams at all.  The recipe she chooses to use is the Classic Buttercream recipe, but what is her expertise?

Classic Buttercream

Rose Levy Beranbaum received her M.A. in Food Science and Culinary Arts. Since then she has published nine books and continues to write articles for The Los Angeles Times. Not only that, she has written more than fifty cover stories for various women’s magazines and U.S. newspapers. Now, the Classic Buttercream recipe that she swears by is made by beating egg yolks and then adding sugar syrup (a simple syrup made by boiling sugar and water until the soft-ball stage is reached). After beating the sugar mixture into the eggs a small amount at a time, the ingredients are left to cool to room temperature. Next, the butter and optional flavorings are whipped in to complete the icing.

This is the classic buttercream recipe that many high-end bakeries and culinary schools use. As you can see, it is very different from the one that Wilton has used for decades. Beranbaum says,

“This ultimate buttercream is so silky smooth, creamy, and buttery, it complements just about any cake. “

 

This is Rose making her Neo-Classic Buttercream recipe. An easier version of the classic buttercream

Ms. Beranbaum’s book has so much more than just a great, classic buttercream recipe. When I made a cake that required chocolate roses, I was told by my favorite local bakery and cake supply store (The All in One Bakeshop) that The Cake Bible was what I needed to buy. There are tons of reasons I love this book and only one reason I hesitate to recommend it. The recipes can be a little tricky; and besides, I am a cake mix kind of person. I felt vindicated when Elton Brown from the Food Network proclaimed a good cake mix is moister and longer-lasting than any made from scratch. The preservatives make it so, and I prefer the taste hands down, anyway. However, for those who prefer to bake from scratch, this would be the book for you. There are many detailed recipes that sound fabulous; such as Golden Luxury Butter Cake, White Spice Pound Cake, and Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Cake to name a VERY few. She even recommends icings and glazes from her Complementary Adornments recipe section for each cake. Unlike your typical Betty Crocker cookbook, Beranbaum lists the ingredients by volume, pounds/ounces, and grams. The major reasons I love this book, are found in the latter chapters. There is a huge section of detailed instructions for every decorating technique imaginable. After that, it gets even better as she gives detailed descriptions of the ingredients and equipment she prefers while baking and decorating. I love to reference these sections over and over again as I bake and decorate.

As you can tell, there is quite a difference between the Wilton buttercream recipe and the Classic. For now I continue to use the Wilton as I experiment on the more difficult, yet more refined recipe. As a mother of three young children I find that simplicity is a must. However, I look forward to the day I will be standing in my pristine, full updated kitchen (complete with double oven) mixing up the perfect buttercream for all to admire!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Lillian aston 

      2 years ago

      Is it necessary yo use dowels to stabilize a 2 teared ,half sheet cake????

    • MissE profile imageAUTHOR

      MissE 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I think I just said eggs, but maybe I'm looking at something different? I'm not going to print the actual recipes because I don't have permission. I do highly recommend her book though!

    • profile image

      anon 

      7 years ago

      Is it me or did it state that you beat sugar syrup into the egg yolks? It is supposed to be the egg whites not the egg yolks

    • keira7 profile image

      keira7 

      9 years ago

      Hi MissE so sorry for the delay, very nice hub, good enough to eat:) thanks, see you soon my friend. God Bless.

    • MissE profile imageAUTHOR

      MissE 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Good idea. Ganache is so fun and easy!!!

    • profile image

      vee 

      9 years ago

      I am looking forward to your chocolate ganache hub. So yummy!!

    • MissE profile imageAUTHOR

      MissE 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the comments! I'll probably do a chocolate buttercream hub in the future. :)

    • Lissa Lynn profile image

      Lissa Lynn 

      9 years ago from upstate NY

      I make my own icing a lot of the time and normally I use butter, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. It always comes out wonderfully, but I never measure :( I just toss it all in there til it looks right. I've tried making a chocolate version, that however, never fails to infuriate me in some way..I'm still learning :) Great hub, MissE!

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      So that's how you make icing!

      I'll try it sometime.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)