First Post – Cake Piping Class and Buttercream Frosting

Hello, everyone!  This is my first post on this blog, so there are a couple things you should know as we get started.

First, I am a completely amateur baker.  I have no professional training whatsoever.  Second, I am not good at improvising.  I think this goes along with the first point; I cannot make up my own recipes.  I generally have to follow some other recipe somewhere and I don’t know enough about baking science to try to improvise.

Finally, this blog is meant to be a diversion for me to pass time while my husband is deployed.  It may continue after he gets back in early 2017, but we shall see.  With that said, I don’t expect that anyone other than some friends and my mom will probably ever read it, but if you are a stranger and happen to come across this, I would love for you to leave a comment to say hello!  Now, onto the real stuff.

I took a cake piping class today!  It was the first cooking/baking class I have ever taken, so it was very exciting.  

We learned a lot, including how to make Swiss buttercream and American buttercream frostings. The difference between the two types is that American buttercream contains shortening and butter, while Swiss buttercream contains only butter and is made using a meringue.  The American buttercream frosting is the kind of frosting you normally find on sheet cakes that you order at grocery stores.  We iced the cakes with the Swiss buttercream and then used the American buttercream (but used only shortening, no butter) to practice decorations.  Recipes for the frostings are down below!


The instructor made it look so easy. It’s not!

We also learned about different piping techniques such as roses, daffodils, irises, and other flowers; how to write; and how to do trim techniques around the edge of the cake.  I definitely need a lot more practice before I can quit my day job!  But the instructor suggested using canned frosting to practice instead of spending the money and time to make your own frosting.


My cake was a bit of a mess!

American Buttercream
Yield:  737 g

113 g unsalted butter
113 g shortening
454 g powdered sugar, sifted
57 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, blend together the butter and powdered sugar until there are no lumps and it is lighter in color.  Scrape bowl often.
2.  Add the milk and vanilla extract slowly, scraping in between additions.
3.  Switch the paddle to a whisk attachment.
4.  Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.  Refrigerate.

Swiss Buttercream
Yield: 5 cups

300 g sugar
150 g egg whites
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1″ pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  In a mixing bowl of a stationary mixer, combine sugar and egg whites.
2.  Place bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water and cook mixture to 120°F or until all the sugar has dissolved completely.  Stir constantly with a spatula to prevent egg whites from cooking.
3.  Using a whisk attachment, whip mixture on high speed until the mixing bowl feels cold to the touch.
4.  With the mixer still on high speed, slowly add the butter to the meringue and whip until smooth.
5.  Add vanilla and mix to incorporate.


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