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The Great Buttercream Debate

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: It’s the battle of the buttercreams, and you decide who wins. 


Debating the Best Type of Buttercream, from Food52

We love cake. Whether a cupcake or a towering layer cake, we’ve always got room for dessert, and the perfect cake calls for the perfect frosting. Even once you’ve decided on using a buttercream frosting, you’ll still got options. Does your buttercream require egg whites? Or egg yolks? Will it be an American, Italian, Swiss, or French buttercream? Or your own variant of buttercream? This week on the Hotline, Stephanie wondered what the best type of buttercream frosting is -- and we know you’ve got answers.

Julia boyd comes down in favor of Swiss and Italian meringue buttercreams, and says: "Swiss meringue boasts the advantage of avoiding a cooked sugar syrup and candy thermometer. Instead, you simply whisk the sugar and egg whites over simmering water before beating to meringue stage in a standing mixer...These frostings are ethereal. Rich yet somehow light, they pipe beautifully and are sturdier than you'd expect, with no confectioner's sugar grittiness. Truly sublime.”

Our own Merrill thinks the best buttercream you’ll ever make is her version -- a simplified and streamlined take on a French buttercream. She uses egg yolks, but it's as easy as pie to make, with no need to worry about a sugar syrup reaching soft ball stage. 

What do you think is the best type of buttercream? Add your two cents to the question on the Hotline here or continue the conversation in the comments below! (And then set yourself up with the right tools to bake and frost those cakes with whichever type of buttercream wins out.)

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: hotline question of the week, hotline, question, best question, your burning questions, baking, icing, frosting, buttercream, how-to & diy

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