BUTTERCREAM FROSTING COMPARISON
Having a blog called i am baker means one thing: I bake. A lot. And with baking cookies and breads and more cakes than I can count I inevitably also make vast amounts of frosting! I thought it would be interesting to find out which of my KitchenAid appliances is best suited for the task of creating the perfect buttercream.
Here is the challenge.
Use one-uniform recipe in all KitchenAid appliances. I set exact directions and followed them precisely with each individual appliance. Pick a winner based on ease of use, effectiveness, pipe-ability and final results.
The recipe for buttercream:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
I added all the ingredients to the specified appliance at the same time and then set a timer for 3 minutes. Turn appliance on. I tried to keep all the machines as close to medium speed as possible for the duration of the time. At the halfway point, I was allowed to scrape down the appliance if needed.
Here is what I discovered:
KitchenAid® Diamond Blender, medium speed
Ease of Use: The blender was very easy to use in terms of preparation. Simply dump items in and press a button. Where things got tricky was getting the frosting out of the blender. Also, the heat from the motor really affected the consistency of the butter and, therefore, the frosting had a gummy texture. It was almost stringy.
Was it Effective: I would say that specifically for this buttercream recipe the blender is not effective. If you were doing a whipped frosting or frosting that is not butter-based, you would probably have great success!
Pipe-ability: Practically impossible to pipe. I got a hand cramp and wasn’t able to pipe much at all.
Final Product: The frosting was stiff and gummy. I ended up leaving some in the bottom because it was so hard to remove.
Thoughts: I would not recommend using a blender for buttercream. There is no control if you need a specific consistency or texture.
KitchenAid® 7 Qt Commercial Stand Mixer, flat beater, medium speed
Ease of Use: It was incredibly easy to prepare and execute the buttercream recipe in the stand mixer.
Was it Effective: The mixer is made for this type of recipe. I used the flat beater and was thrilled at how quickly and easily the frosting came together.
Pipe-ability: Easy to pipe, although I prefer the consistency creamier. You can see in the final cupcake images that it was drier and flakier than the other buttercreams.
Final Product: My frosting was light and airy. The texture was a bit drier than I would have preferred, but I chose to not make any adaptations to the recipe for experimentation sake.
Thoughts: Excellent product and excellent results. I thought that my recipe was going to be too small for the mixer to do its job, but I was wrong. The buttercream was great!
KitchenAid® 9-Cup Food Processor, large multi-purpose blade, low speed
Ease of Use: Very easy to use.
Was it Effective: I have to admit how surprised I was about the effectiveness of the food processor with buttercream. It worked so beautifully, I am now planning on trying all of my frosting recipes in it! In fact, the food processor created a creamier buttercream than all other appliances.
Pipe-ability: Very easy to pipe. Frosting went through decorator’s tip with ease and was effortless to work with. The perfect frilly ruffles!
Final Product: The buttercream was smooth and creamy. I was surprised at just how fluffy it was as well! The texture was silky and shiny.
Thoughts: I used the processor on low speed the entire time. While I did stop to scrape the sides, it wasn’t really even necessary. The food processor did an excellent job of incorporating every single ingredient evenly throughout. I highly recommend using the processor for frosting recipes!
KitchenAid® 7-Speed Hand Mixer, beater attachments
Ease of Use: Incredibly easy to use.
Was it Effective: I found the Hand Mixer to be equally effective when compared to the others. In fact, I found that I had more control of the consistency of the buttercream with the Hand Mixer. While it took longer to mix (almost a minute for the ingredients to be fully incorporated), it was worth it to see the exact moment the buttercream comes together. You can easily determine if you need more time to achieve your desired results.
Pipe-Ability: Easy! Was incredibly simple to pipe out fluffy ruffles.
Final Product: For the sake of the experiment I mixed the buttercream for three minutes, but I think after two minutes it would have been perfectly light and airy. The end result was a bit gummier than I would prefer, but again, it is incredibly easy to make time and ingredient adjustments with the Hand Mixer.
Thoughts: While I loved using the Hand Mixer, I think it shines brightest when used for smaller recipes. Some buttercream recipes use a 2-pound bag of powdered sugar, and this would be very time consuming with the Handheld. However, the fact that you have so much control over consistency is a huge plus and I will definitely be utilizing the Hand Mixer again.
As you can see, the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer produced the lightest and fluffiest frosting in this experiment. There is a reason the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer is the best in the world. It just works!
It’s not quite as easy to see the difference in consistency’s when piped out, but they were definitely there! Surprisingly, we all agreed that the texture of the KitchenAid® Food Processor frosting was the best. The blenders poor little attempt at piping was forgivable once I made the kids a breakfast smoothie!
Here is a closer look at the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer and KitchenAid® Food Processor piped out cupcakes. You can see the breaking along the edges of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer one (on your left) and the continuous silky edges of the Food Processor frosting. In normal circumstances, that can be easily remedied by adding a bit more liquid to the ingredients in the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.
This was an extremely informative and fun experiment! It was easy to see that each of these appliances holds a purpose and I am thankful for each and every one in the kitchen. With our busy lives and ever changing circumstances, it is good to know that the KitchenAid appliances are all adaptable, accommodating, reliable and trustworthy.
What is your favourite appliance to make American buttercream in?