Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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.

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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:

KA-Blender-Ingredient-Shot

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.

KA-Stand-Mixer-Ingredient-Shot

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!

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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!

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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.

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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!

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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!

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

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 favorite appliance to make American buttercream in?

Buttercream Frosting Comparison

*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*

FEATURED PRODUCTS

KitchenAid® 7-Speed Hand Mixer
The 7-Speed Hand Mixer with Stainless Steel Turbo Beater™ II Accessories, is ideal for powering through heavy ingredients. The Pro Whisk attachment is included and perfect for whipping egg whites to fluffy peaks or whip cream to top your favorite dessert. Learn More

KitchenAid® 7-Speed Hand Mixer

KitchenAid® 7 Qt Bowl Lift Commercial Stand Mixer
KitchenAid® 7 Qt Bowl Lift NSF Certified Commercial Stand Mixer designed to provide professional-style results. Our Most Powerful, Best Performing, Longest Lasting, Quietest, and Largest Capacity. 14 Dozen Cookies. Over 8 lbs of Dough. No Problem. Learn More

KitchenAid® 7 Qt Bowl Lift Commercial Stand Mixer

KitchenAid® 9-Cup Food Processor
KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor easily slices soft to hard foods with the optimized speeds, from thick to thin. The 3-in-1 Ultra Wide Mouth™ Feed Tube accommodates a variety of sizes of food. Learn More

KitchenAid® 9-Cup Food Processor

The KitchenAid® Diamond Blender, with exclusive diamond blending system, provides the ultimate blending performance to stir, chop, mix, puree and liquify, with pulse 1-5 settings and crush ice mode. A robust motor, unique one-piece, BPA-Free diamond pitcher, stainless steel blades and electronic controls combine to create a powerful vortex that is fast and thorough for exceptional blending results. Addtionally, Intelli-Speed® Motor Control senses contents and maintains optimal speed to power through all ingredients.

Learn More

KitchenAid® 5-Speed Diamond Blender

You might also like:

  • Angelic

    Can’t wait to make buttercream in my KitchenAid food processor! My KitchenAid 5-qt is making funny noises 🙁 Maybe I can give it a break. Thanks for the research.

  • Beth @ Hungry Happenings

    O.K. so now I can’t wait to make some frosting in my food processor. I have to admit, I’ve never done that before, but I’m definitely going to try it.

  • elisabeth

    Like you, I am surpised at how well the food processor worked in this experiment. I’ve only ever used my food processor once to prepare frosting but the ingredients were also very different that those I would use when creating a basic buttercream. I did find it funny to even consider using a blender for this experiment! Nice to know my assumptions of how horrible the results would be were true.

    • Amanda

      I think the reason I included the blender is because it makes such amazing whipped cream! Have fun with your FP. 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I am so excited! I own both the stand mixer and the food processor. It has never occurred to me (and probably wouldn’t in a million years!) to use my food processor for buttercream! I can’t wait to try it on my next cake – I am planning on doing ruffles and these will surely look amazing! Thanks for doing a test on something I didn’t even know needed testing. 🙂 Learned something new today!

  • Phi

    I never even thought to make frosting in my food processor, definitely have to try this method out asap!

  • Barbara Schieving

    Fun experiment. Guess I’ll have to pull out my food processor and make some buttercream!

  • Janice Lee

    Wow! Who knew?! Thanks for your efforts!!

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    It never occurred to me to use my kitchen food processor for frosting!! Thanks for this experiment!

  • Years ago I used to bake everything in a food.processer (as a kid/teenager) mow being a cake maker I have upgraded to various stand.mixers BUT can absolutely appreciate the difference between the two buttercreams with the broken.edges. Thank you I shall pull out the processer for smaller quantity of bc

ABOUT THE BLOG

The Kitchenthusiast™ - the official KitchenAid blog - is all about possibilities, inspiration and a shared passion for making. With contributions from your favorite bloggers, you’ll discover new recipes to test, new techniques to hone and so much more. Because whether you cook, bake, brew or blend, anything you want to do in the kitchen, you can do with KitchenAid.