The Secret to Glossy Buttercream

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Throughout my cake decorating journey, I have never seen people abuzz on glossy buttercream flowers.

I heard about glossy translucent buttercream flowers from gg.cakecraft, who patented her italian meringue recipe in Korea.  It created so much craze in Asia because of its translucent and fragile look.  Almost everyone I knew in cake decorating could not stop talking about it.  At first, I did not go too much in the hype because I prefer my buttercream flowers matte and more realistic.  Eventually, it finally caught on me when one of my mentors has taught me the secret to creating that glossy look.

So what is the secret?

It is not how melted the butter.  It is how you prepare the meringue.

How do you prepare the meringue?  By not beating the air into it.

I was perplexed at the thought of it.  After all the idea of a meringue is to beat the sugar into the eggwhites to create a stable foam meant as a raising agent.  It is unorthodox to NOT beat air into a meringue.

However, it is the eggwhites that gives that glossy, porcelain finish when beaten with cold butter.  Oops.  Another tip right here.

So I took up the task of using my usual recipe of Italian Meringue buttercream, and beat the sugar and eggwhites with a paddle on medium to make sure that the sugar is well combined with the whites.  I am careful enough not to create any foam because that is the SECRET after all.

Once the sugar syrup boiled between 120C-125C, I slowly poured the syrup into the mixer with the eggwhites.  Putting in the hot syrup fast will cook them into an omelette. When everything is in the bowl, mix on medium for a few minutes until well combined.  Then shuck it in the freezer or fridge until the bowl is super cold to touch.

Meanwhile, you can get your butter, cut into blocks, out from the fridge 15-20 minutes before you are about to put them in the revamped meringue mixture.  Start beating the butter with a paddle mixer as soon as you can press your finger on the butter but still getting some resistance.  Beating the butter puts in air into it and it will be easier to emulsify with the super cold meringue mixture.

When you see your butter is paler in color, fluffy and aerated, you can slowly pour in the meringue into the mixture.  Keep the mixer on medium until you see the mixture starting to curdle like child’s vomit.  From here watch as the magic unfolds with the butter and eggwhites coming together to become glorious glorious buttercream.  You may stop from here and test if the mixture is pipable.  This mixture will immediately give you the translucent look.  You may also keep beating to give your buttercream flowers a matte look.

So go ahead, give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Till then,



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  • admin

    Howdy Karina! It does look like kid’s vomit given my experience with my son with a delicate gag reflex. Hope all is well with you!

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