This high ratio frosting recipe is a great option to have in your recipe file of favorites! It is light, fluffy, and has a wonderful flavor.
If you are unfamiliar with high ratio shortening, it is a popular choice because it contains emulsifiers which allow it to absorb more sugar and liquid than regular shortening.
You’ll love the creamy consistency that high ratio shortening lends to this frosting, and there is no greasy aftertaste. There are many different brands of high ratio frosting, but Sweetex is what we use most often.
Advantages of Shortening Based Frostings
Probably the biggest advantage of shortening based frostings is that they hold up nicely in warmer weather. Although it isn’t heat proof (no frosting is), shortening-based frostings hold up much better in warm conditions than butter based frostings.
Another bonus to shortening based frostings is the white color. Butter-based frostings have a slight yellow tint, and if natural vanilla flavoring is used rather than clear vanilla, it is more of an ivory shade. If a stark white frosting is what your design (or customer) calls for, this frosting is a great choice.
More Extracts may be Needed in shortening-Based Frostings…
Due to the absence of butter in this recipe, we have to rely more heavily on extracts to make this frosting flavorful. There is a lot of wiggle room here and so don’t hesitate to do a little experimenting! We hope that you enjoy the recipe!
Have Gritty Buttercream? It Could be Your Powdered Sugar…
** We’ve had great results with Domino’s confectioners sugar and US Sugar (we buy ours from Costco). Some brands of confectioners sugar don’t work as well with buttercream frosting recipes.
If a package doesn’t say pure cane sugar, it contains beet sugar which is more likely to give you a grainy outcome. In addition to that, we’ve noticed that even some brands that say “Pure Cane Sugar” will give a grainy consistency.
One example is Dixie Crystals (although it used to work great for us a few years ago.) Something has changed…it’s a mystery. Anyway, this recipe should not be grainy, and so if it is, experiment with a different brand of confectioners sugar.
- *This Recipe makes a lot of frosting. It can be halved!
- 2 cups (386 g) high ratio shortening (We use Sweetex and CK brands)
- 2 Tablespoons (24 g) clear vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) butter flavoring
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) lemon or almond flavoring
- 4 lbs. (1820 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup (238 g) or more if needed - milk or heavy cream (you get a softer crust using heavy cream)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon (2g to 4g ) salt ( I use popcorn salt because of its fine grain or let your regular salt dissolve in the milk) This will cut the sweetness.
- Cream the shortening and flavorings .
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and cream, mixing slowing and gradually increasing speed .
- Mix approx. 8 min. until creamy and smooth, DURING THE LAST 2 TO 3 MINUTES OF MIXING SLOW DOWN THE SPEED TO VERY SLOW THIS WILL ELIMINATE MOST OF THE AIR BUBBLES THAT OCCUR.
- If you are still seeing what looks like bubbles that have burst (small holes) in your buttercream, continue to add milk a teaspoon at a time until most of them disappear.
- This is still sweet though the salt cuts some of the sweetness.
Makes approximately 11 ½ cups
***We slightly altered this recipe from our previous version, which had 2 lbs (910g) confectioner’s sugar. We still really like the previous version, but it has a much lighter and softer consistency and while it crusted, it didn’t crust quite as firm. Using the Viva paper towel method of smoothing is easier with the updated version.