How To Make Buttercream Less Sweet

A cake with no frosting? Unacceptable! Frosting can improve the look and flavor of your baked goods, and what better frosting than old buttercream?

Buttercream is creamy, rich, and sweet. It is among the top well-known frostings for cakes across the US.

Created by mixing together an oil (usually margarine, butter, or shortening) with sugar, it’s the perfect complement to cupcakes, cakes, cookies, cakes, and all the rest.

It is available in various flavors, including simple American buttercream, the most well-known and one you’ll most likely see on cakes at your local grocery store.

While widely loved, the buttercream is slightly sweet for some people as well, and you’ll often encounter people, particularly those who do not have an appetite for sweets.

So, how do you create less sugary buttercream? There are many methods to reduce the sweetness of buttercream, including increasing the fat amount, adding a little lemon juice or salt, or adding flavor to it to offset its sweetness.

Learn how to reduce the sweetness of buttercream and some healthier alternatives for topping your cupcakes and cakes with!

Methods to Make Buttercream less sweet

The frosting of buttercream is created up of butter and sweetener. It can be a fantastic topping for cakes as well as other sweets.

There are a variety of different kinds of buttercream frosting, with the basic American buttercream being among the more widely-used variety that is used across the United States.

American buttercream is a light and fluffy texture. It’s created by beating butter and sugar icing at a rapid speed.

The icing sugar gives it more structure and helps it remain flexible enough to pipe. However, because it is utilized in such large amounts and in such large quantities, it may make the buttercream overly sweet.

It is possible to believe that using less sugar in the icing will reduce the sweetness however, while that might be the case, but it could also impact the structure and the hold of the buttercream.

There are many simple ways to reduce the sweetness of buttercream without compromising its structure. Here’s how!

Enhance The Fat Content

As reducing or eliminating sugar isn’t a possible option, you could increase the amount of butter you use in your buttercream.

Buttercream is essentially sugar mixed with fat; consequently, adding a small amount of fat to the frosting can reduce the sugar content and make it sourer.

Add one or two tablespoons of softened butter to your buttercream and mix it at high speed until it’s thoroughly integrated. It is possible to make more if needed. For a milder taste, You can add shortening instead.

Add salt or lemon Juice

The addition of salt is likely to be one of the oldest tricks in the book to reduce the sugar content in all recipes, including buttercream frosting.

This is a simple method of making buttercream less sweet without changing its taste or texture excessively.

It’ll remain delicious. However, it will not seem as overwhelming. Instead of salt, you can go with salted butter.

It is also possible to add lemon juice to the frosting, particularly when mixing it with an orange cake.

It’s not just to aid in reducing the sweetness, but it also gives it a nice kick. Buttercream is the perfect kick.

Be careful not to add too much lemon juice since it could cause the frosting to be too acidic. Additionally, as lemon juice is liquid, too much will cause the buttercream to become soft.

To create the perfect balance of frosting made of buttercream, add 1/8 1/8 of one teaspoon salt along with 1 teaspoon lemon juice to make 4 cups of sugar for icing.

Create Flavor

This way it’s not decreasing the amount of sugar in the buttercream but adding an extra flavor to keep your attention away from sweet.

The flavor helps neutralize the excessive sweetness of the icing sugar.

You can also make use of dark chocolate, however, it is only effective in the case of making chocolate buttercream frosting.

Dark chocolate is known to have an astringent taste and is a bit bitter; it balances the sweetness and makes the frosting with buttercream more appealing.

Furthermore as well, because, unlike butter, it’s solid at temperatures of room temperature, chocolate can create buttercream smoother without losing its structure and hold.

More Sweet Buttercream Alternatives

As we mentioned, there are a variety of options for buttercream that are available Many of them are less sweeter than traditional American buttercream.

If you’re seeking a sweeter alternative, choose one of the following similarly delicious alternatives to buttercream:

Ermine Buttercream

Ermine buttercream, sometimes referred to as flour buttercream, is a traditional French flour-based frosting that is made with sugar, flour, milk, and butter.

It is more difficult to make as opposed to American buttercreams, the ermine variety gains its structure from milk and flour without the need to add excessive amounts of sugar.

To make ermine buttercream, you’ll require:

  1. Begin by making a roux by mixing flour with milk in a saucepan until it is boiling.
  2. Take it off the stove and mix it into the flavorings, if there are any.
  3. Cool it down.
  4. Separately, mix the sugar and butter until it is soft and airy.
  5. Add the roux that you prepared to the mix, one tablespoon at each time until you’re left with soft and light frosting.

Meringue Buttercream

Swiss meringue buttercream as well as Italian meringue buttercreams are also options that are both harder to create and more difficult than American buttercream but possess an easy and silky texture and aren’t as sweet as American buttercream.

Both buttercreams made from meringue are made with sugar, egg whites cooked, and butter, however using slightly different methods.

For making Swiss meringue buttercream, you’ll need:

  1. Cook the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler until the sugar is been completely dissolved.
  2. Mix the ingredients until glossy peaks begin to form.

In order to make Italian meringue buttercream, you’ll need:

  1. Cook the sugar in a glass of water to make an energizing sugar syrup.
  2. When the syrup is at 240°F, you can put it in the egg whites and beat it with a fork.
  3. Keep beating until stiff peaks form.

From here on from here, the steps for both meringues are identical.

Once they’ve cool completely and are at the temperature of the room, begin adding softened butter to the meringue, one tablespoon at a moment, and beat until it’s well combined.

The inclusion of egg whites gives the Meringues a marshmallow-like taste The absence of sugar icing will make them less sweet.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

A classic flavor pair for many baked products cream cheese buttercream provides both a tart flavor and a touch of creaminess to favorite desserts like carrot and red velvet cakes.

Cream cheese is traditional buttercream created with butter, cream cheese, and icing sugar, and the tanginess of cream cheese balances out sugar sweetness.

You can use condensed milk as an alternative to icing sugar in order to make it silkier, milkier, and less sweet. Another alternative is to include a small amount of dark chocolate, and you’ll get yourself some delicious chocolate cheese buttercream.

Other Questions

If you’ve learned the best way to reduce sweetness in buttercream, and some of the most delicious alternatives to buttercream that are less sweet Here are some other questions we thought you may have!

How do help make frosting for chocolate not as sweet?

Chocolate frosting is among the top loved and delicious frostings on the market. When you think it’s too sweet for your taste You can reduce its sweetness by adding more cocoa or a little of sour-cream to the frosting.

The most important aspect to take into consideration is the kind of chocolate you choose to use. If you’re melting chocolate, you can choose from semi-sweet, semi-sweet, and sweet chocolates.

It is best to bake with baking chocolate so you can add the right amount of sugar to your personal preference.

You can also mix cream cheese and the chocolate frosting, which makes it more creamy and less sweet with no sweet or overpowering flavor.

What can you do to make buttercream less gritty?

The ideal buttercream frosting is light, fluffy, and silky texture. But, there are times when you could get a frosting being gritty or grainy because the sugar isn’t melting correctly.

To ensure that you have the perfect quality and texture, sift your sugar to get rid of the lumps. This is crucial in the case of an open bag of sugar that was stored in a humid area.

To get rid of the gritty and grainy buttercream, you could try adding a liquid to melt the sugar or allow the buttercream to sit for a couple of hours at temperatures at room temperature.

Once you’re ready to use it, smash it up until it morphs into the appearance of a fluffy texture.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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