Ann Reardon

7 Best Frosting Recipes Taste Tested


A good frosting completes the cake.
The best frosting recipes give that moist mouthfeel, enhanced flavour and burst of indulgence with every bite.
Today we are putting seven frosting recipes to the test to find out which frosting tastes the best and how they stand up in the heat outside in an Aussie summer.

The frosting recipes that were used in this comparison were:

best frosting recipe how to cook that ann reardon

American Buttercream Frosting Recipe

(recipes for buttercream flavours here)
120g (4.23 ounces) or 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
330g (11.64 ounces) or 2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp powdered (icing) sugar
15-30millilitres (1.01 fluid ounces) or 1-2 Tbsp milk
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence
Whip butter until smooth and pale, stir in the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and salt then whip for a further 2 minutes.

French Buttercream Frosting Recipe

french buttercream how to cook that ann reardon

2/3 cup or 144g (5.08 ounces) superfine (castor) sugar
45millilitres (1.52 fluid ounces) or 3 Tbsp water
5 egg yolks
200g (7.05 ounces) or 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp and 2 tsp unsalted butter, bring to room temperature
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence

Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan.
Whip the egg yolks on high until they are pale.
Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and then continue to heat it until it reaches 238F (114.44 degrees Celsius).
With the mixers running, pour the hot sugar syrup into the yolks. Keep beating and it will thicken up as it cools. Add in the butter a little at a time. Then add the vanilla and salt and keep beating on high for a minute until it is smooth and glossy.

Italian Meringue Frosting Recipe

italian meringue how to cook that ann reardon
3 large egg whites or 120g (4.23 ounces) pasturized egg whites, they do not make quite as stiff a frosting as fresh but are safer.
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup or 218g (7.69 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup or 63millilitres (2.13 fluid ounces) water
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites. Beat on high speed until you have soft peaks.
Mix together the water and caster sugar, heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Then add a candy thermometer and heat until its 238F (114.44 degrees Celsius).
Turn your beaters on and pour in the sugar syrup in a thin stream. At first it will make it quite liquidy but keep the mixers running for about 5 minutes and as it cools it will thicken up. Add your vanilla and salt.

Swiss Buttercream

swiss buttercream how to cook that ann reardon
3 large egg whites or 120g (4.23 ounces) pasturized egg whites, they do not make quite as stiff a frosting as fresh but are safer.
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup or 218g (7.69 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup or 63millilitres (2.13 fluid ounces) water
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5ml vanilla essence
250g (8.82 ounces) or 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp and 1 tsp unsalted butter at room temperature
To make swiss buttercream take cooled italian meringue frosting and add cubes of butter. At first it will look like a curdled lumpy mess but just keep whipping on high and it will come together to form a smooth glossy frosting.

Ermine Frosting

srmine frosting how to cook that ann reardon
1 cup or 250millilitres (8.45 fluid ounces) (4%) milk
3 Tbsp or 30g (1.06 ounces) plain or all purpose flour
1 cup or 220g (7.76 ounces) butter
1 cup or 216g (7.62 ounces) superfine (caster) sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence

Beat together butter and superfine (castor) sugar until it is smooth and pale. In a saucepan whisk together the flour and milk, then stir it over heat. The mixture will start to get lumps, keep stirring it the whole time and then it will thicken into a smooth paste. Allow it to cool. Then with the beaters running add one spoonful at a time to the butter mixture. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until light and fluffy.

Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosting how to cook that ann reardon
500g (17.64 ounces) block or 2 cups cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup or 110g (3.88 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups or 315g (11.11 ounces) powdered (icing) sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence

Beat together cream cheese and butter until they are smooth.
Stir in your powdered (icing) sugar and then beat on high for 2 minutes.

White Chocolate Ganache Frosting Recipe

white chocolate ganache how to ann reardon
440g (15.52 ounces) white chocolate (choose real chocolate, check on the ingredients that it contains cocoa butter)
150ml or 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cream
small pinch salt
1/2 tsp or 2.5millilitres (0.08 fluid ounces) vanilla essence

Heat up your cream until it just starts to boil and then pour the hot cream over white chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then stir. If there are still lumps of white chocolate you can microwave it for 10 seconds and stir it again until its smooth. Leave it to cool overnight. Put it into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 2 minutes.

Frosting Taste Test

how to cook that ann reardon frosting

So how did they score on the taste test? Average taste test results are shown below for each frosting. Taste testers did not know which frosting they were tasting. Watch the video to see their reactions and hear their opinions.

4.0  White Chocolate Ganache (3,2,5,5,5,4)
3.8  American Buttercream Frosting (5,1,5,4,3,5)
3.8  Ermine Frosting (4,3,4,4,4,4)
3.3  French Butter Cream Frosting (2,4,3,4,4,3)
3.3  Italian Meringue (5,2,4,3,4,2)
2.6  Cream Cheese Frosting (4,4,1,1,1,5)
2.5  Swiss Buttercream Frosting (4,3,1,1,3,3)

frosting tastes best how to cook that

They were asked to rate frostings using the above scale

1 hate it, 2 not so sure about it, 3 like it, 4 love it and 5 favorite

The Frosting Heat Test
Which frosting is the best to use in hot weather? If you have to take your cupcakes or carefully decorated themed cake outside for the party you do not want it to fall apart. Watch the video for time-lapse footage of the seven frostings outside on a 32C (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) day.

Which one is your favourite frosting?

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That

© All Rights Reserved Reardon Media PL 2020

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

261 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi Ann,
    i want to do the white chocolate ganache
    i want to know if i can use with milk chocolate??

  2. Hi Ann
    Me and my 3 year old are in love with your channel. Every week she asks me to make her that cake!
    In her kindergarten we are not allowed to use any dairy products. Since one of the kids is extremely sensative.
    Can you recommend a frosting recepie other then the meringue (that my kids don’t like) with no deary products.
    Thanks, Rani.

  3. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I absolutely love your work! Could I be a pest and ask a couple of things? Has the white choc ganache frosting to be left to cool overnight in the fridge or at room temp? Also, is an electric mixer necessary? I don’t have one, would you get the same result with a normal whisk, although it would take longer and more effort?

  4. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann love your work ,with white chocolate ganache if I have white choc 180g how much cream do I use I want to whip it

  5. hi is it bad to have eggs that is not cooked I will like to try some of the frosting but im worried that its bad for you . pasturized egg does it give you the same as the normal egg. ty

    • Hi liz, the eggs are cooked by the hot sugar syrup

  6. Rating: 5

    I’m one of ur biggest fans I watch all ur videos on YouTube ,
    But I have a question ,what type of cream do you use for some of ur frosting recipes ?

    • Hi Rahaf, if using cream look for one that is around 35% fat, they are all different names depending on the country heavy cream in the USA

  7. Rating: 5

    The video is great! Love your work.

    • thanks Angela

  8. Rating: 5

    Great work Anna! Appreciate all the effort you put in to this video.

    • Thanks Rinza 😀

  9. Rating: 5

    this is increadiable. the amount of work and thought that you put in to help all of us out…. its like taking culinary school through your website and youtube channel.
    i have been using the wilton recipe with high ratio shorting included… only a few people like it on my cakes. everyone likes my royal icing cookies, but not my cakes. now i feel like i can start achieving some great head way in my work. i am sure i will get lots of smiles from your work….
    thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Annabel, that is great, we don’t get the shortening here but from what I’ve read not many people like the flavor.

  10. I’m getting ready to make a tiered cake that will be sitting out in the Texas heat and humidity. This was an extremely helpful post! Thank you very much for taking the time to put all of this together!

    • Hi Bethany,
      cakes really don’t like heat hope it goes well 😀

  11. How much frosting does the white chocolate ganache make?
    Enough for 12 medium cupcakes ?

  12. Hi Ann Reardon, What type of cake goes well with whitechocolate ganache?

    • I love all your wonderful recipes and ideas can you they making a 3d mountain cake without fondant?

      • Sorry, I meant Can you try.

    • Hi Sky, either chocolate cake or vanilla cake both taste great with it

  13. Hi Ann, your recipes are really good, and i really like how they taste. 😀 However when u say cream what type of cream did u meant?

    • heavy cream

    • hi evaHi eva, any cream that is 35% fat (check the nutrition information panel on the back) is fine, in the US heavy cream, in australia pure cream, whipping cream any of those, it is a called different things all around the world.

  14. Ann, for the white chocolate ganache frosting, what type of cream do we use?

  15. Hi Anne, I just got some questions about the frostings:
    – If I want my chocolate ganache frosting to be spreadable like american buttercream, how much cream to chocolate should I use?
    – Is it possible to reduce the sugar in ermine frosting? I made this the other day and one cup of sugar was too sweet for me
    – If I don’t use real chocolate for the ganache frosting, will it still work?
    – Do you have any other frostings that aren’t too sweet and can be frosted on a cake?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Remy,
      To make it spreadable use the proportions shown here and let it cool and firm and whip it as shown, then if you want it thinner add more cold cream while whipping.
      If you don’t use real chocolate it will set firmer so you may need more cream
      Try the ermine with less sugar and see how you go 😀

  16. gracias por todas tus recetas ojala que un dia pueda hacerlas tan bien como tu esto es en especial para mi familia muchas gracias

    • gracias berenice

  17. The white chocolate ganache frosting ; Can we substitute white chocolate with dark or milk? Will it give the same thickening result when being whipped?

    • of course as long as youuse heavy cream not milk

    • Yes you can 😀

  18. Rating: 4.5

    I really want to come to your show and do the tast tests.

  19. thanks Sera for the info. Really appreciates.

  20. Rating: 4

    Great !! I am attracted the way you decorate that ombre cake in youtube. I found your buttercream frosting recipe in HOWTOCOOKTHAT.NET.

    I have a question regarding american buttercream frosting recipe.

    what type of milk that mention in the recipe ? is it condensed milk or fresh milk ? hope u give me the answer so that i can try this. thank you.

    • It’d be whole milk or “fresh” 🙂

    • Hi Fairuz fresh milk 😀

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