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
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

261 Comments View Comments

  1. Hello, Ann. I used your buttercream recipe on top of a cake for my grandmas birthday and everyone loved it! Even people at the restaurant we were at took a bite! I really thank you for the recipe.

  2. Rating: 5

    I love to watch how to cook that because I love to bake

  3. Rating: 5

    i am only 10 years old and i really like to do every single one you have done in youtube i always siad to my dad to buy me a oven so i could bake but he always told me priorities first

    • Hi Isabel, It is great that you enjoy Ann’s recipes. I am sure that one day you will have access to an oven for baking. In the mean time you could try some recipes that don’t require baking. You could try making some chocolate gifts or truffles:

  4. Rating: 5

    Hi i just wanted to say i really loved this video. It was so well done and your ‘cast’ were just gorgeous, all of them:-). Thanks for providing the recipies all at the one place so they were easy to take down. Excellent videos, really simple for a beginner like me. Your beautiful cast made me feel all good inside. Thanks guys!!!

    • Thanks Nicky!

  5. Rating: 5

    I love how simple you made making each frosting seem. I also love your stand mixer with the rotating bowl. May I ask what is the brand name? I’d like to purchase one over the kitchen aid I have. Thank you for a great video tutorial and sharing great recipes!

    • Hi Rena, Ann uses a Breville Scraper Mixer Pro. It is very easy to use.

  6. Hi Ann, can I make american buttercream and white chocolate ganache frosting today and use it 4 days later? Thank you 🙂

  7. Hi Ann, can I use compound chocolate instead of real chocolate for the ganache? thank you!!! 🙂

    • Hi Amber, yes you can but it tends to set firmer, so use a little less cream.

  8. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann
    How much American Buttercream do I need for 1 cake to frost and fill?
    And I love your channel!! 🙂

  9. I can’t believe my eyes when ı saw your web site …you are my teacher now . I wish that I have all the ingredients now to start. have a great day Ann. Thanks

  10. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    Im so happy that i found your youtube channel!! You’re such a great cook! ♡
    Just asking What kind of cream did you use for the white chocolate ganache? Can we use any cream of our choice??

    • Hi Esther, So glad you are enjoying the channel. I used cream with a 35% fat content that is readily available in our supermarket. Check the label of the cream you want to use and check that the fat content is at least 35%.

  11. can you please do a football cake it is for my dads birthday

  12. Hi Ann
    I just saw this and its amazingly good. everything is so clear and nothing hidden.. thank you so much. can I please ask you what butter you use in making these frosting… I normally use Flora but its not butter.
    Love you work..

  13. Thank you for sharing this! such a great help! here in the Philippines we use the term, “boiled icing” a lot and is very stable in this tropical weather..little did i know it’s also called italian meringue frosting! learning something new everyday…thanks to you! 🙂

  14. Can you make like kinds of cakes like chocolate,vanilla,lemon,lime,raseberry…….cakes plz i want to know their ingridients to know their flavor and how to do them plZ

  15. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,I just want to tell you that you are a great cooker I love your channel,but i tried the amercican buttercream 2 times and i didnt turn about good it tasted like if eating butter sprinkled with icing sugar plz plz help me i dont know what to do although i used the right amounts of ingredients but i dint use the vanilla extract since the countrey that i live in doesnt have liquid vanilla plz help

  16. I was really determined to make the ermine frosting, but it didn’t come out as yummy looking! Mine separated. Do you have any tricks? It still tastes great!

  17. looks very good keep up the good work

  18. Hey! 🙂

    I made the white chocolate ganache today and the cupcakes were gone as soon as I got done! That’s the first time it’s ever happen lol

    Please post more different flavors 🙂 your channel is amazing! I wish I had all your equipments tho so I could make all the stuff you make.

    Anyways, have a great day!

    • that’s great to hear shaine

  19. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann
    Me and my 3 years old love watching your work. Every week she asks me to make that cake.
    In her kindergarten there is one kid how is sensitive to milk products. Can you recommend how to create a frosting that will be yummy and with no milk products except the meringue (not my kids favorite)
    Thanks Rani and Lia

    • rani my friends sister also has trouble with milk products. for the American buttercream you can use vegan butter and almond milk, hope this helps

  20. I was wondering if the white chocolate ganache would be suitable to go between layers of a cake and does it hold its shape???
    Also, I love your channel 🙂

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