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. For the white chocolate ganache icing, approximately how many cupcakes did that cover? I need to know if I should half or double my cupcake recipie.

  2. Thank you for such a thorough tutorial… Very educational… Great research!!! Will need to reflect on this often!

  3. Can the white chocolate ganache be colored?

    • Hi Amanda, Yes you can. You can use oil based or liquid colour for the ganache.

  4. thanks for the video. I live in Costa Rica and always have problems with traditional buttercream with the heat!

    • Rating: 5

      Hi I’m Carlee and I’m 10 years old I have been watching your vids for a long time and I relly was hoping u could make a Barbie cake or shopkin cake plz answer my request and say my name in the video if u make it you r the best at making cakes ,Carlee

      • Can u make one of those cakes?

      • Hi Carlee, we are glad to hear that you are enjoying the videos.

  5. Where can I get a candy thermomether?

    • You can find candy thermometers at hardware stores, online (e.g., at baking specialty stores or arts and crafts stores (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby).

  6. Can I use heavy whipping cream? It’s about 38% fat but your recipe says 35% fat.

    • Hi Eno, Yes that should be fine.

      • Thank you! Last question: is this recipe enough to frost a 2-layer 9″ cake

  7. Rating: 5

    I am sure any frosting Ann makes will be a cup winner, but thank you for the info we can use for our parties now.

  8. Hello. Very useful post.. it’s strange that ABC got more score than SMBC… I always looked at the latter like heavenly tasty. One question: what is Ermine Frosting? where does it come from.. I’ve never heard of it before thru any of my readings…

    • Hi Hala, There is some different thoughts around the origin of Ermine frosting. In some places it is called flour buttercream and others a butter roux frosting/icing. Some people think that it is french in origin, others think it comes from the USA.

    • Ermine frosting is the traditional frosting for red velvet cake.

  9. Do you use use stabilizer so the frosting’s stand up?

    • Hi Julie, Ann doesn’t usually add any stabilizers.

  10. Hi Ann,
    For the white chocolate ganache frosting, can we use normal eating chocolate or do we have to use chocolate chips or baking chocolate? Thanks

    • Hi Nerdybear, As long as you use real white chocolate it will be fine. Sometimes the chocolate chips are fake chocolate to make them more stable when heating/baking.

  11. Hi Ann. Im wondering how much choc ganache I can add to the smbc without destroying its structure and stability? (I have seen somewhere about oversaturating Smbc or something along those lines) Can I do half and half or maybe just 1/3 ganache?

    • O and could I pipe this mixture of SMBC and ganache onto a ganached cake (ganache has set hard) or would it just slide off? Thank you

    • Hi Lisa, Ann doesn’t usually mix these two. Ann usually mixes the ganache with American Buttercream. She usually does a 50/50 mix.

  12. would any of these work on cinnamon rolls?

  13. Rating: 5

    Thnks for the nice recipies. More power and God bless.

  14. I’m going to make the the White Choclate ganache, and I was wondering how/where would you store it if you didn’t use it all, and how long could you store it for?, do you store it similar to store bought icing? 🙂

    • Hi Lily, You can store left over ganache in a ziplock bag and freeze it. It should be used within 2 months.

  15. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, i want to start off telling you that youre so amazing. You give insperation to even us who cant cook very well. I have a question. Could you please add deciliters to your future recipe measurements? I know it means extra work for you but it would be extremely helpful!

    Best regards

    • Hi Sena, Thanks for the feedback. Where possible Ann provides millilitres which can easily be converted to decilitres if need be. Many different countries have preferred units of measure and it is just not possible to list them all. A quick help is keep a conversion page open on your computer or their are apps available that provide the same assistance and you can have it handy on your smart phone or tablet if you have one..

  16. Rating: 5

    I just have to comment on the children! Not only did I gain valuable information but I was laughing all the way through the video! Good job kids! loved them.

  17. ermine

  18. is this wheat free

    • Hi Carla, There are a number of recipes here but if the one you want does not contain wheat flour it is wheat free.

  19. I like your cooking , thank you .

  20. Hi Anna, It usually makes about 3 cups of frosting.

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