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. Rating: 5

    I’m SO GLAD I found your recipe for white choc ganache frosting… … I made a HORRIFIC mistake where I used too much cream and not enough white chocolate (as I looked on in horror at the second unopened bag of white choc). The frosting broke! Not fit at all for a cake! (Tastes good though… but… yeah, haha) Is there any way to rapidly cool the ganache? I literally don’t have time to wait overnight! I’d even try putting a bowl in an ice bucket! Your frosting recipes haven’t let me down yet (Traditional cream cheese is a fave!) and I have faith in this one!

    (We’ve a church function tomorrow afternoon…. baaaaaaaaaad timing, I know!)
    I’m gonna try to cool it rapidly in an ice bucket and hope that works. (stirring occasionally of course)

    • Hi War Crow, I am hoping you solved this one, but popping in the fridge in a plastic zip lock bag spread flat as you can for a a rapid cool. You could do freezer but you don’t want it to freeze.

  2. Rating: 5

    I made the Italian meringue recipe and it turned out perfectly. Smooth, glossy and not too sweet. I’m gonna pile it on lemon meringue tarts. Yum, yum! You definitely need to use a candy thermometer though to ensure the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • THanks E. for the feedback.

  3. Rating: 4.5

    Hi, I am making my grandson the fire engine cake, so excited. Which buttercream would you recommend to use as it will be a garden party and the temperature here in Australia will be in the 30s!

    • Hi Ann, Any frosting in our aussie summers will take a beating. The most stable ones in Ann’s heat test were Ermine, cream cheese or Italian meringue frosting.

  4. Thanks for the recipe. May I ask can I use White Chocolate Ganache Frosting to make cake pop balls?
    If it can work, do I need to refrigerate the cake pops afterwards?

  5. Rating: 5

    I can’t wait to try some of these icing recipes. ? they sound so yummy. Thanks for the help.❤

  6. Hi,
    Can you colour the ganache or will it seize?

    • Hi Laura, Yes you can color white chocolate ganache with gel color.

  7. hi ann i have a question, if in tropical country what kind of butter cream that is better for macarons filling?

    • Hi Jesen, I think ganache is better personally. Whatever you choose, it will be impacted by heat, so best kept cool.

  8. Can any of these frosting be mixed together? For instance, your Swiss buttercream (we call it Italian buttercream) and panache?

    • Hi Judy, Ann often mixes ganache and American buttercream

  9. Hey!

    What is the amount of cupcakes for the white chocolate ganache?

    • Hi Adi, It will depend on the size of your cupcake cakes and how you wish to frost them. The recipe provides enough frosting for a dozen large or 24 small cupcakes.

  10. Rating: 5

    This recipe was amazing. I like this very much. Probably one of the best things I’ve made!

  11. Can I make these frostings with margarine? What would be the pros and con, specifically with ermine frosting? I’ve made smbc and abc with margarine before and it worked, but would it taste different/better if I used butter? Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Lizzy, Ann prefers to use margarine because it is a healthier option than butter.

  12. Hi Ann!
    How many cakes would the white chocolate ganache buttercream fill?
    Thank You!

    • Hi Jawaira, The quantity given is sufficient to frost a standard 9 inch cake

  13. Rating: 4.5

    I looked all over like a crazy woman for a sponge cake,that will hold the buttercream. From sponge to victoria to chocolate …not pleased…i spent hrs looking for a yellow cake that will hold,tall, not crumbly, M O I ST…nothing… can you help me please with your recomandation.

  14. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you so much for these recipes. I have bought some Russian Ball icing tips and will try some of these.. which ones do you suggest?

  15. Rating: 5

    hi – I’ve watched the video several times, most helpful, especially the heat test. It’s cute to watch the kids reactions, each little person’s response so unique.

    One comment for others who watch this is that the frosting called Italian Buttercream in this video is known in the U.S. as Meringue frosting and the one called Swiss Buttercream is here in the U.S. called Italian Buttercream. Here, Swiss is where you cook the egg white and sugar together first then add the butter after whipping the egg/sugar combo. It’s considered to be pretty stable under heat, altho some believe the U.S. Italian Buttercream to hold up better comparatively.

    hope people find this useful. I was glad I looked at the recipes otherwise it might be a bit misleading.

  16. Recipe for fluffy frosting and icing

  17. Rating: 5

    thnx for receipts

  18. What kind of cream do you mean? Like heavy cream or..?

  19. hi Ann, i have two questions related to chocolate ganache.
    firstly, you have mentioned real chocalate can we make this recipe with compound chocolate or fake chocolate?
    secondly, you have mentioned to let the ganache cool overnight. can we leave it on our kitchen counter at room temperature or in fridge?

    thank you

    • Hi Shadma, Ann prefers to use real chocolate because the taste is so much better. You can use fake chocolate but be aware that the taste can be different and the texture can vary depending on what is actually in the fake chocolate you are using. In most environments ganache is best to cool in the fridge. You may need to let it soften a little on the bench before using.

  20. Rating: 4.5

    Hi Ann, thank you for the recipes. May i know when we can use Ermine frosting? Thanks for answering :)…Cheers!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>