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Topic Title: Homemade buttercream without stand up mixer, can this be done?
Created On Sunday April 26, 2009 9:01 AM
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shannabanana23
Posts: 60
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 9:01 AM

Hello,
Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Okay, here's what I am wondering...

I have started decorating recently (just for family, not selling anything) and I have been buying the wilton icing in the big tubs. Works great, like the taste, so no complaints. And I am frugal minded enough to only buy it with a 50% coupon, so I get it for about $7 for the 4.5 lb 8oz tub. I am wondering if I would be ahead financially to make my own icing, but I only have a five speed Toastmaster handheld mixer that was given to me as a wedding gift eleven years ago. I see no Kitchen Aid standup mixer in my future, so my question is this... to make or not to make? Should I try making buttercream from scratch and if so any recipe suggestions? And suggestions in general?

I had previously thought that only those with stand up mixers made their own icing, but I've read enough on here to make me think there are others out their making their own buttercream without a standup mixer.

Well, thanks again ladies, always a pleasure hearing from you!
Shanna
 
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Jeanne G
Posts: 17115
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 9:29 AM

Shanna, I think that is a hard call. You would save some money making your own, but if you burn out your mixer and have to replace it there goes the savings.

Making buttercream is a snap with a stand mixer. It would be more time-consuming with a hand mixer. I don't know if you have extra time on your hands, but that is something else to factor in.

How often do you decorate cakes for family? How many buckets of icing do you think you'll use in a year?

Do you make cakes for people outside of your household? Do they pay for the ingredients? Whether they do or not, how do you think they'd feel about contributing a little extra toward your new mixer? "Sure I'll make that shower cake for you, Cousin Rita. The ingredients and the cakeboard, etc. will be about $11, plus a KA surcharge of $1." That won't get you a mixer next month, but it would help get it on the "definitely in the future" list.

Those of you who sell cakes ... what do you figure your cost of homemade buttercream to be per batch or per cup? Does anyone know how many cups are in the Wilton tub? Maybe that would help Shanna calculate the potential savings of making her own.
 
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shannabanana23
Posts: 60
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 10:09 AM

Jeanne,
Thanks for the reply! You hit the nail on the head with two words, "time consuming" Yep, that did it for me. I think I'll be sticking to my Wilton tubs. Maybe someday when I don't have a three year old at my feet, I'll try. And by then there probably WILL be a KA on my counter!

You make me laugh! "Are you charging your family for cake supplies?" Ha ha ha! It's more like me asking, "Can I PLEASE make a cake? Please?" My side of the family doesn't care much for sweets, (My mother likes to remind me that I am the only one who likes them and Grandma is diabetic)Thankfully, my husband's family is more appreciative, but health conscience.

Dang it, doesn't anybody besides me appreciate a piece of cake with every meal?

 
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JamieandChris99
Posts: 82
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 10:31 AM

 
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JamieandChris99
Posts: 82
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 10:35 AM

I can't figure a price for you... but I pay about $1.90 for the Dominos sugar and about $6.00 for the can of crisco.

I would think its definitely more budget friendly to buy the ingredients and do it yourself... but as it was stated
it definitely is time consuming... and that doesn't even add in the mess. lol
 
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Portia
Posts: 9
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 11:52 AM

I can't contribute much on the do's or don'ts, but wanted to suggest checking want ads, garage/estate sales, recycle groups on yahoo, craigslist, goodwill stores and pawn shops. If you could pick up a used one at a fraction of the cost, eventually you could save enough to buy a brand new one. Here I pay 0.76/pound for the boxed sugar. It does not pay to buy the bags of sugar since you have to weigh it, as you only save like 0.03 per pound. Hope some of this helps in your research.
 
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teacherdolphin
Posts: 230
Posted: Sunday April 26, 2009 12:32 PM

I've never bought pre-made frosting before. My husband suprised me with a Kitchen Aid last summer. Prior to that (for a few years), I used a hand held 5 speed mixer that I got on day after Thanksgiving special for $5 to make my buttercream. I never had a problem with it. I still have it and use it for a few things. I used that mixer to make anything and everything that needed mixing. The only problem that I had is that I couldn't make more than a double batch of Wilton recipe buttercream at one time. So, it can be done. I just buy all my ingredients on sale or stock up at Wally World (their big can of shortening in my area is $2.78, the domino confectioner sugar is $1.38 for 2lbs, the butter is $1.77). I calculated how much it costs for icing ingredients to fill, frost, and decorate and 1/2 sheet cake, but I cannot find my notebook. It just depends on how much time you have and how much it costs for ingredients where you live. I've never sold a cake. I just bake for friends and family as a gift.
 
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cakebrat
Posts: 44
Posted: Monday April 27, 2009 3:46 PM

I own a KA stand mixer, but usually mix up a double batch of BC with my hand mixer. My hand mixer is also a KA classic plus five speed, and works great. That way I mix up my frosting while the cake is baking, and if I cannot frost right away I put the lid on my rubbermaid bowl that I mixed in and refrigerate until I can frost. This saves me clean up, and time, I am already in the kitchen watching the cake bake. My recipe is half butter half shortening. As for cost, I also cannot find my notebook, but I use all generic ingredients except for the Wilton clear vanilla, and I get great reviews on it. Also check for refurbished stand mixers to save some money.
Happy baking, Sandy
 
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GTNx2
Posts: 96
Posted: Monday April 27, 2009 8:18 PM

Shanna,

Have you considered using a premade such as the kind you can buy at Sam's? It comes in 26 pound bucket for about $25. That's roughly $1 per pound. I'm pretty sure I can't make it that cheap, but I do like the taste of homemade alot better!
 
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shannabanana23
Posts: 60
Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2009 8:06 AM

When you say Sam's.. do you mean like Sam's club, a division of WalMart?
 
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twinsmake5
Posts: 1176
Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2009 10:06 AM

It CAN be done with a hand-held mixer. I did it all through my teens - there was no other option in the 70's in my house. I've used both store bought and homemade and I prefer the homemade. Doing it by hand takes 10 minutes and gets boring. But, try it once to see what you think! Check ebay - you may get a steal on a mixer! Good luck with your baking!
 
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Beginner Anne
Posts: 48
Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2009 1:33 PM

I only have a hand held mixer and it does the trick...... yes, it does take time and is a mess, but the kids love it when the icing sugar 'flies' through the air and they can lick it up off the counter! for two batches, I measure all the ingrediants I need and put in individual small bowls (sour cream tubs) - the shortening and butter...... then I put my icing sugar in a big bowl or tupperware and get one batch done - transfer it to another bucket and so on...... an hour later, I've started, done what I've needed to and cleaned up - and I get singing and playing the kitchen with the kids while I'm doing it! (they are 8 and 4 and we just blast the music and sing at the top of our lungs - that is, until Dad gets home and thinks we are all crazy!)

Good luck! and hope we've all helped - someday I'll get a kichenaide!!
 
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pastelitos
Posts: 445
Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2009 3:08 PM

I only have the hand held mixer and it works fine. It's not as complicated as you might think it is. I first add the crisco, vanilla, and water and blend that until it's soft. Then I add the dry ingredients and I add the sugar and mix it by hand(not using the mixer) just so that I don't have sugar flying everywhere. Once it's incorporated in I continue with the electric mixer. I have just finished course 1 and my icing has always been good.

Good luck!!!
 
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GTNx2
Posts: 96
Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2009 4:44 PM

Shanna, yes, like Sam's club. good luck!
 
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LadyD
Posts: 8
Posted: Sunday May 24, 2009 1:57 PM

I have never bought icing...always made it myself. I use a hand mixer and it works just fine. It is not time-consuming, just a bit messy. I do not use butter in my recipe. A cup of shortening to a pound of confectioner's sugar, with a little vanilla flavoring. Thin with either water or milk (milk makes it creamier). My icing always gets rave reviews.
 
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topofthehill
Posts: 415
Posted: Sunday May 24, 2009 6:31 PM

I used a hand mixer for making icing for 15 years. I still don't have a KA, they are hideously expensive. I got myself a sunbeam stand mixer for 1/3 or less of what the ka costs and it does everything I need it to do.
 
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KTB
Posts: 1291
Posted: Sunday May 24, 2009 8:25 PM

I don't have a KA mixer but do have GE one that Walmart was selling a few years ago. It was a fraction of the cost of a KA which is why I got it. YOu could always find a cheaper version of the KA.
 
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murkywaters
Posts: 108
Posted: Tuesday May 26, 2009 10:50 AM

I make one "batch" at a time (with my handheld, it's all i have)... if you try to do a double it's a bloomen mess! That's my only suggestion
 
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