Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps

Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps

Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Zara R.

Are you tired of reducing the amount of frosting you use just to make your items edible? Then you have to try our semi-sweet buttercream frosting!

It does take more time to make, but it will work out a lot cheaper than traditional recipes. Not to mention, it has a much creamier, richer, and more delicious flavor!

Jump to Recipe

How Do You Make Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting

Let’s be honest, buttercream frosting is way too sweet! We know, blasphemy! How dare we? But it’s true! Everyone thinks it, but for some reason, no one is allowed to say it!

Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Fr...
Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps

So, that is exactly what inspired us to write this article today. You can still make buttercream frosting, but it doesn’t have to be as sweet as most recipes are.

Now, how do you do this? Buttercream frosting is essentially made with butter and powdered sugar. Sometimes it has other additives like flavoring extracts, coloring ingredients, or liquid thinners. But for the most part, the powdered sugar just makes it sweet.

So, for this recipe, we will be reducing the sweetness of the frosting by making a custard with flour, sugar, and milk. This custard will help add volume to the frosting and help set it. Simultaneously, it helps reduce the sweetness. Granulated sugar is a lot less sweet than powdered sugar.

The biggest challenge when making this recipe is the custard. Avoiding making a lumpy custard is challenging, but not impossible. Especially when using our tips, you can have creamy smooth custard every time.

So, let’s have a look at exactly how you can make our semi-sweet buttercream frosting.

How do you make frosting that's not too sweet

What You Need To Make This Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 tbsp cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups full-fat milk, heated
  • 2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic or saran wrap
  • Electric hand or stand mixer

What can I add to buttercream to make it less sweet

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Make the custard base

Combine the cake flour and sugar into a large saucepan. Slightly heat it over medium heat, whisking frequently. Then, slowly add the heated milk in a thin stream while whisking.

If you add it all at the same time, your mixture will start forming lumps. Don’t add more milk until the flour and sugar mixture isn’t completely smooth.

Step 2: Cook the custard

Once all of your milk is added, keep heating and gently whisking the mixture. Don’t leave it unattended because it will burn at the bottom. Keep cooking the custard until it becomes thick and creamy.

Step 3: Cool the thickened custard

Once you are happy with the consistency of the frosting, remove it from the heat and decant it into a large bowl.

Add a layer of plastic or saran wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Spread it up against the sides so it creates a thinner layer. This way, it will cool much quicker than one large dollop.

Leave the custard to cool completely! It shouldn’t even be lukewarm.

Step 4: Make the semi-sweet buttercream frosting

To start your frosting, add the salted butter into a large mixing bowl. Then, beat it until it becomes smooth, creamy, and fluffy. The color will also lighten considerably.

Remove the plastic from the custard and give it a mix. Keep mixing the custard until it is completely smooth and free of lumps.

Add the smooth custard to the creamed butter one tablespoon at a time. Mix the ingredients at medium speed. This shouldn’t take any longer than a minute, otherwise, you will over-whip the frosting.

Step 5: Finish off the semi-sweet buttercream frosting

Finally, add the vanilla extract and whip your frosting for 3 minutes until it gets a stiff-peak consistency.

Expert Tips And Tricks

  • You can reduce the amount of sugar even further to only 1 cup if you’d like. Don’t remove any more sugar because the frosting still needs some amount of sweetness. And if you remove it completely, the consistency of the custard won’t be right to make frosting with.
  • To make a chocolate-flavored semi-sweet buttercream frosting, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Add it after your frosting has been made and mix it well.
  • If you need to make a white frosting, either use white margarine (shortening) or use a frosting whitener. It also helps if you add clear imitation vanilla extract instead of the dark one.
  • When cooking your custard, keep in mind that the thicker you make the base, the thicker the frosting will turn out. So, if you need your frosting to be very stiff, make a stiff custard. But, if you need a pliable frosting (for a crumb coating) then don’t make it too stiff.
  • When cooling your custard, we leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place it into the fridge. It helps cool it more rapidly without risking any consistency changes.
  • If you need to add any coloring, do so with the vanilla extract. But again, don’t overmix the frosting. Otherwise, it will separate.
  • This recipe is big enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes. You can divide the recipe if you don’t like adding so much frosting. But keep in mind that because the frosting isn’t as sweet as usual, the large dollop won’t go to waste!
  • Once you have frosted your cakes or cupcakes, you will need to either keep them in a very cool area or inside the fridge. Always keep them in an airtight container. The custard is sensitive to heat, so can soften at room temperature, especially on hot days. This will make the frosting melt off the cake.
  • If you do keep the cakes or cupcakes in the fridge, remove it so the frosting can soften. This takes about an hour depending on the room’s temperature.

Preparations Times And Servings

Which buttercream is least sweet

Wrapping Things Up

We are certain that this semi-sweet buttercream frosting is going to be a life-changer for you. It certainly was for us! now you can add as much frosting as you want without worrying about a sickeningly sweet taste or the number of calories you’re ingesting.

Make sure to share this recipe with anyone who may find it handy! And, feel free to let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

FAQs

What can I add to buttercream to make it less sweet?

You don't be able to add anything to the frosting to make it less sweet. But, you can change the type of sugar you use. There are many alternatives to powdered or confectioners' sugar that is a lot less sweet. but naturally, you will need to incorporate them in a different way to make the frosting smooth and lump-free.

Which buttercream is least sweet?

Flour-based buttercream frostings (like our recipe today) are the least sweet out there. Their sweetness and flavor are also the easiest to adjust. Other than that, you can have a look at German buttercreams or Swiss meringue buttercream frostings.

How do you make frosting not taste like powdered sugar?

The best way to remove the flavor of powdered sugar is to add flavoring extracts. You can also add essences, but their flavor isn't as prominent and you will have to add a lot more. This could change the consistency of the frosting. So, add extracts or concentrates instead.

How do you make frosting that’s not too sweet?

You can use our recipe that makes the frosting thick and creamy using a custard base. This custard is thickened with flour. It has adjustable levels of sweetness, so is easy to make less sweet.

Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps

Are you tired of reducing the amount of frosting you use just to make your items edible? Then you have to try our semi-sweet buttercream frosting! It does take more time to make, but it will work out a lot cheaper than traditional recipes. Not to mention, it has a much creamier, richer, and more delicious flavor!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How do you make frosting not taste like powdered sugar?, How do you make frosting that's not too sweet?, semi-sweet buttercream frosting, What can I add to buttercream to make it less sweet?, Which buttercream is least sweet?
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Cakedecorist

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic or saran wrap
  • Electric hand or stand mixer

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Make the custard base
    Combine the cake flour and sugar into a large saucepan. Slightly heat it over medium heat, whisking frequently. Then, slowly add the heated milk in a thin stream while whisking.
    If you add it all at the same time, your mixture will start forming lumps. Don't add more milk until the flour and sugar mixture isn't completely smooth.
    10 tbsp cake flour, sifted, 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar, 2 cups full-fat milk, heated
  • Cook the custard
    Once all of your milk is added, keep heating and gently whisking the mixture. Don't leave it unattended because it will burn at the bottom. Keep cooking the custard until it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Cool the thickened custard
    Once you are happy with the consistency of the frosting, remove it from the heat and decant it into a large bowl.
    Add a layer of plastic or saran wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Spread it up against the sides so it creates a thinner layer. This way, it will cool much quicker than one large dollop.
    Leave the custard to cool completely! It shouldn't even be lukewarm.
  • Make the semi-sweet buttercream frosting
    To start your frosting, add the salted butter into a large mixing bowl. Then, beat it until it becomes smooth, creamy, and fluffy. The color will also lighten considerably.
    Remove the plastic from the custard and give it a mix. Keep mixing the custard until it is completely smooth and free of lumps.
    Add the smooth custard to the creamed butter one tablespoon at a time. Mix the ingredients at medium speed. This shouldn't take any longer than a minute, otherwise, you will over-whip the frosting.
    2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Finish off the semi-sweet buttercream frosting
    Finally, add the vanilla extract and whip your frosting for 3 minutes until it gets a stiff-peak consistency.
    1 tbsp vanilla extract

Notes

You can reduce the amount of sugar even further to only 1 cup if you'd like. Don't remove any more sugar because the frosting still needs some amount of sweetness. And if you remove it completely, the consistency of the custard won't be right to make frosting with.
To make a chocolate-flavored semi-sweet buttercream frosting, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Add it after your frosting has been made and mix it well.
Want more recipes?Check out Our YouTube Channel!
Do you like this article? Share with your friends on Facebook.