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It seems like the frosting is either an inch of sweetened shortening or just simple whipped cream. The recipes for frosting that I have tried have always been sickeningly fatty and sweet. I do find creme cheese frosting good but it is still a bit too rich.

Straight whipped cream has its place, such as on tres leches cake, but for a regular white cake it is too light.

I have heard of frostings that are beaten or cooked to make them creamy and thick without using too much fat but I don't know what they are called.

What name or types of frostings are still creamy and thick without being overpoweringly fatty?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are several options for frostings that are light and fluffy, and not based on just powdered (confectioner's) sugar and shortening, that aren't just whipped cream. Other answers have already mentioned the last two, but I wanted to add whipped ganache.

  • whipped ganache--my personal favorite. Of course, this is always and only chocolate (I don't call white chocolate chocolate...)

  • French buttercream; the link is for a vanilla recipe but many variants are possible.

  • Seven minute frosting is tall and fluffy and has no fat at all. This is also known as merengue frosting.

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You can try just dissolving sugar while whipping it into either milk (especially unsweetened soy or rice), or mascarpone. The sugar will clot the liquid or saturate the mascarpone, and yield a lighter style of frosting. You can also use ganache, though it wouldn't hit the mark with creamy.

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If you want to go completely fat-free, check your favorite search engine for 'merengue frosting'. Most tend to be a bit sweet though ... almost marshmallow-like.

There are also some recipes out there that use sour cream ... they don't work with all cakes, but the tang can help to offset the overly sweet qualities of many frostings, without getting to far towards the 'whipped crisco' type.

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I'm not opposed to the fat for nutritional reasons- I just don't like the greasy texture that most buttercream frostings have. –  Sobachatina Jul 10 '12 at 2:02

I agree with you on the whipping cream as it's too light. When I went to the US and had to live there for over a year I thought the traditional american frosting was too buttery for my taste, but later found the amazing cream cheese frosting! When I bake a vanilla butter cake I whip up a batch of regular vanilla buttercream with the addition of cream cheese. It becomes lighter and much more delicious. I also do that on my lemon and chocolate buttercream recipes. Go for fat-free cream cheese (lighter version). The results will be amazing!

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Have you ever tried Italian Buttercream? I learned about it in culinary school and it is now my favorite! LIght, airy, not too sweet. It has a wonderful texture!

Here is the recipe we used - It's a keeper! http://www.grouprecipes.com/92114/italian-buttercream-from-the-culinary-institute-of-america.html

Italian buttercream is made by blending butter into Italian meringue.

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Hi C.M., we usually summarize the most important information from links in our answers. I added a short description of the technique based on your recipe, so now people don't have to follow the link, and the info is known even if the site goes away. –  rumtscho Jan 2 '13 at 16:51

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