Shannon's Recipes, Tips and Tricks



Shannon's American Meringue Buttercream Recipe: 










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1/4 Cup Heavy whipping Cream

3/4 Cup Carton Pasteurized Egg Whites

4 TBSP Meringue Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 lbs Powdered Sugar (preferably C & H Brand)

2 lbs Unsalted Butter

2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Butter Flavor

Place Cream and Egg Whites in Mixer and whip on High with whisk attachment until light and frothy, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in Meringue Powder, Salt and Powdered Sugar and whip on high for 5 minutes.

Continue mixing on low and add butter in 1 stick at a time, then add in Vanilla Extract and Butter Flavor.

Whip entire mixture on high for 6 minutes.

Switch to Paddle Attachment and mix on low for 3-5 minutes or until most of the air bubbles have been released.

Enjoy this amazing new kind of buttercream that is light, fluffy, not too sweet, not too buttery and delicious! <3

Variation's of this recipe coming soon!

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Live Video Demo:     



Shannon's ABC Recipe:



1 lb (4 sticks) Salted Butter, softened

1/2 to 1 Cup Shortening (optional, adds stability, I only do this for piping during hot months)

2 lbs Confectioner's Sugar (Pure Cane Sugar such as C & H Brand)

3 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

2 tsp. Clear Butter Flavor

Heavy Whipping Cream 2-4+ TBSP (if desired or needed)


Place butter and shortening in mixer and beat together on medium high speed until fluffy. Add in extracts and beat again on slow for the first 30 seconds or so and then again on medium high until extracts are fully incorporated and mixture is smooth and once again fluffy. If they don't seem to be incorporating you need to increase the speed on your mixer.


Add Confectioner's Sugar to butter 1/3 of the bag at a time, mixing until lumps are mostly or all gone. Once you have added all of the sugar, beat on High for 2-3 minutes.


Add Whipping Cream small amounts at a time and mix after each addition until the mixture is not quite as thick and more fluffy. The whipping cream can be omitted if needed if your butter is already too soft. Add less for a mixture that will be piped onto cupcakes or a cake and more cream to buttercream that is for spreading on a cake. It may also be replaced with water if you're not allowed to use milk products.


It can be made without the hi ratio shortening if desired. If I'm covering a cake in fondant I don't usually add that in. Crisco can be used as well but isn't as smooth so I'd stick to the 1/2 cup or even less.


ABC Flavor Variations:


Vanilla Bean: Omit Butter Flavoring and add in 3 TSP Vanilla Bean Paste


Cream Cheese: Omit Butter Flavoring, Omit Cream. add additional TSP Vanilla Extract and 12 oz Cream Cheese. Beat Cream Cheese with Butter in beginning until very light and fluffy. Beat entire mixture (all ingredients incorporated) on high for 5-6 minutes or until very light and fluffy.


Coconut: Omit Butter Flavoring and add 2-3 TSP Coconut Extract. Toasted coconut can be added for extra coconut flavor and texture. Ask client if they prefer with or without.


Marshmallow: Omit butter flavoring, lessen Vanilla to 2 TSP and melt 1 full bag marshmallows in microwave. Immediately Add 1-2 TSP water to melted marshmallow mixture to help separate from the bowl. Beat in beginning with butter until light and fluffy. More or less marshmallows can be added depending on strength of flavor desired.


Mocha: Omit Butter Flavoring and lessen vanilla to 1 TSP. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Omit Cream and replace with 3 TBSP Instant Coffee dissolved in 4 TBSP water or just enough to dissolve the coffee. Add additional powdered sugar if you have added too much liquid.


Chocolate: Add in desired amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. How ever chocolatey you want it to be! I usually use somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup.


White Chocolate: Omit butter flavoring and lessen vanilla to 1 TSP. Add 1 bag melted white chocolate chips to butter. Beat immediately on low until incorporated and then on Med-High to High until mixture is smooth and not as soft. The melted chips will start to melt the butter but by beating immediately and continuing to beat, the chips begin to cool in the mixture but not too rapidly. It's very important to add them during this step. If you try to add them after the sugar is incorporated they will cool too quickly and be chunky.


Peanut Butter: Omit Butter Flavoring and lessen vanilla to 2 TSP. Add in desired amount of smooth peanut butter until desired flavor is reached.


Chocolate Peanut Butter: Omit Butter Flavoring, lessen vanilla to 2 TSP. Add in desired amount of unsweetened cocoa powder and smooth Peanut butter.


Cookies & Cream: Omit butter flavoring. In a food processor, grind up half to one full (regular size, not double stuff) package of Oreos until as fine as possible, (amount is up to your discretion). Add in to fully incorporated mixture. If desired, combine the White Chocolate Recipe with this recipe to create a flavor like the Cookies & Cream Candy Bar :)


Sugar Cookie: Leave extracts as is for regular recipe. Follow steps for Cookies & Cream exactly but replace with White Oreos.


Cinnamon: Omit butter flavoring. Add in 2-3 TSP Cinnamon.


Cinnamon Brown Sugar: Omit Butter Flavoring. Add in 2-3 TSP Cinnamon and 1/2-1 Cup brown sugar, or more if desired. This buttercream has a gritty texture that I have found most people love.


Caramel/Sea Salt Caramel: Omit Butter Flavoring. Add in 2-3 TSP Caramel Extract. For Sea Salt Caramel, Add in 2 TSP Sea Salt. For cupcakes I just sprinkle a little sea salt on top of a little drizzled caramel for garnish.


Butterscotch: Omit butter flavoring. Add in 2-3 TSP Butterscotch Extract.


Maple: Add in 2 TSP Maple Extract.


Peppermint: Omit Butter flavoring. Lessen Vanilla to 2 TSP. Add in 2-3 TSP peppermint extract or more for a stronger flavor. Finely crushed peppermint candies can be added for an extra flavor and texture or as a garnish to cupcakes.


Lemon: Omit Butter Flavoring and Cream. Add in desired amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest. Do not add enough juice to break the buttercream. Add in additional Powdered Sugar if you have added too much liquid.


Orange: Follow Lemon Instructions exactly but with orange juice and zest.


Strawberry: Omit Butter Flavoring. Omit Cream. Add in 2-3 TSP Strawberry extract. In a food processor puree approximately 8-12 oz of strawberries that have been washed and inspected thoroughly, tops cut off and quartered. Use a wire mesh strainer to squish out as much liquid as possible. Add to Butter Mixture and beat on high until well incorporated and fluffy. Then add in sugar. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken the consistency.


Raspberry: Omit Butter Flavoring. Omit Cream. Add in 2-3 TSP Raspberry extract. In a food processor puree approximately two regular size (small square) containers of raspberries that have been washed and inspected thoroughly. Use a wire mesh strainer to squish out as much liquid as possible. Add to Butter Mixture and beat on high until well incorporated and fluffy. Then add in sugar. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken the consistency.


Blueberry: Omit Butter Flavoring. Omit cream. Add in 3-4 TSP Blueberry flavoring, I use Lorann's. In a food processor puree approximately two regular size (small square) containers of blueberries that have been washed and inspected thoroughly. Add to Butter Mixture and beat on high until well incorporated and fluffy. Then add in Sugar. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken the consistency.



Ganache Recipe:

12 oz bag milk, semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

6 oz Heavy Cream

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional) OR

1 tsp almond extract (optional)


Heat cream in a pot over medium low heat just until it reaches a boil. Whisk constantly to avoid scorching it. Pour over chocolate chips, add extract and whisk together until smooth. Once ganache is completely cooled, it can be whipped for a fluffier consistency that's great for a filling!

FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Use a 3 to 1 ratio of chocolate to cream. 6 oz Heavy Cream to 18 oz White Chocolate. White Chocolate has a lower cocoa butter content than regular chocolate so needs more to firm up properly. 



Box Cake Mix Tips:


-I start with box cake mixes and alter them to make them more delicious! It produces a consistent and convenient outcome that my customers love! It's sometimes called semi-scratch baking :)


-I prefer Pillsbury! I love the thicker batter consistency and it yields a delicious, moist cake! I go to Betty Crocker when needed for the additional flavor options.


-For more stability in your cake, replace oil with melted butter. Add melted butter as the last stage and make sure to incorporate it quickly. Pour it all in and bump your speed up to high as quickly as possible without getting too much splashing. 


-Download the Sweet Dreams Cake App and use their "Altered Cake Mix Recipe" for another way to add stability while maintaining moisture and flavor to a cake mix. It incorporates Sour Cream and other ingredients. Check it out, it is great! The app has many other great features!


-Add Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste to a White or Vanilla Cake Mix for added flavor. Lessen water amount slightly depending on how much you add.


-Add one package any pudding flavor to a White, Vanilla or Yellow Cake Mix to create new flavors! For example Pistachio. This does change the cake consistency a bit, it does not rise as much. Experiment with using less water and/or oil to achieve a different consistency if desired. 


-When baking cake layers, reduce temp to 325 degrees. For 2 8" round layers, baking time for me is approximately 40-45 minutes. This will vary for everyone. Experiment and watch closely to find the perfect time for your oven. Start by setting your timer at a low number such as 20 or 25 minutes. Check every 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly or with very few crumbs.


-When baking cupcakes, reduce temp to 325 degrees. Use one box mix to yield 20 cupcakes, not 24. This will leave each liner with batter 2/3 or slightly above. Bake for 13-17 minutes depending on your oven and mix brand. It will vary.


-To add extra moisture to cakes, cover while still warm with plastic wrap and let condensation accumulate. Allow cakes to cool the rest of the way this way if you have time. This allows for layers and or cupcakes to be baked a day ahead of time and maintain incredible moisture. Cover cupcakes in a box or container with a lid, not plastic wrap. Just before cupcakes are completely cool remove lid and allow to air cool to reduce tackiness on the tops. A little bit of tackiness is ok! Just a sign of moistness :)


Miscellaneous Tips:


-Use your microwave with the underneath light on to soften butter evenly when in a pinch. Keep an eye on it and rotate sticks to help with evenness and prevent melting! You can also keep melted chocolate in your microwave with the light on to keep it melted while making candies or working on cake pops so you don't have to keep microwaving!


Feel free to message me with any questions! I appreciate you following me and supporting me and I have loved making so many wonderful and talented Sugar Art Friends :)


Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

Yields 48 Cookies, can be halved


1 Cup Butter

1 Cup White Sugar

1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)

1 Tablespoon White Sugar

48 Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies (Such as Rolos)


Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well.

Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts.

Cover and Chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine remaining 1/2 cup nuts with the 1 tablespoon white sugar.

Divide the dough into 4 parts. Work with one part at a time leaving the remainder in the fridge until needed.

Divide each part into 12 pieces. Quickly press each piece of dough around a chocolate covered caramel.

Roll into a ball. Dip the tops into the sugar mixture.

Place, sugar side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

Let cool 3 to 4 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.





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