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How to make frosting less sweet: the best guide

Often, confectioners and ordinary housewives wonder, how to make frosting less sweet. You need to understand that sweet icing does not always be required. Some people do not like excessive sweetness. Read more about how to make frosting not so sweet in this article.

Components of the buttercream frosting

Before proceeding to study the question, of how to make frosting less sweet and review the sweet buttercream frosting recipe, you need to study what exactly it consists of. To begin with, it is important to say that the icing is a thick mass that resembles a cream. Use it outside of various desserts.

In most cases, the glaze tastes like sweet butter. It has a dense and fluffy texture. May vary in shade. The creamy glaze is often prepared, however, there are also colored options.

The glaze is made from sugar. If the mass cools a little, it becomes thick and fluffy. In this case, the texture is preserved until the very moment of use. In the preparation of sweet frosting, egg whites, cream cheese, sugar, and butter are used. Various flavorings may be added if desired.

Often housewives prefer icing with the addition of vanilla and melted chocolate. These are classic options.

Sweet American buttercream frosting

American buttercream sweet frosting is especially popular among confectioners and ordinary housewives. For its manufacture, butter or fat, powdered sugar, and flavorings are used. Instead of regular vanilla, milk and heavy cream can be added. All sweet American buttercream frosting components must be whipped together, and then proceed to decorate desserts.

The mixture retains its texture and hue even when left at room temperature. Outside, a light crust will form, and inside the mass will remain soft. American buttercream frosting is the best icing option if you need to decorate cookies or create an original pattern.

Cons of American buttercream frosting

The disadvantage of such a mass lies in its excessive sweetness. If the components are not mixed correctly, the mass may become thick and grainy, losing its original attractiveness. Therefore, you have to make an effort to properly select and prepare the components.

Reasons for the sweetness of American buttercream glaze

The classic recipe is to use 1 part butter and 3 parts powdered sugar. There isn’t enough butter in the recipe so the sugar won’t emulsify to balance out the sweetness.

Key Benefits of American buttercream frosting

American buttercream glaze has a certain list of advantages.

  • Long kneading with minimal work

To work, you should arm yourself with a stationary mixer, which greatly facilitates the cooking process. You can put all the components inside and start the device. It whisks the ingredients on its own, forming a soft and fluffy consistency. In this case, the sweetness is insignificant.

You can adjust the amount of added components to achieve the desired texture and hue.

  • Versatility

American buttercream frosting is appropriate for most desserts, including cakes and cupcakes. You can decorate them with any pastries. It is appropriate to create unusual patterns, including options with a recess. This forms a beautiful crust that retains the appearance of the dessert even during transportation.

How to make less sweet buttercream frosting?

If you don’t want to have too sugary buttercream frosting, there are a few tips that make sense.

  • The use of quality components

Choose a high-quality cream-based butter. The vanilla extract should also be of high quality and costly. If you choose a budget butter, it contains a lot of water. However, the higher the fat content, the milder the flavor and richer the texture.

Cheap vanilla contains a lot of alcohol and water. There may even be an artificial taste. Therefore, it is better to refuse such goods.

  • Adding Fat and Reducing Sugar

It is extremely important to properly adjust the ratio of fat and sugar. This achieves a smoother and less sweet texture. If you do not want to stick to the classic recipe, you can reduce the amount of sugar, or increase the amount of butter.

The more softened butter in the glaze, the softer the texture will be. You can add some sugar first and then increase the amount as needed.

  • Adding salt to make less sweet buttercream frosting

You can add some salt to reduce the sweetness of the homemade frosting. If you exceed the amount, you run the risk of making the icing sugar too salty, and it is no longer possible to fix it. Salt should be added at the beginning of whipping so that noticeable granules do not form. The butter used in the recipe must be unsalted.

  • Acid addition in overly sweet frosting

You can add some lemon juice or vinegar to get less sweet frosting. This balances the sweetness of the cream. However, the component should not be added in large quantities. After all, you risk making the glaze too liquid, and it is more difficult to work with it. You need to add acid in small portions to control the sweetness.

Alternatives to American Glaze

If you don’t like American buttercream frosting because it’s too sweet, it makes sense to try other options. They are also prepared with butter.

Swiss meringue buttercream frosting

This version of the icing sugar is prepared based on the meringue, which requires egg whites and sugar. The components of Swiss meringue buttercream frosting are heated in a water bath. This helps dissolve the sugar. After the mass is whipped to airy foam. In the end, you can start adding butter and various flavors to whipped cream.

Italian meringue buttercream

This option is also prepared based on meringue. However, the proteins need to be whipped, and gradually introduce hot sugar syrup into them. This sweet buttercream frosting is quite dense, and to achieve the desired result, you need to accurately measure the components, select the temperature, and mix everything correctly.

French cream

This sweet buttercream frosting has a pleasant texture and richness. It is more like custard. To prepare the yolks, the eggs are beaten with hot sugar-based syrup. Butter is added at the end.

Methods for correcting sweetness in different types of glaze

It should be noted that the choice of method largely depends on what kind of glaze you are working with.

Reduced sweetness in buttercream frosting

  • The easiest way to make the less sweet buttercream frosting is to add salt. This is the optimal solution that does not change the entire recipe. The taste remains sweet as long as you don’t overdo it with salt. Therefore, you constantly need to taste the mass in order not to be mistaken.
  • To avoid having to add salt, you can choose salted butter right away. This greatly facilitates the work process. You can also add a small amount of lemon juice. However, do not exceed its amount so that the icing does not turn out sour.
  • You can combine the additional salt and lemon juice. For every 4 cups of sugar, add almost 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. The main thing is that the prepared mixture is suitable for the desired dessert. You can also add cream cheese to the butter.
  • Add no more than 4 ounces of cream cheese per 1 pack of butter. The cream cheese helps to make less sweet buttercream frosting.

Reducing the sweetness of prepackaged icing

Quite often, people try refuse to make their icing sugar and use already-packaged options. However, you need to understand that they are very sweet. However, it is quite possible to correct the situation with too-sugary buttercream frosting.

  • You need to pour the mixture from the jar into a microwave-safe bowl. You need to microwave the glaze for 15 seconds, then add half a teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Mix all ingredients and refrigerate. You need to insist for about an hour. This removes excessive sweetness and gets a sugary buttercream glaze with a more delicate taste.
  • Often, correcting the sweetness of store-bought glaze involves the usual whipping of the mass in a mixer. This contributes to the expansion of the mass, due to which it acquires airiness and lightness. Then add some vanilla extract or salt if the sweetness has not been removed.
  • Some housewives add freeze-dried fruit powders. However, they can be used depending on what taste of the cake is planned. To start, add a quarter cup and taste. If the mass still seems sweet to you, increase the amount of powder.
  • To dilute store glaze, water or milk is used. With the help of milk, you can achieve a richer taste. In this case, the sweetness does not increase. To achieve airiness, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to the mass, and mix everything thoroughly. However, do not overdo it, so as not to make the icing even sweeter.

How to reduce the sweetness of chocolate icing?

Chocolate frosting is in great demand due to its pleasant taste. However, the excessive sweetness can ruin everything. You can make a less sweet chocolate frosting by adding more cocoa powder to the recipe. This contributes to more depth of flavor and a reduction in sweetness.

You can also add more sour cream to make a less sweet glaze. It is allowed to prepare chocolate frosting from heavy cream, to which melted dark chocolate and chocolate buttercream is added.

This makes the mass more aromatic, however, you can avoid excessive sweetness. It is extremely important to pay attention to what type of chocolate you are using.

There are several varieties of dark chocolate, including unsweetened, sweet, and semi-sweet. It is better to dwell on dark chocolate, which is intended for baking. You need to add the right amount of granulated sugar to it, focusing on your preferences. You can use cream cheese and dark chocolate when making chocolate buttercream frosting.

The cream cheese buttercream is light without being overly sweet. You get a chocolate frosting with a pleasant taste sweet.

How to reduce sweetness in cream cheese buttercream frosting?

The cream cheese buttercream glaze is not too sweet. For cooking, cream cheese and unsalted butter are used, as well as powdered sugar. You can add various flavors in the form of lemon, whiskey, or vanilla. It all depends on the desired taste of cream cheese frosting.

The addition of flavorings helps to make a less sweet glaze that powdered sugar imparts.

What type of sugar is added to the sugary buttercream glaze?

Often people are trying to understand what type of sugar is used in the production of glaze. Almost all recipes call for confectioner’s sugar. This is ordinary granulated sugar, which is ground into a fine powder. The composition contains a small amount of starch, which prevents sticking.

  • Classical powdered sugar is characterized by a white tint. It has some cornstarch added to it, which is an anti-caking agent. If you use organic powdered sugar, then tapioca is used as an agent. Due to this, the organic powder has a more pronounced caramel flavor.
  • The use of powdered sugar is important because it allows you to quickly and easily prepare the glaze. Some people don’t like the taste of powdered sugar in the icing. After all, it increases the sweetness and can cause a metallic taste.
  • To neutralize the metallic taste and excessive sweetness, you can use a simple method. Its essence lies in the fact that the butter is first melted. After it is injected into powdered sugar mixed with salt and milk.
  • Mixing is done in a stainless steel bowl. This gets rid of the metallic taste. The salt helps reduce the sweetness.


When it comes to reducing the intensity of sweetness in a soft frosting, there are a lot of questions that you might face.

How do you Unsweeten vanilla frosting?

To make a less sweet buttercream glaze with vanilla, you can add salt. However, you need to correctly add the component in certain proportions so that the mass does not become salty. The salt should balance the sugar. Start introducing one pinch at a time, constantly tasting the glaze.

How do you take the sweetness out of buttercream?

You can also remove the sweetness from the boiled milk frosting with salt. You need to work on the same principle as in the first option.

How do you cut the sweetness out of cream cheese frosting?

If you are making cream cheese frosting and find it too sweet, you can add a small amount of lemon juice. This does not contribute to the formation of lemon flavor. However, the acid present in the juice creates a balanced flavor.

Can I reduce the sugar in buttercream?

Some people think about reducing the amount of sugar when making frosting. If you decide to take such actions, you have to reduce the amount of butter. This keeps the desired consistency while reducing the amount of sugar.

How do you make store frosting less sweet?

Some housewives try, to save time, to use store-bought icing. If it seems too sweet for you, you can correct the situation by adding lemon juice.


As you can see, there are several methods to prepare less sweet buttercream glaze. All of them are simple and consist in the use of simple and affordable components. The main thing is to add them in doses so as not to spoil the entire glaze.

Read also: Too Much Smoked Paprika – Relax, You Can Fix It!

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