I know the story. You wake up, and crave something a little different- the buttery, comforting richness of a beautifully-made buttercream. Whether you’re a novice baker or the next Buddy Valastro aka The Cake Boss, you’ve probably struggled making a consistent buttercream frosting in your kitchen. Or maybe you’ve done the unthinkable and went to the grocery store and bought some that is, at the very least, full of preservatives and all of the things you don’t want in your food.
You need a hero. Better yet, you need a culinary superheroine. Enter: Ana Collins of Real Layers! She had a similar dilemma a few years back. She was creating her signature cupcakes but didn’t have time to make her own frosting. She shook her fists at the uncaring sky, and desperately wished that a buttercream frosting existed which wasn’t full of additives and preservatives and had a great homemade taste to it. So what do you do as a creative baker when nothing in the market suits what you need, what do you do? You create your own product that you can be proud of and help bakers all over rejoice!
And then, Real Layers was born. Real Layers is a truly Canadian company with an amazing story. Ana started perfecting her buttercream frosting in her kitchen in Parry Sound in 2015. After many trials, hits and misses, and everlasting support from her sisters Rose, Lucy and partnering professional food scientists, she created her signature Real Layers Buttercream Frosting that hits a grand slam with its simple and wholesome ingredients. So simple that it’s also peanut/nut free, kosher, gluten free, shelf stable, and most importantly- damned tasty (pardon my French- but great food ingredients brings out another side of me)! After many months of perfecting the recipe, the sisters introduced three amazing buttercream frosting flavours to the world: Vanilla, Chocolate, and Maple. You can find Real Layers Buttercream Frosting at Longo’s in the baking aisle. It’s great for baking, cooking or just snacking right out of the container. Don’t worry, we won’t judge if you do the latter… been there, done that. No regrets.
So, I’ve partnered up with Real Layers to test out these amazing, spreadable frostings. The first thing I noticed about these products are the ingredients. They are so simple – icing sugar, butter, sugar, soy lecithin ( which natural alternative to chemical binders; it helps bind ingredients that normally don’t stick together well), natural flavours, and mixed tocopherols (these are a combination of the four tocopherols found in vitamin E. Tocopherols maintain freshness and shelf life of food products; a natural alternative to chemical preservatives). The shorter and more pronounceable the list of ingredients, the better!
I love how these frostings tastes like a homemade frosting. Rich. Smooth. Comforting. Just like home. And without the hassle of having to brew up my own! And the simplified ingredients list adds a tonne of versatility, so you can incorporate it into many dessert dishes with great results. I was so excited to start recipe testing to see what else I could use these buttercream frosting on. So here it is- straight from the Joyce of Cooking Lab!
Creation #1: Coconut Energy Burst. You can use any of the Real Layers flavours for these Energy Bursts and you can also use a variety of ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, chia seeds… the options really are endless. Incorporating the Real Layers Buttercream Frosting into these Energy Burst gave them a well rounded flavour and a little hit of added sweetness. And just like that- Real Layers elevates the energy ball. I’d recommend adding in unsweetened crunchy peanut butter so you get a nice texture to match that beautiful, subtle sweetness. (Check out the recipe: here)
Creation #2: Peanut Butter Cups. A classic made so much better with Real Layers Buttercream Frosting. I like to make these and keep them in my freezer so when I need to satisfy that chocolate craving, it’s ready for me. Again, these peanut butter cups can be modified in so many ways. You can use dark, milk, or white chocolate (or mix it up and use more than one type of chocolate). You can also add jam to make it peanut butter and jelly cups. I usually make my PB cups with unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened peanut butter since I like to know how much sugar goes into my snacks. Adding a little bit of Real Layers with the peanut butter satisfied by sweet tooth immediately. This recipe was a winner.
Creation #3: Cupcakes. But of course you can use Real Layers’ amazing buttercream frosting for the humble, always desirable cupcake! Notice the beautiful icing job in the photos below? Yeah. That was all Real Layers. Because I’m not very good at icing my cupcakes. But Real layers’ buttercream frosting is pretty much fool-proof and super easy to spread. And just like that- became a master cupcake decorator. If the buttercream was in the fridge, it will harden up a little. All you have to do it leave it in room temperature for about 5 minutes or you can even put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it back up.