Help! Can My Buttercream Be Salvaged?

Decorating By ceshell Updated 25 Oct 2007 , 3:14am by ceshell

ceshell Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 1:39am
post #1 of 13

What on earth happened here??

This is a basic butter/ps buttercream. Here's the recipe:
1 cup   unsalted butter
6 cups Confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

Of course I added green gel paste, and also...I did add some liqueur. Can you NOT add liqueur to this kind of BC...does it break the icing down? Or did I do something else wrong?

This happened just after I made it, and refrigerating the icing overnight did not help. As soon as it came to room temp, it looked like this again.

Can anything be done to save it?


12 replies
reenie Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 1:44am
post #2 of 13

Can't be totally sure but maybe it was the liquor. Maybe it curdles the milk in it. I think you're only supposed to add like a tsp or so for flavor.

tiggy2 Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 1:52am
post #3 of 13

Does it taste ok? If so try adding more powdered sugar as it looks awfully thin.

KansasSherry Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 1:59am
post #4 of 13

It looks like it needs more powdered sugar and whip it really good. I also add one Tablespoon cornstarch to stabilize my frosting.

DelightsByE Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 2:09am
post #5 of 13


waaaaaaay too much milk in the recipe. Also, regular milk does not have enough fat in it, it has a lot of water, which does not combine with the fat in the shortening so now the icing has "broken". (Kind of like curdling except when something curdles it's the protein molecules binding together.) This is more like a separation.

I would cut the amount of milk in half at least, and use cream instead if you can. It has a lot more homogenized fat in it and less water resulting in a smoother finish.

I'm not sure if this batch can be salvaged but the previous suggestions to add more powdered sugar (a LOT more powdered sugar) and beat the heck out of it are good to try.

I always add my liquid at the very end, and then only a bit at a time until it's the right consistency. Sometimes I need more, sometimes less.

Good luck!

ceshell Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 2:13am
post #6 of 13

Thanks everyone! The shame of it is, it actually tastes great. Possibly because there is not enough ps in it? icon_redface.gif LOL (I say this because I am an IMBC person)

I'll give it a try with more ps. you think adding more butter too would help, or is it just too late for that?

DelightsByE Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 2:17am
post #7 of 13

hmmmm....I don't know for sure. You may want to try another stick and add some ps to that first, then add that mixture to the existing BC and see. You're really going to need something to absorb all that extra liquid though, that is the most important part.

Where did you get the recipe from?

For what it's worth, I honestly don't think the liquor is the problem, although your OP didn't say what kind or how much.

bethola Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 2:17am
post #8 of 13

I agree with reenie. I think the liquor and the milk have caused the "curdled" look. I'd add more ps AND more butter to the batch and see what happens.

In the future I think if I wanted to add liquor I'd leave off the milk and use water.

Hope this Helps!

Beth in KY

BrandisBaked Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 2:20am
post #9 of 13

I would toss it and start over.

No use wasting more ingredients trying to salvage it. I'd start over from scratch.

ceshell Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 4:05am
post #10 of 13

Thanks again all. The original recipe was from the Magnolia Bakery. It did say you could add up to 8c PS so I think I'll give more a try first. I didn't mention is that I actually only made a 1/4 of the recipe amount, as it's just for some bc accents. So the added waste, if it doesn't work out, is only like an extra few tbsp butter and 1c sugar or so. Cheap enough to give a try, but I agree Brandis, if it was a whole recipe it would probably be just as wise to chuck it.

Really appreciate all of the help! How ironic, I'm fine with a high-maintenance IMBC but if it's just butter, milk and sugar, I'm totally clueless?!! icon_rolleyes.gif

ceshell Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 6:22am
post #11 of 13

Hey, the added PS worked. Yeah! You guys rock! icon_smile.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 13 Oct 2007 , 3:26pm
post #12 of 13

I learned this lesson from my eating ice cream after drinking alcohol. icon_smile.gif

ceshell Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 3:14am
post #13 of 13

By the way in case any of you are interested, I finally posted the cake today:

As I mentioned, the added PS worked perfectly. The smooth grass and piped grass are all bc. Couldn't have done it without you all (as you can tell from the original pic. of my icing, lol). Thanks again! thumbs_up.gif

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