Help!...problems With Sharon's Buttercream

Decorating By Wandootie Updated 24 Mar 2008 , 7:34pm by Wandootie

Wandootie Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:16pm
post #1 of 22

I made a batch of Sharon's buttercream yesterday and followed the recipe to the tee...except that I used shortening instead of hi-ratio. After it was finished, it look lumpy and curdled. I sifted my sugar and everything. I didn't use the cheap sugar, either. I tried some and it was not gritty...just lumpy and ugly.

Anyone have any suggestions, ahd this problem or know where I went wrong? I was going to use this recipe for the wedding cake coming up in April and I can't have it looking like.



21 replies
tracycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:31pm
post #2 of 22

How long did you let it mix? I made it a week or 2 ago and just used shortening, no hi-ratio and after it mixed for a while, it came out creamy and smooth, just like she said. I didn't even sift my PS. Also, did you scrape down the sides while it was running? probably, you just didn't let it mix long enough. I let it run for probably around 7 - 10 minutes.

Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:36pm
post #3 of 22

I had the same problem..I think it has something to do with the liquid maybe not being hot enough.After I heated mine up hotter it sort of melted the shortening into a icing.HTH

mcalhoun Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:41pm
post #4 of 22

I have never had a problem and I use reg shortning and some butter. I always let my creamer cool before adding it. I would send Sharon a PM and ask her, but I bet you just need to let the mixer go for a while.

tracycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:41pm
post #5 of 22

I didn't heat anything up, no liquids, nothing. I didn't have the same flavorings so I just used my normal flavorings with no heat and it worked fine.

PattyLen Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:43pm
post #6 of 22

I always use Crisco in her recipe and haven't had a problem. Just have to beat the heck out of it.

pjaycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:48pm
post #7 of 22

How did you mix the coffee creamer with the water if it wasn't hot? You need the water real hot so the coffee creamer will mix without lumps.

Also, I haven't had a problem, although I found I had to add alot more liquid than the recipe said to get the consistency I needed.

You do need to let it mix on setting 6 kitchenaid for a good 5 - 10 minutes though.

Wandootie Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 2:56pm
post #8 of 22 water for the creamer was hot and the creamer was lumps. I also let the mixer go for about 7 minutes on 6. I was so upset because I just can't have this happen with the wedding cake and now I'm "freaking out" a little.

Leave it to me to mess up a good thing!


pjaycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 2:59pm
post #9 of 22

I'm stumped. Did you pm Sharon, she is very good about helping out. I know it can be frustrating when things don't go the way they seem to for everyone else, but CC will get you straightened out before the wedding. icon_biggrin.gif

tracycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 3:25pm
post #10 of 22

I just keep thinking that you might need to go a little longer on the mixing. I just kept it mixing until it went smooth and it eventually did. The weather and amount of humidity in the air could affect how long it takes to smooth out. My was lumpy until close to the 10 minute mark and it magically went smooth.

sugarshack Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 4:48pm
post #11 of 22

did you use non trans fat crisco?

did u scrape as it was mixing?

was your TOTAL liquid 16-17 TBS?

have you seen the video of me making a batch on youtube? that might help!

Sorry this happened! we will figure it out!

dshlent Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 5:53pm
post #12 of 22

How are you able to mix your icing so long without having it full of air bubbles?? It seems like when I tried that my icing was nothing but air bubbles....

plbennett_8 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:01am
post #13 of 22

Did you see the post where Sharon stated firmly that she would pack POUNDS of high ration on her back??? chuckle... I know Sharon, and trust me...she is a little ole thang, but tough as heed on the high ratio... icon_biggrin.gif

I use a little different recipe, but Sharon's Technique ROCKS! icon_biggrin.gif Btw... I think that 16 Tbs is about a cup...and that makes a stiff icing...

Good to see ya'll! icon_smile.gif

Wandootie Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 2:55am
post #14 of 22

Sorry I'm just getting back to this problems. Anyway, I used a store brand shortening and not the high ratio. I could not find it around my immediate area. I'm wondering if for some reaqson that was the problem because after watching Sharon's YouTube, I was doing just about the same thing except for the shortening.

Has anyone tried using the Non-trans fat Crisco with this recipe and if so, how did it pan out ?

Sharon...I really appreciate your help and the time that you take with your "fans" thumbs_up.gif I'll keep trying until I get it, but I may have to go in search of the high ratio.

Thanks again, guys!

Oh...Happy Easter!


KTsmom1 Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:16am
post #15 of 22

I had to order it online. I did find it in one store in my area, but found it was actually cheaper to order it online in the 50 pound bundle and have it delivered. If you do a search for Alpine or Sweetex Hi Ratio Shortening, it will bring up a couple of sites for you to purchase from if you choose that route.

biancas_mommy Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:24am
post #16 of 22

i just tried sharon's recipe for the first time the other day, only i used the new no-trans-fat crisco because it was all i had. and it turned out perfect, the best and smoothest buttercream i've ever made. so i don't think the shortening alone could be the problem. i did make sure my liquid was really super hot and i didn't measure but it seemed like i used a ton of liquid to get it smooth enough.

icon_sad.gif good luck! keep trying because seriously, the best buttercream ever.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:36am
post #17 of 22

I don't know - I'm with you - mine always comes out lumpy too! I felt like I was the only one in the world not able to do it right! icon_cry.gif

I will have to keep trying too...and keep reading this thread...(and I did use the hi-ratio - actually it came out fine the first time, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong since then?!)

sugarshack Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:44am
post #18 of 22


the zero trans fat will not work. make sure the store brand you used was not zero trans fat.

a full trans fat store shortening should work.

if it is full trans fat, then try going to 5.5 cups shortening and maybe just a tad more liquid.

keep me posted.

sugarshack Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:47am
post #19 of 22

Ok, LOL, well Bianca had success with zero trans but that surprises me. Those of you having trouble go up on the shortening and/or liquid amount just a bit.

report back! icon_biggrin.gif

Wandootie Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 11:32pm
post #20 of 22

Ok, ladies...

I tried making Sharon'sbuttercream again this weekend and since I didn't have the hi-ratio, I used regular store brand shortening. I was not the "no trans fat". This time I made sure that my liquid was super hot, where before I had only used hot water from the faucet.

I followed Sharon's YouTube instructions, and it was quite literally the best buttercream that I've ever made. I guess the super hot water was the answer to my particular least I hope so. I did end up using 18 tbs of the liquid instead of 16, though.

Thanks, again for all of the advise and to Sharon for all of her support.


dandelion56602 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 12:23am
post #21 of 22

I may have overlooked it, but did you say what size mixer you're using. I have a 6 qt & I use around 18-20 Tbs of liquid.

I too use Trans Fat Free & have had success! (thank gooodness b/c I was beginning to hate the stuff). I have noticed though that I have to just watch b/c I don't necessarily have to use all the ps (6.5 lbs for the 6 qt) I also can't turn mine up to 6--I turn mine to 4 & run it for a min. longer.

Glad to hear that you've found out how to work it.

Wandootie Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 7:34pm
post #22 of 22

I have a KA Artesian 5qt. It held the 5 cups of shortening and the 5 lbs of sugar and filled the bowl side to side. I was so thrilled that it worked and I'm still convinced that it was the hot water.

Thanks again!


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