Never Smooth Buttercream

Decorating By Lil_Belle Updated 22 Mar 2008 , 6:32pm by Lil_Belle

Lil_Belle Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:33pm
post #1 of 17

This is my first time posting a question so please forgive me if it doesn't make sense icon_smile.gif . ok, my recipe for buttercream is the wilton one that's in the back of their books; 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening, 4 cups of powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla (I think). I can never get it very smooth, it seems to always have dozens and dozens of little air holes in it. I've tried adding more milk but I want that thick consistency for roses and such. Any help would be great! And hopefully this picture will help icon_smile.gif

16 replies
KimsCakeCreations Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:55pm
post #2 of 17

Have you tried using the VIVA papertowel method? Or the Melvira method?


Lil_Belle Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:58pm
post #3 of 17

I have, that's what I did for this cake but the consistency of the bc never comes out really smooth icon_sad.gif.

lepaz Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:04pm
post #4 of 17

I often have trouble with mine too, but the best thing that works for me is the hot spatula. Dip your spatula in a cup of hot water for a few seconds, wipe the water off and use it to spead the icing. The ladies here will probably give you plenty of pointers, so don't fear, help is here!

weirkd Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:05pm
post #5 of 17

I highly suggest using Sharon Zambito's video (sugar shack) on buttercream. Hr recipe is also given using high ratio shortening. It comes out as smooth as fondant when your done.

Lil_Belle Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:06pm
post #6 of 17

I highly suggest using Sharon Zambito's video (sugar shack) on buttercream. Hr recipe is also given using high ratio shortening. It comes out as smooth as fondant when your done.

that sounds cool! Thanks icon_biggrin.gif

flowermom Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:21pm
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by weirkd

I highly suggest using Sharon Zambito's video (sugar shack) on buttercream. Hr recipe is also given using high ratio shortening. It comes out as smooth as fondant when your done.

I agree. I did an experiment by making one recipe of frosting my way and then following the YouTube Video (look for Sugarshack buttercream in youtube and should be able to find it). I can honestly say I will never go back to my way of making buttercream. I do have a KA mixer so that was big help. I then followed her DVD, "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" on (you can purchase it at and I was absolutely amazed how much smoother I was able to get my cakes. Not perfect, but when another cake decorator asked me how I got my buttercream so smooth I was so thankful for getting Sharon's DVD. The only cake I have used it on so far is the castle cake in my gallery.

Happy Caking! icon_biggrin.gif

Lil_Belle Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:25pm
post #8 of 17

This is why I love this site icon_smile.gif Thank you all so very much!

tracey1970 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:06am
post #9 of 17

Some people also make their icing well before needing it. That way, some air bubbles will just settle out of it. Also, on the day you want to use it, turning the icing over a few times with a rubber spatula may beat out some of those air bubbles.

fosterscreations Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:55am
post #10 of 17

Mine gets like that when I beat too much air into it. I have better luck when I beat the butter and shortening together first then add a bit of the powdered sugar, mix that then add the flavorings and half of the liquid(I use water) then gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar. Only after it is well mixed at medium speed do I turn it up for about 30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed.
I use the viva method of smoothing.

justme50 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:18am
post #11 of 17

I swear by Sharon's method of making butter cream icing and up until a few months ago, I had made my icing the exact same way for 30 years! It's the best change I've ever made.

In my opinion it's her method of adding heated liquid to the shortening, then making sure the icing reaches over the top of the beaters that gives you a final product that has very few, if any air bubbles. I beat my icing for probably 10 minutes or so at the very end and still no air bubbles!

shwee17 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:22am
post #12 of 17

Is Sugarshacks recipe for the buttercream as done on YouTube on here somewhere? I watched the video... but I don't get the coffee creamer/water mixture?

shwee17 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:31am
post #13 of 17

I found it! I suppose I should look a little hardericon_smile.gif

tracycakes Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:32am
post #14 of 17

I've always made a double batch when making the Wilton and have the same problem but not as bad. As others said, I find that making it one day and using it the next usually helps. Don't be afraid to press a little harder using the viva method and I find that I like using a fondant smoother, now that I've tried it.

I recently tried Sugar Shack's buttercream and I really like it better now. It's does make a lot of icing though, especially if you don't need that much.

doreenre Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 7:36pm
post #15 of 17

I use a similar recipe (thanks to CC), but it only calls for 2 Tbsps milk. And if you overmix it, you'll get the air bubbles.

I've tried Melvira's, but haven't perfected it yet, it was too thick and very difficult to smooth. It probably just crusted too quickly.

beachcakes Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 7:52pm
post #16 of 17

I find that using the paddle attachment and not the wire whip helps keep down the air bubbles.

Lil_Belle Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 6:32pm
post #17 of 17

little update: I've made more buttercream and used some suggestions made here icon_smile.gif I actually sifted my sugar, I was lazy before and didn't want too icon_smile.gif then I warmed up the milk and added it in which helped get everyone to work together! So I solved my dilema, I hope others were helped by my blunder icon_smile.gif

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