Trouble With Sugarshack's Buttercream Recipe

Decorating By puzzlegut Updated 24 Mar 2008 , 5:38pm by akslice

puzzlegut Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 9:21pm
post #1 of 17

Today I made Sugarshack's buttercream recipe for the time. Now while I like her DVDs, I found that the buttercream didn't turn out as smooth and air free as the way she makes it. As far as I know, my Kitchen Aid mixer is 5 QT. I weighed out my powdered sugar and shortening and mixed everything as instructed, including using the 16 TBSP of flavoring and coffee creamer mixture.

After mixing the mixture for the alloted time, I found that it was a bit messy. The turning part of the mixer was covered in frosting. Also, I was afraid that I was going to overheat the mixer because when I mixed it at speed 6, it sounded like it had a hard time mixing. After mixing and stirring for about 7 minutes, I found that the icing was still rather stiff and had a lot of air bubbles in it. I ended up splitting the frosting in half and tried beating in some more liquid into it. It helped a little bit with the constancy, but still wasn't as smooth and silky as it should have been.

Any suggestions and how it could be improved?

16 replies
showersfamily4 Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 9:30pm
post #2 of 17

I, too, struggle getting it air free. I find I have to add more liquid to get it to stop making the "sucking" sound on the side of the bowl. But it still isn't airless. I would love help, too.

doughdough Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 9:35pm
post #3 of 17

I would suspect a couple of things. First, I would double check the size of your bowl...My Kitchen Aid has a 4QT bowl not 5 (I've had it a number of years). You said that the turning part of you mixer was covered, which leads me to suspect your bowl may be smaller than 5QT.

Secondly, If you live in a drier climate, you may need to cut back on your powdered sugar. Since you said your mixer was struggling, the icing may have been too thick.

Hope I was of some help and good luck!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 9:46pm
post #4 of 17

There was another thread on this....maybe this will help you out...

Rosie2 Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 10:04pm
post #5 of 17

Hello to all, I too had trouble with the KA is 4.5Q and I tried to adjust, but it also came out very hard/stiff...couldn't use it at all. I was in a hurry and almost panicked so, I switched to Richs...but, I honestly think, it was my 'bad BC day' because I also had trouble with Richs' icing icon_cry.gif
I will try again though....any suggestions on the measurements for a 4.5Q KA??? is it 4 shortening to 4.5 sugar?? what do you do when you see your icing is extra hard??

biancas_mommy Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 11:12pm
post #6 of 17

i have a 4.5Q KA and i use 4 cups shortening to 4 lbs. PS. i use quite a bit of liquid, don't measure but it seems like a lot, maybe close to 2 cups of HOT water/coffee creamer and flavorings, maybe a cup and a half. it always comes out beautifully. hth.

sugarshack Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 2:08am
post #7 of 17

Sorry you are having trouble! icon_sad.gif

Ithink you simply need a bit more liquid.

the 16TBS works for me most of the time, in my climate, with my brands. Different climates and brands, and even batch to batch of PS, your liquid needs may change. Sometimes I have to go to 17-18 TBS.

Just keep adding a bit more until you no longer have the struggling mixer, the super stiff icing and the tiny air bubbles.

air bubbles is a sure sign of one of 2 things:

1) either the volume was not enough for the bowl ( does not seem to be the case in your instance)


2) not quite enpugh liquid.

PS. you cpuld also go up on the shortening by 1/2 cup. That helps too.

HTH! and keep me posted please. I want you to have success!

galliesway Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 3:43am
post #8 of 17

This may be a dumb question but is there a difference in size artisan vs. classic? Mine is the 5 qt. classic and it sounds like mine was as full as Rosie2. I thought it was really stiff but I didn't notice air bubbles.


lolabunny7178 Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 4:09am
post #9 of 17

The first time I tried the recipe it didn't work very well, the second time, it was too thick so i added alittle liquid at a time. But I added too much liquid, I was in a time crunch so I used it anyway. It was too soft to use the paper towel and printer paper, so I used the bench scrapper to get it as smooth as I could. (the cake was last minute and for a friend) I just knew that there was no way that cake was going to make it to the babyshower it was going to, 30 minutes away! I was thrilled and amazed that even though it was a warm day it made the trip. I literally iced the cake, put decoration on it, and walked out the door and it made it without the first slide. It was a 10" and 8 " stacked.

Now after that long story I guess what I am trying to say is that for me I just had to make it a few times to get it right. It fills my mixer to the top. I thought it was going to spill over. I had a hard time scrapping down the bowl at first and still haven't mastered that technique, but i just stop the mixer, leave the bowl where it is and scrap it down. It isn't perfect, but until I feel like I'm not going to tear up my beloved kitchenaide, I can't make myself scrap the bowl down while the mixer is going.

cohenandlillysmom Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 1:58pm
post #10 of 17

I find that if I use 16TBS of liquid to 4.5 cups of shortening I can only put a little more than 3lbs of PS. This works for me because I dont like super sweet frosting and I am always getting compliments from people who dont like cake (nut jobs!) that they love my frosting because its not overwhelming.

Dont be afraid to adjust things. Its not going to ruin the recipe, its going to make it your recipe.

puzzlegut Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 6:57pm
post #11 of 17

I just tried to measure my mixing bowl to see how big it was. I filled a 5 QT ice cream pail with water and then dumped it into the mixing bowl. The water came up to about 1/2 inch from the top, so I guess the bowl wasn't 5QT like I thought. I'm guess it's 4.5QT, correct? If so, what would be the recommended quantities of the items? I figured next time I could probably do 4 cups shortening and 4 pounds powdered sugar, but how much flavoring and coffee creamer should be used?

Rosie2 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:31am
post #12 of 17

Thank you soooo much to sweet Sharon and to all of you for you tips and ideas. I will certainly try again and will adjust the liquid...I am known for being persistant, icon_biggrin.gif lol....the first time I tried to make mmf it was a disaster, but 3 times later, it come out PERFECT!!! thumbs_up.gif

God bless you all and have a Happy Easter icon_smile.gif

sugarshack Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:08am
post #13 of 17

persistence is the key! thumbs_up.gif

I am not kididng when I tell you it took me years to perfect my recipe and techniques!

Buttercream is a nightmare! ROFL icon_surprised.gif

felecia Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 5:11pm
post #14 of 17

the first time i made it it came out sooooo good!...i love this DANG icing. folks like how smooth the cakes look..HE HE..thanks Sharon...i like working with fondant but i love love butter cream. if i can get the same look with butter cream then thats what i sell.

galliesway Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:29am
post #15 of 17

Funny I found out I only have a 4.5 qt too not like the instruction boooklet states must have been a typo. I added hot water to my bc and I was save to save it ! It was ssssssssssssssoooooooooooo smooth and easy to work with! Thanks Sharon! icon_smile.gif Now if only I can master a bc rose!


mbh724 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 2:47pm
post #16 of 17

I'm not sure what size KA I have - definitely not the 6 qt size though - I guess between 4-5. I use 4 cups of shortening and 4 pounds of powdered sugar. I need to use much more liquid than the recipe calls for though - I use more than 2/3 cup. You just have to play with the recipe. I use the plastic shoot that fits on top of the bowl and drape a kitchen towel over the mixer - no mess at all.

akslice Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 5:38pm
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by galliesway

This may be a dumb question but is there a difference in size artisan vs. classic? Mine is the 5 qt. classic and it sounds like mine was as full as Rosie2. I thought it was really stiff but I didn't notice air bubbles.


I believe the classic is a 4 qt and the artisan is a 5 qt.

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