CakeMommyTX Posted 8 May 2008 , 3:27am

I am making butter cream and its gritty as if I used granulated sugar and it seems to be seperating? icon_confused.gif
I made it the same way I always make it, crisco , powdered sugar and powdered creamer dissolved in water. Basically its SugarShacks recipe but without the hi-ratio shortening, and on a smaller scale. I've never had any problems before. Can it be saved? icon_cry.gif
I really don't want to start all over .
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36 replies
kelleym Posted 8 May 2008 , 4:30am

The only time I have ever had the gritty problem was when I used an "off" brand of sugar (in my case it was Target's Market Pantry brand). Did you use a different kind of sugar?

I've seen some people suggest beating it slowly for up to 10 minutes to try to work out some of the grittiness, but I don't know if it works, or if it can be saved. I'm sorry, I know how awful it feels!! icon_cry.gif

JanH Posted 8 May 2008 , 4:36am

Like kelleym, I've found a variance in the quality of non-brand name powdered sugars. icon_sad.gif

I found that one batch which was gritty on the day I made it, was much better on the next day (after sitting all night) so that I didn't have to start all over.

Can only assume that the "resting" period allowed the p.s. to absorb more liquid and lose the gritty texture....

Good luck on your batch. icon_smile.gif

BREN28 Posted 8 May 2008 , 12:49pm

had the gritty buttercream problem one time,and thats when i used the walmart brand powdered sugar. never used it again and have not had the problem again.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 8 May 2008 , 1:16pm

yourstrulytx, I am glad you posted this question. I actually came here to ask about this same problem.

I made SugarShack's buttercream recipe for the first time. I used Domino powdered sugar (the same that SugarShack used in her YouTube video). I used Wal-Mart brand vegetable shortening, because it does have the trans-fat in it. I used Berkley & Jensen (BJ's) powdered coffee creamer, which I mixed up the night before.

The buttercream was gritty, even after mixing it a lot, on low, then on #6. I did exactly what SugarShack said to do in the video, which I watched 6 times! The buttercream stayed gritty. It also had a funny, lumpy-separated texture, and it never crusted. It stayed very soft and the piping did not really hold its shape very well.

Now here's something odd. I took some of that same buttercream, added Polaner Seedless Raspberry All Fruit and a few drops of Lorann raspberry flavoring, mixed it to make a filling, and the gritty texture went away.

This is just so odd. I was so sad about my cake, it was for my daughter's communion and I had to completely change the design because I could not do anything with the icing and had no time to make another cake. Everyone said it tasted good. I thought it was really sweet though, and I'm not generally bothered by sweet stuff.

Any additional tips are appreciated.

Lee9 Posted 8 May 2008 , 3:09pm

I've made Sugarshack's Recipe 4X, twice it was perfect and twice it was gritty, airy, and kind of seperated. The only difference I can think of is one time I forgot to heat the creamer mixture and the other time I didn't add enough creamer at the beginning and forgot to heat it when I added more, just took it out of the frige. I have tried all differnt brands of PS name brand and generic and haven't had any problems. I don't really kow why mine messed up just the only differences I could think of. Hope this helps!

Renaejrk Posted 8 May 2008 , 11:41pm

Barbaranne - could it be a liquid issue? you added ingredients though maybe a small amount, that had liquid in them. Maybe that added liquid gave the ps something to absorb into? I haven't checked this recipe out recently (though I've seen it before) so I'm not sure.

deena1987 Posted 9 May 2008 , 12:03am

I really wish we could get a good answer to this because I have had the same problem the past 2 weekends. I posted a question too but still haven't figured out my problem. It's like it's fine but the more I mix the grainer it gets. I'm not sure how to post the link but it's under grainey buttercream. I thought I might be mixing too long. I've had this happen with 0 trans fat crisco and store brand with trans fat. I have wondered about the sugar. I only use Dixie Crystal and I live in south Georgia so the sugar usually comes from the plant in Savannah but since the explosion I have noticed it's coming from a plant in Texas. I know it really shouldn't make a difference but I can't figure it out. I have just started having this problem and have had to throw out several batches and that's $$$$$ wasted. So frustrating!!

JanH Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:51am
SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 21 May 2008 , 12:42pm

I have a buttercream update.

I tried making the Sugarshack recipe again, this time I just did a half recipe. It was perfect! No grittiness and it crusted this time.

I think the problem I had the first time might have been because there wasn't enough space in the mixer. I always thought I had a 5qt mixer, but I guess it is smaller (I know, I need to check it).

OR, the only other thing that I did differently, was I mixed the coffee creamer just before using it. The first time I mixed it the night before, then microwaved it when I needed it.

In any case, I was very happy with it and am looking forward to making it again, but just te half batch!

yourstrulytx, I hope you have had better luck since you first posted.

KeltoKel Posted 21 May 2008 , 12:56pm

My icing ends up gritty when I let it sit over night. Did you just make this batch or was it sitting in the fridge?

tatetart Posted 21 May 2008 , 12:58pm

I had that happen a few weeks ago. I had used C&H brand, and When I felt the sugar, it actually felt a bit sandy. It hadn't been completely pulverized. Had to throw the whole batch out.

I am using only Imperial now.

sugarshack Posted 21 May 2008 , 1:16pm

This has been an issue for me from time to time since Katrina. I swear somethng is going on with the PS crop/manufacturing.

2kiddos Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:18am

AAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!! icon_cry.gif
I've had this same problem with grainy buttercream! (I'm using SugarShack's recipe)
I started out with Winn Dixie brand shortening (used many times in the past), with Sam's powdered sugar (also used many many times). First big 6qt batch... completely grainy, terrible! I even took 1/2 of it out, added more shortening to 1/2 the batch, no luck... added more sugar to the other 1/2.. no luck... so in the trash it went!
The next day, swearing it must have been the sugar, I bought Walmart shortening (used many times as well), with Domino sugar! Same thing, grainy, and after mixing on speed 6, it was much more liquidy and almost separated looking.
I'm trying the 1/2 Crisco 1/2 butter recipe tomorrow, with Domino sugar. If it doesn't work, I'm hiding in the corner forever, never to do another cake!
I have been using Sam's bakery icing for the past year, and love it... but just my luck, its graduation season, so they aren't selling it because they need all they have! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

sugarshack Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:10am

geez, I feel so bad this is happening to you guys.
Is this just happening with my recipe, or are you guys experiencing it with other PS/shortening recipes?


For me the problem is the PS. Even brands that work great most of the time ( ie dominoes) will have a grainy crop from time to time.

I sure wish we could figure out the underlying factor for all of these bad batches.

alibugs Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:37am

I think it is all the powdered sugar. I used to use the powdered sugar recipes and eventually switched to IMBC because I could not stand the grittiness. I'm sure it's not just your recipe since I used a different recipe. Do you guys sift your PS? Good luck finding the culprit.

sugarshack Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:30am

To be honest, I think a very small degree of "grit" in bewteen your teeth if you "chew" the icing is normal. But it does not feel gritty to the tongue and mouth. I accept that as normal shortening/PS BC. But I have had those very bad batches of PS where the batch is visibly and terribly gritty.

I too think it is the PS. And like I said, seems to be more of problem since Katrina down here.

2kiddos Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:43pm
Quote:
Quote:

geez, I feel so bad this is happening to you guys.
Is this just happening with my recipe, or are you guys experiencing it with other PS/shortening recipes?


For me the problem is the PS. Even brands that work great most of the time ( ie dominoes) will have a grainy crop from time to time.

I sure wish we could figure out the underlying factor for all of these bad batches.





Sharon,
Its not your recipe that's the problem. Your portions are equivalent to many other recipes. I just use your methods, filling the bowl completely, and mixing on the proper speeds for alotted times.
Now... I have never used the coffee creamer before... but I dont see where that would cause the gritty texture.
What kind of creamer do you use? I've been using our local Community Coffee creamer...

I dont know what it is, but its frustrating!

sillywabbitz Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:54pm

I just had this problem last night and tossed out a double batch of buttercream, it was so bad you could feel the grit between your fingers. icon_eek.gif So I made a 2nd smaller batch, not as bad but still not good. I had colored part of the slighty better batch with red and I was not about to toss it out even though I could see the sugar crystal in the colored frosting, if that makes sense, the coloring looked spotted.

So then I was out of everything, shortening, sugar etc. I went to a different grocery store and bought new everything and came home. By the time I got home the red had settled in and the overall gritty was pretty much gone. I have to agree with people on here that it is probably the sugar and I can't even say it's the brand. I've used the same brand before and had no problems but gritty seems like a sugar issueicon_smile.gif and the new sugar I bought didn't have the problem.

Letting mine rest really did help so if it's not terrible don't necessarily toss out the whole lot. The first batch had no hope icon_surprised.gif but I'm glad I didn't toss out the redicon_smile.gif

disneynutbsv Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:06pm

I have to say that I had this problem before as well and thought it might be the powdered creamer once mixed. I don't think I had the water hot enough to dissolve the creamer...the next time I made it, I made the water really hot (like coffee hot) and it mixed very well and no grittinessicon_smile.gif This might not be the problem, but could be particon_smile.gif

2kiddos Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:14pm
Quote:
Quote:

I have to say that I had this problem before as well and thought it might be the powdered creamer once mixed. I don't think I had the water hot enough to dissolve the creamer...the next time I made it, I made the water really hot (like coffee hot) and it mixed very well and no grittinessicon_smile.gif This might not be the problem, but could be particon_smile.gif




I'm going to try again, with the same sugar/shortening, and do it with no creamer to see if there is a difference.
Maybe I didnt have it hot enough... guess that could cause the weird grittyness..
This is the first time i've ever had the grittyness, and the first time i've used creamer.

sugarshack Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:18pm

I really do not think it is the creamer; I truly believe it is a PS issue.

cakenewbiekgm Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:02pm

I do think the ps i the main culprit but I noticed too if the creamer and water isn't heated enough and fully dissolved into the water the creamer mixture just adds to the grittiness.

cara75 Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:42pm

This is my first time to make the SS Buttercream and I came over here to post a question about it not looking right and found that apparently a lot of people are having problems. Is this what everyone else's is looking like too?
Image

Image

That's after about 7 minutes on speed 6 on my KA. I'm currently letting it mix for a while longer. It tastes good and it does look like it might be crusting, but it is gritty and almost crunchy. Hopefully it will right itself icon_smile.gif

2kiddos Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:54pm

That is EXACTLY what mine is like!
And it seems to break down the more it mixes! It started out as a medium consistency,and only a little gritty, on speed 1, then within 3-4 minutes, it was thin, very gritty and separated!

2kiddos Posted 23 May 2008 , 3:08pm

I went home and did some testing last night. I made a batch with my regular store brand shortening and domino sugar, with NO coffee creamer.... Same situation
So, I did another batch 1/2 butter 1/2 crisco, same thing....
I give up! It must be the powdered sugar....

Have any of you had luck getting a good batch of icing after all of this? I gave up and found a local supplier and bought 2 buckets of Dawn but-r-creme! I have a ton of cakes this week and next and can't keep failing on batches of icing!

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