Lavendar Butter Cream Keeps Turning Blue - Help!

Decorating By Rbitner Updated 1 Sep 2010 , 2:32pm by TexasSugar

Rbitner Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:01pm
post #1 of 25

I have never had a problem making lavendar buttercream before. I always use a little of the Wilton violet color and it makes a nice lavendar for me. Last week I did the same thing I always do, and the buttercream kept turning blue. It would start out purple, but the more I mixed in the coloring, it turned blue. I used a ton of coloring and it still turned blue. I even let it sit for over a day, and it never darkened to a purple color.

Has anyone ever had this problem? Can someone tell me what I did wrong? I need to make another cake for this weekend and it has to be lavendar. Please help!
Thanks so much for your time icon_biggrin.gif

24 replies
julzs71 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:08pm
post #2 of 25

did you put in too much coloring? That could be your problem

BellaSweet Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:09pm
post #3 of 25

Maybe the pot of color has gone bad??? icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif Maybe someone else has an idea??

MikeRowesHunny Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:19pm
post #4 of 25

I've had this happen to me, but it's always been the result of direct sunlight. I find that if I make a lilac/lavender from pink with a touch of blue added, this doesn't happen. Don't know why!

summernoelle Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:22pm
post #5 of 25

Are you using Wilton?
For purple, I use Americolor Electric Purple. It isn't a neon purple, actually a really pretty light purple (All purple cakes in my galleries have been used with that color). It has never turned blue on me. Good luck!

Rbitner Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 6:16pm
post #6 of 25

To answer some of your questions,
No, it wasn't old color, the pot of coloring was brand new.

No, I didn't use too much to begin with. I started with a small amount of color like I always do. When it turned blue, I kept adding more to see if I could get it to make purple, but it just kept turning blue.

I have no idea why it was doing that.

cathyscakes Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:13pm
post #7 of 25

I haven't really had it happen when mixing, but I have had it happen from sunlight, it makes me so mad, I have to keep everything covered. I always worry about sun coming into the car when delivering. I was told once to not use water in the buttercream, so I always use milk, but we are on well water so it could be caused from the minerals in the water, not sure. I feel your pain, its just that there is so much blue in the lavendar color, I think there was something wrong with the color if it hasn't happened before

cakedout Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:28pm
post #8 of 25

Sounds like an issue with the color gel.

Other causes are often from the amount of minerals in your water, or from using milk in your buttercream, and direct sunlight.

I'd suggest mixing blue and pink to see if that works.

elainec Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:35pm
post #9 of 25

I was told many years ago to Never use milk in buttercream that would be colored with a purple coloring. Once it gets warm, the color will always turn.

tmt Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:41pm
post #10 of 25

This happened to me too. I use wilton color and no milk in my BC. It would start off perfect purple and then turn blue. I finally just gave them a blue cake icon_sad.gif

sandeeb Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:42pm
post #11 of 25

I've had this happen to me but I use water instead of milk in my icing. A little milk and you can see the color change back to lilac. It still seems to show up blue on pictures. I like the idea about mixing,I think, pink and blue to make lilac. I'm gonna give that a try myself. Good luck.

smitakasargod Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 8:52pm
post #12 of 25

I have heard of this happenning with the wilton purple. I have personally never had it happen with Americolor. My friend had a hard time with wilton though.

GenGen Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 9:03pm
post #13 of 25

sounds like a problem i had with pink a couple weeks ago. i used the pink shade in Wilton colors (didn't have access to anything else But wilton at the time) and by the next day the pink had faded! it was almost white!

Suzies_Sweats-n-Treats Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 9:05pm
post #14 of 25

You didnât say what recipe butter cream you are using. Is it the same recipe that you have used before? If there is any citric acid in the icing it will do that. Some pre-made icings add it as a preservative or flavoring, as do a few recipes. Citric acid will counteract most red color in the lavender leaving only the blue.

summernoelle Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 9:16pm
post #15 of 25
Originally Posted by kassie73

I have heard of this happenning with the wilton purple. I have personally never had it happen with . My friend had a hard time with wilton though.

Ditto. It has only happened to me with Wilton.

Juds2323 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 9:55pm
post #16 of 25

I beleive it has to do with the instability of red dye. I believe I read on here somewhere that to add a bit of red/pink to purple and it will help with the fading. And to make the pink a shade darker than you want for the same reason.

elainec Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 1:50am
post #17 of 25

I will remember the pink in the future, especially when using Wilton!

indydebi Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 3:04am
post #18 of 25

Around 1976, Red (food) Dye #2 was removed from the market due to inconsistent testing that found it MIGHT MAYBE cause cancer. Ever since then, those of us in the baking/pastry field have had to fight the battle of unstable red coloring because nothing else was as good as good 'ole #2!

Purple = red + blue. When the red fades, all you are left with is the blue.

Bright sunlight, florescent bulbs, etc., contribute to the fading.

You may have the same problem with oranges that fade to yellow (when the red fades, all that's left is the yellow). But usually the problem is in the purples.

It's not really a big mystery ... just simple science.

elainec Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 4:27pm
post #19 of 25

Thanks indydebi! Also, I love your recipes in the recipe section. Thanks for sharing.

Rbitner Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 2:39am
post #20 of 25

Thank you so much for the tip!! I was making my buttercream as usual, and it turned blue again. So I added a little milk like someone suggested, and amazingly it turned purple again!! Just like that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

shannycakers Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:44am
post #21 of 25

Indebi, i love you by the way!.. then what do you do to stop the purple fading to blue problems..? if there is nothing to do abut do you work on a purple request?

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:53am
post #22 of 25

A lot of us are finding that the brand of coloring makes a diff. Americolor gets good reviews; I used Cake Craft brand with good results. Some have also found that using milk in the icing instead of water also helps hold the color.

Start with using a good brand of color.

costumeczar Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 12:09pm
post #23 of 25

Wilton purple fades pretty quickly...I use airbrush purple in icing and it stays true.

You can also try Crystal Colors, which are powdered food dusts/food coloring. The colors are really good and they don't fade.

Loucinda Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 12:17pm
post #24 of 25

When using the wilton purple colors, always use milk/cream in the icing recipe. For some reason the extra fats help hold the blue in the coloring. (and this "hint" comes from Wilton)

I have had good luck with the americolor purples holding ok.

TexasSugar Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 2:32pm
post #25 of 25

I haven't had alot of problem with purple fading, though I don't do all purple cakes, and haven't kept them around for a while.

I've bought Americolor's purples and just don't like the shades of them, so I tend to go back to Wilton.

I did at the convention stock up on all kinds of shades of Crystal Colors in purple, so I really won't have to deal with any fading purple issues. icon_smile.gif

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