Non Gritty Buttercream...does It Exist? Is There A Trick?

Decorating By Trixyinaz Updated 18 May 2009 , 3:47am by 1cupcake

Trixyinaz Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:17pm
post #1 of 52

My neighbor makes her BC with butter, crisco and powdered sugar....same ingredients as me. However, hers is less sweet, doesn't crust and is never gritty? She cannot/is forbin to give out the recipe, as it is her mothers and she sells cakes in a different state. All I do know is that she uses 10x PS, same as me. I just love how smooth hers is, although I would love it moreso if it would crust over and was a bit sweeter. DH doesn't like the taste at all (b/c it isn't sweet enough for him), but has commented on how non-gritty it is - something I would love to acheive. Mine on the other hand is gritty, but he LOVES the taste of my BC.

Does anyone know what the trick is to non gritty BC? And don't bother suggesting SMBC or IMBC. I can't make either as they are made with eggs. I hear it is super smooth, but due to an allergy I prefer not to make it. Thanks!

51 replies
fiddlesticks Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:21pm
post #2 of 52

Hey Vicky ! WOW!! I make the buttercream dream and sugarshacks B.C. and I never have gritty B.C!
Do you add liquid other the your flavoing ?
What recipe do you use ? Well unless its a secret ?

2508s42 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:28pm
post #3 of 52

Do you have a kitchen aid? The trick is to let the butter and crisco beat until creamy, then add the sugar, then the liquid. After all your ingredients are added, mix at a LOW speed for AT LEAST 10 minutes. A high speed will add too many air bubbles. This is the time that I let my mixer do all the work while I level the cakes.

confectioneista Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:29pm
post #4 of 52

What ingredients are you using? Are you able to use meringue powder or does that aggravate your allergy, too?

Trixyinaz Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:30pm
post #5 of 52

Hey Diane!

Those are the two that I use, but I mostly use the Buttercream Dream. My PS is 10x so I'm not sure what gives. Yes, I add liquid to both. How long are you mixing your BC? Maybe I'm over mixing it and breaking down the fats? Is that possible?

Here's what I generally do with the BCD recipe... (using the paddle)

Mix the butter and crisco for a good 7-8 minutes until it is nice and smooth and creamy.

Add the flavor and mix another minute or two.

Add the PS in stages, as it becomes too stiff, I'll start adding my liquid. Then once it is all mixed, I let the mixer go for a good 10 minutes or so.

What am I doing wrong? Now mind you, no one has ever complained about my icing...except DH and myself. I just want smooth non gritty BC. I hate being able to feel the PS sugar granuals when I eat it.

Hi guys! You two snuck in on me. I use a Kitchen Aid 4.5 QT (maybe 4 QT) mixer with the paddle. The ingredients I use are butter, crisco, powder sugar, flavoring, milk.

If I recall correctly, Meringue powder is egg whites, right?

confectioneista Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:36pm
post #6 of 52

Ok, well that's just weird because nothing you've mentioned should cause grittiness (is that word?) Maybe change the PS brand you are using. HTH

fiddlesticks Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:38pm
post #7 of 52

Well Thats wierd ! I mix mine the same way to!
What brand P.S. do you use ??
I have to use cane sugar NOT beet sugar that stuff is gritty ( to me )

sillywabbitz Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:39pm
post #8 of 52

Vicki,
This was a problem for me once and I did a lot of searching and found that in general the belief of what causes gritty buttercream is the type of powdered sugar you use. Not the 10X per say but the brand.

I purchased off brand powdered sugar that one time and trashed an entire batch because it was gritty.

Ask your neighbor what brand she gets and also if she buys at a bulk store or the grocery store ...that might make a difference.

I switched back to name brand powdered sugar and I have not had the problem since.

If you ever add salt, jello or pudding to your buttercream be sure and disolve it completely before adding it to your BC.
. BTW most people swear by Domino but I can't get it at most of my stores and I use CH powdered sugar.


Hope this helps

yellobutterfly Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:39pm
post #9 of 52

The only time I ever had trouble with gritty icing was when I used regular vegetable shortening - I switched to hi-ratio and never looked back - NO MORE GRITTY ICING EVER!! And I agree, a stand mixer definitely helps. Both are pricey, but soooooooo worth it if you can save up for them. The hi-ratio you can even buy in smaller, 3 lb size if you want to try it before committing to 50 lbs.

confectioneista Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:43pm
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz



If I recall correctly, Meringue powder is egg whites, right?




Oops - sorry I missed that question. Meringue powder does have egg whites in it, so I'm guessing it wouldn't work for you. icon_sad.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:57pm
post #11 of 52

Okay, sounds like a brand issue. I was using CH at one point (can't remember if that was gritty or not), then went out and started using the huge bags at Costco (not sure what brand, but do recall some grit), then the last couple of batches were Spartan Brand PS.

Yellow...I may just need to adjust my pricing to include the additional cost of Hi Ratio shortening. I also switched to a local brand so maybe that is contibuting to the grit issue. Yeah, I use a stand up mixer...I couldn't imagine using anything else.

My neighbor uses CH PS...she said one time her' came out gritty and she didn't know why. It was an isolated case. Her mom said her's has never been gritty. Back to the drawing board.

tiggy2 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:00pm
post #12 of 52

indydebi's recipe is an excellent crusting BC. I've made it with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening and it's very creamy and smooth not to mention it tastes great. I do however use hiratio instead of crisco.

allie73 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:02pm
post #13 of 52

This is the buttercream I use, and I get requests for the recipe all the time. It doesn't crust, but it chills beautifully, it tastes delicious, and is smooth creamy. You can also add melted chocolate, lemon curd, liquer, etc. to it to flavor it, just like a SMBC or IMBC. It can be tempermental if you let the milk mix get too cold, or the butter isn't soft enough (ie. too cold).

1 cup whole milk
2 TBS. flour

Whisk milk and flour together in small sauce pan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking often, and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add the cooled milk mixture. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If the mixture curdles, you let your milk mixture get too cold. Allow the mixture to warm up (I hold hot towels on my mixer bowl until I see it coming together when I am in a hurry), the whip again.

This icing is not pure white, because of the butter content, but there is a version that uses Crisco in replace of the butter, I just don't have it. THAT is pure white, and also delicious.

tiggy2 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:08pm
post #14 of 52

indydebi's recipe is an excellent crusting BC. I've made it with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening and it's very creamy and smooth not to mention it tastes great. I do however use hiratio instead of crisco.

tiggy2 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:25pm
post #15 of 52

indydebi's recipe is an excellent crusting BC. I've made it with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening and it's very creamy and smooth not to mention it tastes great. I do however use hiratio instead of crisco.

fiddlesticks Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:25pm
post #16 of 52

Vicky I also use the high ratio ! I would check my p.s. for sure !

Trixyinaz Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:22pm
post #17 of 52

Thanks Tiggy. I have heard great things about IndyDebi's BC. I may have to try it one day.

Diane - I was going to ask you if you used Hi Ratio. Where do you get yours? I noticed that GFS sells hi ratio. Do you know if there's is a good brand?

cuteums Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:29pm
post #18 of 52

I make sugarshack's recipe with veg. shortening (w/ trans fat) and unsalted margarine. It's never gritty. I found that the brand of powdered sugar matters. I spend a little more but I only use domino's powdered sugar in the 1lb boxes. I may be crazy and spending more than I need to but I find that the discount brands are grittier, and the ones that come in a plastic bag are no good. The plastic bag allows moisture and odors to seep in and change the texture and flavor of the sugar. If you have the time you may want to sift your powdered sugar before putting it in. Good luck.

fiddlesticks Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:29pm
post #19 of 52

I get my high ratio at a local cake supply! My GFS doesnt carry it unless it just started .
They can probably tell you what brand it is if you ask though!

superstar Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:48pm
post #20 of 52

I also think it is the brand of PS you are using. I use CH & my BC is never gritty & it doesn't matter what recipe I am using. CH is the best we can get here & thank goodness it works.

tomatoqeen Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 11:01pm
post #21 of 52

OK...I'm still new the cake game and have a question: what does 10x powdered sugar mean and more importantly I guess is how do I know it is 10x?

I use the 50lb bag at costco for $19.99. Do I just not know better?

I am a texture eater...no matter what I am eating and PS buttercreams are not my favorite (SMBC !!!!), but I need a crusting BC for a lot of the stuff that I do. Can anyone shed some light?

dogluvr Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 11:05pm
post #22 of 52

I have been using the same recipe as Allie73 for years...it was my mothers recipe and it is delicious and creamy...doesn't crust...I always get requests for it because it is not too sweet...just right.

fiddlesticks Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 11:24pm
post #23 of 52

You can find the 10x on the front of the bag near the bottom on mine. I use Domino brand. The 10 x I believe means it been preshifted that many x ... At least thats what I have always thought.
Again a lot of people have trouble with P.S. thats not cane sugar but beet sugar.

confectioneista Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 1:01am
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomatoqeen

OK...I'm still new the cake game and have a question: what does 10x powdered sugar mean and more importantly I guess is how do I know it is 10x?

I use the 50lb bag at costco for $19.99. Do I just not know better?

I am a texture eater...no matter what I am eating and PS buttercreams are not my favorite (SMBC !!!!), but I need a crusting BC for a lot of the stuff that I do. Can anyone shed some light?




According to Toba Garrett, 10x means how finely ground the sugar is, so the more X's the more finely ground the sugar. Although I've also heard that it's how much it has been sifted - probably the same meaning actually.

I've seen that same bag at Costco. It's C&H which is made by Domino so I'm kinda thinking it may be ok to use - and hey, for 20 bucks not too bad of an investment.

As for getting your BC to "crust", I prefer using meringue powder. The recipe I use calls for 3 tbsp. It goes on smooth but crusts perfectly. I'd suggest trying a few different recipes to see which one works for you. HTH

tomatoqeen Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:38pm
post #25 of 52

confectioneista -- thanks for the info!!

I had never heard of Dominao, so that helps too!! I've been trying different recipes lately trying to come up with one I'm happy with. The white chocolate buttercream is probably my favorite so far, but I'm still searching! Thanks again for your help. icon_smile.gif

confectioneista Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:59pm
post #26 of 52

tomatoqeen - no prob! Domino is a brand that's more common on the other side of the country. White chocolate BC sounds good - maybe play around with the meringue powder a bit to see if creates a crust for you? And there's lots of recipes here on CC you could try out. Good luck! icon_smile.gif

BeesKnees578 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:10pm
post #27 of 52

I SOMETIMES use a buttercream from the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbook that calls for adding boiling water to your powdered sugar and beating until it cools and then adding butter and shortening. It is a good recipe, but I do have several problems with it, so I need to work on tweaking it when I get the chance. The key to it though, is like IMBC. . .it thickens as it cools. I usually beat it until I can't take the sound of the mixer anymore and then put it in the fridge to totally harden and then bring it to temp when I want to use it.

1) It takes FOREVER to make, since you have to wait till it cools.
2) I can never seem to get it to the right consistency for piping or making the beautiful flowers in her book - I have hot hands and I think I add too much water every time.

PROs
1) ABSOLUTELY no powdered sugar dust cloud coating everything in your kitchen.
2) It doesn't crust (although that could be a con)
3) It's not as sweet (or at least it doesn't seem that way) as other PSBC I have tasted.

HOPE THIS HELPS!

confectioneista Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:21pm
post #28 of 52

I decided to go straight to the source and see if C&H is 10X, so I emailed them. We'll see what they say. I'll let you all know what I find out if you're interested!

tiggy2 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:31pm
post #29 of 52

I use the bags from Costco and they are 10x. I've never had a problem with them.

confectioneista Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:40pm
post #30 of 52

Thanks tiggy2! Guess I'll be buying that big bag of PS next time I'm at Costco! BTW, I found out that you can buy Domino products online from their website - cool, eh?

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