Help!! What Is Wrong With My Buttercream!

Decorating By patticakesnc Updated 10 Apr 2009 , 3:37pm by amberc75

patticakesnc Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:14am
post #1 of 21

It is almost grainy looking.. Not tasting...tastes great but a grainy or curdled look. I have no idea why...never had it do this before. Am I needing some more of something? PS maybe? It is pretty soft, but before I do anything more to it I wanted to throw the ?? out there.

HELP!

20 replies
BJ Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:21am
post #2 of 21

what recipe do you use? (ingredients)

Yorkiemum Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:33am
post #3 of 21

Hi Patticakes,

I believe you have to continue to whip the buttercream and it will go past the curdled look. I've had that happen to me.

prterrell Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:38am
post #4 of 21

Never heard of the powdered sugar - shortening frosting curdling before.

patticakesnc Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:53am
post #5 of 21

It has butter, shortening, powdered sugar, a bit of half and half cream and vanilla in it. I added more ps to it but still is odd looking. I am going to put it in the fridge and see if once it firms up if I can get it to a normal consistancy again. The bowl is REALLy full so I may need to clean it out to about half before putting it back on my mixer. I dont' know will just keep trying.

Yorkiemum Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:05am
post #6 of 21

Oops! I thought it was the egg white and butter buttercream. Sorry. You are right I've never heard of the powdered sugar recipe doing that either.

Angelfire3 Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:46am
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

It is almost grainy looking.. Not tasting...tastes great but a grainy or curdled look. I have no idea why...never had it do this before. Am I needing some more of something? PS maybe? It is pretty soft, but before I do anything more to it I wanted to throw the ?? out there.

HELP!




I have the same problem. I use softened butter, shortening, vanilla, milk, confectioner's sugar and I blend in a blender. My butter cream comes out soft and weird looking too, especially when I add color, I can see streaks of the white & the color. Plus mines don't "harden" like the store bought BC. Why? It's really tasty & sweet, but too soft.

weirkd Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:54am
post #8 of 21

Ive had that happen a lot to me especially when I dont use the italian meringue buttercream. But I think its because the butter is added to fast. But Ive also heard that its suppose to happen. Ive seen some recipes saying that it will look like that and I will continue to whip it and then eventually it looks better. After putting it in the fridge it comes out fine. Im sure a person that has gone to pastry school can tell you exactly why it does this. Probably something with proteins vs fats or some chemical reaction!

erinalicia Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:03am
post #9 of 21

what shortening are you using? what is your ratio of butter to shortening? I use half butter and half shortening and I've never had the "curdling" to happen. How long have you mixed it? I have had the problem with coloring the icing though. I usually only happens when I use crisco though, or if my hands are hot when I'm piping it.

gakali Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:07am
post #10 of 21

Did you soften your butter in the microwave? I've had that happen to my icing before if the butter got too warm (too "melted") in the microwave.....

Angelfire3 Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:09am
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinalicia

what shortening are you using? what is your ratio of butter to shortening? I use half butter and half shortening and I've never had the "curdling" to happen. How long have you mixed it? I have had the problem with coloring the icing though. I usually only happens when I use crisco though, or if my hands are hot when I'm piping it.




I use 1/2 butter (country crock) & 1/2 Crisco butter flavor shortening (That's all I have). My house, especially my kitchen is very warm too. I only mix until it gets creamy. Plus My mixer is a hand-held one (I'll be upgrading soon icon_wink.gif ). I'll try mixing it longer and making sure my kitchen isn't too warm. When I put it in the refrigerator, the top layer crusts, but as soon as I stir it, it's too soft, almost melting icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif Does that make any sense?

patticakesnc Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:11am
post #12 of 21

I didn't microwave my butter. I let it come to room temp on its own. I use about 1/2 to 1/2 on butter and shortening too. I have had this happen with adding color also but I haven't added anything yet. I let it mix forever it seemed. Probably all together a good 15-20 minutes checking to see how it was every 5 min.

I did use crisco, but normally I do. I can't find Hi Ratio around here. I have it in the fridge right now...I am going to ck it... Maybe it just got too warm???

patticakesnc Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:15am
post #13 of 21

Ok I just checked it. It has firmed up a lot and looks pretty nice now.....I don't know unless my butter was too soft or warm....maybe when it mixed with the cold half and half cream it caused portions of it to solidify???? What ya think? makes sense to me...but it is ok now so I am happy.

Thanks everyone for the answers......I appreciate it.

all4cake Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:17am
post #14 of 21

Mine does that after a long mixing cycle. I simply put it into a bucket(I can usually feel the warmth of it), put the lid on it and leave it on the counter until the following day. (and that is whether I use the hi ratio or crisco)

edited to add: I can usually POUR my icing into the bucket after mixing it...the following day, it is beautifully smooth, with a creamy like consistency.

I wouldn't put it in the fridge...

FromScratch Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:22am
post #15 of 21

15 plus minutes in the mixer will heat it up pretty good... I'm betting that was a big part of it. The only time I ever had that happen when making a PS icing was whent he butter was way too soft.

luv_to_decorate Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:23am
post #16 of 21

You said you used country crock. Is that butter or margarine? If it's not butter, it will be too soft and change the whole icing. I didn't know that country crock made actual butter sticks.

erinalicia Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:25am
post #17 of 21

I use 1/2 butter (country crock) & 1/2 Crisco butter flavor shortening (That's all I have). My house, especially my kitchen is very warm too. I only mix until it gets creamy. Plus My mixer is a hand-held one (I'll be upgrading soon icon_wink.gif ). I'll try mixing it longer and making sure my kitchen isn't too warm. When I put it in the refrigerator, the top layer crusts, but as soon as I stir it, it's too soft, almost melting icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif Does that make any sense?[/quote]


You said you use country crock... that is margarine. There is more water content in it than in actual butter. It will make your icing a lot softer. It may be that with the warmth of your kitchen it's actually melted and caused the problem.

Sometimes you can "overbeat" margarine to and that will cause it to look "curdled". I'm not sure about the butter crisco, I don't like the flavor of it. I actually use Target brand shortening because it actually has transfats in it where all the other brands are going to 0 trans fats. I have better luck with it than I do with crisco.

I can't find hi-ratio here, and I don't see the need in it since I only do this as a hobby. I've made some changes to how I make my icing and it is a lot softer now, but everyone loves it. I use half margarine or butter and half shortening and whipping cream. It comes out almost the texture of thickened whipped cream.

Sorry, I can't be more help. My guess though is that the margarine actually melted and the water caused the grainy look.

FromScratch Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 10:35am
post #18 of 21

I totally missed the country crock issue. You really shouldn't use tub margarine to make icing (or bake with for that matter)... like erinalicia said there is more water in it than butter or stick margarine. I'm in the butter is better corner. I don't care for the fakey butter flavor or margarine and find it very overpowering for making icing and even for baking.

sweetjan Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 10:42am
post #19 of 21

The others posting ahead of me are saying what I was thinking....you have to use real (usually unsalted, right?) butter!

weirkd Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:23pm
post #20 of 21

You can get hi ratio shortening from Alan at Global Sugar Art. But he stops shipping it in May because of the heat so if your going to order, you need to do it rather quickly or have to wait until the fall!!

amberc75 Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:37pm
post #21 of 21

Not saying you should use it or not - that's each person's personal preference, but yes, Country Crock does come in sticks. icon_smile.gif

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