SFcakelady Posted 18 May 2009 , 9:03pm
post #1 of

I'm having such a hard time getting my buttercream smooth, mainly because of all the air that's traped in there. I use the "buttercream dream" recipie found here on C.C. In my K.A I beat the crisco and butter then add vanilla. I add my powdered sugar very slowly, scraping the bowl after every cup, and turning up the speed in between as well. Lastly, I add milk then beat again for a few more minutes. After covering my cake, I use the scrapper and VIVA method and still not smooth, due to air. What am I doing wrong?

21 replies
cupcakelady64 Posted 18 May 2009 , 9:13pm
post #2 of

Is the crisco at room temperature? And the butter? Putting in powdered sugar and beating each time, in my experience, is too much mixing. It's like a "crust-less" buttercream. It never crusts over. Once there are no more little lumps in it, stop mixing.

SFcakelady Posted 18 May 2009 , 11:57pm
post #3 of

The crisco is room temp. The butter is cold. Is that a mistake? So less mixing is better? Is that why my buttercream doesn't crust well?

jamiekwebb Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:11am
post #4 of

room temp butter works better

havingfun Posted 19 May 2009 , 1:45am
post #5 of

I will have to disagree about Buttercream Dream not crusting. I use it all the time and get a nice crust that I can smooth with Viva paper towels. I put the butter and shortening (I use Wal Mart brand since it still has some trans fat) in the mixer along with the flavoring. I let it go until it is all smooth - no lumps. Then I put in 1/2 of my sugar, mix that on low, add a little milk, then add the rest of my sugar (use a damp paper towel over mixer to control the "cloud") and the rest of my milk (usually 4-5 tablespoons). Mix on med low until mixed well, scrapping as needed. That's it. I do like to let it sit some before using. I love this icing and have had MANY compliments on it.

SFcakelady Posted 19 May 2009 , 1:59am
post #6 of

Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try using room temp butter and mixing at a low-med speed instead of high. I think that's where I'm going wrong.

havingfun Posted 19 May 2009 , 1:59am
post #7 of

Also, the butter must be at room temperature.

hamie Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:10am
post #8 of

You should try sugar shacks method, even if you do not use her recipe.
Make sure your bc completely covers the beater, no air gets in. Then mix for about 10 minutes. You will have a smooth, air free bc everytime.

madgeowens Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:14am
post #9 of

I put stick of butter and a cup of crisco in mix bowl, add vanilla and almond extract....mix till creamy....I started shutting the mixer off and put all sugar in and cover KA with a tea towel and start on slow, then add several(one at a time) TBS of heavy cream, till its the consistancy you want, and after its past blowing powder sugar in your face I turn it up, never past 6........and it crusts everytime. oops and I add meringue powder right before the sugar a TBS.

sweet_teeth Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:15am

The air bubbles are because the mixture needs to be above the mixer so that no air can be trapped inside. Basically you need to fill the bowl to the brim. It will result in silk smooth buttercream sans air bubbles.

Perfecting the art of buttercream by Sharon Zambito.. aka sugarshack is great.

madgeowens Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:55am

I don't fill to the top and I don't get air bubbles. I must be lucking out.

SFcakelady Posted 19 May 2009 , 3:49am

What does the meringue powder do, help it to crust? Where I live it's always humid, I needsomething extra to keep my B.C from getting "soupy".

Lita829 Posted 19 May 2009 , 4:01am

From what I know, meringue powder will help the BC form a crust and also help with stabilizing the icing. It may help keep the BC from being soupy. I put 2 Tbsp of Meringue powder in my BC and it crusts well and holds up in heat.

Also, which attachment are you using to beat the icing? I use the whisk attachment when I want a pillowy icing (ie..fluffier with more air). When I want a smooth, velvety texture, I use the paddle attachment. I don't get any air bubbles when using the paddle attachment.

Keep experimenting...you'll get it icon_smile.gif

HTH icon_smile.gif

havingfun Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:02pm

I don't fill above the paddle, and I don't get air bubbles. I think you are perhaps adding too much liquid if you are getting a "soupy" icing. Try adding just a tbls at a time after you add 4 tbls of liquid, until you get the consistency you need for whatever you are doing: crumbcoat, icing, or flowers. Slow your mixer down, and just beat it until it all comes together. If you like to beat the devil out of your icing, there is a wonderful icing by Indydebi that uses DreamWhip. It is a light, delicious icing and you can really let your KA have fun! It is smooth as silk. I still perfer the Buttercream Dream. You can change up the flavor with almond, Creme Bouquet, lemon, whatever.

sweet_teeth Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFcakelady

What does the meringue powder do, help it to crust? Where I live it's always humid, I need something extra to keep my B.C from getting "soupy".




Hmm... meringue powder i'm pretty sure just stabilizes it. The fat:sugar ratio is what determines whether or not it crusts. The more sugar, the quicker it will crust.

I didn't mean that you HAVE to have it above the paddle.. it's just fail proof it is. I mean.. i just haphazardly dump all my ingredients in, and I never get airbubbles due to it being over the paddle. Sugarshack's DVD on buttercream seriously is amazing; I recommend it to all.

Lita829 Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:25pm

Hmmmm...I think meringue powder does help with crusting. When I don't use it, the BC is softer and doesn't crust as well. I used to only use 1 Tbsp and I notice a difference in crusting now that I use 2.

Lita829 Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:26pm

Hmmmm...I think meringue powder does help with crusting. When I don't use it, the BC is softer and doesn't crust as well. I used to only use 1 Tbsp and I notice a difference in crusting now that I use 2.

SFcakelady Posted 19 May 2009 , 4:46pm

I do use the padle, but beat at a high speed. I'm going to try the meringue powder next time, and try it on a slower speed. I use 5 tbls milk in my buttercream dream. I use 1 cup crisco and 2 sicks butter. Does the crisco help stabilize it, or make it soft?

sweet_teeth Posted 19 May 2009 , 5:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Hmmmm...I think meringue powder does help with crusting. When I don't use it, the BC is softer and doesn't crust as well. I used to only use 1 Tbsp and I notice a difference in crusting now that I use 2.




thumbs_up.gif Good to know!

But, I know the basis of crusting/non crusting is based on the fat to sugar ratio. You can't just dump some meringue powder in an S/IMBC in order for it to crust.. there is way too much fat. If you want something to crust more, just reduce some of the fat.

To the above poster, crisco usually makes a firmer buttercream as it has a much higher melting temperature than butter. I do about half and half usually.. unless it's sitting out in the sun and then i do mostly all HR Shortening.

Lita829 Posted 19 May 2009 , 7:47pm

I agree that using Crisco makes a firmer frosting. I also use half butter/half shortening in most BC recipes. So...we do agree on something, alexandrabill. icon_smile.gif

I don't just "dump" in extra meringue powder. I just increased it 1 Tbsp and I like the results I got. I wasn't telling SFcakelady that she should do that. I was just telling her to experiment a little. My basic BC recipe comes from Wilton, which I changed up a little, through experimentation. I thought that she could do the same to come up with a recipe that would work for her. thumbs_up.gif

sweet_teeth Posted 19 May 2009 , 7:57pm

Ugh damn internet.. it's so hard to explain what you want to say w/o it sounding wrong.. lol.

I used 'dump into S/IMBC as an example due to the high fat content... meaning no amount of meringue powder would make it crust. Lol.

I use meringue sometimes in mine too icon_smile.gif I'm all about the meringue powder, I just didn't know it aided in crusting. I realize it does now.. and just wanted to clarify that it won't really make a 'non crusting buttercream' crust icon_smile.gif

Lita829 Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:00pm

Its all cool, alexandrabill. icon_smile.gif I understand what you were saying. That is why were are all on this website...to be inspired and get tips from each other. icon_wink.gif

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