What Am I Doing Wrong?!?!?!

Decorating By Angela93 Updated 14 Jun 2009 , 4:26am by Annabakescakes

Angela93 Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 6:27pm
post #1 of 43

I am extremely frustrated!!!! No matter how well I follow directions, mixing speed and all.... my BC never comes out right!!!!! and researching diferent recipes only makes things overwelming becuase there are so many "favorites" out there!!!!

the problem i'm having is it comes out grainy looking! I've tried, Indydebi's BC, serious_cakes BC, and like 5 other random recipes I've found on CC and its always the same problem! today was the first time i sifted the pwdered sugar, which i thought was my problem with the other recipes, but i sifted today and it was still grainy!

what i did: I creamed the crisco and butter on medium speed (6) in my cuisinart stand mixer, until it was perfectly smooth (no lumps), then i mixed in the flavoring (still speed 6), then sifted in powdered sugar at speed 1 untill all was in (i mixed in about one cup at a time).

So where did i go wrong?!?!

PLEASE HELP! I have a wedding cake and a quinceaneta cake to make in october and time is running out! I need to get this down!!!!

42 replies
deijha Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 7:26pm
post #2 of 43

Hi, Sorry to hear about your troubles. I'm really not sure what the problem is, how long do you let it mix after the last of the powdered sugar is put in? I let mine mix for about 4 minutes and I don't have that problem. Good luck maybe someone else will be able to give you some ideas.
Jeanne

Kimmers971 Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 7:40pm
post #3 of 43

Try this one - I've used it many times with no trouble. I use a KA mixer and follow the direction to a T. I don't sift my PS ever and I use the butter flavored Crisco (just my preference).

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-4633-Gabes-Satin-Vanilla-bean-Buttercream-Frosting.html

Also, maybe you are over beating the fat? Than can cause the grainy texture - usually when it's all butter but maybe when it's a mix as well.

Good Luck!

sadsmile Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 7:56pm
post #4 of 43

Is it the brand of powdered sugar? I once got some Dixie Crystals Powdered sugar because it was on sale and I don't know if it is a normal issue with that brand or just a bad batch but it was grainy like the sugar had not been totally powdered.

Deb_ Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 8:02pm
post #5 of 43

Are you using 10x powdered sugar and not 6x? I mistakenly purchased the 6x one time and it was the one time I felt like my butter cream was "grainy". It did *melt* eventually and by the time I served the cake it was OK.

Does yours stay grainy?

I use a KA and after I add the PS I mix on 3 or 4 speed. I mix for almost 10 full minutes...........sometimes longer. I use serious_cakes recipe a lot except I use hi-ratio instead of Crisco.


Oh........I NEVER sift my powdered sugar, but I do use 10x Domino brand.

mgwebb68 Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 8:19pm
post #6 of 43

I'm with you. I was so frustrated with it. So I watched videos, tried recipes, and I think I finally found it, it just clicked when I was watching the Sugarshack video on youtube. The last one that I tried that it worked like a dream on was Indydebi's.

If you are using a KitchenAid mixer, here's the trick, the beater blade (not the whisk) must be completely under the frosting as it is mixing. There can't be any air pockets along the side of the bowl and mix on low only, you don't want to be mixing air into it. So, for instance if you are using Indydebi's recipe you will want to double it.

I just did this last weekend and I came out with smooth, silky, creamy, soft buttercream and it crusted beautifully. I have only used that recipe on some quick cupcake for the guys at the firehouse for a benefit, but I can't wait to use in on a cake.

I hope this helps thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

KathyTW Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 8:24pm
post #7 of 43

The only time I had grainy BC was when I used Crisco. Now I use either the Walmart brand of shortening or Hi-ratio and haven't had it happen again.

Angela93 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:12am
post #8 of 43

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The Powdered Sugar I use is C&H. its the only brand other than store brand available at walmart (I pretty much ONLY shop at walmart). it doesnt say anything on it about 6x or 10x. i have no idea what that even means! is C&H a no no for smoothness?

I have only been using crisco but after reading on CC today, someone did mention that the store brands still have transfat and is much easier to work with, so i just bought some (at walmart icon_biggrin.gif ).

I've heard lots of good things about indydebi's recipe and tried it once but still grainy.... do you think i should try it again but with the walmart brand shortening? is my ps part of the problem?

Angela93 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:14am
post #9 of 43

by the way, where do i find hi ratio shortening?! I've looked at regular grocery stores, no luck. do you have to order it?

toodlesjupiter Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:22am
post #10 of 43

Do you have a local cake supply? That's where I buy my hi-ratio shortening. You can't find it in the store. You may have to order online. Also, try Sugarshack's recipe. It's amazingly smooth!

Angela93 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:33am
post #11 of 43

the only cake supply stores i know of are michaels, johanns and hobby lobby. do you think they'll have it there? I've been wanting to try shugarchacks recipe but am still waiting to find the hi ratio shortening for it!

nana2me Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:50am
post #12 of 43

There is a store called "ABC Baking Cake Decorating" and the address is 2853 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ. I am not sure what is there as I have only sent my husband there once, but it is worth checking out.

toodlesjupiter Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:01am
post #13 of 43

I don't think any of those would have it. Your best bet would be to try the one nana2me suggested. Somewhere that is specifically geared towards cake decorating, not crafts. They would be more likely to carry it. Otherwise, you may have to order online. HTH!

G_Cakes Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:06am
post #14 of 43

The only time I ever had grainy BC was when I forgot to let my butter/crisco sit out till it got to room temperature.

If it is cold (out of the fridge or stored in a cool place) it will not cream properly and will remain grainy.

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

toodlesjupiter Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:09am
post #15 of 43

I just did a search on that ABC Baking Cake Decorating shop and it seems promising. those types of shops should carry hi-ratio. I would try that place if I were you. I hope this helps!

Here is a link to the Yahoo local page:
http://local.yahoo.com/info-19990147-abc-baking-cake-decorating-phoenix?sortreviews=1&allreviews=1#reviews

brea1026 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:24am
post #16 of 43

HI! I live in Gilbert, AZ and I totally have the same exact problem with BC! I hate that it always comes out a little bit grainy. I actually have to buy canned frosting and thicken it up to make BC roses because my bc always makes the edges all jagged.

I am super curious about this. I should remember to ask about it at the next cake club meeting. (Which if you haven't been to you should check it out- Confection Connection Cake Club!)

This is one of the main reasons I don't do much buttercream work. (Besides not ever taking classes and learning properly) Hooray for smooth fondant! =0)

Rylan Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:29am
post #17 of 43

If the feeling in the tounge is grainy, try adding some more of the liquid and it will be fine.

mandysue Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:34am
post #18 of 43

I'm pretty sure you just need to beat it longer. I use a KA and beat my frosting for 4-5 minutes at a mid-speed. My BC will look so grainy that I'll swear it won't be fit, but if I just let my mixer do it's thing, before long the frosting is smooth, creamy and just perfect! HTH!

Deb_ Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 12:11pm
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela93

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The Powdered Sugar I use is C&H. its the only brand other than store brand available at walmart (I pretty much ONLY shop at walmart). it doesnt say anything on it about 6x or 10x. i have no idea what that even means! is C&H a no no for smoothness?




OK on the front of the bag under where it says confectioners sugar it will either say 10-x or 6-x. I have a bag of Dominos in front of me and under where it says 10-x powdered, it also says *pure cane sugar*.

Basically the higher the number i.e. 10-x the finer the sugar has been milled, ground etc. You also want to use *pure* cane sugar for the best results.

Try a bag of Dominos 10-x and see if it makes a difference.

Texas_Rose Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 12:20pm
post #20 of 43

I use C&H and Domino's interchangably and have never noticed any difference in the buttercream (I use Indydebi's recipe). Imperial doesn't seem to do as well, and I don't use the store brands.

Angela93 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:18pm
post #21 of 43

First off, you guys are awsome and soooo very helpful!

toodlesjupiter- Wow! thank you so much for the ABC search! that was very nice of you to do because I would've never found that on my own! for some reason, none of my search engines are working for me! but now i know exactly were to find iticon_smile.gif its a bit far but so is my favorite mall and i always manage to make it there! icon_biggrin.gif Thanks a ton!

MissLizzy- The cold butter may very well be my problem! I NEVER remember to take it out before hand to let it get to room temp. i live in az so there were a couple times were i just set it outside for a few minutes and let the heat take care of it! (its not tooo hot yet). but i'll take some butter out now and make a batch to see if that was my problem icon_wink.gif thanks for the tip! I've read a ton on CC about BC and that was the first time i heard that one! so hopefully that is the answer to my problem!!!

Brea1026- Nice to meet you!!! I was just thinking yesterday that i should start a forum for meeting people in my area so i could get all the tips for handling cakes in our dry/hot weather! so many people have wonderful tips and tricks but its hard when it really depends on the climate! So you're a fondant user, i see! share your tips PLEASE because i am scared to death of fondant!!!! lol i used the wilton brand about a year or 2 ago when i first thought caking would be fun but it was completely disgusting and i was so disapointed that i actually gave up on decorating!!! it wasnt until this past nov that i decided to give it another shot. i also learned that wilton brand is a big no noicon_smile.gif i then tried making a few batches of mmf but i didnt have my stand mixer at the time so it was completely useless because i couldnt get all the ingredients mixed by hand. but now i'm scared to try again! any tips for me? because i know i cant avoid it forever! fondant makes cakes look so beautiful! i'm doing my first wedding cake on october 3rd and a quinceaneta cake 2 weeks later and i'd really like to use fondant! please help!

dkelly- C&H doesnt say anything about 6x or 10x but it is 100% pure cane! so should that be ok? i'll look at other grocery stores to see what other options there are.

texas_rose- thanks for letting me know C&H works for you! hopefully my problem is much more simple...... i'm hoping i figure it out soon!

mgwebb68 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:31pm
post #22 of 43

Give it another try. Make sure your shortening has trans-fat. If it doesn't you will need some sort of fat (butter, whole milk - learned that one from Edna). Since I stopped mixing at high speed I've gotten better results, since I make sure I'm not mixing in air. Just get it all mixed in, and walk away, let it mix for 4 or 5 minutes. This should work. I use C & H, Domino or HEB store brand, they are all 10x. I have also used Target brand in a pinch and it worked fine. I don't use Imperial, just doesn't turn out quite right.

I live in Texas so it's all about the humidity here, you just have to work with it and find what works where you live. I just took bits and pieces from everyone and and stuck it all together.

Good Luck!!! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

Win Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:42pm
post #23 of 43

This is an important tip when buying confectioners sugar:
Try to use use a Pure Cane Sugar. I prefer C&H Powdered (confectioners) Sugar, but most of the time must use Domino sugar because it's all I have as an option on the grocery shelf besides store brand. Look at the ingredient listing... many of the cheaper brands use sugar beets for their base. I dont know the chemistry behind it but you definitely get different textures to your icing that can vary from batch to batch.

edited to add that it took forever for that to load up and others have already brought up my point. icon_cool.gif Also, I cream everything (which is all reoom temp)for at least five minutes on high speed before I ever begin to add my sugar... and then I only add it a pound at a time. When it is fully incorporated, I add the next pound and so on...

mbt4955 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:44pm
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgwebb68

I don't use Imperial, just doesn't turn out quite right.

I live in Texas so it's all about the humidity here, you just have to work with it and find what works where you live.

Good Luck!!! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif




mgwebb68, this is interesting. I took a fondant class from Bronwen Weber several years ago at the culinary academy in Austin. They - I think it was the school and not Bronwen, but I could be wrong - said that Imperial is the only brand of powdered sugar they use. I've primarily bought it ever since ... just wondering what didn't turn out for you. I'm always hoping to learn from someone else's experience and especially a Texan who understands what I am dealing with! icon_biggrin.gif

solascakes Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:51pm
post #25 of 43

I'm not sure how to respond to this,whenever I make sugarshack's it's a bit grainy,I put it in the fridge and when i'm ready to use I just mix a little water and it sooo smooth.

traceyjade Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:53pm
post #26 of 43

I use The Whimsical Bakehouse Buttercream recipe and it is amazing, not too sweet and so smooth. It says to use high ratio shortning which I buy at the Bulk Barn (I don't know if they have these stores where you are. They also say to beat it for 10-20 mins until doubled in volume. www.whimsicalbakehouse.com

mgwebb68 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 2:02pm
post #27 of 43

mbt4955 - I've started out using Imperial basically because it was Imperial and I grew up in Texas and it's local so it was all I knew. It just didn't get as smooth on the cake. I can't figure out why, or what I was doing. But, I was buying my supplies to make a cake and the store was out of Imperial so I had to use Domino and my frosting turned out better, and this was before I had tried different recipes and techniques. Ever since I've been using HEB brand or Domino it's better. I could be the recipe that I was using, but I've tried so many, I'm not even sure which one I was using when I was using Imperial. I just know now with the two recipes that I use now HEB brand or Domino work great so, if it ain't broke....

Definitely nice to get tips from other Texans. There's HOT and then there's Texas HOT. I'm a Texas girl through and through, I love Texas, but between the heat and the humidity it can be trouble for anything you try to do in the kitchen. My husband understands when I tell him "it's too sticky outside to make that".

Happy Caking icon_biggrin.gif

Angela93 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:02pm
post #28 of 43

solascakes- I'll see if refridgerating helps my problem with the grainy texture. thanks!

BREN28 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 4:19pm
post #29 of 43

i remember our wilton instructor telling use to use imperial ps,because it works the best,but i have tried others and the only time my bc came out grainy was when i tried the walmart brand. and i do use the walmart brand all veg. shortening because it had more trans fat in it than the other brands. i just bought some hi ratio shortening last weekend when i visited san antonio,so im so excited to try it out!

Cake4ever Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:04pm
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela93

I am extremely frustrated!!!! No matter how well I follow directions, mixing speed and all.... my BC never comes out right!!!!! and researching diferent recipes only makes things overwelming becuase there are so many "favorites" out there!!!!

the problem i'm having is it comes out grainy looking! I've tried, Indydebi's BC, serious_cakes BC, and like 5 other random recipes I've found on CC and its always the same problem! today was the first time i sifted the pwdered sugar, which i thought was my problem with the other recipes, but i sifted today and it was still grainy!

what i did: I creamed the crisco and butter on medium speed (6) in my cuisinart stand mixer, until it was perfectly smooth (no lumps), then i mixed in the flavoring (still speed 6), then sifted in powdered sugar at speed 1 untill all was in (i mixed in about one cup at a time).

So where did i go wrong?!?!

PLEASE HELP! I have a wedding cake and a quinceaneta cake to make in october and time is running out! I need to get this down!!!!




There is a difference in the powdered sugar. Do not buy the ones in the box, they make grainy BC in my opinion. If you must use it, sift it well.
If you can find it, use the one in the bag. I don't know what name brands are available to you there, so just use what is available. I never have to sift my bagged PS either.

I did not see where you are adding milk to your BC. I pretty much do the same as you, although I do wisk the crisco and butter and flavorings together, then I start adding the PS one cup at a time. When I see it's getting to a stiffer consistency, I add 1 TBSP milk at a time, let it cream a bit and soften, then go back to adding a cup of PS. In between all of this, I make sure to stop and swipe the sides and the bottom of the bowl well with a spatula to make sure it's all getting mixed, then switch to the flat paddle after the 2nd cup of PS. For a double batch of BC, I use about 5 TBSP milk, depending on the weather. Do give it a good mix, but not too long because you'll add air bubbles and cause a whole other set of problems.

I think the problem may be the brand of PS you are using and maybe not using enough milk?

TraceyJade, I too love the Whimsical Bakehouse "House BC" recipe. It's a super soft whipped type of frosting. The major downside of this icing is that it does not crust. You can barely tap it and ruin it. I made 82 cupcakes with it yesterday and wanted to scream every time I accidentally touched a swirl. icon_wink.gif By the way, that whole batch of House BC iced all 82 cuppies with about a cup and a half left! thumbs_up.gif

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