How Long Do You Beat Your Buttercream Icing...

Decorating By Trixyinaz Updated 14 Feb 2016 , 5:05pm by -K8memphis

Trixyinaz Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:44pm
post #1 of 22

to get that really smooth whipped cream type non-grainy texture?

I would love to know...perhaps I'm not beating mine long enough. I've switched PS several times and no matter what brand or how many times I sift the PS, it's still on the grainy side.


21 replies
2SchnauzerLady Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:49pm
post #2 of 22

Sometimes it's the shortening - what are you using for that?

kakeladi Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:58pm
post #3 of 22

Until it's dead?? HEhehe.....just couldn't resist.

Actually I have left my KA run for up to 15 minutes. One time I forgot the mixer was running and I ran off to get a quick lunch and it took longer than I expected so it was a good 15-20 minutes. It was soooooooooo super smooth and more in the bowl - almost overflowing. Yummm icon_smile.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:47pm
post #4 of 22

TNT: hmmm, I've used Crisco in the past but then started buying GFS shortening or our local SPARTAN brand. GFS used to carry hi-ratio shortening, but I can't find it anymore over there. Both the GFS and the Spartan Brand have transfat, which is why I switched.

I love our local supermarkets BC (smooth and creamy, no PS granuals whatsoever and not so sweet) and called today to see if they would give me their recipe (hehehehe, ya never know until you ask, right?) Well, he said no b/c their recipe is for 60 pounds of BC, but he did tell me they use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shotening. But then he said they use Sweetex, which I guessed when he said they don't use Crisco. Hmmmm - could that be the reason why it is soooooooo smooth! So anyway, he said they mix the BC for about 20 minutes and then let it "rest" overnight. When they go to use it on their cakes, they pull out what they need and in their small mixer beat it again for another 20 minutes. When asked if I could buy Sweetex from them, he said sure, but then said, why not just buy our buttercream. They sell 1 pound for $2.99. I'm tempted, but I would feel like I was cheating. Plus, their BC is non-crusting so I'm not sure how I would get that super smooth look if I can't use the viva method.

And for what it is worth, I generally only mix my BC for about 10 minutes. Perhaps I need to mix it longer and that will help. I want to leave work to go home and experiment. icon_biggrin.gif

Kakeladi: you crack me up! I'm still giggling! Okay, next time I'm gonna turn on my mixer and go take a bike ride for about 20 minutes. I'm sure I'll blow out a motor on my KA tho....this thing shakes, rattles and rolls as it is. hehehe

Thanks again for your tips. Oh, and the bakery said they use whatever PS they get specific brand. I was pumping his big time for all sorts of info...he wouldn't give in on the brand name they use....I can't imagine they use whatever they get as I'm sure it would affect the quality of their BC switching all the time from one brand to the next.

1234me Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:51pm
post #5 of 22

I use the buttercream dream recipe and mix it for only 4 minutes. It is never grainy tasting. I never use it right away though - I put it in the fridge or freezer until I need it.

Trixyinaz Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:01pm
post #6 of 22

Wendy, that is the recipe that I use all the time, too. It is so grainy that I can't stand it anymore. I don't recall it always being grainy, so maybe when I switched my shortening is when i started getting the grainy texture. I just don't know.

Now with this all said, no one has ever complained about my icing. In fact, they all say how good it is. But for me, it's too grainy tasting.

bostonterrierlady Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:02pm
post #7 of 22

I barely mix mine just emough to get it mixed. When i beat even a little to much it is full of air. Even when I use Sweetex. I do not know why.

cakes22 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:38pm
post #8 of 22

I usually mix for 10-15 minutes or when there isn't any gaps from the side of the bowl (KA bowl) (make sense?) serious_cakes explains it in one of her videos........can't remember which one....

sillywabbitz Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:47pm
post #9 of 22

From everything I've read graininess is from the PS not the shortening. If you get a bad batch or use an off brand PS it can be grainy. It happened to me twice. Went to the store and bought CK PS and did a new batch and no graininess.

Good luck..I would totally buy buttercream if I ever found one I really loved and could work with..I like the crusting thoughicon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:04pm
post #10 of 22

I only beat mine for a few minutes. I find this is just enough to make it smooth and creamy. Anything longer begins to incorporate too much air into the icing. Air in icing causes cake issues...bubbles, blisters, inability to smooth without pock marks, blowouts and air pockets under fondant.

I think some folks are more sensitive to this kind of graininess than others. To me, a very slight graininess is a normal, desirable characteristic of butter cream that makes it what it is. I don't even really notice it. If I want something smoother or creamier, I generally choose a different icing, usually a cooked one will have no graininess.

kandu001 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:37pm
post #11 of 22

I hate to say that I probably do it different every time! I never measure anything and I never mix for the same amount of time. However, make sure that when you cream your butter/shortening and flavoring, make sure it is smooth and creamy!

Cakeonista Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:46pm
post #12 of 22

Well I have beaten my for a long time, maybe 15 to 20 minutes with my paddle attachment not my whisk and it always come smooth but I watched Tonedna's video and she says to mix just till incorporated and hers looked so smooth, not one air pocket. She also uses high ratio so maybe thats why. I have been using crisco but have decided to try my store brand, I'll let you know.

mbt4955 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:49pm
post #13 of 22

This is one of those "let's agree to disagree" discussions that continues to pop up. Some say that you can't beat it too long and others say don't mix it a second longer than you have to. I haven't quite found the magic recipe yet, so I'm still going with the longer is better method.

indydebi Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:08pm
post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by mbt4955

This is one of those "let's agree to disagree" discussions that continues to pop up. Some say that you can't beat it too long and others say don't mix it a second longer than you have to. I haven't quite found the magic recipe yet, so I'm still going with the longer is better method.

agree. Just for the poll, I'm one of the "no such thing as beating it too long" people.

Moniquea Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:09pm
post #15 of 22

Glad for this post.

I've only recently noticed the grainy texture as I've become accustomed to making it all the time. I find myself becoming a cake snob, icing/frosting included. I've come to feel the texture of the powdered sugar in my mouth more but before if I got some cake with fresh frosting I would just be like "this is tastes great - thank you!"

I made some Sugarshack the other day but made sure the water I added to the non-dairy creamer powder was boiling and it turned out sooo smooth it was like meringe (*spelling, sorry)... but then it seemed to have no body and the decorations didn't want to hold and it took forever to crust - if at all. (I put additional powdered sugar in it and then the grainy texture came back)

I melted the butter for my last batch by accident and it was very grainy. I think it was because the butter seperated... but I don't know... the sugar was also very old (mom's house icon_wink.gif )

Is it me? Am I just becoming more picky about it because I do it so often? It seems that unless it is a merigune base or out of a jar there is always a slight grit to it... right?!

LMK icon_lol.gif -M

mbt4955 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:10pm
post #16 of 22

I know that, Debi, and I am one of your biggest fans. You are the reason I feel okay about leaving the mixer going and washing my pots and pans ... thumbs_up.gif

sillywabbitz Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:43pm
post #17 of 22

Moniquea, I use Sugar Shacks recipe but one thing to remember is that the hot water makes the buttercream her videos she always says to let the BC cool...I've noticed if I don't let it setup for a bit , it doesn't hold it's shape quite as well. It doesn't take long for it to cool down but if you touch the bottom of the'll notice that it's warm when you first make the buttercream.

If it's not crusting and it's cooled that usually means that you didn't have the right shortening to sugar ratio for sugar shack it's basically 1 cup of shortening to 1 lb of sugar. Everyone has to find that BC they love best. I still experiment but I tend to go back to Sugar Shacks because it's consistent for me.

FionaB Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 10:14pm
post #18 of 22

definitely a minimum of 20 minutes to get it lovely and smooth.

Franluvsfrosting Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 4:08am
post #19 of 22

Until it submits. (Sorry, saw the title and that was the first thing that popped into my head!) Looks like you have plenty of input though. icon_biggrin.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 1:02pm
post #20 of 22

Thanks everyone! I'm going to try beating it for a minimum of 20 minutes. I have seen Serious Cakes video when she left it run forever and how smooth her icing was....I think that was Serious Cakes, but when I went to look for that video, I couldn't find it. Maybe it was part of her brush embroidery video now that I think about it....I'll have to look at that one.

I bought a pound of BC from my grocery store (they do make their own, this store is AMAZING! - local family owned). I am going to try to replicate it. It is super smooth...I couldn't stop eating it while grocery shopping last night. Wish me luck!

gigi5 Posted 14 Feb 2016 , 4:10pm
post #21 of 22

I use butter not crisco. I really need to know how long should I  mix it and do I beat it or cream it. I also add heavy cream it. Thank u.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Feb 2016 , 5:05pm
post #22 of 22

i cream/beat for at least 10-15 minutes or more after it's fully incorporated -- i try to just cream but i usually beat it some anyhow -- beating tends to add air bubbles unless the beater is fully immersed in icing up over the shoulders -- but stirring afterwards will remove the bubbles -- a long time is best

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