Problem With Coloring Vanilla Buttercream

Decorating By jedah Updated 10 Nov 2009 , 3:53am by jedah

jedah Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 4:00pm
post #1 of 13

hello guys!

i just want to ask tips from u guys on how can i achieve a "genuine" color from my buttercreams...

The holidays are nearing and i wanted to make holiday cakes and cupcakes...having said these things, we all know what color does the holiday have right? red and green mostly!

my problem is..i cant achieve a genuine color of red and green on my vanilla buttercream..it always turns pale..making the red pinkish and the green "un-leaflike" and pale...if u really take a close look at the buttercream...its as if it has small dots of the color and not mixed perfectly....i also had a similar problem with this using black gel coloring

i am in dire need to make ponsettias...and i cant make good ones with this problem...if u have any idea on how to solve this..kindly share...thanks! icon_smile.gif

*i have read that if one really needs a black colored buttercream...it should be made of chocolate buttercream first..is that right? BUT...what if the buttercream NEEDS to be just vanilla!?

Thanks! and Godbless!

12 replies
Kitagrl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 4:09pm
post #2 of 13

What buttercream recipe are you using? It sounds like you are using one with a high shortening content....

Anyway sometimes to make the darker colors it just takes alot of paste.... and Americolor is really good for that too...still, sometimes it takes nearly a whole bottle if you need alot of one dark color.

Do let the buttercream sit for awhile first, often the color will deepen as it stands.

cabecakes Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 4:25pm
post #3 of 13

I have found (and I don't know why) that if I use salted butter in my buttercream I have more difficulties with it. Try and use unsalted butter. Also if you are using the "No taste red" Icing color from Wilton, you need to use 1/2 teaspoon of color to 1 cup buttercream. I read this on the wilton site. But I also read that your guests will be sporting red mouths for the evening, just something to consider.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 4:27pm
post #4 of 13

Hmm I dunno I use salted butter in my regular buttercream and mine is fine... but I have a noncrusting buttercream that has a much higher fat/ liquid content and I find the coloring doesn't take nearly as well in that one.

scionmom Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 4:49pm
post #5 of 13

I was in Walmart yesterday and seen that they are selling tubs of red and green icing for only $12 each... i already bought one of each! I personally dont like it for smoothing, maybe if I thinned it out alot it would be ok, but it makes GREAT flowers and leaves!! Cant wait to make some poinsettias with it!

AKS Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 13

Try using candy colors instead of gel colors. Sometimes this can help. I've also heard that some people use a little of the powdered KoolAid, and that worked too. Good luck!

indydebi Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 6:07pm
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

What buttercream recipe are you using? It sounds like you are using one with a high shortening content.....


Not sure how this affects it ... my icing is 100% shortening (no butter) and I dont' really have icing fading issues. I get spots once in awhile but find if I just beat it longer, the spots blend away.

To the OP, I've read on here that some CC'ers have discovered that using milk in your icing will help stablize your colors, which may be why I never have color issues .... I've used milk, not water, in my icing for years. No, it doesn't have to be refrigerated.

I use Cake Craft brand colors or Americolor.

Here's a thread with my history lesson on why red fades: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-653200-red.html+dye+2

I made a 5-tier cake this past weekend and the two tiers that were sage green had spots of black in them. I put the leftover green icing back in the mixer, hiked it up to "beat it to hell" speed, scraped off the bad icing and reiced them. no spots. So you may not be beating the icing long enough.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 7:00pm
post #8 of 13

I recently switched from Wilton colors to Americolor gels and I think that you can achieve a brighter or darker color with less paste than Wilton. I also agree with Indydebi. Sometimes you just have to beat the icing more to get the color good and mixed!

Kitagrl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

What buttercream recipe are you using? It sounds like you are using one with a high shortening content.....

Not sure how this affects it ... my icing is 100% shortening (no butter) and I dont' really have icing fading issues. I get spots once in awhile but find if I just beat it longer, the spots blend away.

To the OP, I've read on here that some CC'ers have discovered that using milk in your icing will help stablize your colors, which may be why I never have color issues .... I've used milk, not water, in my icing for years. No, it doesn't have to be refrigerated.

I use Cake Craft brand colors or Americolor.

Here's a thread with my history lesson on why red fades: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-653200-red.html+dye+2

I made a 5-tier cake this past weekend and the two tiers that were sage green had spots of black in them. I put the leftover green icing back in the mixer, hiked it up to "beat it to hell" speed, scraped off the bad icing and reiced them. no spots. So you may not be beating the icing long enough.




I just meant that it seems the icings with higher shortening/liquid (noncrusting mainly) take color worse than the crusting icings. Maybe I should have said that rather than shortening, sorry.

jedah Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:50pm
post #10 of 13

hi guys! thanks for all the replies!

when i did that experiment on coloring...i used the wilton american buttercream. One of the replies spoke of beating the buttercream more? hmm...wouldn't that affect the buttercreams consistency and would produce air bubbles if i would mix it longer?

hmmm....maybe u guys are also right about the amount of red i use cause whenever i make colored buttercreams...i am always cautions about my colors and only put a very small amount of coloring cause i am afraid i might "destroy" my buttercream...hehehe! i suppose i have to try and experiment again and put more coloring to it.

I mentioned the "making the buttercream into chocolate buttercream first..." have u encountered that tip before? if yes..can u enlighten me about it more? thanks!

thanks also for the color lesson indydebi! very educating indeed! keep it up! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:54pm
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedah

One of the replies spoke of beating the buttercream more? hmm...wouldn't that affect the buttercreams consistency and would produce air bubbles if i would mix it longer?


I hear this all the time and I just don't get it. If I were using the whip attachment and whipping the icing, then I'd agree I'd be whipping air into it. That's how merinque is made.

But I'm using a beater and I'm beating the heck out of those fat particles. The longer I beat it, the smoother it gets.

I understand that people are repeating what they've heard about "whipping in air", but I think if you think about it logically, beating icing until smooth is just common sense. not all wives' tales should be applied to all things .. no blanket statements allowed! icon_biggrin.gif

Sweet_Guys Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 11:30pm
post #12 of 13

You also asked about white (at least that's what I thought I read)...We use all butter in our recipe and add Americolor white to get the pure white coloring.

Paul

jedah Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:53am
post #13 of 13

ok indydebi ill keep that in mind! thanks! icon_smile.gif i'll be experimenting soon so wish me luck! hehehe! thanks for all the replies!

oh..last one...i mentioned that i'll be making piped buttercream ponsettias and ill be putting it on 3oz cupcakes...would u know wat tip number would be suitable for a good sized ponsettia for it?

thanks and more power guys! icon_smile.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%