My Buttercream "bleeds" Sometimes, What Am I Doing

Decorating By katies_cakes Updated 20 Feb 2010 , 9:49am by Traceyelizabeth

katies_cakes Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:05pm
post #1 of 20

Hello everyone im katie. im new to this site and to cake decorating. (i only started 4months ago) im from england and having a few problems due to being compleatly self taught and i hope someone may be able to help me. occasionaly my buttercream will "bleed" after being applyed to a cake, but it doesnt happen everytime. i ensure that the cakes are always compleatly cooled before applying. can anyone help?

19 replies
2SchnauzerLady Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 20

Hi - Welcome to CC! You'll find a lot of members here from the UK. (Not me)
The buttercream that bleeds, is it a dark color? Have you noticed a difference between dark and light colors? Also, please let us know how you make your buttercream so we can help you.

katies_cakes Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:41pm
post #3 of 20

It has happend with both dark and light coloured buttercream before. i use soft butter (stork, its designed for cake making) and double the weight of icing sugar to butter and cream them together, then add colour/flavoring as needed. and sometimes the butter oozes out and forms puddles on the surface of the cake. x

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 6:00pm
post #4 of 20

So the bleeding you are talking to isn't one color bleeding on to another color, like black bleeding into the white, but the actually icing is doing something odd?

ayerim979 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 6:18pm
post #5 of 20

I sorry for my dumbness.. But when you mean bleeding is it coming out of the middle as like your filling si coming out?

also how ling are you letting your cakes rest before applying icing?

OMGitsaLisa Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 6:22pm
post #6 of 20

I had this happen on my Unicorn cake. I used the same frosting for the entire cake, but I noticed the white clouds on the side seemed to be sort of... seeping, I guess? It wasn't forming large pools, but it definitely seemed to be leeching liquid out onto the cake board. I've never had that problem again.

Traceyelizabeth Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 6:45pm
post #7 of 20

Hi, I'm from England too! I'm not sure what is happening with your buttercream. I mix mine the same as yours, but I use Clover with double icing sugar and a dash of milk. How thick is your sugarpaste icing that you are putting on top? I can only think it is too thin and you have put too much buttercream on the cake - this might explain it. The buttercream is only a 'crumb coat' not a thick layer... let me know what you think! Tracey, one of a kind cake co.

katies_cakes Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:40pm
post #8 of 20

it doesnt happen everytime and its only when i make a cake or cupcake entirely with buttercream (not just a crumb layer) its not to do with the colour, just the butter appears to seperate slightly from the mixture and forms small pools on the surface. i leave the cake overnight before icing. what is the milk in the mixture used for? maybe i should try that? thanks for all your help x

2SchnauzerLady Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:51pm
post #9 of 20

How long are you mixing your BC? It may be you're not mixing it long enough. Just a thought.

Traceyelizabeth Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:59pm
post #10 of 20

I'm confused now... when you say you make cakes or cupcakes 'entirely' from buttercream does that mean you don't cover them with sugarpaste? In that case I would say your buttercream is too warm and your cake cold from the fridge... then your buttercream might be too warm when it comes into contact with the 'cold' cake which would cause it to separate??? try getting your cake room temperature before you buttercream it and see if that's better. Tracey.

katies_cakes Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 9:15pm
post #11 of 20

Some of my family members are not fond of the taste of sugarpaste so i cover any cakes i make for them with bc instead. i have never put my cakes in the fridge, is that something that i should be doing? :S Would putting the bc in the fridge help do you think? and how long for? sorry im being a PITA but you are all fantastic, i really appreciate all your help. x

Traceyelizabeth Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 9:23am
post #12 of 20

I think if the cake and the buttercream are the same temperature then you should be fine. make sure the buttercream is a little less 'buttery' but adding more icing sugar and making it firmer. If you put it in the fridge it will be harder to work with! let me know if that helps - Tracey.

noahsmummy Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 9:31am
post #13 of 20

do you have shortening in england? we call it copha in aus, but maybe if you use that in your recipe (sub half the butter for shortening) it may nto "bleed" as copha is alot firmer than butter? im not sure.. not an expert, but i aways use the wilton recipe which is pretty much what you described except involves subbing half butter for copha.. anyway, ive neva had a probelm with it except the time i wanted REALLY REALLY birght colours and pured a hell of a lot of liquid dye in.. which obviously all bled out. =( oh well, im new tot his too.. and we learn from our mistakes right?

good luck.

noahsmummy Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 9:32am
post #14 of 20

do you have shortening in england? we call it copha in aus, but maybe if you use that in your recipe (sub half the butter for shortening) it may nto "bleed" as copha is alot firmer than butter? im not sure.. not an expert, but i aways use the wilton recipe which is pretty much what you described except involves subbing half butter for copha.. anyway, ive neva had a probelm with it except the time i wanted REALLY REALLY birght colours and pured a hell of a lot of liquid dye in.. which obviously all bled out. =( oh well, im new tot his too.. and we learn from our mistakes right?

good luck.

screaminglamb Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 12:11pm
post #15 of 20

It sounds like the butter is melting and separating from the meringue. It could have to do with a number of things: you may not be whipping it for long enough--it should be extremely fluffy. Do you chill your cakes after applying the buttercream? And I would not recommend using shortening in place of butter for buttercream. Ordinarily the only reason to use shortening in place of butter is because it's cheaper.

katies_cakes Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 12:47pm
post #16 of 20

I have never put anything in the fridge, even after decorating mainly because i am worried about moister from the fridge, and it changing the taste. what is the standard practice for keeping things in the fridge either before or after decorating? do most people store cakes in the fridge? my house is never overly warm anyway. x

Traceyelizabeth Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 2:34pm
post #17 of 20

Hi. where did meringue come into it? I thought it was a sponge or madeira cake you were covering. I use 'Clover' which is a UK margerine (not real butter as I find it heavy), and icing sugar. I think you simply need more icing sugar and then you have to keep the cake cool as warm buttercream will seperate. Tracey

katies_cakes Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:22pm
post #18 of 20

yes its just a sponge cake. i will try using clover with more icing sugar and mix it for longer. i will also try putting the cake in the fridge too. i will let you know how it goes. im am still confused about the use of milk in a BC mixture. why is this done and how? x Thanks again.

screaminglamb Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 7:11pm
post #19 of 20

A good stable and airy buttercream is usually made with meringue (eggs and sugar), which butter is introduced to. I've never had any problems with separation, though I've never kept a cake out before. Most sponges keep very well in the fridge. All you have to do is keep it out for 10 minutes or so and the texture and taste will be just like how it was before you put it in assuming you kept it covered.

Traceyelizabeth Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 9:49am
post #20 of 20

Ah, now I see! In the UK we don't tend to use raw eggs in our buttercream mix - just butter and icing sugar. I just think the cake and buttercream need to be the same temp - and more icing sugar should do it!

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