Why Is My Dyed Buttercream Grainy?

Baking By e2_erin Updated 11 Aug 2011 , 7:42pm by TexasSugar

e2_erin Posted 14 May 2010 , 5:28am
post #1 of 14

Every time I dye buttercream in anything besides pastel it looks grainy. Its not nice and smooth. The colors dont get dark either even with a ton of food coloring (wilton gel) it still looks really light.

Im trying to make red and purple.

ETA: i thought i would put more info after reading some other threads.
I am using the wilton butter cream recipe.
1/2 cup butter (fresh)
1/2 cup shortening (store brand)
1lb 10x sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whole milk

I beat the butter and shortening for quite a while and it was all nice and smooth and thick when I first made it. I dyed it with no taste red and it turned dark pink. I let it sit overnight and it only got a little darker. I tried putting more color in today and it got all grainy.

With the purple i added some blue to the pink and the purple is pastel but even more grainy than the pink.

Please help, i dont want to have to go buy a tube of colored frosting from the store icon_sad.gif

13 replies
noahsmummy Posted 14 May 2010 , 5:55am
post #2 of 14

i have this exact same problem.. so looking forward to see replies...

tmac670 Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:24am
post #3 of 14

When you are trying to achieve a dark color reduce the liquid in your icing- because you have to add so much color that it can change your consistency. Once you get the consistency down- the rest of it is a piece of cake! (sorry I just couldn't help myself)

Ursula40 Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:17am
post #4 of 14

Try usind Americolor, once I tried it, I never went back to Wilton, you need a lot less colour with Americolor and for darker colours, mix the colours the night before, they darken overnight. You can still add more the next day, if it's not the right shade

andreamen1 Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:26am
post #5 of 14

maybe you should try a different recipe heres mine

1 cup hi ratio shortning
1tablespoon each Vanilla and butter extract
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
and you can double or triple

i love it works everytime for me

kiwigal81 Posted 14 May 2010 , 9:13am
post #6 of 14

To get smooth bc I use hot cream. To get red, it's good to start witha dark pink first then add the red, I've found that easier to get a dark colour that way.

TexasSugar Posted 14 May 2010 , 4:45pm
post #7 of 14

Do you mean grainy or that the icing has separeted out and you have streaky thick looking parts (usually white or light in color) then colored liquid?

When adding color to make dark colors I think it throws off the balance of the liquid in the buttercream, especially when you are working with already soft buttercream. I add in some cornstratch, maybe a teaspoon per cup to my buttercream when I am making dark colors. THis helps absorb the extra liquid and keeps the icing from seperating.

I've had it happen with both Wilton and Americolor colors.

GL79 Posted 14 May 2010 , 5:00pm
post #8 of 14

What brand of powdered sugar do you use? I think it's either the sugar or the shortening, is what's causing the problem.

e2_erin Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:21pm
post #9 of 14

i was using diamond brand sugar i bought a huge bag at sams club.

It doesnt looked streaked it looks kinda clumpy.

tmac670 Posted 16 May 2010 , 2:42pm
post #10 of 14

Yep. sounds like the icing color changed the consistency too much. Add less liquid next time- get the color you want- then change the consistency.

Moniquea Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 4:36pm
post #11 of 14

its kinda funny almost looks polka dot or curdled... Does anyone think simply adding sugar will help? Because it looks seperated...

TexasSugar Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 6:54pm
post #12 of 14

Add powder sugar or cornstarch to it.

kisamarie Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 7:13pm
post #13 of 14

Ive had this same problem and wondered if High ratio shortening would make a difference, because it almost seems like the butter and shortening are separating, anyone know??

TexasSugar Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 7:42pm
post #14 of 14

I think hi ratio shortening is suppose to help take a lot of color better.

If you are going for darker colors, if you mix them early, and let them sit, you actually will use less coloring. You can cut back on liquids when doing dark colors and you can add more powder sugar/cornstarch to help counter balance the extra liquid from the coloring.

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