bellasmommelissa Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:31pm
post #1 of

Hi there! I am new to cake decorating and I am having soooo much trouble with buttercream icing consistency! I have been making the Wilton class icing recipe which calls for 1cup shortening 1tsp. vanilla 7tsp. h2o and 4cups of conf. sugar. My buttercream looks oily, and disgusting and when i add color gel to it, it's as though the shortening is rejecting the color and it looks like white blotches through out the frosting. I have been using generic shortening and Domino confectioner sugar. Please help!!! Thanks, melissa

30 replies
millermom Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:47pm
post #2 of

I'm not sure exactly what is going on, but I have had that problem before with red only.

I did notice that you did not mention the meringue powder in your recipe. Are you using it? Don't know if that will make a difference, but I know it is part of the Wilton class recipe, and it really helps me in warm, humid weather.

You might try another brand of shortening, although I get better results with generic brands which still have some trans fats.

Good luck, HTH

smokeysmokerton Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:53pm
post #3 of

I had trouble when I used that recipe too. It's just gross and it leaves that greasy film in your mouth.

Try indydebi's recipe, it's AWESOME!

1 1/3 crisco
3 tbs Dream Whip(find this in the baking section by the pudding/jello
1/3 to 1/2 cup warm milk(depending on the consistancy you want)
2 lbs powdered sugar
2 to 3 TBS vanilla

This recipe works best for me when I add the ingredients in that order. It also helps to beat the crisco for a few minutes before you add the dream whip.

Good Luck!

cakeglitz Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 9:57pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeysmokerton

I had trouble when I used that recipe too. It's just gross and it leaves that greasy film in your mouth.

Try indydebi's recipe, it's AWESOME!

1 1/3 crisco
3 tbs Dream Whip(find this in the baking section by the pudding/jello
1/3 to 1/2 cup warm milk(depending on the consistancy you want)
2 lbs powdered sugar
2 to 3 TBS vanilla

This recipe works best for me when I add the ingredients in that order. It also helps to beat the crisco for a few minutes before you add the dream whip.

Good Luck!






This receipoe is AWESOME!! It's the only one I use now!! You will love it!! icon_biggrin.gif

BlueBurd Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:13pm
post #5 of

I "dressed" up Wilton's recipe by ...

- Use 1/2 C Shortening and 1/2 C Butter combination (I get the generic brand of butter, which tends to be whiter for some reason - but you can always add their "white white" to clean up the color some).

- Replace the water for either half and half or heavy cream. Helps some and still keeps it a nice consistency in your piping bag when you are practicing in class (doesn't get as soft as the all butter recipes - though you'll like those better once you master your techniques!).

- Use 2t instead of 1t flavoring. Try the Butter/Vanilla emulsion or Princess Cake emulsions from Lorann Oils. YUMMY! Available online for cheap, or I've found at Hobby Lobby and Michaels, too.

Lastly - even though it doesn't tell you to - be sure to sift that powdered sugar. If all else fails, squeeze the bag in your hands a lot before opening it and dumping it into your mixer to get as many clumps out as you can.

Enjoy your classes!!!!

erichazann Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:29pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellasmommelissa

Hi there! I am new to cake decorating and I am having soooo much trouble with buttercream icing consistency! I have been making the Wilton class icing recipe which calls for 1cup shortening 1tsp. vanilla 7tsp. h2o and 4cups of conf. sugar. My buttercream looks oily, and disgusting and when i add color gel to it, it's as though the shortening is rejecting the color and it looks like white blotches through out the frosting. I have been using generic shortening and Domino confectioner sugar. Please help!!! Thanks, melissa




I've never had a problem with this recipe and I can add any amount of color and get super dark colors, especially reds. It is not the best recipe, but it is an easy recipe to start with.

First, as mentioned you ae missing the meringue powder, which will stablize it.. but missing that should not make the recipe a disaster.

Second, you should always start with 2tbsp water (6 tsp) and add 1 tsp for medium and 2 tsp for thin consistency. Are you adding 7 to get medium? Or starting with 7?

Are you mixing it properly? Mixing all the liquid and shortening first, then mixing in sugar a cup at a time?

As for taste, when it is first mixed it doesn't taste as sweet, but i find as it settles, it tastes less crisco-y and more sugary. You can also swap out one tsp water, for 1tsp butter flavor to improve the taste.

I don't sift the sugar properly, bc my sifter sucks for powdered sugar. I put a 1lb box of sugar in a tall quart ziploc container (twist n loc brand) with the meringue powder and just give a real good shake for min or so.

The attached picture uses that recipe. (my final cake from decorating basics.)
LL

tcwheeler Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:32pm
post #7 of

I have this same problem. I use Wilton's all-white BC recipe. So, no butter. I use water so don't have to worry about refrigeration. Mine does the exact same thing. I think that mine is getting too warm. I've placed my mixing bowl in the freezer. Seems to help but still does it on icings that I have to add a lot of color too. I have to work fast. Any more recommendations would be helpful.

millermom Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:34pm
post #8 of

tcwheeler,

you don't have to refrigerate even if you use milk. Sugar is a preservative, so it will be just fine. I have used milk and even cream in place of the water, and I love it! It gives a creamier texture.

DebbyJG Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:38pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by millermom



You might try another brand of shortening, although I get better results with generic brands which still have some trans fats.




Just a quick note, ALL Crisco has trans fats, even if it's sneakily labeled "no trans fats". If it's made with hydrogenated oil, which if you look at the Crisco label, it says "fully hydrogenated oil", then what you have there is a big ol' tub o' trans fats.
I'm not sure how they get away with that labelling.

deMuralist Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:39pm

I like Indydebi's much better than the wilton for both taste and texture. But I add the dream whip to slightly warmed liquid and let it "dissolve" then add it after I have beat the crisco for about 15 minutes. it is velvety.

erichazann Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG


Just a quick note, ALL Crisco has trans fats, even if it's sneakily labeled "no trans fats". If it's made with hydrogenated oil, which if you look at the Crisco label, it says "fully hydrogenated oil", then what you have there is a big ol' tub o' trans fats.
I'm not sure how they get away with that labelling.




If it is less than .5g trans fat per serving, then they can label it as zero, per FDA regulations.

tcwheeler Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by millermom

tcwheeler,

you don't have to refrigerate even if you use milk. Sugar is a preservative, so it will be just fine. I have used milk and even cream in place of the water, and I love it! It gives a creamier texture.




Never thought of it that way. What about the butter? Same thing? Sugar preserves it too?

DebbyJG Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 12:59am

Butter is shelf stable anyway -- how many of us have grandmothers who always kept the butter out on the counter?
It does "keep" longer if it's salted, and I make sure it gets consumed within a couple days. But technically, butter can sit out.

DebbyJG Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichazann



If it is less than .5g trans fat per serving, then they can label it as zero, per FDA regulations.




What did they do then, change the serving size? Because hydrogenated oil is nothing BUT trans fats. So 100%. Strange... icon_confused.gif

ddaigle Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:20am

I only/always use crisco. This is not making your butter cream oily. Nor not adding merengue powder..that is not a required ingredient for successful buttercream.

Just a thought....I had an oily batch of butter cream one time. I had bought the generic shortening at Wal-Mart. BUT.......I did not buy the "vegetable shortening". Back when Great Value had a blue label (now white), I didn't realize that had TWO shortenings. One was vegetable shortening and the other was some yuck shortening. I think I used lard! That batch of buttercream was greasy.

Anyway.....are you sure you used VEGETABLE shortening? Just a thought.

erichazann Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:45am
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Quote:
Originally Posted by erichazann



If it is less than .5g trans fat per serving, then they can label it as zero, per FDA regulations.



What did they do then, change the serving size? Because hydrogenated oil is nothing BUT trans fats. So 100%. Strange... icon_confused.gif




Only partially hydrogenated oils have trans fat, fully hydrogenated oils are trans fat free. Crisco increased the fully hydrogenated oils and reduced the partially hydrogenated oils enough to get under the per serving threshold. They leave some of the partially hydrogenated oils in to keep it a softish consistency.

mamawrobin Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:54am

ddaigle is absolutely right. Unless the shortening label says "ALL VEGETABLE" shortening it is vegetable and fat....yuck....I always use Crisco. Like the old commercials with Loretta Lynn saying "Crisco will do you proud everytime" icon_biggrin.gif Anyone else remember that commercial?

I also agree with ddaigle on the meringue powder. It is NOT necessary for successful buttercream. Honestly it has an awful aftertaste in my opinion.
I use Indydebi's bc recipe with real Crisco. Very good. thumbs_up.gif

ddaigle Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:06am

Mamarobin....we're showing our age remembering that commercial!icon_wink.gif

bellasmommelissa Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:42am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle

I only/always use crisco. This is not making your butter cream oily. Nor not adding merengue powder..that is not a required ingredient for successful buttercream.

Just a thought....I had an oily batch of butter cream one time. I had bought the generic shortening at Wal-Mart. BUT.......I did not buy the "vegetable shortening". Back when Great Value had a blue label (now white), I didn't realize that had TWO shortenings. One was vegetable shortening and the other was some yuck shortening. I think I used lard! That batch of buttercream was greasy.

Anyway.....are you sure you used VEGETABLE shortening? Just a thought.




Thanks for the tip! I got my shortening from WalMart too and I just checked it..it says, meat fat and vegetable fat. and it's only .5grams of trans fat!

PiccoloChellie Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:48am
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellasmommelissa

Thanks for the tip! I got my shortening from WalMart too and I just checked it..it says, meat fat and vegetable fat. and it's only .5grams of trans fat!




There's the culprit! I grabbed a tub of store brand when I moved to the area and wound up with a greasy, gross mess. I'd been using a different grocery store brand that was all vegetable, but when I took a closer look at the label I discovered this one is veg & meat fat. thumbsdown.gif Yuck!

As a few others have mentioned, try Indydebi's recipe with Crisco and the Dream Whip. It works beautifully.

And save the meatfat shortening for biscuits. thumbs_up.gif

bellasmommelissa Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichazann

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellasmommelissa

Hi there! I am new to cake decorating and I am having soooo much trouble with buttercream icing consistency! I have been making the Wilton class icing recipe which calls for 1cup shortening 1tsp. vanilla 7tsp. h2o and 4cups of conf. sugar. My buttercream looks oily, and disgusting and when i add color gel to it, it's as though the shortening is rejecting the color and it looks like white blotches through out the frosting. I have been using generic shortening and Domino confectioner sugar. Please help!!! Thanks, melissa



I've never had a problem with this recipe and I can add any amount of color and get super dark colors, especially reds. It is not the best recipe, but it is an easy recipe to start with.

First, as mentioned you ae missing the meringue powder, which will stablize it.. but missing that should not make the recipe a disaster.

Second, you should always start with 2tbsp water (6 tsp) and add 1 tsp for medium and 2 tsp for thin consistency. Are you adding 7 to get medium? Or starting with 7?

Are you mixing it properly? Mixing all the liquid and shortening first, then mixing in sugar a cup at a time?

As for taste, when it is first mixed it doesn't taste as sweet, but i find as it settles, it tastes less crisco-y and more sugary. You can also swap out one tsp water, for 1tsp butter flavor to improve the taste.

I don't sift the sugar properly, bc my sifter sucks for powdered sugar. I put a 1lb box of sugar in a tall quart ziploc container (twist n loc brand) with the meringue powder and just give a real good shake for min or so.

The attached picture uses that recipe. (my final cake from decorating basics.)




Thanks so much for posting your cake! Very cool and quite unique in comparison to the other final cakes!

Also, I am NEVER certain I am adding my liquids right. First I beat the shortening and then add 1tsp. of vanilla and then add 7tsp. of water and then I add the 4 cups of sugar. Now, that is what I do to make the stiff consistency. To make it medium I am adding 2.5 tsp. to that and then for thin I am adding 5 tsp.... does that sound right? That is what it says in my class book. i am following the recipe for the class icing..but I have not added merengue powder ever. I will have to try that!

erichazann Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:26am
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellasmommelissa


Also, I am NEVER certain I am adding my liquids right. First I beat the shortening and then add 1tsp. of vanilla and then add 7tsp. of water and then I add the 4 cups of sugar. Now, that is what I do to make the stiff consistency. To make it medium I am adding 2.5 tsp. to that and then for thin I am adding 5 tsp.... does that sound right? That is what it says in my class book. i am following the recipe for the class icing..but I have not added merengue powder ever. I will have to try that!




I think that is too much liquid. Our instructor told us to start with 2 tbsp to get to stiff consistency and take it down to medium with 1 tsp and thin with 2 tsp (not 2 more, but 2 total). The most it should vary is 1-2 tsp depending on the climate.

Do you have the old or new books? I can't find my Basics book right now, but the class buttercream recipe in my Course 2 book definitely says start with 7-8 tsp and add 1 tsp for medium and 2 for thin. The 7-8 starting point is where my instructor told us to use 2tbsp (6tsp) instead and then let it vary 1-2tsp based on the climate.

Are you taking the actual classes? If so, ask your instructor whenever you are in doubt to check your consistency. I asked all the time. It is the easiest way to get a feel for what is right and what is wrong.

Others recommend you use whole milk to get some more fat into the recipe since the shortening is trans fat free.

If you get the walmart shortening, get the one with the pie on the front, not the one with fried chicken icon_smile.gif

BlueBurd Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 5:11pm

I remember Loretta Lynn's Crisco commercial, too icon_smile.gif Great point on the vegetable shortening. Glad to see I'm not the only one who bought the wrong tub and learned from the mistake on that one: Yuck! (Just the thought of "meat" in my cake is kind of gross...even though I know there are animal products with butter, etc....meat fat? egh!) LOL

Good luck with your icing - best way to develop consistency is practice practice practice...

Donnabugg Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:29am

Okay..I'm confused (not hard to do) icon_smile.gif Can someone set the record straight with the change in the veg. oil...is it still okay to use crisco with indydeb's recipe or is that the one that was changed? can any vegetable oil be used or only certain kind? Thanks!

ddaigle Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:27pm

Donna....crisco is fine. As a matter of fact, I think that is all IndyDebi has every used..don't think she jumped on the trans fat band wagon. I didnt either. Don't see a difference to make the change...My opinion. Others will say they only use a trans fat shortening. It's all what works for you and your climate.

Donnabugg Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 1:40am

Thank you Debbie!

ivys5652 Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 3:16pm

thumbs_up.gif I use pure vegtable shortning but if using a store brand add 1/4 teaspoon salt and one cup more powdered sugar.

For those that use butter here is my suggestion. use 1 cup shortning instead of the butter add 1 teaspoon of butter flavor I preferr watkins but my friend uses the wilton flavor and there really is not a dfferance in taste.

Gives a pure white shortning
remember for flowers to set some aside when completely mixed. Then you may continue to whip for fluffy icing for string work, boards and basic icing.[center][/center]

mamawrobin Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 5:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle

Donna....crisco is fine. As a matter of fact, I think that is all IndyDebi has every used..don't think she jumped on the trans fat band wagon. I didnt either. Don't see a difference to make the change...My opinion. Others will say they only use a trans fat shortening. It's all what works for you and your climate.




No she didn't. Indydebi has said that she noticed NO change in her icing when the trans fat was removed. Probably the Dream Whip because it contains hydrogenated vegetable oil. thumbs_up.gif

julesh268 Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 4:41am

I honestly don't know how some of you say that you don't notice a difference between the transfat version and the non-transfat version. The consistency of the shortening is so different. Unless butter or something is added to keep it solid at room temp I don't know how it would work. Just my thought on it.

To the OP: I make the Wilton recipe all of the time. I use GENERIC shortening that has the 3g of Transfat and the recipe calls for 2T of water with the shortening. Cream that together with your salt. Then I add the powered sugar and the merange powder. Some say you don't need the merange powder, but I think it helps it to stay stable and to crust. Once you have your recipe all mixed (also mix at a very low speed or you get air in your icing and it is impossible to get a smooth finish) then you add more water to thin it to medium and more to thin it to thin consistency. Good luck!

mamawrobin Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 5:51am

[quote="julesh268"]I honestly don't know how some of you say that you don't notice a difference between the transfat version and the non-transfat version. The consistency of the shortening is so different. Unless butter or something is added to keep it solid at room temp I don't know how it would work. Just my thought on it.


The difference is INDYDEBI'S BC RECIPE. It is the same with or without the trans fat because of the addition of the Dream Whip in her icing. Dream Whip has hydrogenated vegetable oil which apparently makes her recipe work despite the absence of trans fat in the Crisco. She said that when everyone started complaining about the removal of trans fat in shortening she was surprised because she had noticed NO changes in her recipe.

No one ever said there wasn't a difference in shortening with or without the trans fat...What we're saying is that with Indydebi's recipe the absence of trans fat makes absolutely NO difference in her icing. I use her recipe because of the heat and humidity in my area and her icing will hold up to extreme 100+ temperatures.

I don't understand how the addition of butter would 'keep it solid at room temperature' since butter has a lower melting point than shortening.
icon_confused.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%