Help!! Sugarshack Buttercream Air Bubbles

Decorating By Julie5 Updated 18 Sep 2010 , 4:13pm by mbark

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:48am
post #1 of 58

Hi guys,

So I am using Sugarshack's Buttercream for the first time. I'm making a tiered wedding cake for this weekend and made my icing today. This is the first time I've used this recipe and by the way love the taste. So I made the icing earlier. I did exactly what the recipe said and watched her video 100 times before starting. When I turned off the mixer the icing looked perfect. No air bubbles, the suctioning thing that happens had stopped and the icing was above the beater and filled the bowl just like she said. I then put a knife through the icing and it was like butter!! Beautiful and smooth! No bubbles! Here's where I'm guessing I may have screwed up... I only have one KA mixer and one mixing bowl that goes with it. So I had to transfer the icing the another container. Well actually 2 containers. I didn't have an airtight container big enough but had two. So I carefully spooned the icing into the containers and sealed them up. Then a few hours later after my cakes starting coming out of the oven and cooling, I started torting them and got ready to fill and crumbcoat. I opened the container of icing and CRAP!! AIR BUBBLES!! Its no longer smooth like butter. When I run a knife through it now its all hole-ly!! Anyone know of a way to save this? I can make it again I guess but really don't want to have to!! Plus I'm afraid maybe it would have happened anyway. Any help would be great. And especially if the Sugarshack lady is listening or anyone who has experience with this recipe could chime in, I'd appreciate it.

Julie

57 replies
kelleym Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:00am
post #2 of 58

Just stir it manually with a big spoon, or slowly in a mixer with the paddle, and the bubbles will work themselves out. I don't do Sugarshack's exact recipe, but it always happens to me when I make hi-ratio frosting. It's beautiful and smooth right after I make it, but after it sits a few hours or overnight, it gets more holey than swiss cheese. A good slow stir with a wooden spoon will make it all better. thumbs_up.gif

sugarshack Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:59am
post #3 of 58

This problem is a huge mystery we have discussed here on CC before. Some folks have this problem and some do not. Some have the problem if they transfer the icing and some do not.

First of all, if you dump it all back in the mixer and re-mix, you should be able to get it smooth again.

We have never figured out exactly why it happens but here are a few things I have seen:

1) some brands of shortening are more prone to this. I personally find sweetex the least guilty of delayed air.

2) a bit more liquid during the making of the recipe might solve it

3) if the "vacuum" is not created in the bowl soon enough, air is being incorporated early on, and seems to reappear later. ( makes no logical sense I know.)

Also, the great thing about this icing is, even if it not totally airless, you can still get it perfectly smooth with the smoothing techniques (mine or what works for you.) It is a very forgiving icing that will work with you for a good period of time while you are smoothng it.

HTH!

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:04am
post #4 of 58

Wow! Thanks so much. I private messaged you too so sorry if you read this about a million times. I didn't know how often you checked the forums!! I'm gonna re-beat and see what happens. Should I add more liquid now? Or is it too late for that?

Julie

sugarshack Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:09am
post #5 of 58

How much liquid, total, did u use the first time.

And how soft/stiff was the icing after it cooled off?

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:25am
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

How much liquid, total, did u use the first time.

And how soft/stiff was the icing after it cooled off?





I used exactly what you did in your video. Which was I think 4 tbsp of wedding bouquet and 14 Tbsp of coffeemate mixture. It seemed almost perfect to me but maybe on the stiffer side of perfect. LOL

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:29am
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

How much liquid, total, did u use the first time.

And how soft/stiff was the icing after it cooled off?




No wait. It was 14 total TBSP's

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:35am
post #8 of 58

Sharon, while I've got your attention. How much icing do you normally make say for a 4 tiered cake? (12, 10, 8, 6)? I'm thinking 2 batches will do it but maybe I'm really off... I used your 5 qt mixer recipe by the way.

sugarshack Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:38am
post #9 of 58

you do not have enough liquid. my recipe calls for 16 TBS total. try that and see if that resolves it. I would make 3 batches, but I always have a good bit left over.

Mikel79 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:21pm
post #10 of 58

Hi

I wanted to put my two cents in on this. I also use Sharon's AMAZING BC. I too had soooooo many issues with air. Sharon worked with me very closely figuring out why. You know what my problem was......the amount of LIQUID. I had to increase my liquid to a total of 20 TBS. This is a cobination of the hot liquid and the flavoring.

This has made such a difference!!

HTH

Michael

tracycakes Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:41pm
post #11 of 58

I have had it happen occasionally when I make it the same every time. One of the things I've started doing is after the liquid and shortening are mixed and it's clinging to the sides of the bowl, it still looks like little balls of shortening aren't mixed in so I turn it up and let it mix a few more minutes. Then I add my PW, and so far, it has worked. I do make sure my liquid is really hot and let it mix until it looks as smooth as butter.

Suzisweet Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:54pm
post #12 of 58

Hi all,
I too have experienced this air hole phenomenon! I use a different recipe but the story still sounds the same. If I were to use the icing immediately it would be perfect but most of the time I am making it in advance.

I make the buttercream and it is BEAUTIFUL, silky smooth, no air! I transfer to other containers sometimes but I do have extra bowls so sometimes I leave it....still have the air problems in both cases.

I would get so upset. I thought that it was just me!! I also probably over thought it all and chalked it up to something scientific like a certain ingredient fermenting and giving off gases....that is a cakers brain on over drive trying to analyze every problem! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

I will definitely keep my eye on this post to see if there is a confirmed reason for this.

VNatividad Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 4:26pm
post #13 of 58

Hello, I'm another victim of the air hole weirdness! I will be adding more liquid on for my next batch. Thanks for the tip.

Loucinda Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 5:52pm
post #14 of 58

I only got the air holes when using other shortnings than the sweetex. Once I started using sweetex exclusively, the air holes dissappeared and I have never had them come back.

I LOVE this recipe - so forgiving and easy to work with! Thank you for sharing it with all of us Sharon!!

srkmilklady Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 5:56pm
post #15 of 58

I'm in Canada and can't get sweetex here, but I'm going to be in the U.S. on the weekend. Is there a particular store that I can buy the sweetex at?

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 11:22pm
post #16 of 58

I added some more liquid to the recipe last night and it solved it... for a while. When I was finished using it, I left it in the bowl and sealed it up with some press and seal till this morning when I went back to making this crazy cake and again, the icing bubbly and really, it looked like marshmallow fluff!! Thick and airy. So I added a little more liquid again and mixed again. This time it didn't come out but I just used what was left to fill my layers and crumb coat the remaining cakes. I hope it's ok to use bubbly icing for that... Anyway, so I'm off to make my second batch to see if it is right. Hopefully it will be, I gotta ice these cakes tonight! And I'm not giving up on this recipe, it tastes like heaven and is beautiful (when it doesn't look like marshmallow fluff!)!!

Suzisweet Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 11:40pm
post #17 of 58

Julie,
Just curious...do you use Sweetex? Just wondering if that one thing is a big part of this problem as I just got Sweetex today and I am looking forward to holeless buttercream tomorrow!! I have never used Sweetex but I have used CKs high ratio shortening along with Wal-Marts. No offense to Wal-Mart but I think their brand makes the icing taste "fishy" especially after it has sat for a day or so...YUCK. I thought I was imaging it but I taste tested it and everyone agreed.
Can't wait to whip up a batch tomorrow which I then will set aside for a day or so just to see what happens.
Suzi

sugarshack Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 11:55pm
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie5

I added some more liquid to the recipe last night and it solved it... for a while. When I was finished using it, I left it in the bowl and sealed it up with some press and seal till this morning when I went back to making this crazy cake and again, the icing bubbly and really, it looked like marshmallow fluff!! Thick and airy. So I added a little more liquid again and mixed again. This time it didn't come out but I just used what was left to fill my layers and crumb coat the remaining cakes. I hope it's ok to use bubbly icing for that... Anyway, so I'm off to make my second batch to see if it is right. Hopefully it will be, I gotta ice these cakes tonight! And I'm not giving up on this recipe, it tastes like heaven and is beautiful (when it doesn't look like marshmallow fluff!)!!




If the 2nd time you remixed it after using part of the batch, my guess is you did not have enough volume in the mixer that time to get the vacuum, and incorporated air when u remixed it for the 2nd time.

The other thing that can be done is put smaller portions into a deep, not wide bowl and mix with a hand mixer ( has to have a very powerful motor), using the same principle of having the beater submerged under the icing and creating a vacuum.

Julie5 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 11:58pm
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzisweet

Julie,
Just curious...do you use Sweetex? Just wondering if that one thing is a big part of this problem as I just got Sweetex today and I am looking forward to holeless buttercream tomorrow!! I have never used Sweetex but I have used CKs high ratio shortening along with Wal-Marts. No offense to Wal-Mart but I think their brand makes the icing taste "fishy" especially after it has sat for a day or so...YUCK. I thought I was imaging it but I taste tested it and everyone agreed.
Can't wait to whip up a batch tomorrow which I then will set aside for a day or so just to see what happens.
Suzi




I don't have Sweetex. I'm using Alpine, which is another hi-ratio shortening. It very well might be the problem. It is the only brand that the local food supply store carries and it is not cheap either!! I will probably try to get some Sweetex for next time. Its just so hard to find. And you have to buy so much of it. I am trying my hard to use up this Alpine first. Although I'm pretty sure with me being a hobby-baker, I won't ever use 50 lbs of shortening!!

sugarshack Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 12:01am
post #20 of 58

the Alpine should work pretty well. I have had a bit of air bubbling after sitting with Alpine, but nothing too severe.

As long as the air is not extreme, it can be smoothed out with smoothing techniques on the cake.

In fact, I have done several demos know where I have had to fly the icing in my luggage, and when it gets there it is utterly rittled with air from the altitude and temp changes of flying. I hand mix it as best I can, and just do my demo. Each time I get a perfeclty smooth cake. So while I still do think airless icing makes things easier, it is not 100% imperative for a smooth cake. Try to get it as airless as you can, and then see if the smoothing does its trick.

srkmilklady Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 12:15am
post #21 of 58

Can anyone tell me where I can get sweetex please?

sugarshack Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 12:17am
post #22 of 58

Sweetex can be found at local food wholesalers or online:

www.j e s t e r s.com
global sugar art
the bakers kitchen

srkmilklady Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 12:19am
post #23 of 58

Thanks Sharon!

Sassy74 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 1:38am
post #24 of 58

I've also made this icing many times and LOVE it. But, a couple of times, it did develop airholes after sitting. Just as Sharon said, though, it smoothed out wonderfully with a hot bench scraper/Viva. No worries most of the time.

I've also found that when I'm smoothing my cake, if I put the scraped off icing into a separate bowl, rather than putting it back into the original icing, my icing will stay pretty much airless. I use that icing as crumbcoat or filling so it doesn't go to waste.

It's worth the trial and error that it may require to get this icing perfect, cuz when it's good, it's GOOD!

Loucinda Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 2:51am
post #25 of 58

Here in Ohio I get sweetex at GFS (Gordon Food Service) they are in several states. I do have to pre-order it though.

Julie5 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 4:33am
post #26 of 58

Well I'm screwed. And why I'm writing on here instead of working on it I don't know! I have made 5 batches of icing in the last 10 hours. None of them have been quite right. Each one I think is perfect but then when I try to spread it it is so pasty that I can't spread it. The more I put on, the more comes back off on my spatula. I'm admitting defeat. I'm crying my stupid little eyes out as i write this. I'm going to have to pay someone a lot of money tomorrow to made me a wedding cake by Saturday morning. This wedding is my sister by the way, I'm not a professional, but have made several smaller wedding cakes for family and friends. I feel like a pile of crap.

sugarshack Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 4:38am
post #27 of 58

Julie, it breaks my heart to hear this. When you say pasty, do you mean stiff? If if it is coming off the cake, it sounds like it needs more liquid. How much liquid did you use in the last few batches?

Julie5 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 5:00am
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

Julie, it breaks my heart to hear this. When you say pasty, do you mean stiff? If if it is coming off the cake, it sounds like it needs more liquid. How much liquid did you use in the last few batches?




I keep adding more with each batch. This last one had 22. And yeah I mean stiff. I feel like another problem is that after I realize that the icing is too stiff and I have used some of it and try to re-beat it, since my bowl isn't full I can't get that suction thing I need. So I don't know if I should go ahead and try to add more liquid now. I have been doing that some, but it seems like it doesn't change. Like it disappears. Maybe my humidity is weird in my house.

sugarshack Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 5:15am
post #29 of 58

PLease dont take offense, But I suspect something is off with the measuring of your ingredients. 22 TBS of liquid to 5 cups of shortening and 5 pounds of PS would be very very thin for me.

can you list for me evry ingredient you are using, the brand, the exact amounts and the process you are using to mix it?

also, u said you watched my video, do you mean the one on youtube?

Julie5 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 6:17am
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

PLease dont take offense, But I suspect something is off with the measuring of your ingredients. 22 TBS of liquid to 5 cups of shortening and 5 pounds of PS would be very very thin for me.

can you list for me evry ingredient you are using, the brand, the exact amounts and the process you are using to mix it?

also, u said you watched my video, do you mean the one on youtube?




No offense taken. lol. OK, so I use Alpine shortening, I measure it out in 1 cup measurements into my KA mixing bowl. Then I heat 1 cup of water in the microwave for about 2 minutes so its good and hot and add 1 cup of coffee mate creamer to it, stir it up real good. Then I add 4 tbsp of the wedding bouquet flavoring to the shortening and continue with the creamer mixture until I have a total of 16 tbsp of liquid. So 12 of the creamer mixture. Then I start the mixer. I have a 5 qt KA. I start it on 1. Let it mix until it is good and combined then add my powdered sugar. I use domino in the 2 lb bag. So I divide the first bag and weigh out 1 lb. Then start adding until I have 5 lbs. I then stop and scrape down the paddle a bit and the sides. Then start back on 1 until it starts to combine and stops making that sucking sound. Then I turn it up a bit to like 4 and let it go until it is filled the bowl and is no longer moving around the bowl but more staying in one place and the beater is covered. It always looks buttery smooth here. Like perfect. (And tasty too I might add). But when I start using it, it gets tough like I could put my spatula in it and can't hardly get it out!! LOL..

I am not giving up tonight, even though I said I was earlier. I fixed a pot of coffee and drank it. And I scraped off the last cake I tried to ice and am letting a crumb coat set back up. I have enough powdered sugar left in my kitchen for 2 more batches... Wish me luck!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%