My Icing Has Spots! Why?

Baking By frugalmom40 Updated 22 Dec 2010 , 7:58pm by TexasSugar

frugalmom40 Posted 18 Dec 2010 , 11:47pm
post #1 of 7

I made a two-layer standard Betty Crocker cake and iced it with vanilla-flavored BC (Wilton standard class recipe). When making the BC, I used water, not milk, and I added Wilton Royal Blue coloring, ending up with an icy light blue color, which was what I was looking for as a backdrop to snowflake decorations (piped with uncolored white BC, same recipe). A day later, the blue started developing white spots about 2 mm in size. Aesthetically it didn't mess up the cake, as it fit in with the snowy theme, but I'm still trying to figure out what happened so I can avoid it in the future if I choose. The cake was not refrigerated, and the air was dry (~30% humidity).

Any ideas on why this happened and/or how I could avoid it?

6 replies
kakeladi Posted 19 Dec 2010 , 12:45am
post #2 of 7

There are a slew of therories of why this happend. Many people think it is UNdisolved salt. When I was teaching that's what I always told my students. However, there were several who said they did not use salt so that shot down that idea.
Others think the shortening wasn't mixed enough. They say you need to mix it alone for 5 minutes until it is *creamy* before adding any other ingredients.
Still others thinki it is little lumps of sugar and one needs to sift it before adding.
I think the jury is still out deliberating this one.
There *really* is no right answer.

kakeladi Posted 19 Dec 2010 , 12:45am
post #3 of 7

There are a slew of therories of why this happend. Many people think it is UNdisolved salt. When I was teaching that's what I always told my students. However, there were several who said they did not use salt so that shot down that idea.
Others think the shortening wasn't mixed enough. They say you need to mix it alone for 5 minutes until it is *creamy* before adding any other ingredients.
Still others thinki it is little lumps of sugar and one needs to sift it before adding.
I think the jury is still out deliberating this one.
There *really* is no right answer.

LKing12 Posted 19 Dec 2010 , 12:51am
post #4 of 7

Had the spot effect for the first time I used the Wilton recipe. I was told it was the salt. I have never used salt again and have never had the spots. Can't tell any difference in the taste.

jenmat Posted 19 Dec 2010 , 1:30am
post #5 of 7

I have that happen all the time if I don't dissolve the salt in the liquid. It has only happened when I added salt to the recipe. If I don't add salt or add salt that has been mixed with my warm cream/vanilla mixture, I've never had it happen.

G_Cakes Posted 19 Dec 2010 , 1:44am
post #6 of 7

I have had this happen and was told by my wilton course teacher thats is referred to as chicken pox for your buttercream LOL, after applying the butter cream to smooth it our did you use a smoother or icing spatula dipped it hot water to help with smoothing?

My Wilton instructor told me that the spots are caused by not wiping down the spatula and are from water.

They don't affect the taste of the cake only the look. Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 7

I believe that the spots are caused by the minerals and chemicals in the water.

As a WMI, I have had many of students come in with the spots, and many that do not. I don't have a problem with them at home, but if i use the water (only difference in ingredients) at Michaels I do get spots.

Purple is the biggest color I have seen it in, and it spots this bright blue. Pink and green will spot white, but it usually isn't as noticable. If you have the issue, try using something other than water or use bottle water. If you are making a color that you know spots, then make it ahead of time. Once it spots, just stir and you are good to go. It doesn't respot again.

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