Buttercream Disasters

Baking By jajay Updated 21 Jan 2011 , 4:32pm by TexasSugar

jajay Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 2:48pm
post #1 of 16

help! i dont know what im doing wrong? whether its just cos its been standing too long?

my buttercream, after a whlie (20min maybe?) seems to crystalise and if iv put a colouring/ gel in, then that seperates and goes runny.


how can i stop this? when its not being used, i do refridgerate it (as in make the buttercream up and use for crumb-coating, then put it in the fridge until i need to use it for piping.

15 replies
Tclanton Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 8:52pm
post #2 of 16

I have had this to happen to me recently as well and I am not sure either. I didnt have a crystalizing effect, just a runny mess.

trishvanhoozer Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 9:05pm
post #3 of 16

I had all kinds of trouble with my buttercream, dreaded using it, and quite frankly was so discouraged that I hated to sell cakes with it on them. So I switched to Hi-Ratio shortening and started using a hi-ratio buttercream receipe. My problems are all gone and the taste is out of this world. I would never go back to regular shortening. I bought my hi-ratio from a cake specialty store. I bought the 50 pound block because the cost was cheaper to buy in bulk (even cheaper than regular shortening).

cheatize Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 12:04am
post #4 of 16

What recipe are you using? Is it an American Buttercream, IMBC, SMBC?

jajay Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 12:36pm
post #5 of 16

thanks for your replies.

ok, i really am a complete beginner! what is shortening??!

i use equal quantities of butter/margarine and icing sugar, touch of warm water & drop of vanilla essence (for a basic mixture).

x

Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:10pm
post #6 of 16

shortening I think is sold under the brand name Stork in the UK....It is an oil based solid vegetable shortening used in baking and icings...

Sounds to me you are not using enough Icing sugar and the butter and water are turning it to a soupy mess..

Try Indydebi's recipe or Sugarshack...

brincess_b Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:14pm
post #7 of 16

shortening is fat - what they call crisco, we call trex - make sure it vegetable shortening for icings!
no solutions for your problem tho - i sometimes get this too, think its just too much colouring.
xx

Valkstar Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:56pm
post #8 of 16

I'm in Ireland and we tend not to use shortening in our buttercream....I believe it's the same in the UK.

I think the problem is your quantities. You should have double the amount of icing sugar to butter.

Try this recipe...it's foolproof:


160 g softened butter
320 g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1.5 tbsp milk


Put the butter into your mixer and beat, while slowly adding the sieved icing sugar. Add in the extract, then colour if used, then milk if necessary. You might not need the milk if you use a lot of colour.

Beat for around 5 minutes and you'll have beautiful buttercream thumbs_up.gif

If you want chocolate instead, then replace the 320 g icing sugar with 270 g icing sugar and 50 g cocoa.


Hope this helps!

TexasSugar Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 3:30pm
post #9 of 16

Was your icing soft to start out with? And were you trying to make dark colors?

jajay Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 9:33pm
post #10 of 16

oh i see!!! yes i use stork, well supermarket own brand cos its half the price, but works the same.

i hav also used double icing sugar to oz's of shortening, but it still came out the same.

i made a yoda cake today (pics to follow... not that much of a success, but im hopin the 7yr old boy likes it!)... anyway - i did the buttercream slightly different. i normally use my electric whisk to cream the butter, but i did it by hand this time and put in equal amounts of icing sugar...and only mixed til it jus blended together. it seemed to work icon_biggrin.gif

doing a timmy-time cake tomoro, so il try the same method for buttercream again & see if it works or if it was just a fluke!

thanks for your ideas, il bare them in mind & hav a practice when i hav a min icon_smile.gif x

jajay Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 9:35pm
post #11 of 16

oh i see!!! yes i use stork, well supermarket own brand cos its half the price, but works the same.

i hav also used double icing sugar to oz's of shortening, but it still came out the same.

i made a yoda cake today (pics to follow... not that much of a success, but im hopin the 7yr old boy likes it!)... anyway - i did the buttercream slightly different. i normally use my electric whisk to cream the butter, but i did it by hand this time and put in equal amounts of icing sugar...and only mixed til it jus blended together. it seemed to work icon_biggrin.gif

doing a timmy-time cake tomoro, so il try the same method for buttercream again & see if it works or if it was just a fluke!

thanks for your ideas, il bare them in mind & hav a practice when i hav a min icon_smile.gif x

heyjules Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 9:50pm
post #12 of 16

you say you use butter/margerine. Don't sub margerine for butter....yuck!

CakeFaerieK Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 10:17pm
post #13 of 16

They have changed the recipe in all the shortening here in Arkansas. Sure did change the consistancy.

Also weather plays a part in the icing. If it's too hot or rainy, my icing will 'melt'...

Just a thought.

jajay Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 12:13pm
post #14 of 16

oh no i dont use butter/marg.... i use stork (or shortening!)... i was jus tryin to explain what i used lol.. sorry, country barrier happening i think! i know now its mainly known as shortening!

x

Valkstar Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 12:34pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jajay

oh no i dont use butter/marg.... i use stork (or shortening!)... i was jus tryin to explain what i used lol.. sorry, country barrier happening i think! i know now its mainly known as shortening!

x




Hi jajay


Stork isn't shortening...it is margarine. Maybe that's where you're going wrong. There's a bit of a language / term difference between the UK and America, but there in Ireland we use the same terms as the UK.

What is called shortening here on the site is what we call Trex or Cookeen. It's more of a solid vegetable fat. It's not commonly used to make buttercream here....we normally use pure butter. I suppose that we don't have the same heat and humidity problems!

TexasSugar Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 4:32pm
post #16 of 16

I'm not sure about there, but here margarine has water added, so it will make a softer icing. A basic fat to sugar ration is 1 cup fat to 1lb powder sugar. I'm not sure the weight measurements for the fat, but for me it's about 1 cup of fat to about 4 cups of powder sugar, so I'm thinking you need more than double the sugar of the fat.

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