Why Is Smoothing Colored Buttercream Icing So Difficult ?

Decorating By Carlachef Updated 23 May 2012 , 4:42pm by kvance

Carlachef Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:01pm
post #1 of 16

What the heck ? I have mastered the act of smoothing white butter cream cakes using lot's of different methods, [parchment paper, hot water or viva et.all. Why is it that I just can't get the colored stuff smooth. It's not the brand of color I don't think. I use Americolor and or Wilton. I just don't get it. Does anyone have any suggestions ?

15 replies
beenie51 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:19pm
post #2 of 16

I have never had that problem, inquiring minds want to know. I hope someone answers.

KHalstead Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:22pm
post #3 of 16

I think depending on how much color you add, it actually changes the texture/chemistry of the icing! I've experienced the same thing.......I just deal with it and get through and always airbrush when/where I can lol

tryingcake Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:37pm
post #4 of 16

I've noticed it changes the color, also. I just turn a blind eye. I can't do anything about science until someone tells me how.

carmijok Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:59pm
post #5 of 16

The colored icing no doubt shows more flaws than white or cream buttercream...it's a light thing. I noticed you've done a lot of the techniques out there to smooth buttercream but I didn't see the Melvira roller method. Have you tried it? Just use a small foam paint roller on soft (but crusted) buttercream and watch how it smooths the bumps that show up in colored icing. HTH! icon_smile.gif

Carlachef Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 2:05am
post #6 of 16

Ah ha !! I think I figured it out. Skip the Meringue powder !!! I was always told I had to use it. I think the crusting that the meringue powder allows that is causeing the problem. Can anyone tell me differently?

tryingcake Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 3:00am
post #7 of 16

I don't use meringue powder ever (and mine crusts really nicely) - and mine also streaks.

tryingcake Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 3:01am
post #8 of 16

I don't use meringue powder ever (and mine crusts really nicely) - and mine also streaks.

Carlachef Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 1:35pm
post #9 of 16

Hi tryingcakes,
What do you mean it streaks ? Do you mean the colors? Are you mixing the color in well enough ?

indydebi Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 3:29pm
post #10 of 16

I also never use MP in my icing. Its crusts very well.

Over the years, I've experienced color streaking when smoothing BC but ONLY when I used the hot knife method and the water from the hot knife got the icing wet and the color ran (like it will from condensation if you refrigerate the cakes). When I learned about wiping the spatula dry (duh!), I still had some discolorization because the hot knife melted the fat in the icing, causing it to "run" and discolor.

melvira method all the way, baby! thumbs_up.gif

tryingcake Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 5:09pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlachef

Hi tryingcakes,
What do you mean it streaks ? Do you mean the colors? Are you mixing the color in well enough ?




I mean what we are all talking about.

I mix my icing, I mix for about 20 minutes, so I doubt it's not enough.

I out it on the cake and smooth it best as I can. Then I hot knife it and streaks appear. Isn't that what we are talking about here? It discolors?

It doesn't run as Indydebi indicated. It just streaks. And this also seems to only happen when I use pinks, the hotter pinks.

So far it hasn't mattered and actually made the cakes cuter (cause they were "cute" cakes, not pretty cakes). The one was a nature looking cake, so the mild streaking just added to it.

indydebi Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 5:46pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

It doesn't run as Indydebi indicated. It just streaks. And this also seems to only happen when I use pinks, the hotter pinks.


My bad, but yes, that's what I mean .... streaks, runs, its all the same to me: a mar in the smooth look of the coloring in the icing. A hot knife that melts the fat can cause that effect.

Melvira Method. Give it a shot.

tryingcake Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 6:17pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

It doesn't run as Indydebi indicated. It just streaks. And this also seems to only happen when I use pinks, the hotter pinks.

My bad, but yes, that's what I mean .... streaks, runs, its all the same to me: a mar in the smooth look of the coloring in the icing. A hot knife that melts the fat can cause that effect.

Melvira Method. Give it a shot.




Is that the paint roller method? How does this differ from a paper towel and smoother?

joycesdaughter111 Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 9:45pm
post #14 of 16

Can the Melvira method be used on a non-crusting buttercream?

KHalstead Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 12:58pm
post #15 of 16

def. don't try it on non-crusting icing!

Paint roller is WAY faster, easier, and better than the Viva method.......gives the icing a much smoother appearance! Also squishes out air bubbles which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

kvance Posted 23 May 2012 , 4:42pm
post #16 of 16

Just wondering if anyone has ever resolved this issue. I am discovering that all of my colored icing is streaking when I smooth it, even when I don't use a hot spatula or scraper on it. I use the Viva method for smoothing and also use high ratio shortening. Icing is also well blended so that isn't occuring. Any suggestions?????

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