Question About Coloring Buttercream Frosting

Decorating By Sara716 Updated 23 Feb 2012 , 8:16pm by QuebecGirl

Sara716 Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 6:21pm
post #1 of 6

I've never posted here, but I have a little problem that hopefully someone can help me out with.

I am not a professional baker, but I always bake the cakes for our family events, especially for my own children. My son's birthday is in two weeks, and I've been planning his cake. I was originally going to cover it in marshmallow fondant, which I've done before - It looks great, but I don't really like the taste of any fondant. Buttercream is so much better. Anyway, I was doing a test run last night to see how smooth I could get the buttercream. I used some of Wilton's coloring to tint it blue, but the frosting just looked - for lack of a better term - "grainy" to me. The coloring just didn't seem to blend completely. There were specks of white throughout. I sifted my sugar before adding it, so I don't think that could be the problem. Maybe I should have sifted it twice? The recipe I used called for 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 pound powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk. It tasted great and was smooth, but the coloring was just off.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

5 replies
TexasSugar Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 6:33pm
post #2 of 6

Are you making a dark color and using alot of coloring?

If so, sometimes it will seperate out. It looks liquidy with color then solid sorta fat bits? You can add in a little more powder sugar or cornstarch to help bring it back together.

Also when making a dark color, start with a thicker icing than you really need.

Haimm01 Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 6:39pm
post #3 of 6

It you're going for a darker color, making it early and adding some food coloring and then letting it set over night to let the color 'bloom' (I think thats the term? The color sets into the icing or fondant) can help and make you use less coloring!

My buttercream turned runny and nasty tasting when I was trying to make red, so I got frustrated and stuck it back in the fridge. When I came back the next day it was actually darker than I needed! I still tastes too nasty to give to people, but I use it to practice. Good learning lesson! icon_smile.gif

Sara716 Posted 23 Feb 2012 , 6:29pm
post #4 of 6

Thanks so much for the suggestions!

traci_doodle Posted 23 Feb 2012 , 7:04pm
post #5 of 6

Are you sure you didn't add salt? I've heard sometimes the salt will not the take the color as well and show up as little specks, although I've never actually had that problem myself.

QuebecGirl Posted 23 Feb 2012 , 8:16pm
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

Are you sure you didn't add salt? I've heard sometimes the salt will not the take the color as well and show up as little specks, although I've never actually had that problem myself.




Salt that did not completely disolve prior to adding the color may show as white specks a few hours after coloring - it appened to me. Simply whip the icing again, the specs will go away and will not come back.

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