jen2001 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 8:52pm
post #1 of

I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting yesterday. It turned out perfect. I put it in the fridge overnight as I live in Phoenix and it's so hot. When I took it out today it's turned yellow. I tried coloring it with Ateco gel colors. Using royal blue color the frosting turned lavendar. Then I tried the sky blue color & it turned a really dull shade of blue. I'm trying to make red, white & blue frosting. I'm so upset about it I could cry. Frosting has turned out to be my nemesis! Is there anything I can do to fix it? I have Wilton's white food coloring and I did add some but it didn't help and I'm afraid to add too much to it because it's liquidy. I also tried to make red but it's turned out a rose color no matter how much red I add.

Also, I'm making a layered cake and frosted the layers last night. It was also in the refrigerator and it didn't change color, it's still white.

Thanks for any help.

Jen

23 replies
karateka Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 8:57pm
post #2 of

You can neutralize yellow with violet. Try very tiny amounts, mix well, until it gets back to white (or as white as it is going to get).

HappyCake10609 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 9:30pm
post #3 of

I think the yellow tint of your SMBC might not be the biggest problem here... I have trouble coloring my SMBC with regular gel colors. I find they don't mix in all the way because of all the butter in the icing. I have much better luck with candy colors, which are oil based (meant for coloring candy melts or chocolate). I use the Americolor ones, but in a pinch Wilton makes some that you can find at the craft store near the candy melts.

You can use a touch of violet as karateka said, to neutralize the yellow tint from the butter... also you can use the Wilton White Icing color... but I don't think you will ever get SMBC pure white because of the butter.

jen2001 Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 2:00am
post #4 of

Adding a little violet coloring took care of the yellow problem. Thanks!

Another weird frosting thing...I put the frosting I tried to dye red (turned out rose) and blue (turned out lavender) in the fridge for future use. A couple hours later I went to put them in smaller containers. When I mixed the frosting the rose turned into dark red and the lavender turned into royal blue. The exact colors I was aiming for. Ugh! Of course this is after I gave up on colors & just frosted the cake white. Anyone know why that happened? I'm going to still try to incorporate some of the red & blue on my cake

Thanks again for the help!

kellyd01 Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 8:36pm
post #5 of

Sorry you had so many problems. Colors deepen overtime as they sit. It's one of the reasons so many people say when you're trying for a dark color like red, do it at least a day or two in advance.

MMPastry Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 10:29pm
post #6 of

When butter based frostings sit overnight they tend to turn yellow. Try putting the frosting back into your mixer bowl and whip on high. Adding air back into the frosting well make the yellow disappear. Hope this helps!

gbbaker Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 10:46pm
post #7 of

Some butters are more yellow. I won't buy Sam's because of this , I made IMBC with Sam's butter and with Kroger butter and there was a huge difference in color.

AZCouture Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 10:52pm
post #8 of

You really just shouldn't try to color SMBC dark colors. If you really need to do that, stick with an American Buttercream. If you really have to, use candy colors or powdered colors, or better yet, use colored fondant over the buttercream.

CFCakes Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 6:39am
post #9 of

I recently switched to SMBC and have this same question...I made a batch up this weekend changing my recipe to unsalted butter and used Vanilla Bean Paste (thank you Jamie from AZ Couture).  Iced as usual and let it set up in the fridge as usual.....I noticed not after I took it out of the fridge but after some time on the counter that it turned yellow-er than normal. My husband is the one that noticed the difference... I know I can never get it white - white but my fear is when I got to do a non-fondant wedding cake and its on display for a few hours....will it turn yellow? 

LeanneW Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 11:00pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

You really just shouldn't try to color SMBC dark colors. If you really need to do that, stick with an American Buttercream. If you really have to, use candy colors or powdered colors, or better yet, use colored fondant over the buttercream.

 

I only use meringue buttercream and I see no reason you should not color it dark colors. Why would American BC be easier/better to color?

 

I have had great success "blooming" my color. It yields a richer darker color and uses less gel, which IMO improves the taste of colored BC.

 

I prepare my BC as usual, the scoop out 1/4 cup of it into a microwave safe cup/bowl. Add several drops of gel color and stir well. Then microwave until melted, usually about 10 seconds, the color will have darkened significantly. Then I use this "bloomed" color to add to the rest of my batch in the mixer bit by bit until I like the color.

 

Sometimes when coloring meringue BC's green or blue you get flecks of color in the BC, this method also solves that problem.

 

I have never noticed my BC get more yellow in the fridge, but I like that meringue BC isn't pure white. I have never had a bride oppose the slight natural color from the butter, but as mentioned you can add a touch, literally, way less than a drop, of violet to cancel out the yellow.  I am a fan of using pure vanilla extract in BC to give it a lovely ivory color too.

AZCouture Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 11:08pm

Oh you've had success with gel colors, that's great to hear, and interesting method. I just personally didn't care for it, nor were any of my experiences with it very satisfactory. I personally don't care to work with it, nor eat it, so I don't do it. I use fondant if I need dark colors for anything. Pastels and light colors, sure. Otherwise...I use fat based dye or powder colors.

AZCouture Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 11:11pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by CFCakes 
 

I recently switched to SMBC and have this same question...I made a batch up this weekend changing my recipe to unsalted butter and used Vanilla Bean Paste (thank you Jamie from AZ Couture).  Iced as usual and let it set up in the fridge as usual.....I noticed not after I took it out of the fridge but after some time on the counter that it turned yellow-er than normal. My husband is the one that noticed the difference... I know I can never get it white - white but my fear is when I got to do a non-fondant wedding cake and its on display for a few hours....will it turn yellow? 

I've noticed that the only time it's as close to a true white as possible, is right when it's fresh. I'll freeze it for future use as a filling or icing underneath fondant, but I won't ice with it once it's been thawed and rewhipped, if it won't have fondant over it, because it has yellowed some too. Just one of those things I guess. 

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 2:28am

I have noticed my meringue icing turning a nasty muddy grey sludge color with the slightest touch of violet color.

morganchampagne Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 3:24am

AI have never had any success adding gel colors or ccandy colors to meringue buttercreams. So that idea is an interesting one.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 8:17am

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

Oh you've had success with gel colors, that's great to hear, and interesting method. I just personally didn't care for it, nor were any of my experiences with it very satisfactory. I personally don't care to work with it, nor eat it, so I don't do it. I use fondant if I need dark colors for anything. Pastels and light colors, sure. Otherwise...I use fat based dye or powder colors.

I agree with you totally. It takes way more colouring to make MBC dark than you have to use in ABC. There's only one place all that colouring ends up - dyeing your mouth a lovely shade of whatever colour you used (not to mention other bodily functions). I refuse to make MBC a dark colour. Fondant only or ABC.

clouseau Posted 8 Mar 2014 , 7:53pm

Leanne, when you say you bloom your SMBC in the microwave does it become liquid? If so when you add it back to the rest of the SMBC does it water it down? I was also thinking why not add flocoat to the regular gel colors since we can use flocoat for chocolat which is fat based. I would think that flocoat would help with coloring SMBC since it is fatbased.

nancylee61 Posted 9 Mar 2014 , 5:18pm

ASo if a cake is frosted right away, lets say a wedding cake with messy buttercream? But not delivered and served until the next day. Will it get yellow in the fridge overnight? And if so, how would you frost a 4 tier cake in the morning and then decorate it? I'm feeling confused. Nancy

sweettooth101 Posted 9 Mar 2014 , 11:12pm

I had a similar issue, I made a 3 tier cake  the night before for a wedding the next day,when I took it out of the fridge the next morning I noticed a few imperfections so took some of the leftover buttercream lathered it on and smoothened it out. When I took a step back and looked at the cake I noticed that the bc that I had just applied  from the bowl was yellowish compared to the one that was already on, so I made a mental note to always beat the bc again before using.

In fact I have a picture of it in my posts, unfortunately there wasn't much I could do to rectify the finish of the cake.

clouseau Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 3:55pm

So I colored my SMBC with a royal blue color with flo coat and it worked just great. I did as Leanne sais and took about 1/4 cup of the icing and added equal amounts of Wilton gel past to flo coat and added it the rest of the icing. Since flo coat is in a liquid state the next time I will use Lecithin instead of flo coat because it has more of a paste consistency. Flo coat is basically Lecithin with additives added and it is runnier.

LeanneW Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 8:38pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by clouseau 
 

Leanne, when you say you bloom your SMBC in the microwave does it become liquid? If so when you add it back to the rest of the SMBC does it water it down?

 

I only take out a small amount, like 1/2 cup or less and yes it does become liquid. But only heat it until melted, not hot. When you add it back to the batch it does not make it runny, since its just a little bit. If you accidentally melted it too hot, then just set it aside to cool and add it at room temp.

MBalaska Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 9:42pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

I have noticed my meringue icing turning a nasty muddy grey sludge color with the slightest touch of violet color.

 

Yes Annabakescakes I agree with you here.  This week I tried this addition of violet to SMBC with real butter.  I was putting greens and blues on an SMBC cake and thought that a cooler color would look better than the rich yellow.   The resulting color is not neutral white or soft eggshell it was grey.

 

I kept looking at the icing and perceiving that it was unappetizing, and off.  It looked a sort of hint of sidewalk grey to my eye.

 

I'd rather explain to someone that real butter and real vanilla extract is going to give an attractive soft yellow tint and a superior delicious flavor, or to really give it a shot of violet for an actual violet tint that is recognizable as violet.  (But once again, I'm always trying new things out, worth a try.)

morganchampagne Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 10:37pm

AYes. ^^ happened to me

morganchampagne Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 10:40pm

AMaybe adding the white food coloring? I'm going to try that today

MBalaska Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 11:20pm

Yes, I've been happier with the white food coloring addition, it doesn't make it white white, but it did lighten or lessen the yellow.  I don't mind so much putting the artificial clear vanilla flavoring in fondant.  No one really seems to expect fondant to taste like creamy rich vanilla custard ice cream anyhow.

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