I've had this problem in the warm months before. When trying to color my butter cream icing it never turns a solid color- no matter how much icing color I will add. It looks speckled, separated. The Wilton gel is brand new. So is the sugar and shortening. I thought maybe at some point the shortening may have been set out in the heat for too long, then cooled again when it got in the store? It's only speculation though. Has anyone else had this problem? Like I said, it's only happened in the summer months. I just went to the store and bought another shortening. Pray for me!
AI have this problem when my BC has a high butter content. It mixes fine while I'm using it, but if I leave any in the container. I noticed in a few days, that it looks like beads of color. Almost as if the icing is separating
AI have had the speckling...even with americolor...do you have milk in your recipe or just water? This happened to me when my liquid was water based...not enough fat in the recipe to hold the color together....now I use whole milk and it colors beautifully everytime...good luck...it sure is frustrating
Are you using hi-ratio shortening? Typically grocery store shortening will not have trans fat which will cause problems with your color mixing completely.
Been there! Your culprit is likely a zero or very low trans-fat shortening. Use a shortening with trans-fat (high ratio shortening). Adding meringue powder may save your buttercream if you are trying to salvage it, but you'll need quite a bit of it and it isn't exactly cheap.
Crisco has pulled all trans-fats, so you may have to search a while until you find a store or off brand that still has it. I guess Crisco was concerned that they would be boycotted by the granola types, but what they don't realize is that they could be making a killing from selling a niche high ratio product line to bakers.
If you have a cake/baking supply store in your area (not a box store), they can probably tell you where you can find some, or they may sell it themselves.
Hope that makes sense/helps.
I do use a Non Trans Fat Crisco...but as long as I use whole milk for the liquid it colors fine...I know Sweetex is supposedly a fine brand...but if you still have a lot of the old shortening I would recommend increasing the fat content in the recipe by way of the liquids...I also use a recipe that calls for heavy whipping cream as the liquid and that recipe also has no problems with coloring and I use Crisco for that as well.