Grainy Buttercream

Decorating By SweetOutlaws Updated 8 Jul 2014 , 1:50am by MinaBakes

SweetOutlaws Posted 3 Jul 2014 , 4:55am
post #1 of 16

AHello everyone at Cake Central,

Today I made cupcakes and buttercream from scratch, and this isn't my first time. I followed the recipe, and my buttercream looks grainy, when I was mixing the frosting it looked so smooth and perfect, then it turned grainy does anyone have any advice on how to fix this problem? I have made some frostings in the past that were perfect, could it be the heat outside or any other possible explanation?

Thanks

15 replies
sha1col Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 1:07pm
post #2 of 16

AOh my I thought it was just me. I was told that it was due to my shortening (I used a very cheap brand because it was only for me to practice with) and was told that Crisco is the best (which I only use when I'm making a cake for someone else).

However, yesterday I had to make a cake for my class (but to bring back home after decorating) and I used my cheap shortening and let it go in my stand mixer longer than normal (before adding my stick of butter) and boy was it just as smooth as my room temp butter! So I'll just let my shortening blend longer in my mixer before adding other ingredients.

If that doesn't help, maybe trying sifting your confectioners sugar. I never do out of laziness, but that would have been the next solution for me if blending the shortening longer didn't help.

Inga1 Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 1:28pm
post #3 of 16

How about the type of powdered sugar? I have switched to only cane sugar. I had been told by our Wilton instructor that beet sugar changes the texture of the buttercream...making it more difficult to pipe

Dcr Cakes Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 2:00pm
post #4 of 16

AYour best bet is to use "Hi-ratio" shorting. Crisco is for frying. Hi ratio Will not give you that greasy taste in your frosting. I never knew it did until I switched. I save Crisco for making just a few roses on a cake. Only save on cost. If it is a large wedding cake I use Hi ratio, even when it's a free cake. As for powder sugar, c and h is the best. I can not find it in the south east. So I get what's there. Always Always sift. I do at least two times. Never use Wal-Mart brand. Even when sifted feels like sand in your frosting

travmand Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 2:12pm
post #5 of 16

Happened to me with with Walmart brand powdered sugar.  I blamed that and only use powdered sugar with the word "cane sugar" on the bag.

cakegrandma Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 2:45pm
post #6 of 16

I found long ago to let my shortening mix really well and if I use regular salt that it needs to be dissolved in warm water, small amount of water. Table salt or Kosher salt have larger grains that can be difficult to dissolve and could leave white spots in your icing after it is colored.  I now use popcorn salt and let it dissolve in the shortening.  I don't sift my powdered sugar either, like Sha1Col says, too lazy! :wink:  I think if you can purchase some hi ratio shortening you will find the mouth feel of your icing will be soooo much better. No greasy feel with it and I really do not use butter either because of the melting factor.  I find I can flavor my icings and they taste great without the butter. 

After getting all my ingredients in the mixing bowl I just let the mixer go until I get back to it, I use the time to ready other things.  The icing is mixed really well and is light and fluffy when I get back to it.  I leave it on medium speed so as not to get extra air bubbles in it.

craftybanana Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 3:30pm
post #7 of 16

Best things I've done like other posters have already said:

1) Make sure you're using cane sugar (Dominoes is one brand that says pure cane sugar on the bag)

2) Make sure it's 10x, not 6x (sift it if you want), (10x is a finer grind than 6x)

3) Mix it longer (I've mixed it for about 15-20minutes on medium speed)

 

Doing all three makes for a non-gritty icing for me.

 

I was told on another thread that regular shortening versus high-ratio kind only affects the feel (creaminess) of the icing on the tongue, not the grittiness.

Dcr Cakes Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 4:50pm
post #8 of 16

AI agree, dominoes is a sister to c and h powder sugar. And 10 x is the best. Hi ratio has nothing to do with frosting grit. It is only the taste of the grease.

SweetOutlaws Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 6:43am
post #9 of 16

AI've always use the Domino's powdered sugar, is it wise to use room temp butter? The other frostings I've made the butter was soft but still cold, I still use a hand mixer I'm wanting to get a stand mixer very soon, how long should you keep beating the frosting to get that perfect texture?

Dcr Cakes Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 10:55am
post #10 of 16

AIt is better to use room temp butter in my experience. I always beat it at least 7-10 minutes. It will make the icing smooth. I don't know if to much will create air pockets??? Anyone out there know? You will enjoy the stand mixer. I love it. I also inherited my mother's and have both going. I did find it a wise investment to get two bowls and two extra sets of beater attachments, whisk and paddle. Saved me time. I could be already mixing another batch while washing the first set of equipment. Mine is kitchen aid the colorful ones out now, on sale was not bad. My mother's is the kitchen aid professional, bigger motor than mine. It survived an F4 tornado. Found it in the field and it's still going,only the bowl was bent when we found that. I am sure there are lots of brands that are just as good.

Dcr Cakes Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 11:11am
post #11 of 16

AI have a new recipe for buttercream:

2 sticks unsalted butter 1 teaspoon "Lorann" butter/vanilla flavor emulsion. 4 tablespoons heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 cups powder sugar sifted at least once if not twice.

So melt in your mouth creamy. Can still pipe and decorate allowing it to crust over. Never however had the cake outside in heat, other than traveling. I did a white with black design three tiered stack cake with no problem.30 minutes in the car traveling.I save the hi-ratio if I need a stiff batter for roses or other stiff decoration topping. With the Wilton recipe every loved the looks of my cake, just couldn't eat the icing because it was to sweet. Lock jaw sweet.

sha1col Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 11:37am
post #12 of 16

AMy shortening went for about 7 mins or so and then to my surprise I noticed that the lumps were gone. I've never let it go that long in the past but unwanted to see if that would help. I don't want to waste my good shortening for cakes that will end up at home, but I hated my grainy BC which makes it very difficult to pipe perfect designs. I did scrape down my sides a couple of times. My butter was room temp, it had been out for a while. I didn't add the butter until I saw that the shortening was nice and smooth. Had the extra mixing time not worked then I would have had to deal with it I suppose.

craftybanana Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 3:37pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetOutlaws 

I've always use the Domino's powdered sugar, is it wise to use room temp butter? The other frostings I've made the butter was soft but still cold, I still use a hand mixer I'm wanting to get a stand mixer very soon, how long should you keep beating the frosting to get that perfect texture?


Room Temp butter is fine. It's not going to spoil, infact down here we can leave our butter out for a week and it's fine (for spreading on rolls and such). We've never gotten sick with just the butter out, now plain ol' milk is another story, lols.

 

But if you want a perfectly smooth icing, look into the Meringue butter creams that cook the sugar into a syrup (so it's super smooth). Those don't crust though, but are lightly sweet and oh so buttery..... I can't decide which I like better now! :grin:

SweetOutlaws Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 7:06pm
post #14 of 16

AI wanted to thank everyone for your advice, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has had this problem before!

MBalaska Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 7:17pm
post #15 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by craftybanana 
Room Temp butter is fine. It's not going to spoil, infact down here we can leave our butter out for a week and it's fine (for spreading on rolls and such). We've never gotten sick with just the butter out, now plain ol' milk is another story, lols.

 

But if you want a perfectly smooth icing, look into the Meringue butter creams that cook the sugar into a syrup (so it's super smooth). Those don't crust though, but are lightly sweet and oh so buttery..... I can't decide which I like better now! :grin:

 

Yup, our butter sits out on the counter also, never ever gone bad.  And a vote for SMBC!

MinaBakes Posted 8 Jul 2014 , 1:50am
post #16 of 16

A

Original message sent by SweetOutlaws

I've always use the Domino's powdered sugar, is it wise to use room temp butter? The other frostings I've made the butter was soft but still cold, I still use a hand mixer I'm wanting to get a stand mixer very soon, how long should you keep beating the frosting to get that perfect texture?

Definitely leave the butter out longer, specially if you're only using a hand mixer. Then beat it for longerthan normal. The longer you beat it, the paler the buttercream gets.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%