Buttercream Issues

Decorating By MichellePonce Updated 25 Oct 2014 , 6:23pm by DeniseNH

MichellePonce Posted 28 Sep 2014 , 7:41pm
post #1 of 17

I notices as I am trying to smooth my buttercream on my cake there looks to be like little craters in the bc as i am running my smoother across, does anyone know why this happens? I feel like I cant get totally smooth bc to save my life. I use half butter half shortening bc. I dont know if its the way Im mixing my bc or if my bc is not smooth enough.

16 replies
-K8memphis Posted 28 Sep 2014 , 7:47pm
post #2 of 17

it's air bubbles -- smooth in the opposite direction and see what happens -- you can also remove air bubbles by stirring your buttercream before you spread it -- 

kakeladi Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 2:52am
post #3 of 17

To help you more we need to know what recipe you are using. Also what mixer (KitchenAid or hand-held ect).

Is your icing being used as soon as you make it or has it sat around for hours or days?  All these things hadd to what you describe.

MichellePonce Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 3:04am
post #4 of 17

I use the 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of shortening, 4 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tbl of milk. (Wiltons recipe) I use a kitchenaid stand mixer and it sits around for a few days before I use it.

MichellePonce Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 3:13am
post #5 of 17

If the buttercream sits around for a couple days, do you put it in the stand mixer and remix before using? How long do you mix it for? Thanks..

-K8memphis Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 10:17pm
post #6 of 17

i try to use mine as fresh as possible -- i'll stick it it in the fridge if it's gonna be too long -- i usually use smbc

MichellePonce Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 10:38pm
post #7 of 17

AIsn't the cost for smbc way higher than regular buttercream?

-K8memphis Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 10:42pm
post #8 of 17

probably

kakeladi Posted 30 Sep 2014 , 2:17am
post #9 of 17

.........use the 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of shortening, 4 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tbl of milk. (Wiltons recipe) I use a kitchenaid stand mixer and it sits around for a few days before I use it....If the buttercream sits around for a couple days, do you put it in the stand mixer and remix before using? How long do you mix it for? .........

 

O.k. that's not a bad recipe - not great but certainly not bad.  Do you add any flavoring??  Instead of milk, use 1 T vanilla extract; 2 teaspoons butter flavoring and 1 teaspoon almond extract.  This will imporve the taste w/o changing the consistency.

If you mix your icing at the lowest speed for *at least* 5 minutes - even up to 10 minutes you will have a much smoother, creamier icing to work with.

The fact that it is unused for several days is a large part of your problem.  Yes, icing needs to be remixed if left sitting for more than 1/2 hour.  Depending on how much you are going to use you can hand mix it w/a small whisk but move that whisk in a figure 8 to mix it - don't *whip* it, slowly stir.  That should take out most if not all of those bubbles you are having to deal with.

FioreCakes Posted 30 Sep 2014 , 3:52am
post #10 of 17

Fill the mixer to the top (usually 3 wilton recipes at once) and you will have a much smoother icing due to reduced air bubbles. And for the record, SMBC is not that much more expensive....powdered sugar is expensive and you take that out and replace it with eggs granulated sugar basically. It's completely different to work with though. 

MichellePonce Posted 17 Oct 2014 , 6:21pm
post #11 of 17

A[IMG]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3295712/width/200/height/400[/IMG] This is what I'm talking about little craters

ellavanilla Posted 17 Oct 2014 , 9:43pm
post #12 of 17

those are air bubbles. regardless of your recipe, you have to press them out. Some do it in the bowl by pressing the BC back and forth against the side of the bowl before scooping it up. I do it on the cake, I start with a lot of BC and smooth smooth smooth before using my scraper to finish the sides. 

 

go to 2:45 to see what i mean about pushing it against the bowl.

 

 


kbaile36 Posted 18 Oct 2014 , 1:52pm
post #13 of 17

AFirst of all make sure that if your buttercream has just been sitting that you rewhip it in the mixer for a few minutes. One little trick I use is to get a large pot and boil some water in it on the stove. Once the water is hot, take your spatula, scraper, or whatever you're using and stick it in the hot water. Wipe the water off quickly and smooth your cake. Keep doing this each time you lift your spatula and you should get those craters out! I also use a buttercream with butter and shortening and this always gives me super smooth sides!! Something about the heat smooths thise air bubbles wonderfully. Hope this helps :)

julia1812 Posted 18 Oct 2014 , 1:58pm
post #14 of 17

ADo you mix it with a whisker or paddle? You have to use a paddle to get all the air bubbles out if you want a smooth look...

MichellePonce Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 2:55pm
post #15 of 17

AIt worked! Full the bowl up where the paddle is covered. The icing was smooth and beautiful. But it worries me cause I won't always need that much buttercream at a time.[IMG]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3298432/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 3:20pm
post #16 of 17

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichellePonce 
 

If the buttercream sits around for a couple days, do you put it in the stand mixer and remix before using? How long do you mix it for? Thanks..

 

The bakery I used to work at would always mix buttercream once a week or so in large batches and just store them in buckets.  Don't think you're doing something wrong by doing this.  I learned to always give the buttercream a stir before using it to make it smoother.  If we were doing a wedding cake, we would for sure put some buttercream in a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix it up more to get rid of the air bubbles.  But if it was just for a birthday cake, I would just stir the bucket by hand.  Just a good stir with a spatula for a couple minutes was enough.
DeniseNH Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 6:23pm
post #17 of 17


Happen to notice that there's a whole lot of color in that particular batch of icing.  Possibly the color is doing this?  Or whatever is in the color might be causing the bubbles.  When this happens to me I usually refrigerate it until cold then go over it lightly with additional buttercream to fill in the holes but the cold changes the color of the bottom layer and the top layer is usually lighter - this too will change over night in the fridge as the new layer darkens in color to match the first coat.  Other than that, mix your icing on low and remix before using (also on low).

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