Smooth Buttercream

Decorating By lili2308 Updated 4 May 2016 , 5:43am by lili2308

lili2308 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:39am
post #1 of 25

Hi all!


I live in Australia and I run my cake decorating home business.

I have tried some recipes for buttercream but I always get like a little powdery texture.
I tried to mix it for longer, same result. Add a tiny bit of milk, same result.
Then I had a look in the icing sugar and apparently it could mean that in Australia, the icing sugar is not refine enough and this is why the butter cream will always be that little grainy.
is that even possible?
I would love some tips please, or recipe to make sure I have a smooth buttercream. In Australia, I use CSR pure icing sugar, if that helps :-)

Thank you

24 replies
kakeladi Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 2:40am
post #2 of 25

Hhuuuummmm.  It's hard to give suggestions not knowing exactly what your sugar is like.  My 1st suggesion would be to beat it longer at slow speeds.  Like 10 minutes but you say you tried that. Maybe try putting your sugar in a blender or food processer to get it smother before beginning?  Don't know if that would help or not.

lili2308 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 2:52am
post #3 of 25

I have never put it in a food processor or blender so I'll definitely try that!
Thanks :-)

bubs1stbirthday Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 7:47am
post #4 of 25

Putting csr Icing sugar in the blender just makes it all hot and clumpy I found. Personally I hate ABC for the reason that it always retains that gritty texture but my husband just admitted to me (after years of agreeing lol) that he actually likes the gritty texture. I am definitely a SMBC and Ganache convert and only use ABC if I am filling biscuits with it - peanut butter/chocoale ABC in a choc chip biccie sandwhich - yum. 

-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 11:27am
post #5 of 25

yes the quality of your sugar is key -- you want cane sugar not any other kind -- 

lili2308 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 12:01pm
post #6 of 25

The one I have is cane sugar.

I love ganache as well but this is an order for Mother's day (8th of May in OZ) and the lady requested buttercream.

When I came across answers on internet, it says that it has to do with how fine the icing sugar has been refined.
I have sifted it many times as well but that didn't change anything... :-(


-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 5:00pm
post #7 of 25

oh no -- that's what works for me in the u.s. -- pretty sure i have that right --

i use dominos brand sugar -- it's 10x meaning it's refined 10 times for smoothness/fineness and they add some cornstarch so it doesn't clump -- does yours have corn starch?

kakeladi Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 6:34pm
post #8 of 25

Sorry my suggestion isn't worth it's salt (LOL).....glad someone told us so no one tries it and ends up w/a mess.  Yeah, k8 is right that here in the US 10x cane sugar is what we use.

kakeladi Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 6:34pm
post #9 of 25

Sorry my suggestion isn't worth it's salt (LOL).....glad someone told us so no one tries it and ends up w/a mess.  Yeah, k8 is right that here in the US 10x cane sugar is what we use.

lili2308 Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 1:00am
post #10 of 25

I use pure icing sugar, not icing mixture (which does have 3% of corn flour in it).


Do you reckon that using the icing mixture can change the texture for buttercream?
I never thought this would be an issue.. must try it!

Gunni Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 4:26am
post #11 of 25

Why do you not prepare the Italian meringue buttercream? Than you have no problems since you do not even use icing sugar just normal (caster) sugar. It is easy to make and the taste and consistency is so nice.

lili2308 Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 6:11am
post #12 of 25

I am not familiar with italian meringue buttercream...

i found this recipe:
1/2 cup of cold water (120ml)
2 1/4 cups of caster sugar (530ml / 430gr)
1 cup of egg whites (about 6 egg whites) I use pasturized eggwhites only!
1 1/2 pound of soft unsalted butter (680gr)
1 tsp of vanilla extract

http://cakejournal.com/tutorials/how-to-make-italian-meringue-butter-cream/


Is this okay to travel though? She has to drive about 15 minutes...

-K8memphis Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 8:25am
post #13 of 25

yes try the icing mixture with the cornstarch & see how it goes -- please post how it goes -- 

best to you

Gunni Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 8:58am
post #14 of 25

I think it is okay that receipe. But here is the italian meringue butter cream receipe that I use:


225 g caster sugar + enough of water so that the sugar dissolves (about 1/3), boil this to 121OC. (Do not mix while boiling, just let it stand.)  (The more water you add the longer it takes to reach 121C)


When the temp is at 115OC, I start to mix:

110g eggwhites (pasturized)

75g caster sugar

using my Kitchenaid.


When the sugarsyrup becomes 121OC i add it to the eggwhites.


Then I add really cold unsalted butter (500gr) (chopped in pieces).Mix well. Add then vanilla or something else.

This is a perfect buttercream. It is soft first and easy to handle. Is perfect for travelling according to me if the cake is cooled in the fridge first. I learned this receipe in a patisserie school. If you want it to be harder because of high temperature you can also add more butter.


Good luck!

lili2308 Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 9:29am
post #15 of 25

Thank you very much.
I'll try your recipe.

I'll try with packaged egg whites and see how it goes.

Thank you so very much ladies for your help :-) always appreciated :-)

bubs1stbirthday Posted 2 May 2016 , 12:31am
post #16 of 25

I am too lazy to sift my icing sugar for biscuits etc so I only ever buy the icing mixture and it is still gritty. I have no idea of how refined it is as I have never seen it written anywhere on the pack. I usually only buy CSR but on occasion have had my husband buy the coles home brand when I haven't specified a brand and he is doing the shopping and find it is exactly the same. I would be interested to know if there is a difference in texture between Amercian Icing Sugar and Aussie Icing Sugar as I am now intrigued.

810whitechoc Posted 2 May 2016 , 1:19am
post #17 of 25

I might have the answer to the difference in icing sugar.  Several years ago I attended a flower making demo by Jacqueline Butler at Planet Cake in Sydney.  At the time she said she was having trouble with our icing sugar as the American brand she was used to using was so much finer than our best which was the CSR pure icing sugar.  She was not happy with the sugar paste she made with the CSR as it was too coarse.  BTW Jacqueline was lovely, really enjoyed the demo.

lili2308 Posted 2 May 2016 , 1:32am
post #18 of 25

I have read that in the US, you can see on the packet of icing sugar the refinement of the sugar, like x10.
In Australia, this doesn't seem even close to what we have.

kakeladi Posted 2 May 2016 , 3:16am
post #19 of 25

Run it through a blender or food processor.  I find that easier than sifting.

lili2308 Posted 2 May 2016 , 3:24am
post #20 of 25

Someone suggested that if you put icing sugar through a blender, it becomes all hot and clumpy

BakerBlackCat Posted 2 May 2016 , 4:16am
post #21 of 25

I have a coffee grinder dedicated for vanilla beans & sugar.  Working in fairly small amounts, I pulse the sugar a few times, and it becomes nice & powdery.  Would that help?

bubs1stbirthday Posted 3 May 2016 , 5:06am
post #22 of 25

The time needed to remove the lumps from icing sugar would be minimal as opposed to the time needed to make the sugar finer so I can't imagine the processor would have time to heat up and clump the sugar when removing the lumps :-) and I imagine it would be far easier than hand sifting.

Nana52 Posted 3 May 2016 , 9:16am
post #23 of 25

I always run my sugar in the blender/processor prior to making SMBC and it has never clumped on me.  Try it.  

kakeladi Posted 3 May 2016 , 4:24pm
post #24 of 25

Remember folks the OP is in Australia and their sugar is different than what we get here in the US.  I'd forgotten that using a blender/processor had been mentioned before and someone replied about it causing the sugar to lump - sorry.   I still think I would try it - maybe just 10-30 seconds to see if it helps.   As bubs1stb/day said can't imagine the processor heating up enough to clump the sugar.

lili2308 Posted 4 May 2016 , 5:43am
post #25 of 25

I have seen some recipes of swiss meringue BC.
Apparently it is a bit easier than IMBC.
I think going with a meringue based BC is the way to go anyway. I can't get passed how grainy the icing sugar is because it is the way it is refined in Australia.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%