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Gritty Buttercream

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
It seems that no matter how long I mix my buttercream icing, it is still gritty. The icing tastes creamy, but when it touches my teeth, I feel the grit. My husband says I'm nuts, he can't taste any grit.

I always sift my powdered sugar before mixing, but is there anything else I can do? I use a Kitchen Aid mixer and I mix for a long time!

I've tried many recipes and they all feel gritty to me.

Anyone else have sensitive teeth and a non-gritty recipe?
post #2 of 9
I have noticed a difference in the brand of powdered sugar that I use. I have used the store brand before & I noticed the grit feel but when using the Dixie Crystals brand I don't notice it at all. icon_rolleyes.gif
post #3 of 9
I have the same issue as you do. I have found that pretty much any buttercream with powdered sugar has the "gritty" taste to me.

If you try an Italian or Swiss meringue buttercream, you will get a very smooth texture with no grit, but it usually has a strong butter flavor to it and it does not do well in the heat. I usually use the cakelove recipe.

The Whimsical Bake House buttercream is smooth (with no grit) but I find that it leaves a greasy feel in my mouth. It does use powdered sugar, but you add a cup of boiling water which negates the gritty feel (I think).
http://www.whimsicalbakehouse.com/bake/bake_detail_house_buttercream.html

What I usually end up doing is mixing the whimsical bake house recipe with a typical American buttercream (like Indy Debby's). The greasy feeling and grit usually cancel out. And most people like it a lot.


My theory is that while sifting and mixing a long time does help with the gritty issue, the only way to completely avoid it is to heat the sugar so it "melds" with the other ingredients instead of just being suspended in them.

Hope this helps!
post #4 of 9
I make sure to buy powdered sugar that is labeled as pure cane sugar. I know Domino brand is labeled as such and that's readily available in my area.

The only time I've ever had an issue with gritty buttercream is when I used a store brand PS. Now, I can't say for certain either way, but I *suspect* that it may have been beet sugar and that's what caused the grittiness.

Just to be safe I make sure to only use "pure cane sugar" in my buttercream now.
post #5 of 9
I noticed recently that my old edition of Joy of Cooking says that heating your buttercream icing will cancel out the "cornstarch taste" if you are sensitive to that. I wonder if it's really more a matter of feel than taste, and something that not everyone notices. (Kind of like how for some people cilantro tastes like soap, while for others it is a perfectly normal-tasting herb.)

I certainly don't think BC is gritty at all, and I never bother with sifting. I do prefer cane sugar, and some store brands ARE all cane sugar. (Others use different combinations of cane and beet sugar in different production batches, so if the label does not specify cane sugar, you don't know whether it is or not.) But even when I've used "unknown" PS I don't feel grit. Only when I've had a cooked-frosting failure and end up with undissolved granulated sugar in the mix. icon_smile.gif So there must be a personal sensitivity factor to it too.

Adding boiling water to your PS before beating in the butter/shortening is an interesting idea...never heard of that before but I can see how it would help.
post #6 of 9
I had that same problem last week. I let mine sit in the refrigerator a few days (didn't need it right away). I added a package of Dream Whip, and half a block of cream cheese and re-whipped. It came out delicious and smooth!!! I think the Dream Whip alone would have worked, but i needed a little cream cheese icing for a cake.
post #7 of 9
Heat whatever liquid you add to your shortening and p. sugar. Works well!
post #8 of 9
I use IndyDebi's recipe and it's smooth as silk....AFTER I've beaten the shortening for 20 mins then, while still beating, add the other ingredients and then beat ANOTHER 20 mins..then it's perfectly smooth. It seems to take forever but the outcome is worth it.

Cat
post #9 of 9
Has anyone ever made their own PS in a food processor? I had this problem last weekend with Dixie Crystals brand. :'[

I hate that I use the same brand over and over and sometimes I just get a weirdo bag that makes my BC grainy!

I tried everything, mixed longgggg time, heated liquid, bleh it tasted like eating fine sand.
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