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Colouring buttercream

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I keep having a problem when I add colouring to my buttercream. The colour separates and it looks grainy. I am from the UK and I only use butter and icing sugar. I have used liquids, gels and paste colours and they all separate :( can someone please tell me what i'm doing wrong? Thanks!


post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 21

You may want to post your icing recipe so people can help. 

post #4 of 21

Maybe try a different brand of icing sugar?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

as said above I only use butter and icing sugar and just keep adding it until it tastes good. The picture below is what the icing looks like when I mix in colouring, and no matter how much i mix it is doesnt change.



post #6 of 21
You need to add more icing sugar I would say. You need a 2:1 if you are using just sugar and butter. I personally prefer Tate and Lyle icing sugar over silver spoon.
post #7 of 21
Also just to check you are using proper butter aren't you? Not marg or the spreadable butters as they could also cause this.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

I currently use tesco's own butter it says it's 'perfect for cakes' so I wonder if this might be causing it... which butter do you use? I will have to try a different icing sugar too as I use silver spoon. Thanks for your help!

post #9 of 21
I always use Willow butter for my buttercream.
post #10 of 21
Lilmiss, why dont you use the UK thread on here?
post #11 of 21
I would try adding more icing sugar. Also, what kind of food colouring are you using?
post #12 of 21

I have used unsalted butter from a few supermarkets and never had a problem with any off them, is it butter you are using or vegetable fat which also comes in a block but is half the price and does say on the packet good for baking. I mostly get the aldi unsalted butter for 99p a block and use tate and lyle icing sugar. Make sure your butter has been out of the fridge and has softened and do not over beat as that can cause it to split.

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

I didn't know there was a UK thread... how do I get to that? I'm new to this!


I have used liquid colourings from supermarkets and PME and have paste colours also from PME, all having the same effect so I don't think that the colouring is causing the problem.


Is it better to use a block butter rather than a tub? the one I use now is in a tub and is butter not vegetable fat. 


Thanks all!

post #14 of 21

I have always used block butter I don't think the tub one is the same. I talk on the uk thread it is called A thread for uk bakers just go to forums tab then cupcakes and you will find it listed there or you could go to my profile and It will be there under threads I have posted in if that is easier for you. there a good bunch and very friendly and helpful.

post #15 of 21
If it's from a tub the I would bet that it has veg oil added to it to soften it a bit. You need to use block butter really. If I want the best buttercream I use president butter. But as a general I use sainsbury own block butter and it's fine no matter what colour I chuck at it. Try to use paste colours over liquid though as the liquid can soften the buttercream if a lot us added.
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