Gritty, Grainy Buttercream!!

Baking By MsTonyasCakes Updated 12 Mar 2013 , 9:24am by Babbo

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MsTonyasCakes Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 3:20pm
post #1 of 19

Somebody PLEASE help!! I've never had my buttercream turn out grainy before! I've had 2 batches now that are horrible! They don't even color smoothly. Sometimes I get busy and leave the mixer going, could it be that I'm over-mixing? Is there any way to fix it now?

Thanks SO much guys!

18 replies
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indydebi Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 3:34pm
post #2 of 19

I use a crisco buttercream recipe and to me there is no such thing as overbeating your icing. The longer I run my mixer, the smoother it gets.

Are you using a different shortening? Is it old? What kind of sugar?

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mjjandz Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 19

I made a buttercream I found on another web site, and it said to beat it for awhile but I found the more I beat it the grainier it got. I will not use that one again

I use butter and crisco.

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MsTonyasCakes Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 6:10pm
post #4 of 19

I'm actually making this at work in a huge quantity, I'm thinking that may be part of it. I use 8lb Crisco, 14 lb powdered sugar, 1/4 cup vanilla, 1/8 cup butter flavor and water to thin.

That's actually 4X my own recipe (I also use 1/2 butter, 1/2 crisco at home, but it's not holding up in the heat here so I had to adjust). I tried making my same exact recipe to see if it's bad ingredients and it turned out GREAT. I think I'll try doubling my recipe now and see if that's any better.

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qtcakes Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 8:24pm
post #5 of 19

ive had this happen to me too. it always seemed to happen when i used a certain powder sugar from sams club. the bakers choice.i think thats what its called. i dont believe its the mixing too long or i would have grainy icing all the time. and bigger batches need to be mixed longer.

so my thought is the quality of the sugar??

anybody else???

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kelleym Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 9:06pm
post #6 of 19

What brand powdered sugar did you use? The only time I've had the "grainy buttercream" disaster was when I used Target's brand of powdered sugar. Someone here said that some of those off-brands may use beet sugar instead of cane sugar? Whatever it is, it is HORRIBLE for both buttercream and MMF.

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qtcakes Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 19

normally i use c&h sugar. its 100% and no beet sugar. but ive tried a local brand out here at a sunshine food store and its the finest sugar ive ever seen, i really love how it turns out for buttercream. this is a small chain and it cost more then wally world. but its worth it. i believe the sugar is part of the..nash finch...franchise. i will double check this. i guess im trying to say its..our family brand..i will check to be sure next time i get some.

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gateaux Posted 6 Apr 2007 , 10:24pm
post #8 of 19

I only purchase C&H and I found that the 2lb bags are the best.
I purchased a C&H from Costco once and I had to sift the sugar 4 times to get the clumps out, 10lb bags never again!
Also if it's humid and the sugar somehow picked up humidity that might be part of the problem.
My BC recipe calls for Egg White and the last 3 times I made it I got these little things in my icing, I just realized it's probably a bad batch I will try to sift it or else it's gone!

Good luck with the smaller batches.

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Kitagrl Posted 7 Apr 2007 , 2:32am
post #9 of 19

My half butter half shortening recipe seems to seperate if I overmix it... icon_confused.gif

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lu9129 Posted 7 Apr 2007 , 2:47am
post #10 of 19

I always use C&H powdered sugar. My daughter got me some cheap brand and I made a batch for the little ducks I made for Easter. It required 3 little flowers and they look horrible. I swear by C&H.


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mconrey Posted 7 Apr 2007 , 2:53am
post #11 of 19

Grainy buttercream is typically due to poor quality powdered sugar. You really do need to use "the good stuff." I also use C&H or sometimes I use the Vons/Safeway brand. Both work great for me. I once used the Target brand and it tasted like I was eating sand! Make sure you are getting 100% pure cane sugar.

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Kitagrl Posted 7 Apr 2007 , 2:57am
post #12 of 19

I use the big 7 lb Dominos bag from Sam's.

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gateaux Posted 7 Apr 2007 , 3:17pm
post #13 of 19

I know the content of corn starch in the Icing Sugar makes a difference, apparently there is less in C&H. I am just wondering if there is a difference because of the humidity from where we all live that make a difference so less humidity needs less cornstarch, but more humidity needs more?? Any chemists out there?

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CherylAnn Posted 8 Apr 2007 , 7:49am
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KrisD13 Posted 8 Apr 2007 , 8:06am
post #15 of 19

I just had something similar happen to me. I decided to try icing sugar from a bulk store. You buy however much you need. I got about 4 pounds. Made the buttercream.....grainy. Made some gumpaste......clumps like you wouldn't believe! AND I sifted before each of those!

Needless to say, the rest went into the garbage. Used my usual Roger's brand and, VOILA! no problems. icon_biggrin.gif

I guess there is something to say about sticking with the good stuff and the stuff you know. icon_biggrin.gif

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suzmazza Posted 8 Apr 2007 , 6:35pm
post #16 of 19

Bought a 10lb bag of powdered sugar from Sams club, and found that I had to actually cut back on the cups of sugar needed. I don't know if its because it is cheap sugar, but I'm pretty sure I know the grainy texture you are talking about. It didn't get any smoother after beating it for 12 minutes in a kitchenaid stand mixer. I only used that sugar for my class icing, and haven't used it since. I now just buy many small bags from the regular grocery store. Their store brand is probably better than then brand name. The longer you beat it the better it gets!!!

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Niki11784 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 7:16pm
post #17 of 19

I need help ASAP! Is there a way to FIX it after it comes out grainy???

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lvtig1 Posted 12 Mar 2013 , 3:37am
post #18 of 19

I was hoping you got a reply, since I am in the same boat.  Grainy!  I am making my first wedding cake for Saturday and already made 3 batches of icing and they are all grainy.  I used C and H in a 4 lb bag.  I might try sifting it tomorrow when I make more batches.   Any other ideas?  Can I fix the 3 batches I already made?  It does taste wonderful, so if the graininess continues, I guess I will go with a 'rough' look on the wedding cake. :(

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Babbo Posted 12 Mar 2013 , 9:24am
post #19 of 19

I have never heard of this before?

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