Why Does My Buttercream Curdle When I Colour It ??

Baking By strathmore Updated 2 May 2010 , 3:13am by erinalicia

strathmore Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
strathmore Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 9:51pm
post #1 of 9

Hi this is my first time posting on this site so I am a CC v i r g i n and it happens to be in the disasters forum. Anyway I did my first BC cake last night and when I coloured the BC it was fine at first but then it curdles and separates and gets even worse in the bag as I am piping. I was doing a basketweave and by the end it was pretty much blended in and would fall off. Was in the fridge overnight and firmed up - told hubby it would be ok to eat but keep chilled. Anyway the recipe is crusting 1/4c butter, 1/4c crisco, 4cups icing sugar, 2tbsp milk. I used Wiltons ivory and a touch chefmaster dark brown mixed into mabye 1/2 tsp boiling water to dissolve it as othewise I end up with blobs of colour. So next I just used straight colour for dark brown and it still curdled. I will try to attach a picture - I did not take one of the back where it was worst but you can still see the curdling. I am having trouble loading the picture but any advice before I can get it done appreciated.

8 replies
Kiddiekakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Kiddiekakes Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 9:56pm
post #2 of 9

only thing I can think of is your milk or butter was bad....Try water instead of milk and new butter.

ziggytarheel Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ziggytarheel Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 10:14pm
post #3 of 9

Two suggestions:
1. Beat your fat (butter or shortening) for quite a while. Sometimes you can see little "grains" of your fat because they haven't been thoroughly pulverized.
2. After step one, be sure your liquid is thoroughly incorporated.

I've found those two things to take care of this issue. Hope this helps!

tmac670 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
tmac670 Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 9

What is the consistency of your icing? It sounds like it could be too thin.

TexasSugar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TexasSugar Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:01pm
post #5 of 9

I'm gonna go with too thin too.

I've seen this happen with dark colors and I think the amount of dark coloring you add throws off the balance of liquid in the ratio. Since you didn't use dark colors I'm thinking maybe it was too much liquid.

lardbutt Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
lardbutt Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:15pm
post #6 of 9

This is what started happening to my icing when Crisco first removed the trans fat from the shortening. (There are many, many threads on that issue)...IF, that is the case, I would reccomend adding a packet of Dream Whip (found on the pudding/jello isle, usually on the top shelf). This took care of the issue for me.

On a side note, I beat the heck out of my butter/ shortening in the beginning!

strathmore Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
strathmore Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 9:25pm
post #7 of 9

Thanks I think its the consistency also. Also it was Chefade as the shortening - not sure what the high ratio situation is that you mentioned but I will just keep playing.

strathmore Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
strathmore Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:26am
post #8 of 9

Ok so have uploaded photos on my profile now - please be gentle !!! icon_redface.gif

erinalicia Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
erinalicia Posted 2 May 2010 , 3:13am
post #9 of 9

This used to happen to me as well, especially with darker colors. I increased the amount of time that I beat the fats and that has definitely helped. I also use heavy cream as my liquid which I think helps as well.

If the separation is happening a lot when you are piping, it might be caused by the heat of your hands. I have "hot" hands and this still happens to me so I really try not to do a lot of detailed piping, but when I have to I work with 2 bags... one I keep in the fridge while I work with the other and just switch them out every so often.

Quote by @%username% on %date%