Baking By StephW Updated 30 May 2010 , 12:30am by Kitagrl

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StephW Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:08pm
post #1 of 9

On Wednesday night I was making cupcakes for a function at my son's school on Thursday. I made swiss meringue buttercream to frost them and I wanted to frost half with white bc and top with blue sugar and do the other half with blue bc and white sugar.

Well..... I could not for the life of me get the bc to turn blue. I was using americolors... electric blue at first... and just ended up with this sickly light grey color. So I added royal blue.... and a touch of super black (to try to make it darker) and I ended up with a light violet color. I put in a lot of blue and it made no difference. So I finally gave up and just used the white bc on all the cupcakes, and I put the other bc in the fridge to use for practice this weekend.

So while I'm wondering what is wrong with me that I can't achieve a royal or navy blue to save my life I looked at the bc last night - and there are big spots of a medium blue all over the bc! After I took this pic I kind of stirred the bc (it's cold so didnt stir well) and saw that there was a lot of blue running underneath though you can still clearly see the light violet too.

Now I know that some colors get darker over time... but this is crazy! Anyone had this issue and know how to fix it?

8 replies
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sweetiesbykim Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 9

I only use SMBC, and also found it doesn't take dark color well. I've only successfully done light pastels, but plan on experimenting with it soon. I've wondered if powdered color/candy color works if added to the sugar/egg white mix before heating?

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Joyfull4444 Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:30pm
post #3 of 9

All I can think of is that it might be because your icing is all butter. Anytime I use all butter, I can't get a true colour. But, I don't make swiss meringue, just regular buttercream.

Hopefully someone else who does, will have a better answer.

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luvbuttercream Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:31pm
post #4 of 9

I have recently had the same problems I use SMBC frequently and it does not take dark colors. I tried to do a red last weekend and ended up pink after a whole bottle of gel coloring. I also wanted a nice blue for a swimming cake I just did and I ended up with gray I am not sure if it is the egg whites that stop it from taking color or what but I have found I unfortunately need to use good old American Butter-cream which is too sweet. But Oh well I guess some sacrifices need to be made to get the right effect.

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metria Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:38pm
post #5 of 9

i learned after much trial and error to never add black in order to reach my target dark color ... it just makes it ugly gray.

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sweetiesbykim Posted 29 May 2010 , 4:53pm
post #6 of 9

I think the powdered sugar is what absorbs gel color, so without that, it's like mixing water and oil. Does anyone agree? I've heard several on CC that have no problem coloring their meringue buttercreams, so I guess we'll have to hear their input. icon_smile.gif

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StephW Posted 29 May 2010 , 11:47pm
post #7 of 9

Thanks for the replies ladies. I certainly wish I understood the science behind this better. Where is Alton when you need him???

If it's true that you can't get dark colors with the SMBC, that would be understandable except why didn't I at least get a light blue instead of the violet color? I never had anything resembling blue until after the icing sat in the fridge for a while.

Anyone else have success coloring the SMBC that could help?

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noahsmummy Posted 29 May 2010 , 11:58pm
post #8 of 9

i had the opposite happen to me, mind you mine was with cake batter, got the batter a really pretty violet, baked it in the oven.. and it came out blue =/ wasnt a happy chappy, seeing as this is for a little girls pink and purple themed birthday cake.,..

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Kitagrl Posted 30 May 2010 , 12:30am
post #9 of 9

Yeah I think its harder to color the non crusting buttercreams.

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