Buttercream And Color Questions

Decorating By brenda549 Updated 13 Jul 2010 , 12:44am by brenda549

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brenda549 Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 12:15am
post #1 of 7

I actually have a few questions.

1. My buttercream is not taking color like it used to. Since last November, my colors are not mixing correctly with the buttercream. I have done the searches on here and taken some of the advice of others: added more sugar, use more crisco, sift the sugar more, use a different brand of color, etc. Regardless of what I do my colors are not mixing correctly. Could this be a change in the manufacturers formulas of an ingredient I use? Here are the ingredients I use (depending on the recipe) Dixie Crystals or Publix PS, Land of Lakes butter, Publix milk, Crisco, Publix Cream Cheese, Wilton Meringue powder, Dream Whip, Hershey's Cocoa, Ghirrardelli chocolates. Once again, I do not use them all in one recipe. These are just my staple ingredients I keep on hand for whatever flavors I need and whatever the temperature at the event will be. I typically use 2-3 lbs of PS for every 1-1.5 cups of crisco/butter/cream cheese combo. Below are pictures to show my latest color mishap.

2. How do you get red buttercream? I can never get buttercream to turn red. It is either pink or coral. I also have trouble with black buttercream.

I have attached pictures to show the separating colors and also my pink (red) buttercream. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!

6 replies
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Mickeebabe Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 1:33am
post #2 of 7

Mine does the same thing sometimes and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I put in too much color in them. ? I'm not sure buy I thank you for asking this question. I hope someone here can help.

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hollys_hobby Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 2:01am
post #3 of 7

hmmm, not exactly sure why, but here is something I have learned.
Crisco no longer has trans fat in it, thus using it for buttercream doesn't give the same results as when you use a shortening with the trans fat. I have found that some store brand shortenings still have transfat, so I use those, but if you have access to High-ratio shortening, you might want to try that.
For black icing, I add cocoa powder, or start with chocolate buttercream before adding the black food coloring.
HTH icon_smile.gif

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Cindy619 Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 3:07am
post #4 of 7

I've found the best way to achieve a real deep red is to start with a chocolate buttercream. It gives a great base and keeps the red from looking coral or pink. I also find that you don't have to use nearly as much coloring, so it doesn't taste bitter and keeps your mouth from staining icon_wink.gif This is the technique I used on the roses in the picture below - oh, and I like to use Wilton's Christmas Red.

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TexasSugar Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 2:09pm
post #5 of 7

Are you having trouble getting the deeper colors when you use the cream cheese or just with any of the ingredients?

For Red and Black it just takes alot of color, alot more than some expect. Buttercream also gets darker over time, so it is best when wanting dark colors to start the night before. For black you'd get it to a dark gray and it should dark up some more. I also avoid doing large batches of dark colors. I have no problem getting a half of a cup or a cup of red using Wilton's colors.

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indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 3:12pm
post #6 of 7

Are you using a water-based color? The photos look like the color didnt' blend with the fat in the icing .... it looks like the color is sitting on or beside the fat. Water and oil (fat) don't mix, or don't mix well.

I know I've had my icing come out like this, but it's been so long ago, I can't remember what I used or what I did. icon_redface.gif

I do know that I've not had this result once I switched to paste colors.

My local cake supply store sells premade red and black buttercream and I buy it. Great for detail work or small areas.

When I want to make red roses, I'll make the BC a couple of days ahead of time, use LOTS of red paste. With the day or two to let it sit, the roses turn out ok.

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brenda549 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 12:44am
post #7 of 7

Thanks everyone!

My problems are with and without the cream cheese.

I always try to let it sit out for a while for the colors to darken. I have always used Wilton colors (most available) but it has been happening with the new colors I purchased (not sure what the brand is).

I like the idea of starting with chocolate buttercream, but will also look into the pastes as well.

I will also look for the high ratio shortening. However, Crisco changed to no trans fat before I started decorating, so I am not so sure that is the problem, as my colors blended well up until last November.

Regardless, you guys are great and have given me some things to work with! Thanks bunches!

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