`grainy' Icing...

Baking By AlexandraJoe Updated 3 Jul 2011 , 4:40pm by rocketmom1985

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AlexandraJoe Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 2:57pm
post #1 of 5

Hello - I'm new to this forum and new to cake decorating (I mean VERY new!). I started becoming interested in cake decorating just before my daughter turned one, and I spent weeks thinking, planning and obsessing over it! I have to say I was really very proud of it and likewise was very proud of my son's first birthday cake. (My daughter's second birthday cake was a different story but we won't go there ... lol).

Anyway, to cut a long story short my difficulties with icing (or frosting I think you call it in America) began with that first birthday cake.

In a nutshell, I have difficulty with colouring. If I add enough food colouring to get the colour I want, my icing tends to go a little grainy and seems to look as though it is separating, if that makes sense. If I then solve the problem by adding more icing sugar, the texture is lovely again but then the colour fades a lot.

How do I overcome this problem? (And I apologise in advance if this has been asked before - I wasn't sure which search terms to enter to check).

Thanking you in advance icon_smile.gif

4 replies
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sharon24 Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 3:18pm
post #2 of 5

Hi are you using regular liquid colouring from the supermarket or the specialist gel/paste ones from a cake decorating shop?
The later have a more intense colour so you need less and it is less likely to affect the consistancy of your icing.

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The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 3:24pm
post #3 of 5

My icing used to be grainy then I stopped using meringue powder in my buttercream. My icing used to separate and fall off the cake, then I started using high-ration shortening. The high-ratio shortening will make your buttercream amazing! As for colours, make sure you're using gel colours. Wilton red and black are not the greatest. If you want red or black, use Americolor colours! Good luck!

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AlexandraJoe Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 3:37pm
post #4 of 5

Thank you!

I am just using supermarket food colouring - and I did suspect that was the issue. You get what you pay for I guess!

I'm Australian so I don't know if I can get the brand that you mention?

Also (and please forgive my ignorance) but what is shortening?


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rocketmom1985 Posted 3 Jul 2011 , 4:40pm
post #5 of 5

I once made that huge recipe of sugar shack's wonderful buttercream and it was grainy...two causes I determined, one, it was generic powdered sugar, and two, I didn't sift it. Boy, did I learn my lesson. I know that others may disagree and have great success with generic stuff or off brand stuff from a place like Aldi's and most don't sift the ps. I now only purchase pure cane ps and I aways sift. It is a pia and I look like the pillsbury dough boy cause I cannot be a neat baker even if my life depended on it. Just my two cents. thumbs_up.gif

High ratio shortening is by far superior for many bakers, and I have found a big difference when I use it. I can't justify the cost as I have to have it shipped to me in south Texas as I can't find it locally. As a hobby baker, I use Crisco and it is just fine. Shortening is solid veggie oil, and for the life of me can't remember what it is called in Australia. I'll think of it as soon as I try to go to sleep tonight tho! icon_razz.gif

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