White Spots In Buttercream Icing?

Decorating By Mish22 Updated 15 Sep 2005 , 10:06am by vitade

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Mish22 Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:10pm
post #1 of 14

Hi All,

I am very new to cake decorating and last night I put a crumb coat on my cake and this morning it has white spots on it icon_surprised.gif (the frosting color is light blue). I was told in class this could be from old shortening but I just bought it & have only used it with this batch of icing. I am using the Walmart brand....should I have used Crisco instead? I followed the Wilton recipe exactly- except for the meringue powder....I put a dash of salt in...

Any help or ideas are very much appreciated!!!!! Thanks so much!

Michelle icon_smile.gif

13 replies
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stephanie214 Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:27pm
post #2 of 14

Hi Michelle,

This happens to me sometimes...don't worry, it will leave when you rebeat the icing to use again.

I'm not for sure what causes this, but I've noticed that it only happens with certain colors.

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charman Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:30pm
post #3 of 14

I've had the same problem...I've been told several reasons this could happen...
1. Didn't mix the color well enough
2. Didn't sift the 10x sugar...it is sugar clumps.
3. Too much humidity.

So I now mix and mix, sift and sift, and on occasion I have still gotten the little white spots. Very frustrating when you get a project finished, and let it dry overnight to wake up the next more to "SPOT!"...eerrrr! icon_cry.gif It's enough to make you want to cry...in fact, I have once.

Maybe someone else will have ideas. In regards to the shortening...I don't think that is it, but I have been told not to use anything but Crisco...however, if you get the same results...go for it. To each their own I always say! Anxious to see what other responses there will be on this one. icon_rolleyes.gif Hmmm...

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bubblezmom Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:30pm
post #4 of 14

pwd sugar clumps? taste one of the white spots to find out what it is.

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mamafrogcakes Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:33pm
post #5 of 14

I don't think they are sugar clumps. I've always heard and believe that they are from humidity and making not mixing well or salt or water reactions. I tend to believe the water b/c once after I had a batch of beautifully colored icing I add a tiny bit of water to then some and POOF, the spots appeared?! It could also be the salt.

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tripletmom Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:35pm
post #6 of 14

I have seen this mentioned in another thread and it was decided that it was the salt. Apparantly the salt should be well dissolved in the liquid that you are putting in your icing recipe.

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charman Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:40pm
post #7 of 14

That's interesting...the Wilton recipe says to sift it into the dry ingredients...do you think it would work to put it in with the water, vanilla and crisco part instead...that way, maybe it will dissolve better? Just a thought. I hadn't heard that it was salt...I do the recipe the same everytime, and have mostly noticed it on pinks, blues and sometimes purple dyes.


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tripletmom Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 12:48pm
post #8 of 14

I use salted butter so I have never run into this problem however others do suggest putting the salt into the water (or milk) and letting it dissolve there. Can't hurt to try it out I guess...

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Mish22 Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 1:04pm
post #9 of 14

Wow- great ideas! Thank you all so much for sharing!!!!! I truly appreciate it! I will go home tonight & re-mix my icing for the final coat....hopefully it will be ok. Also....I live in South Carolina so maybe it is humidity? We have a de-humidifer in our kitchen to suck the water out of the air...I may need to turn it to full blast!

Thanks again!!!!!

Michelle icon_smile.gif

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Jennz818 Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 1:11pm
post #10 of 14

I've gotten spots too...very very frustrating but I've been lucky that it hasn't happened once it's on my cake.
I had heard that it is the salt so what I do is put my crisco, water, vanilla in the KA and also my salt so it will dissolve better....haven't had any problems since but it could just be a coincidence.
The first time it happened I was making green and it looked so nasty I had to take a picture....

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JennT Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 4:18pm
post #11 of 14

This happened to me once too....but it wasn't the sugar or the salt that was the culprit...it was the butter. I had sat my butter out on the counter earlier in the day to soften, but as I got ready to mix it I noticed it was still somewhat firm in the middle of the stick of butter. I didn't have time to wait for it to soften more, and as most of it was already soft I was afraid to nuke it on defrost for fear of the rest of it melting....so I just went ahead and mixed it up and then colored it. As I was putting on the crumb coat, I noticed the spots...took a fork and messed around with it and saw that it was the butter!! Good thing it was only the crumb coat!! lol icon_smile.gif

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infields Posted 15 Sep 2005 , 4:06am
post #12 of 14

Did you use PURE CANE SUGAR or a generic powdered sugar? The Wilton recipe actually calls for pure cane sugar because beet sugar or a dextrose substitute will break down, separate and clump up after it sits for a while. It is especially noticable with blue and purple. I had that happen a few times when I bought generic sugar. It lumped up right in my bag and I couldn't even get it through the tips. I've never had it separate with the pure cane, even without sifting. Good Luck.

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alimonkey Posted 15 Sep 2005 , 4:10am
post #13 of 14

My vote is salt, too. I don't worry about dissolving it in the liquid, but I use popcorn salt, which is a much finer grain, and haven't had any problems with it.


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vitade Posted 15 Sep 2005 , 10:06am
post #14 of 14

Okay, I never had this problem till I moved and now have well water. I didn't think about it till after it happened to me a few times and when I started thinking about it,realized that it was the only thing that had changed in my recipe. THEREFORE, I suggest if using water as your liquid, use bottled water and just as a safety net, disolve your salt in it before adding to icing. I have since done this and have had no problems.


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