Bubbly Buttercream- Never Smooth When Spread

Decorating By cupcake1234 Updated 22 Jul 2013 , 2:46am by Stitches

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cupcake1234 Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 6:39pm
post #1 of 12

no matter what i do, regardless of the speed of the mixer, the softness of the butter, or the quantity of liquid added, i can NEVER get a smooth buttercream?! everytime i make a buttercream, there is a consistent amount of bubbles which form when spreading onto the cake. an example is shown in photo-g below:

it's been far worse than this before, with tiny pock marks forming consistently as i spread. this is driving me crazy!
a lot of comments surrounding the issue have been making icing covering the paddle...but i don't ever require buttercream in this quantity, nor have the ingredients to do so, so this is not an option!


hope someone can help (-:

11 replies
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bct806 Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 10:20pm
post #2 of 12

It looks like air is trapped in your frosting.Put it in the fridge or the freezer and get it really cold. (15-20 minutes). Then run a spatula under hot water, shake the water off and run it over the cake. Keep doing this until it is all smooth. If that doesn't work you could rough ice instead of trying to make it smooth.

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Norasmom Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 10:31pm
post #3 of 12

Google Sugar Shack's buttercream.  It's awesome.  She uses hi-ratio shortening, I used Crisco and butter (1/2 of each.)  Her secret is to cover the paddle all the way to the top with buttercream when mixing and mix slowly.  It's a large quantity of buttercream, but you can store it and use it for something else later.

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DeniseNH Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 10:43pm
post #4 of 12

Are you using a paddle on your mixer or a wire whisk.  Try the paddle.  After it's mixed, stir it with a spatula.  Apply then put the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Then use the hot knife method or take just a little bit of fresh buttercream on an offset spatula and put just a bit on the first icing to fill in all the uneven areas then put back in the freezer for 15 minutes and follow with a final application of the hot knife method.

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virago Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 10:44pm
post #5 of 12

try using heavy cream as your liquid thinner and run mixer on low

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scrumdiddlycakes Posted 25 Jun 2013 , 11:30pm
post #6 of 12

It's really a beating issue, if you don't want to use the paddle with a large batch, you can also smack it around in the bowl with a big spatula.

It takes some effort, but it's a good way to channel some frustrations, lol. You really have to smack it around though, nothing gentle about it.

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forjenns Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:22am
post #7 of 12

AI have struggled with this same issue. I use to have to make my buttercream days in advance then spend a ton of time working out ( pushing out with my spatula) the air bubbles.

It was suggested to put all my ingredients in my mixer at once. I had been only mixing the butter/shortening & PS then adding the liquid. Since I've been throwing it in all at the same time (I do cream my fats first), I mix only until it is incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until I corporated again the issue has completely gone away.

The other technique that I've seen and it has worked for me(althought I find it changes the flavor ever so slightly) is to mix everything for a long time, longer then you would expect. It goes past the air bubble stage. I would guess I mix an additional 10-15 minutes.

Good luck!

Oh yah and I make smaller batches too.

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cakebloomers Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 5:42pm
post #8 of 12

I make sure to do a crumb coat and chill for 15 minutes. I do the finish coat as smooth as possible, then chill again for 15 minutes. If it isn't as smooth as I'd like, I take a dry soft bounty paper towel an smooth over the cake with my hand or a fondant smoother. Glad to hear it isn't just me that has this issue!

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ellavanilla Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 7:09pm
post #9 of 12

coming in late to say that that is exactly how IMBC goes on, especially the first coat. IMO the key is to put some more BC on and smooth it off. i just keep going around with my bench scraper, adding and smoothing. you can also push the BC against the side of the mixing bowl, running the spatula back and forth to push out some of that air, before scooping it up and putting it on the cake. 


fast forward to 2:50 to see the technique i'm talking about


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AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 7:28pm
post #10 of 12

AWhen any meringue bc is done mixing, turn it to the lowest setting and let it spin slowly for about 5 more minutes. That will work out the bubbles.

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AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 9:36pm
post #11 of 12

AAnd a hot bench scraper used during the final smoothing with fill in any remaining dings and bubbles.

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Stitches Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 2:46am
post #12 of 12

Mine always has a lot of air bubbles. My solution that always works perfectly is I make my frosting the day before I want to use it. Next day I put it in the mixer and it's perfect! The wait time for some reason works perfectly.

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