Grainy Frosting Need Help Asap!!!

Decorating By wgyh Updated 11 Apr 2015 , 5:23pm by Jeannem

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wgyh Posted 10 Apr 2015 , 1:47am
post #1 of 6

Hi everyone,

I'm competing in a state level cupcake competition in 4 days and I need help with my frosting. At the regional competition I knew my frosting was grainy but I am determined to fix it before the state. I originally used just regular shortening and Domino's powdered cane sugar, but now I just tried making my recipe with hi ratio shortening for the first time and the result was still grainy. 


  • 1 cup of butter, made into browned butter, strained, cooled, then brought back to room temperature- I'm assuming it turns out to be about 3/4 cup when I'm done making it.
  • 1/4 cup hi ratio shortening
  • 3-6 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3.5-4 c powdered sugar

I beat the butter and shortening together on high for a few minutes (about 3 min) and then added the maple syrup and vanilla, beat on high for about another minute. Then I added about 3.5 cups of the powdered sugar in 3 additions, and beat on high for about a minute each time and then some more at the end. It was kinda thick so I added probably 2 T of water.

When I tried it, it was grainy, not as much as before, but definitely still grainy. I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my method, my ratios of ingredients, or both. Maybe do I need to use equal amounts of butter and shortening to make the hi ratio shortening of better use? Do I need to beat the shortening for a long time at the beginning? Beat it longer with the butter? Beat the whole frosting longer?

I would greatly appreciate any and all help! Thank you!!

5 replies
erin2345 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
erin2345 Posted 10 Apr 2015 , 2:09am
post #2 of 6

Have you tried a meringue based buttercream?  Those have zero chance of being grainy as the sugar is cooked/melted before butter is added. It is most likely your powdered sugar.  If you buy the cheap brand it will be grainy - not sure if Dominos is cheap or not, but maybe try a higher end sugar.  When I make buttercream with powdered sugar I like to beat the whole thing for about five mins before I use it.  Then I beat it by hand again to get rid of air bubbles.

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julia1812 Posted 10 Apr 2015 , 6:16am
post #3 of 6

I use smbc unless customer demands specifically ambc.

 Definitely would give it a go if I were you...okay a bit late for something new so close to date...but you'll love it!!!

 If you want to stick with ambc, try this: Sift the icing sugar at least 2 times, even 3. And keep beating much much longer in the end after adding the liquid! You can't overbeat it. Keep going for like 10-20mins, beating the hell out of those nasty grains, hahaha...

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remnant3333 Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 12:19pm
post #4 of 6

 Maybe you need to mix it longer.   I buy my confectioners sugar in a two pound bag so normally I just knead the bag to get any lumps out but I have never had to sift it before. Hopefully, the experts here will have the answer you are looking for.  I have not yet tried making the meringue icing yet but I plan on trying that soon.

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lahjeans Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 12:35pm
post #5 of 6

It could be your powdered sugar. What brand do you use and what is the "x" number? What I mean by that is most brands will tell you how fine their sugar is. 10x is the best. Dominos brand goes as low as 4x. This number means how many times it's been processed to get the fine powdered textured. The higher the number the better. In our business, we've used a generic brand with a lower number and our frosting was terrible and grainy. But with the 10x, it's smooth and delicious! Hope this helps!

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Jeannem Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 5:23pm
post #6 of 6

I too think it's the powdered sugar. I too had this problem, then switched to "cane" sugar and life has been great ever since.

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