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why is my dyed buttercream grainy?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Every time I dye buttercream in anything besides pastel it looks grainy. Its not nice and smooth. The colors dont get dark either even with a ton of food coloring (wilton gel) it still looks really light.

Im trying to make red and purple.

ETA: i thought i would put more info after reading some other threads.
I am using the wilton butter cream recipe.
1/2 cup butter (fresh)
1/2 cup shortening (store brand)
1lb 10x sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whole milk

I beat the butter and shortening for quite a while and it was all nice and smooth and thick when I first made it. I dyed it with no taste red and it turned dark pink. I let it sit overnight and it only got a little darker. I tried putting more color in today and it got all grainy.

With the purple i added some blue to the pink and the purple is pastel but even more grainy than the pink.

Please help, i dont want to have to go buy a tube of colored frosting from the store icon_sad.gif
post #2 of 14
i have this exact same problem.. so looking forward to see replies...
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post #3 of 14
When you are trying to achieve a dark color reduce the liquid in your icing- because you have to add so much color that it can change your consistency. Once you get the consistency down- the rest of it is a piece of cake! (sorry I just couldn't help myself)
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post #4 of 14
Try usind Americolor, once I tried it, I never went back to Wilton, you need a lot less colour with Americolor and for darker colours, mix the colours the night before, they darken overnight. You can still add more the next day, if it's not the right shade
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post #5 of 14
maybe you should try a different recipe heres mine

1 cup hi ratio shortning
1tablespoon each Vanilla and butter extract
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
and you can double or triple

i love it works everytime for me
post #6 of 14
To get smooth bc I use hot cream. To get red, it's good to start witha dark pink first then add the red, I've found that easier to get a dark colour that way.
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post #7 of 14
Do you mean grainy or that the icing has separeted out and you have streaky thick looking parts (usually white or light in color) then colored liquid?

When adding color to make dark colors I think it throws off the balance of the liquid in the buttercream, especially when you are working with already soft buttercream. I add in some cornstratch, maybe a teaspoon per cup to my buttercream when I am making dark colors. THis helps absorb the extra liquid and keeps the icing from seperating.

I've had it happen with both Wilton and Americolor colors.
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post #8 of 14
What brand of powdered sugar do you use? I think it's either the sugar or the shortening, is what's causing the problem.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
i was using diamond brand sugar i bought a huge bag at sams club.

It doesnt looked streaked it looks kinda clumpy.
post #10 of 14
Yep. sounds like the icing color changed the consistency too much. Add less liquid next time- get the color you want- then change the consistency.
If you can't be good- be good at it.

Tandy
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If you can't be good- be good at it.

Tandy
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post #11 of 14
its kinda funny almost looks polka dot or curdled... Does anyone think simply adding sugar will help? Because it looks seperated...
post #12 of 14
Add powder sugar or cornstarch to it.
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post #13 of 14
Ive had this same problem and wondered if High ratio shortening would make a difference, because it almost seems like the butter and shortening are separating, anyone know??

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post #14 of 14
I think hi ratio shortening is suppose to help take a lot of color better.

If you are going for darker colors, if you mix them early, and let them sit, you actually will use less coloring. You can cut back on liquids when doing dark colors and you can add more powder sugar/cornstarch to help counter balance the extra liquid from the coloring.
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