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Why does my buttercream always have grainy texture?

post #1 of 29
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I have tried multiple buttercream recipes which are almost all the same and they taste good but always have a grainy(if thats a word) texture when i taste it and I always assume it is all the powdered sugar. I have left it mixing for minutes at a time thinking the longer it mixes the smoother it will come out but it doesnt? What am I doing wrong? I even sift the powdered sugar.
Nikki Gonzalez
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Nikki Gonzalez
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post #2 of 29
I feel the same way. I do not like the powdered sugar icings. Check out the discussions on IMBC, SMBC, and french buttercreams. You will like these. They all use granulated sugar that has been melted.
post #3 of 29
Are you using a brand name powder sugar or a generic/store brand. If it is a store brand it could be that the sugar is not made from pure cane sugar, but rather beet sugar. Beet sugar will give you a grainy/gritty texture.

Look at the ingredients, if it says cane or pure cane sugar, then you shouldn't have problem. If it just says sugar, then it is probably beet sugar.
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post #4 of 29
I use Domino's. I just don't like the texture, but I am a minority... it sounds like many people like it.
post #5 of 29
Do you sift your powdered sugar? Maybe sifting it twice may help!
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post #6 of 29
A poor quality shortening can also cause this problem. I tried multiple brands of shortening and powdered sugar before finding a good combination.

Also, if the brand you are using recently changed the look of their label, there's a good chance they changed their formula too. You may have to make adjustments to a recipe that used to work great. The last time my shortening brand did this, my icing started separating and looking (& tasting) grainy. I changed brands and the problem went away.
post #7 of 29
crisco, and now, most store brand shortenings are using 0 trans fats now. That for me was the cause of the grainy texture, not the sugar! (secretly half the time I would not sift at all and still get smooth icing! shh don't tell, the pros might chew me out for that!! LOL) I bought some hi ratio from a kitchen supply store and WOW did it make a difference!! Sounds like its not your sugar, its your shortening, and if you are using an American bc recipe, its going to be that way if you don't use the hi ratio! For me, its actually CHEAPER than the walmart brand when you do price per unit! I buy crisco for like $6 for 3lbs, spent $43 on 50 LBS!!!
post #8 of 29
Ditto. Hi ratio shortening.
post #9 of 29
My secret is to reduce the sugar and add more at the end if needed but if you've gone too far then put some more shortening in and beat for about 3 more minutes. I live in a dry climate and that's what I have blamed it one. (another secret (Dont tell anyone) is I add Chocolate Nestle Quick into my chocolate buttercream. Smooths it right out!
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post #10 of 29
I'm with the others. First, use PURE CANE sugar. Second, use High Ratio Shortening. HUGE difference if you are going for American Buttercream.
post #11 of 29
I still taste it with Domino's and high ratio. I think it's a personal preference. I think it's the powdered sugar. I don't like it on cakes in a glaze too. I can taste it there. I think powdered sugar, with its small granules, still packs a powerful punch of a sweetness blast. Coupled with the fact that the powder is dry may be the issue. Comparatively, I think cocoa powder in frostings makes the same texture. Kind of a stick-to-your tongue dryness even in a moist frosting. Dairy, such as milk, cream cheese, and butter seem to help the texture. Possibly adding a little milk, but not enough to affect the shelf stable status, may help the texture.
post #12 of 29
I find that if your butter or cream cheese is not at the correct temperature it can cause grainyness. I always make sure it is at room temperature now.
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So many recipes, so little time!!
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post #13 of 29
I don't usually have this problem, but last weekend I made 3 double batches of icing, and it came out grainy, and I use Domino and Hi-Ratio shortening. I got on CC to check out some other buttercream icings and was reading the comments on some of them, and some were asking about that 'gritty' texture. Someone responded back to mix the sugar in slowly... It got me to thinking that I did mix my sugar in in amounts that were just about doubled what I usually do because I was in a hurry, so I am thinking that has something to do with it as well as what others have said.
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post #14 of 29
Try getting whatever liquid you are using in your recipe really hot. I either use S. Zambito's or Indydebi's recipe depending on if I have Hi-Ratio or not. I get my water or milk really hot and make sure my coffee creamer or Dream whip is totally dissolved in the liquid before adding it to the ps. Ditto on the double sifting if you still have trouble.
post #15 of 29
Well, I guess I'm in the minority. I can't use anything perishable, so my bc is strictly shortening, ps and flavorings. But - - I use only really hot water for the liquid. Normally I use crisco, but I've used store brand shortening and ps, sifted and not sifted, and I've never had an issue with it tasting grainy. icon_confused.gif Does this mean I'm not doing it right?
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