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What causes this...?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I used a crusting buttercream with shortening and butter. I notice some "lighter/whiter" spots on my cakes when I have colored the buttercream. Image

If you look above Phineas and Ferb in this photo, you may see what I am talking about. What causes this? Is it the butter? Is it my cheapo shortening? No one says anything about it, but it bothers me.
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ugh.. course the image doesn't show up...here's the link...

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2311705/2311713/birthday-cake-photos

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2311705/2311713/birthday-cake-photos
post #3 of 28
I use the 'cheapo shortening' too b/c of the transfat content; but I'm thinking that it may be the color you're using...what type do you use? gel, paste, powder?
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post #4 of 28
It seems like it might be the recipe do you mind posting it?
Mommy1st Cake Decorator 2nd.........
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post #5 of 28
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
I used Americolor to tint.

My recipe is the Mock SugarShack Recipe:

2 cups Shortening (it contains 2.5 g TransFat per TB)
2 cups butter (Land o' Lakes)
3-4 TB flavoring (vanilla and Lorann Princess Emulsion)
1/3 c coffee creamer
1/3 c boiling water
1 tsp salt
4 lbs powdered sugar
post #7 of 28
Good find icer101...that make sense!!
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatherly30

I used Americolor to tint.

My recipe is the Mock SugarShack Recipe:

2 cups Shortening (it contains 2.5 g TransFat per TB)
2 cups butter (Land o' Lakes)
3-4 TB flavoring (vanilla and Lorann Princess Emulsion)
1/3 c coffee creamer
1/3 c boiling water
1 tsp salt
4 lbs powdered sugar




From what you have in the recipe, I believe it was the salt, sometimes when it is not fully disolved and than color is added you get spots in the color. Just my guess.

So little time, so many ideas
 

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post #9 of 28
There is NO real answer to your ? icon_sad.gif It has been kicked around for yrs already.
Please read, read, read all you can find.
When I was teaching Wilton classes this came up w/several of my students and I asked on here (yrs ago!) and tried all the suggestions. We 1st thought it might be the minerals in the local water supply as one of the students lived where the water was very hard - very bad. However, nothing we tried really solved the problem.
It could be any of what was mentioned in that link above.
I tend to think it mostly has to do w/not mixing/creaming the ingredients well.
It's interesting that over my 30+ yrs I don't remember it ever happening to me.
post #10 of 28
Harrumph. My answer to every buttercream question is probably always going to be "cold process buttercream, the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before I was born." icon_wink.gif

It's cheap, it's easy to mix by hand, it takes additions and modifications well, and I've never heard of that stuff developing light spots.

(The only light spots I see in the picture are in the deep cyan surface behind the figures, just over their heads. Is that what we're talking about? Because they're the only ones I see, and if I weren't looking for light spots, I never would have noticed them.)

James H. H. Lampert
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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

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post #11 of 28
Remember the old saying "oil and water don't mix" , well it's the same with icing. Use milk for your liquid in your colored icing and the spotting will disappear like magic.
post #12 of 28
Aha! I thought water seemed an odd ingredient for buttercream!

James H. H. Lampert
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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl

Aha! I thought water seemed an odd ingredient for buttercream!



I always use milk with my buttercream and it is comes out great, sometimes use flavored creamers too.

So little time, so many ideas
 

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post #14 of 28
And the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before I was born specifically calls for (1) milk, and (2) salted butter.

My own maple variation calls for maple syrup in place of the milk (pref. Vermont Grade B, for its robustness of flavor; I generally prefer a 50/50 mix of "Fancy" and "A Medium" for table use), but then again, I don't generally put deep tints in that stuff; the maple (and a dash of cinnamon, if I remember right) provide enough color.

James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #15 of 28
I just got on here to ask this same exact question!! I realized that when I make a cake that has a lot of food color; white spots appear. I make a cake, but a few hours later it's covered with spots! I'm not sure if it's just certain colors. I was very happy to read the replies to this because I believe it's a hard water problem! I have a reverse osmosis water filter in the house, so I didn't have trouble until I started baking outside in the cake shop that my dh built a few years ago. I usually just use regular tap water out there. Our water is so hard, it is off the charts.

Yes, I use water in my icing recipe, I use a good hi-ratio shortening, I sift the powdered sugar, I thoroughly whip the hi ratio, mix in the butter very well, and I use high quality gel food color.
Thank you for this question; I really think it's the hard water. Do you have hard water??
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