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URGENT Please help! I'm afraid I ruined my buttercream :(

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My buttercream was too thin so I added more icing sugar and now isn't smooth but has a kind of patchy texture. Did I completely ruin it or is there some way I can selvage it? Please help! My friend's cake maker backed out of making her wedding cake for this Saturday and I am frantically trying to get it together for her and am stressing majorly because this is a huge hold up. I don't have enough ingredients to make more, and don't have the time or budget to buy and make more. Please tell me there is something I can do! I already tried mixing the heck out of it to see if it was just air bubbles but nothing changed. HELP!!!

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post #2 of 19
It's hard to advice not knowing what type of buttercream recipe you used. If it is with butter/veg. shortening, it might help to cool it in the fridge and then beat again. When you added extra sugar you might have made it sweeter too, so taste it, you might need to beat some butter until fluffy and incorporate it with the already made chilled buttercream.
I hope that helps.
post #3 of 19
What recipe did you use?
post #4 of 19
Looks broken to me which should be salvageable with additional ingredients but we can't say without the recipe. My gut is that there is too much liquid to fat.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses!

I followed a suggestion elsewhere to mix on high for five minutes and then low for five minutes to reincorporate and then get the air out. It ended up MUCH worse, seeming quite separated.. Actually speckled with cocoa and quite gritty texture. Not sure if that's fixable?

I made a second batch which looks like it might have too much air in it? Wish I took a picture! Looks not as bad as the original picture but similar. I am pretty sure I added too much liquid because it was goopy and wouldn't spread well (kept sticking to itself on the spatula instead of staying on the cake) when I tried to crumb coat the cake. If that's what's wrong, is it fixable? Will it ever become smooth again? How do I know what consistency to make it as I am having trouble judging..? I keep thinking its too thick and add more liquid and then I think it looks good but spreads too thin. I'm very frustrated!

I'm going by memory here but I think the recipe is the Wilton chocolate buttercream (though I added coffee instead of water/milk/corn syrup to make it mocha. I think these are the ingredients but I made a triple batch:

1/2 c. Shortening
1/2 c. Butter
3/4 c. Cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
4 c. Icing sugar
3-4 tbsp liquid

I'm not sure exactly how much liquid I added but I think it was somewhere around 10 tbsp for the triple batch, so 3.5ish per batch.

Also, can I add extra cocoa after the fact to make it darker in color and stronger flavor?
post #6 of 19
I think you have too much liquid. Probably only needed about half of what you used. Not sure if you can fix it, hopefully someone can come along and help you with that.
post #7 of 19
might be too much liquid. But another guess for me would be, that small of a recipe in a kitchen aid mixer would put a ton of air into it. I used to make that mistake until I got sharon's butter cream video. Her recipe fills up the mixer completely, covering the paddle with no chance of air getting incorporated, and I've never had a problem again.
post #8 of 19
I would probably just use this as a filling and start from scratch. If you are having this much problems with the frosting and its for your friends wedding, I would make a fresh batch. This way your not so stressed out. Sharon Zambito's recipe is awesome. The smoothest recipe I've ever used and my customer's LOVE it! Good luck and remember just breath.....everything will work out fine. Post pictures when your done.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but I don't have the ingredients to start over and am already over budget from making the icing twice so can't really afford to get more, especially not enough to make that recipe icon_sad.gif I will keep it in mind for next time, though.

In the meantime, I have improved it some but still need help. Here is what the second batch looked like a few minutes ago:

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And here is what it looks like after adding more powdered sugar, cocoa and a bit of creamed butter by hand:

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It looks smoother and has mostly lost its grittiness but it still doesn't spread smoothly, as you can see on the spoon in the photo. Is it just air bubbles now? Do I just need to mix more by hand to get them out? Is this the right texture for spreading? It seems too thick to me but I don't want to over-thin again!
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but I don't have the ingredients to start over and am already over budget from making the icing twice so can't really afford to get more, especially not enough to make that recipe icon_sad.gif I will keep it in mind for next time, though.

In the meantime, I have improved it some but still need help. Here is what the second batch looked like a few minutes ago:

Image

And here is what it looks like after adding more powdered sugar, cocoa and a bit of creamed butter by hand:

Image

It looks smoother and has mostly lost its grittiness but it still doesn't spread smoothly, as you can see on the spoon in the photo. Is it just air bubbles now? Do I just need to mix more by hand to get them out? Is this the right texture for spreading? It seems too thick to me but I don't want to over-thin again!
post #11 of 19
I don't have that much experience, but I noticed you mentioned grittiness. I had that happen once when I forgot to sift my icing sugar, and it looked like your first picture, so I ran it through a seive and it came out perfectly.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I did sift my icing sugar
post #13 of 19
Looking at your recipe it seems like the butter/ shortening is not enough for that amount of icing sugar. I normally use almost equal in weight the fat and sugar.
So for 12 ounces butter and
4 ounces crisco
i use 16 to 20 ounces icing sugar
very little liquid is needed after you add the essence.
This buttercream spreads well and crusts enough to smoothen.
post #14 of 19
I have used cornstarch in some of my recipes to help make them smoother. I would pull out 1/2 c of frosting in a seperate bowl and add some cornstarch 1 TBSP at a time and see if it helps, this way you won't end up wasting a whole batch and you will know right away if this will solve your problem. HTH and good luck!
post #15 of 19
Cocoa powder is very alkaline, so very drying.

I try to always use some melted, real chocolate in my chocolate icing. I like the texture & taste of the final product much better.

I've also used the "recipe" on the Hershey's cocoa can that creates a substitute for real chocolate and I find that it's better than just plain cocoa:

3 Tbsp. cocoa+1 Tbsp butter (or some other fat, like margarine or shortening)=1 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1 square)

In your shoes, I think I'd try adding in a bit more shortening.

HTH
Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
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