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Need HELP on Buttercream

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

I am making my first wedding cake on Saturday, and made a buttercream recipe for icing and decorating.  It is NOT crusting at all and is way too soft and fluffy.  I made several large batches and am wondering if I can salvage it. What ingredient makes buttercream crust?  I am in a panic mode right now and hope someone can help me.  ALSO, it turned out very grainy.  I have made buttercream many years ago and never had these kind of problems.  I hope someone can help me!  Can someone recommend a buttercream recipe that CRUSTS?  OR can I add an additional ingredients to this batch.  (actually I have THREE batches made already)

 

Here is the recipe I used.  I left some out on a dish all night and it is as soft as whip cream. icon_sad.gif

 

 

BUNNY's "MOCK SHACK'S BUTTERCREAM ICING"

2 cups Crisco
2 cups butter......NOT margarine.....softened
1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tbsp. almond flavoring
1 tbsp. butter flavoring
1/3 cup extra rich dry coffee creamer
1/3 cup boiling water
1 tsp popcorn salt
4 pounds pure cane powdered sugar (2 full bags)

Place softened butter and Crisco into your mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment for about 7-8 minutes until it has lightened in color and is nice and creamy in texture. (I use speed 6 using a standing Kitchen-Aid mixer.) WORDS TO LIVE BY: 
Speed 4 for the Beater Blade 
Speed 6 for the regular flat beater (paddle attachment) 

While that is mixing, I measure out 1/3 cup of water in a liquid measuring cup. Place this into the microwave and heat till boiling. My 1100 watt microwave takes about 40-45 seconds roughly. In a 1/3 c. dry measuring cup, measure out the extra rich coffee creamer. Combine the boiling water and the dry coffee creamer together in the liquid measuring cup. Stir with a spoon until it has dissolved completely. Add in the popcorn salt to this hot liquid and stir to dissolve. 

Add the flavorings to the Crisco/butter mixture and blend well.


Using the lowest setting on your mixer, alternate the powdered sugar and coffee creamer liquid until all is incorporated nicely. Turn the mixer up to speed 6 and beat for 8-9 minutes. The frosting will get nice and fluffy and a wonderful creamy texture.


Edited by lvtig1 - 3/13/13 at 6:45am
post #2 of 37

i don't know of a cure for grainy except to replace the powdered sugar

 

your recipe might get crustier if you add some more creamer but i have only used milk powder and i don't use it currently

 

your recipe has one cup of fat for every scant four cups of sugar--that amount of fat is keeping it from crusting and i guess the coffee creamer isn't coming to your aid for some reason

 

somewhere between that recipe and this recipe is probably where you wanna be

 

i just use

 

  • 1 cup fat (butter)
  • 1/2 cup liquid (cream or buttermilk)
  • 2# powdered sugar*-- domino or reliable store brand--not necessarily the cheapest
  • flavors

 

  1. i put the fat (in first makes scraping easier) & some sugar in the mixer and mix to incorporate the fat some
  2. add the rest of the ingredients-i try to pour the milk so it slides down to the bottom of the bowl--makes scraping easier
  3. scrape down right away once or twice and be sure you get the bottom bits before the top gets too smooth
  4. let it mix slowly for a long time
  5. if it has terrible air holes --smooth it out as you go little by little (when applying it to the cake) by stirring and if necessary add a tablespoon of hot water to the stirring--often when you go over & over the icing with your spatula trying to get it nice & smooth putting it on the cake--the rest of the air holes disappear

 

i think if you add about a 3 tablespoons or a quarter cup of powdered milk to step one it will crust more heavily but this crusts for me as is w/o the milk powder

 

if you decide to try it do not jump in and make a big batch of this

make a small batch and see how you like it--even a half batch

 

or combine the two recipes for where you will be comfortable with the fat to sugar ratio

 

*sift if necessary--like if the powdered sugar comes in a paper bag or if it's been opened previously--usually the plastic bags of domino don't need to be sifted

 

those ingredient ratios are from colette peters recipe in her books

 

take a deep breath 

 

take this one step at a time

 

you'll be fine


Edited by -K8memphis - 3/13/13 at 7:22am
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much.  I am so stressed right now and almost in tears.  Thanks for your advice.  It is my daughter's wedding cake and I wanted it to be perfect, so badly.

 

So my recipe has double the fat as the one you are using, K8memphis


Edited by lvtig1 - 3/13/13 at 7:51am
post #4 of 37

i've done several for my kids & family and have a big one coming up

 

all of them were awesome in their own ways

 

one of them was so overwhelming just simply overwhelming and frankly i am still overwhelmed from it ;)

 

they did not pick a design and i never hit my internal 'edit' button until i was forced to sink or swim and i think i swallowed a lot of water--shoulda been rum & coke icon_biggrin.gif

 

anyhow--just relating to the feelings-- i get it!!!~~~~~~~~~~

 

so try to focus on doing a good cake -- a good cake will be very good

 

seriously if you can screw the 'perfect' thing that might help relieve some tension

 

do the best you can with what you have and it will be fine

 

cry if you need to to get it out of you and move on

 

you're gonna do fine

 

do a good solid cake--that will be a great accomplishment---you can do it

 

sweep the floor, clean off the counters and table--you got this!!!

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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post #5 of 37

Here is one from Edna De La Cruz.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid high ratio shortening
    • 1/2 cup butter softened
      • 1 tablespoon of merengue powder
        • 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract (or extract of choice)
          • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
            • 2 tablespoons milk

 

 

 Preparation:

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla and milk. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on a slow speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Keep bowl or covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.  Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Don't overwhip or it will bring air to the icing and is impossible to smooth. If you have a kitchen Aid use white attachment, not whip attachment. You can use coffee creamers for flavorings or combine extracts.

YIELD: Makes about 3 cups.

 

 

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

 

 

 

 

If you are using a vegetable shortening withouth the transfats, the consistency
of the icing might change. Use whole milk to bring some fat to the mix. Or try to use a vegetable shortening that has all the transfat. For best results, use high ratio shortening.

 

I rather use high ratio shortening than shortenings that have no transfats. The consistency changes a lot when it's used with shortenings like Crisco. The buttercream is more crumbly and dry when its done with 0 transfat. And more smooth when it's done with high ratio.

The late news is that Walmart is making their shortening 0 transfat. So try and find one that has fat in it.

 Your best bet will always be high ratio shortening like CK High Ratio, Sweetex or Alpine.  These are the most common ones out there. Usually found in food suppliers. Sometimes found in Sams or Costco, but not in all of them.


 

 

Keep in mind that you can use less butter for a stronger icing. Just compensate it with more High ratio and compensate with butter extract. I add some almond extract too. If you use Crisco, your icing might be gritty. It's caused by the lack of quality in the vegetable shortening. For a good buttercream that is smooth, use high ratio.

 

post #6 of 37

Here is one from Sharon Zambito.  I have used this one for a real crusting and creamy effect.

Sharon's Crusting Buttercream Icing

5 Quart Recipe.  Adjust recipe volume to fill your mixer completely.

 

5 generous cups of high ratio shortening (Sweetex recommended)

5 lbs powdered sugar

4 TBS Wedding Bouquet flavoring (or substitute your flavoring of choice in the appropriate amount)

11-12 TBS hot coffee creamer liquid

 

Cream the shortening, flavorings and hot liquid with paddle attachment until well combined and creamy.  Then stream in first 3 pounds of powedered sugar with mixer running at speed one.  When incorporated somewhat, stop and scrape down sides of bowl well.  Stream in last 2 pounds of powdered sugar at speed one.  When incorporated, turn the mixer up to speed 6 and let beat for 5-7 minutes until very smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl very freqently while the mixer is going at speed 6. 

The goal is to get all of the icing down into the belly of the bowl and fill the bowl from side to side with no air gaps around the walls, as well as covering the paddle up to the springs.  If the icing is making a sucking or "kissing" noise after all the sugar is in, add just a few drops more of liquid, whiele scraping down the sides, with the mixer running until that stops.  You should create a bowl full of icing side to side, where the paddle is compltely submerged and beating in a vacuum under the icing.  5-7 minutes at speed 6 and you should have a smooth as silk and nearly airless icing.  Cool before using.

 

YouTube clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB4ibkH0V_4

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvtig1 View Post

 

So my recipe has double the fat as the one you are using, K8memphis

 

 

yeah double -- but a lot of them do--then they add meringue powder or the milk powder or creamer to get it to crust and yours is not cooperating for whatever reason

 

to try a salvage maybe you could add some more creamer

 

just take a blob of your current icing and add some dry creamer and see what happens if it improves it

 

if it can mix in well and if it makes it crust

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Great ideas everyone.  I will try to salvage it first by adding some dry creamer.  If that does not work, plan B is to try a whole new recipe with half the fat.  If that fails, I will look into buying premade frosting. (a small fortune)  I really appreciate your prayers right now. I am feeling so hormonal, stressed and this mess is putting me over the edge.  I sure wish I drank!  I would have some of that Rum and coke mentioned above.  On second thought maybe I will go buy some.  icon_biggrin.gif  My 88 year old mother just gave me one of her Ativan.  She did not know what else to do for me.  I am a complete mess right now.  Two days ago I finished gumpaste roses and they look pretty darn good.  I had NO idea the buttercream would be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvtig1 View Post

Great ideas everyone.  I will try to salvage it first by adding some dry creamer.  If that does not work, plan B is to try a whole new recipe with half the fat.  If that fails, I will look into buying premade frosting. (a small fortune)  I really appreciate your prayers right now. I am feeling so hormonal, stressed and this mess is putting me over the edge.  I sure wish I drank!  I would have some of that Rum and coke mentioned above.  On second thought maybe I will go buy some.  icon_biggrin.gif  My 88 year old mother just gave me one of her Ativan.  She did not know what else to do for me.  I am a complete mess right now.  Two days ago I finished gumpaste roses and they look pretty darn good.  I had NO idea the buttercream would be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

 

 

i think just buying something reliable is a great idea

 

but no driving on fresh ativan either!

 

you need to cut your losses srsly

 

you don't need to be recipe testing this week

 

your roses will save the day!!!

 

a rose by any other cake name smells as sweet

 

if you buy icing--you may or may not want to put it in your mixer to refresh it

 

you can add flavor to it too if you want

 

geez, kate, too many options--

shut up already!!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

♥ a beautiful rose on a cake made with love wins ♥

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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post #10 of 37

I hate to say this....but you can' fix "grainy".    I have made a gazillion batches of butter cream and I have had only one "grainy" batch.   I am convinced that I had a bad batch of powdered sugar.  

 

Instead of all the stress of"fixing" what you have.....take a deep breath...ditch the butter cream... and start over with one of the recipes above.   Make sure you get name brand powdered sugar.  

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

I hate to say this....but you can' fix "grainy".    I have made a gazillion batches of butter cream and I have had only one "grainy" batch.   I am convinced that I had a bad batch of powdered sugar.  

 

Instead of all the stress of"fixing" what you have.....take a deep breath...ditch the butter cream... and start over with one of the recipes above.   Make sure you get name brand powdered sugar.  

Thanks everyone.  I did use C and H in a 4 lb bag.  Used it on all (now 4 batches)  Adding dry creamer is helping some.  Still messing with it.  I will phone the cake store to see what the have for pre-made icing.

post #12 of 37

sam's club sells it too--probably costco too--restaurant supply places

 

how is the grainy-ness??

 

it might not even be noticeable once you're eating it with the cake?

 

maybe put some in the mixer and let it mix and mix and mix and mix--see what happens?

 

sounds like all you need to do is resolve the degree of graininess maybe eat some with cake

 

if you can get the green light on the texture then keep adding the creamer--you'll get there

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

Reply
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

Reply
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 

The grainy-ness is going away, too.  To a full batch I am adding 3/4 boiling water (thinking it might help melt the grainy-ness and it seems to).  Then I added 1 and 1/2 cups powdered creamer, mixed real good, then tons more PS, adding a half cup at a time.  I am praising all of you and GOD that it is working!!  It is NOT too grainy, I think acceptable and it is CRUSTING, so I can at least smooth it out a bit.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  You all have saved me from a nervous breakdown, of course the atavin that mom gave me is helping too.  LOL.  I can breathe again.  Thank you, God!!

post #14 of 37

!!!HOORAY!!!!

 

!!!YAY!!!!

 

geez being mom-of-bride without a cake to make is daunting enough

 

!!!YAY!!!!

 

if it gets too thin you can add cornstarch too

 

geez i can feel the ativan working from here hahahaha  icon_lol.gif  sail on~~~

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

Reply
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

It will NOT be 100%, dream come true frosting, but it will crust and it will WORK.  Now, to finish all 4 batches and then maybe I can fit in a haircut and pedicure.  Tomorrow is baking day, so please add that to your prayers.  Those darn cakes better behave.  I will be using the WASC recipe, which I also have never tried.  I am going to start early ie 6 am!  I need plenty of time in case ....... of ..... well you know.  Seriously,  K8memphis, you were a god-send today!!  Bless your heart!

 

And thank you everyone else for saving my sanity.

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