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Topic: Why does my buttercream look like this??
cyndnelson 04/10/2011 10:08 AM
What am I doing wrong? I can't get my buttercream to come out without massive air bubbles. And this picture is AFTER I tried the Viva method...

This is my recipe:
1 c butter, softened
2 c icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk

I cream the butter with a KA and Beater Blade on speed 4 for a couple minutes then switch to 2 and slowly add the icing sugar through the splash guard. Finally I add the milk and turn it back up to 4 for about 5 minutes until well blended.

It happens to me all the time. Even when I use Bunny's BC recipe. No matter what combination of ingredients I use, it always seems to turn out like this.

Can anyone provide any insight?
cyndnelson 04/10/2011 10:10 AM
Here is a close up of the top.
BlackWidowNor 04/10/2011 10:15 AM
It looks as though you don't have enough liquid. I know BunnyWoman's butter cream has between 1/4 and 1/3 cup liquid... Maybe you could beat it longer? I've seen SeriousCakes on YouTube beat hers and it went from that to silky after a few extra minutes. Weird, eh?
BlackWidowNor 04/10/2011 10:28 AM

Here's a youtube video that deals with that specific problem. Good Luck!
whoknew? 04/10/2011 11:01 AM
I've seen and heard several experienced decorators recommend that you fill your KA bowl to the top of the blade and mix with the blade totally immersed in the frosting to prevent air bubbles. I have a KA Artisan and find that if I make a double batch of of IndyDebi's frosting (recipe below), it is enough for the beater to be totally immersed. Based on recommendations from other users of her recipe, I beat the shortening, milk, Dream Whip, and vanilla for 10-15 minutes BEFORE I add the powdered sugar. I refrigerate or freeze leftover icing.

INDYDEBI CRISCO-BASED BUTTERCREAM--(Excellent for hot/humid areas):
(IndyDebi is a very experienced decorator/caterer:
1-1/3 cups Crisco *I use high-ratio shortening instead of Crisco
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk, depending on consistency needed
3 Tbsp powdered Dream Whip (*powdered whipped topping mix made by Kraft Foods)
2-3 Tbsp clear vanilla, depending on personal taste (optional: almond extract, or lemon extract )
2 lbs powdered sugar
There's no wrong way to mix this. I usually mix all but the powdered sugar & milk for a minute or two, then gradually alternate the sugar & milk, but the only reason I do this is to avoid the "sugar-splash" factor. The longer the mixer runs, the smoother it gets. Sifting the powdered sugar before blending helps with smoothness but is not necessary.
hartleyflats 04/10/2011 1:37 PM
See, now I thought her problem might have been too much beating...guess I have a lot to learn! My last cake (Cake for Student Returning Home in life celebrations) did this...air bubbles on the side of the cake, but not so much on the top. I thought I might have overbeat it because I lost track of time (haha). Perhaps I should have let it go longer. I'll give it a shot on my son's b'day cake.
whoknew? 04/10/2011 4:06 PM
hartley, Depends on the frosting recipe. That's why I posted the recipe along with a possible "solution". The thing I've heard most about eliminating bubbles is to completely immerse the beaters while mixing so you aren't introducing air each time the beaters swirl around. The advice I got about beating for 10-15 minutes was just to make it super silky and smooth.
hartleyflats 04/10/2011 6:39 PM
whoknew, since trying BW's buttercream recipe, that's all I use (I know, I need to branch out lol)....I can't remember if her recipe brings it over the top of the beater or not...I'll have to pay close attention to that when I make for my son's cakes.
cyndnelson 04/11/2011 10:52 AM
whoknew, I'm assuming you don't colour that big batch of icing until you need to.

When do you add your colour? And when you add it, do you beat is electrically or simply with a spatula?
Mikel79 04/11/2011 11:45 AM
I am with the others. They key with getting airless icing is making sure your paddle is completly covered with icing.

If your paddle is not covered all the way, it will incorporate air into your icing. With it covered, it has virtually no air to suck in your icing!


whoknew? 04/11/2011 1:40 PM
cynd, yes, I leave it all white and only color as I go. I just mix it with a spatula in a bowl.