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Topic Title: Why did Buttercreme Icing came out gritty?
Created On Thursday May 26, 2011 2:58 AM
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lettyrodriguez93
Posts: 3
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 2:58 AM

I'm a bit of newbie to cake decorating. I've taken Course 1 (Decorating Basics) and I just completed Course 2 (Flowers & Cake Design) of the Wilton Cake Decorating classes so I am familiar with how to make buttercreme icing. However, the batch I made yesterday morning for my course 2 final cake came out "gritty". Even my Wilton Instructor said the same thing. She didn't offer any particular reason why it turned out this way and only asked if I happened to use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar, to which my answer was no so now I'm left to wonder... I used the same ingredients as before and this was the first time it came out like this. It tasted good but it wasn't smooth. Any comments or suggestions as to why this may have occurred would be most helpful and appreciated?
 
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ladycatisadiva
Posts: 4162
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 6:52 AM
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Welcome to the forum lettyrodriguez93,

Not sure as to why your BC came out gritty this time. I would have asked the same question as well....Did you use Regular Granulated Sugar! So, if you were my student my next question would be what brand did you use?

It could be a number of things. If you used Confectioners Sugar and it came out gritty, was the date expired? Was there a hole in the bag and air got to the powdered sugar? Did you mix it enough? The list could go on and on. If you did everything right I would just make another batch. If the next batch comes out okay then you know it was product error.

Again welcome......
Ladycat!
 
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char-lee
Posts: 771
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 7:04 AM
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My guess is your confectionery sugar is not 100% cane sugar. It is either all beet sugar or mixed with cane. It makes for a gritty icing.
You can overcome this by after creaming your shortening and flavoring then add your sugar mixed with meringue powder (if using). heat your liquid until very hot and add to mixture as it is mixing. Your shortening will not melt and your icing is creamy. You can not use butter in this procedure. To get icing very smooth and no air bubbles, after mixing well, I always finish with my dough hook. It breaks down those air pockets and makes icing the consistency like Wilton's canned decorator icing.
This should help.
 
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sweetgrandma
Posts: 13324
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 7:40 AM

Letty....Welcome to the Wilton Cake site! Good to have you join us...
I made this post awhile back when my buttercream frosting (that I've made many many times perfectly) came out grainy. The reason was because I left my butter in the microwave too long and it was too soft...partly melted actually. I use Bunnywoman's buttercream.
here's the link:
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=150285
 
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char-lee
Posts: 771
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 7:45 AM
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Ladtcat,
Can BC be made with granulated suger? If so....you know I just HAVE to try it!
 
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lettyrodriguez93
Posts: 3
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 8:56 AM

To All: Thank you so much for welcoming me to the forum and for your comments!

@ ladycatisadiva: I used the store brand confectioners' (powdered) sugar. I didn't check to see if it was expired but I do know that there weren't any holes in the bag. I used the same powdered sugar (a different pkg though) for the Royal Icing I made as well. That turned out fine. I'm thinking I may not have mixed it enough. I was in a bit of a hurry... =O)

@ char-lee: I don't recall if the pkg said anything about the sugar being, or not being, 100% confectionery sugar. But like I mentioned, I have used this product before and it was only this time that it came out this way. I did creme the shortening, butter flavoring AND water together before I added the meringue powder and sugar (same as I'd done before). I don't have a stand-up mixer so I used my hand-held but like I mentioned to "ladycatisadiva", I don't think I mixed it long enough.

@ sweetgrandma: You may be on to something about the butter being too soft! I left mine out to soften all day. I did use a different kind of butter this time, Land 'O Lakes Whipped Butter in a tub, whereas the times before I used regular sticks of butter. So maybe the "too soft" butter and not mixing the icing enough is what caused the gritty/grainy texture.

Thank you all again!!! I'm so glad I asked about this. Now I know what to keep an eye on and hopefully, this won't happen anymore!
 
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ladycatisadiva
Posts: 4162
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 9:27 AM
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Char-lee, I have seen recipes that call for it, but it's one of those cook this, cook that. It might be delicious who knows, but I have never tried. I know you can't do it without the granulated sugar being broken down first.

At least not that I know of.
 
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dottiepark
Posts: 1631
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 10:01 AM
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I think you have found your problem...whipped butter in the tub. Go back to using plain old pure butter in sticks. Whipped butter may have water or oil added and may not measure correctly.
 
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ladycatisadiva
Posts: 4162
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 10:09 AM
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I'm with dottie now, whipped butter mabye the problem.
 
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luvbakin
Posts: 3282
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 12:57 PM
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Welcome to the forum Letty

One way you can get rid of grainy BC is to always weigh your ingredients and make sure to sift your sugar...especially if you are buying store brand....even if it says that it is pre-sifted 10x.

I ran into the grainy BC the one and only time that I didn't sift my PS. Now I use Domino's pure cane sugar so I don't need to sift.

Hope this helped
 
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Chewy Chunkies
Posts: 324
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 2:07 PM

I agree, I think its the softness of the butter... I made mine last night and it was super gritty.
I left my butter out, I don't usually, and it was so so soft. Normally my BC comes out just fine and I don't have problems with coloring it, the cake I made (luckily it was a 'cakewreck' joke cake) was basically melted by the time I got to the luncheon. I was a little embarrassed but then again, it was supposed to be bad.
 
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lettyrodriguez93
Posts: 3
Posted: Thursday May 26, 2011 4:31 PM

Thanks again, everyone! And yes, ALL of your comments are a definite help!!! I'll leave out the whipped butter and start using the NAME BRAND confectioners' sugar the next time I make a batch as I am sure this will help...
 
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