When you bake, it is always very important to follow the recipe carefully if you want to get the silkiest buttercream. The same is true for the whole buttercream frosting recipe: if you do something incorrectly, it can go wrong, and it can become grainy. Although it is easy to follow a simple buttercream recipe.
And you are at risk of decorating cakes incorrectly. You may ask: “Why is my buttercream grainy?”. Don’t worry, you can make it better. There are ways to fix your buttercream.
If you wonder how to fix your buttercream and how to not make it grainy again in the future, then this article is written for you.
Why is my buttercream grainy?
There are some reasons on that matter: why your curdled buttercream is grainy. You need to know the reasons because this helps you not to make the same mistake once again. So, read this carefully.
The butter is not at the correct temperature
In the recipe for the buttercream, the first and most important ingredient is butter. Moreover, your softened butter must be at a specific temperature, to be clear, at room temperature. This is not just a note, this is a strict requirement. You have to follow it.
So, if your butter is not at the appropriate temperature, you will get grainy buttercream.
The cold butter
If you have cold butter, this is the sign that you have to wait a little bit longer, until your softened butter is quite warm, but only not too much. If you do not wait and use the butter in this condition, then it would be quite difficult for you to mix it with other ingredients. Moreover, you will be not able to mix it with sugar, because it is way too cold.
And if you mix it again, you will see a grainy buttercream there.
So, this is not certainly the cream you want to decorate your cakes with. Then you should try to fix it.
The butter is too warm
If the situation is a little bit different and your butter is way too warm, then melted butter is like a liquid, this is not good for you either. It happens when you try to heat the butter in a microwave. We do not say that you should not heat the butter in a microwave, the thing is that you can’t overdo it. Otherwise, you get a runny buttercream frosting.
If your butter is liquid now, you have to start making your buttercream from the beginning.
You used margarine
Well, margarine is not very good for baking and certainly not very good for making buttercream. If you use margarine, you will not get the creamy consistency of your buttercream, simply because it is less fat and much more water than is needed there. So, you probably have a soft and grainy buttercream frosting.
Unsifted powdered sugar
Unsifted powdered sugar is not suitable for making buttercream icing. Even if it is very good in other things, it is not appropriate for buttercream. The structure of the powdered sugar will certainly provide you with clumps of any size if you do not sift it beforehand.
Your buttercream icing is at risk to be lumpy and have air bubbles.
And this is why you have a grainy buttercream and not a smooth buttercream frosting.
It is recommended to use a fine mesh sifter if you want sifted sugar. This helps you to get rid of icing sugar clumps. Never forget to sift the powdered sugar.
Too soft icing
If your buttercream icing sugar is very soft, this does not provide you with a good buttercream frosting. The wrong structure of the icing leads to a grainy texture. Creating buttercream icing correctly is important.
To give your icing a good form, you should put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. You have to see that you do not have the buttercream icing grainy regularly.
Grainy buttercream: instructions for fixing grainy icing
As it said, even if your buttercream frosting is very grainy, you can fix grainy buttercream and get buttercream properly. You should follow the recommendations and the instructions carefully to fix gritty buttercream.
Try to add milk
To fix grainy buttercream frosting, you should add some milk to it. Then, if you do this, your buttercream frosting will be more smooth.
Firstly, add just a tablespoon of milk, then add more, if needed. But you should not add too much liquid.
And after that, you need to mix it with your grainy buttercream thoroughly.
Mix your buttercream thoroughly
If you are lucky, your buttercream will be smooth if you just mix it one more time, but thoroughly. Sometimes, the buttercream is grainy just because you have mixed not enough. Try more, and see the result.
It may be a little bit hard if you have no stand mixer. But when you mix too much, you can get a grainy buttercream frosting, too. Although, you still should try.
So, if you use a stand mixer, you should mix your buttercream for a few minutes, but not too long.
Try using the paddle attachment
The paddle attachment is a very good attachment for frosting, and it will help you mix your buttercream frosting thoroughly. So, with this instrument, you do not need to mix the buttercream frosting too hard.
And this will help you to get rid of clumps and make your buttercream less grainy.
Add melted chocolate
Many people have also noticed that adding melted chocolate helps to fix grainy buttercream frosting. And it is true because the warmth of melted chocolate helps to fuse both butter and granulated sugar.
If you try this method, you will get a chocolate creamy buttercream that will perfectly decorate your cakes and cupcakes.
Let the buttercream rest
Sometimes, it is better to just give the buttercream frosting some time to rest. This method works with many different cooking problems, and this problem is certainly no exception.
Your buttercream is grainy, unfortunately, since it had not enough time for the sugar to dissolve into your butter. After a while, like a few hours, you may get your buttercream frosting perfectly. If you want to get your buttercream faster, you can also put it into the fridge.
How to prevent a buttercream to get grainy?
You know all the reasons why buttercream may be grainy, and how to fix buttercream correctly when it happens. But you also should know how to prevent grainy buttercream, how to avoid grainy buttercream. This certainly helps you with it, so read this carefully.
Room temperature butter
Your butter has to be at room temperature if you desire to get a perfect buttercream frosting. Your ingredients absolutely can not be more heated or cold. Otherwise, your buttercream will be grainy when you have no room-temperature butter.
Butter is a vital ingredient for buttercream. It is very important to use real butter in baking and in making cream because the quality of the butter will define the quality of your buttercream. Otherwise, the flavor and the texture of your buttercream frosting can be quite different, and there is no doubt that you will not like it even if you add vanilla extract.
So, your butter has to not be low-fat, because it has much water. And if it has much water, it will be hard for mixing and the consistency will not be so creamy.
You should use only fresh ingredients
It sounds obvious, but it is still important to note that fresh ingredients can make buttercream perfectly creamy and delicious. It is forbidden to use spoiled components. Because it is dangerous for your health to use them.
The powdered sifted sugar should be sifted
When your powdered sugar is not sifted beforehand, it can be very difficult for powdered sugar crystals to mix with butter. And you get clumps and bubbles in your buttercream. So, you have to sift your powdered sugar, when you are preparing the ingredients. Sifted powdered sugar makes your buttercream better.
You should use a stand mixer
When we are talking about mixing the ingredients, it is always better to use a stand mixer, then mix the components with a spoon. A stand mixer will certainly provide you with correctly mixed ingredients and there is a high possibility that there may be no clumps and your buttercream may not be grainy.
So, this is quite important in baking, and it will help you with a lot of tasks.
By the way, the whole process of making buttercream will be much easier. You should use a stand mixer at high or medium speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my buttercream not smooth?
Your buttercream is not smooth because there are clumps that do not let butter and sugar be mixed properly. In other words, your buttercream is grainy.
Can you overbeat buttercream?
Yes, you can overbeat your buttercream. You should beat your buttercream only for a few minutes, and no more. You will see that you have done it properly when you notice that your buttercream gave a kind of stiff peak.
But if you overbeat it, then your buttercream will have a lot of air bubbles. These bubbles will provide you with grainy buttercream and ruined consistency.
Why does buttercream go grainy?
You have a gritty buttercream because of several reasons. You either used butter that is too cold, too soft icing sugar, or you used margarine, or you used unsifted icing sugar.
In conclusion: be careful when you make a buttercream
Unfortunately, it is easy to ruin a buttercream and make it grainy even for skilled bakers if do not pay enough attention to prepare. The problems can cause if you do not follow cautions and the buttercream recipe.
So, whenever you feel that things go wrong, try to fix them and use the instructions above. But it is also always better to avoid grainy buttercream than to fix grainy buttercream and get a tasty topping.