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My Buttercream Isn’t Stiff Enough: How to Perfect Frosting

The perfect frosting recipe isn't out of reach, even if your Buttercream Frosting Isn't Stiff Enough! Here's how to fix it — and love your results.
My Buttercream Frosting isn't stiff enough? How to fix it!!!!!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Help! My Buttercream Frosting isn’t Stiff Enough! I hear this a lot. We all like to make the perfect frosting. It’s that special occasion you look forward to all year — you’ve taken the time to make a beautiful cake and decided to try a really special new frosting recipe. You are all set, and ready to decorate, but then you hit a roadblock: your frosting just isn’t quite right!

Do not panic! This has happens to the best of us. Making perfect frosting takes practice. Whether your room is too warm, or maybe the recipe is off, this is a common problem. No need to worry.  Once you’ve got the base for your frosting (whether it be Royal Icing or Buttercream Frosting), you can easily make the perfect frosting and reach the right consistency by adding just a little of this or a little of that!

My Buttercream Frosting Isn’t Stiff Enough…

You have followed the recipe perfectly, but you find your frosting just isn’t stiff enough. This is a nightmare to work with, leaving decorating cakes incredibly difficult. Just like fixing frosting that is too thick, there is an easy solution.

The first thing I’d suggest is to chill the buttercream frosting. By bringing down the temperature, the frosting should tighten up immediately. This is a great trick for buttercream frosting that may have been overmixed or made in a warm kitchen. If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, try adding sifted powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. With just a few extra tablespoons of sugar, your frosting will transform and be so much easier to work with, saving you from wasting ingredients.

My Buttercream Frosting Is Too Thick…

If your frosting feels way too thick, it can be tough to spread it easily over sides and tops of cakes and is even more difficult to force out of a piping nozzle. If this is something you run into, there is no reason to start over from scratch on a new batch. Simply add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to your Buttercream Frosting until you reach your desired consistency. This will not at all affect the flavor of your frosting, regardless of what is in it.

Buttercream at the proper stiffness, if you think your buttercream isn't stiff enough.

Want some easy cake decorating tips for bakers of all levels? Check out 4 Easy Ways to Decorate a Cake and How to Use Piping Nozzles.

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Comments & Reviews

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ashleywanda
Member
ashleywanda
1 month ago

Thank you Gemma for your recipes! Especially, the buttercream frosting. I really love it. I have started making your cupcake bouquets! People are really liking them and would like to buy them. The only problem is, is that I really don’t know what to charge, or how to make a price that is fair to the public. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help!!

Mye
Member
Mye
2 months ago

Hi Gemma! I love your videos and your tutorials. I love baking but I don’t have the formal education. I just try to learn from from what I can watch in the internet. Your videos and tips have been very helpful. Thank you so much. I still cannot perfect my frosting but I will try to follow your technique. I happen to taste one good frosting from one of my friends store bought cakes. It was very light, not too sweet and taste like a bubble gum. Do you happen to have a good recipe for that? I would really… Read more »

Lily joy del rosario
Guest
Lily joy del rosario
2 months ago

Hi, ms.gemma im from phil,i love to watch all ur videos..i bake also but,im not good..hehehe im not expert in baking just like…i dont know but i just love to bake…hopefully someday u can visit her in phil and i really want to see you in person..ill always to pray to god that someday i can buy a tools in baking…i only have small mixing bowl,a hand mixer and 1 spatula,…thats why i have to focus on selling a small amount of brownies,aome pcs of cupcakes…god bless you ms.gemma..hope to see her in phil..????????????

Salmabakes
Member
Salmabakes
2 months ago

Hi Gemma, I love buttercream frosting. However the only thing I don’t like it that sometimes it feels gritty to eat. What is the trick to getting it smooth and lose the gritty/graininess?.
Thank you for all your amazing recipes. I am so happy everytime I see a new post from you.

Asha
Member
Asha
4 months ago

Hi Gemma,
What type of colouring do you use?

Yvette Donovan
Guest
Yvette Donovan
7 months ago

I made the frosting. Used real butter but it came out a bit runny. I only used 2 tablespoons of milk. I am doing your Cupcake bouquet for Mother’s Day however the rock the frosting is falling off. I’m putting in the refrigerator hope that helps please advise thank you

Emily Metzger
Guest
Emily Metzger
1 year ago

I made this buttercream frosting and while the taste was wonderful I think I over mixed it because it was more of a whip cream texture. Am I over mixing it or maybe adding too much milk?

Paola
Guest
Paola
1 year ago

I always wonder what is the best butter to make buttercream? there are some unexpensive ones or really expensive. what brand do you use Gemma? please help me!!

Member
HH Tube
1 year ago

When I added milk vanilla extract and cocoa powder it suddenly started to separate it was

Sonia
Guest
Sonia
2 years ago

Hi Gemma, you said to put the frosting in the fridge but once I did it and the frosting didn’t look right – it separated (there was pieces of butter) and just didn’t have good texture etc. I have only handmixer.. so do you think that I should beated it more or what could be problem? It was the first and (I guess) the last time I made frosting. Thank you.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for a FREE profile and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new dessert recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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