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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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Lori
Lori
1 year ago

Hi Gemma, how do I thicken buttercream without adding more sugar to make it too sweet?

Tulip
Tulip
9 months ago

That did not work for me

Animah
Animah
7 months ago

Hello miss Gemma, I love watching your videos and since you’re really good at baking, I believe you can help me. This is about buttercream frosting but I sincerely need help with whipped cream frosting. I couldn’t get cream to buy so I decided to follow your tips on how to turn milk into whipped cream but when I tried it, it turned foamy

DeeEnn
DeeEnn
1 day ago

thanks, Gemma, please why does my decorated cake sweat when I bring it out of the fridge; it has droplets that makes the cake look messy. should I just leave it to stand after decorating?

Donna
5 days ago

Hi gammy I can not for the life of me get my buttercream to thinken it is about half way there but still runny it is twisting my mind cause I followed the recipe right down to the bitter end and this is my first time attempting this

Evelyn
Evelyn
4 months ago

Hi Emma… My issue with buttercream is that sometime it turns out on the more oily side, and slide all the time when I try to frost my cake. Any idea what might be the cause?

Archie Stidwill
Archie Stidwill
11 months ago

I need to thicken my frosting but I don’t have powdered sugar and my freezer isn’t thickening it

Joy del rosario
Joy del rosario
11 months ago

Thank you so much miss gemma..

11 months ago

Hi Gemma, I’m from Malaysia. I love watching your baking videos, it’s so engaging!

I have been trying to do the buttercream frosting as per your recipe, but it end up too rainy. And I almost give up. But I thought I should post this and get a bit of advise from you first. I’ve read some other articles, saying add in more butter or omit milk will help. Is that works?

Amna
Amna
1 year ago

Hi Gemma!! Dear i have learn all baking from you!! You are the best.. i use all pf your techniques but i am facing problem in butter cream it gets the good texture and taste but its little crunchy like it have sugar crunch why.. even i sieve it and and i even tried the market one but still texture is same .. please help me out!!

About Us

Meet Gemma

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 my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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