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My Buttercream Frosting isn't stiff enough? How to fix it!!!!!

My Buttercream Frosting Isn’t Stiff Enough

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Help! My Buttercream Frosting isn’t Stiff Enough!. I hear this a lot. We all like to make 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 road block. Your Frosting just isn’t quite right!

Do not panic, this has happened to all Bold Bakers. Making perfect frosting is a tricky process. Whether your room is too warm. or ingredients are too cold, this is a super 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 cakes looking droopy and tasting soggy. Just like fixing frosting that is too thick, this is a super easy fix.

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 over mixed, or made at too warm a temperature. If this does notseem to do the trick, try adding sifted powdered sugar, 3 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. I cannot wait for you guys to try this fast fix!

My Buttercream Frosting is too thick…

Say you run into the opposite problem. 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. From there, simply pipe or frost as normal. You’d be surprised how little milk you actually need to fix this problem. This will not at all affect the flavor of your frosting, regardless of what is in it.

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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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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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  1. Sonia on November 7, 2017 at 3:42 am

    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.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Sonia,
      I have no idea how this could happen if it was well mixed before you refrigerated it!
      I use a hand mixer too for frosting. If the butter is softened to room temperature, and it is beaten before adding the icing/powdered sugar, then I really cannot see where this went wrong. Take it back to room temperature and start to beat it again, for about 3 – 5 mins. it will resolve,
      Gemma 🙂

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