Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Hi everyone - I'm hoping someone can help. I use the "Sprinkles" buttercream recipe for my cupcakes but find that it comes out very "gritty" from the sugar. This is the recipe/method:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
 3 1/2 - 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
 1 teaspoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon saltIn a bowl, combine butter, sugar and salt.
Beat until blended.Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 - 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
While it's delicious, I also find it to be too heavy when icing a cake. Does anyone have any recommendations for an American Buttercream that's more airy and without the grittiness? Thanks for any help!


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Ha, Karen!  :-)  I'm a rebel when it comes to sifting.  I sift NOTHING!  I've tried it both ways and I can't tell the difference when I sift and when I don't. 


Like you, I cream my fat and liquid until it's sour cream consistency before adding the sugar. 

Karen Marie said:

It also helps to sift the powdered sugar, especially    if it has been sitting a while....that will remove some of the grittiness....also cream the fat and sugar longer....about 7-8 can go even will be lighter and fluffier and gives the sugar a chance to dissolve into the fat more.
LOL Hiya Deah! I dont sift either but if this person has tried everything else it couldnt hurt right?

I agree the icing receipt shared by Sharon is awesome! I use this receipt on all my cakes and cupcakes. You can't go wrong. As far as sifting goes with Sharons receipt; I use the icing sugar as is with little to no sifting. The sugar mixes really well with the high ratio shorting.


Before following Sharons method my icing would be gritty at times. I agree with Karen. I truely beleive this was due to not mixing the icing for at least 7 mins and using the wrong type of shorting.


Along with my own receipt I use the doctered cake receipt shared by sharon on her back to the basis DVD. I also add a few other ingredients of my own. The stability and structure of this cake works well for carving and fondant.


If you want a nice smooth icing that melts in your mouth, then this type of icing is not what you are looking for.  Try Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Italian Meringue Buttercream recipes (can stay out for a day or 2/ can also used pastured egg whites in carton), and Vanilla Custard Buttercream (must be refrigerated until served).   They do not require powdered sugar, instead you use white sugar. You can do different variations to these recipes.  Martha Stewart's Wedding book has these recipes.  I have tried all of them and they are great!  The Vanilla Custard Buttercream uses whole eggs (white & yolk), so it's a little bit heavier icing but very silky.  All of them are not very sweet like AMerican buttercream.  Great for wedding cakes, sculpted cakes and cupcakes:)  Once you tried these recipes, you will not switch to other recipes. I have the book  but I am not sure if I can share the recipes without permission.  Check your local library if there's one available to loan as these books are expensive, unless you don't mind paying for it.  Good luck.  I hope this helps.


I totally agree with Maria. I use SMBC on all my cakes.

Roughly, how many cups of icing would you say this makes?

Lynne Salmon said:

As Deah said, Sharon's is a great recipe.  It's partly based on one I gave her yrs back :)  

And brand of sugar used can cause problems - especially if using a store brand :(


Here's another option:

2 of everything


2 cups of butter

1 cup of shortening (can use 2 but then the icing does not crust)

2 pounds of powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons flavoring (this is personal - use whatever combination YOU love)

2 pinches of salt (some people don't add this and find it a great icing)


Cream together the shortening and butter for 5 minutes; add about 1/2 the sugar and cream another 5 minutes; beat in remaining ingredients until incorporated then stir on low speed for another 5 minutes.

NO extra liquid is needed.


I found that that some powdered sugars are not pure cane but instead are made from beet sugar.  In my experience it is the beet sugar derived powdered sugar that is often the culprit of gritty butter cream.  Also, whipping the butter for a long time before adding the powdered sugar is very helpful.  HTH

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