Kitchen Tips – Broken Buttercream & Whipped Frostings

If you ask me what the most important lesson or tip is for baking, I would answer “patience.” Many of the techniques involved in baking can be practiced and learned, but if you can’t muster patience in the kitchen – forget it, game over.

Most of my baking mistakes come from rushing things:
fallen cakes – continually opening the oven door and toothpick testing to see if it’s done yet,
flat cookies – nuking the butter instead of just waiting for it to reach room temperature, packing the dough balls in too closely on the baking sheet so that I don’t have to wait to do a second batch,
broken buttercreams… sadness!

photo by Sugarbloom Cupcakes

But in some cases, there’s a fix. And actually until this week, I never knew that I could save my broken buttercreams!

When making a frosting with butter or cream cheese, everything needs to be at room temperature. You must set it out for at least 45 minutes. There’s just no way around it! If you can’t wait, you might notice as you’re mixing that you have little tiny lumps instead of a nice smooth consistency. This is because either the butter or cream cheese is still too cold, and no amount of furious mixing will save it.

Before you throw it out.. or before you just sit down and eat it while crying.. try putting the bowl over a hot water bath and mixing (without getting any water in the bowl!). This should warm it up a bit and help the clumps smooth out without melting anything. You can also try adding a little warm melted chocolate (white chocolate for vanilla frosting) and mixing it throughout.

Buttercreams and whipped frostings are tricky; you are not alone! Frosting is half the battle.


Comments are closed.