Why is My Buttercream Grainy and How to Fix it

Why is My Buttercream Grainy and How to Fix it

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Buttercream is one of my favorite frostings for cakes and cupcakes, but it is not without flaws. Buttercream disasters range from excessively runny nightmares to gritty blunders. If you have a grainy buttercream, the good news is that you can remedy it fast.

When using too-cold butter or unsifted powdered sugar, buttercream often gets gritty. Allowing it to rest, remixing it, or adding a touch of liquid to the buttercream is the simplest cure. Identifying the source of your grainy buttercream may aid in the prevention of future buttercream mishaps.

Hello! My name is Shea, and I’ve been baking for almost 10 years. Buttercream was one of the first things I learned to make, and I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with tastes ranging from quirky and robust to luscious and sweet.

I’ve seen enough of grainy buttercreams in my time, and I’m here to show you how to repair them fast and effortlessly.

Lets fix that grainy buttercream!

Why Buttercream Gets Grainy (3 Reasons)

Why is My Buttercream Grainy and How to Fix it

Before we can discuss how to remedy grainy buttercream, we must first understand what caused it. After all, grainy buttercream isn’t going to happen by itself. Something definitely went wrong throughout the curating process.

1. Too-Cold Butter

Examine your buttercream recipe. Locate the components. Butter is usually the first ingredient mentioned. But it does not end there. The ingredient list will expressly indicate room temperature butter. This is for a purpose.

Even a good, industrious stand mixer may struggle to incorporate too-cold butter with the other buttercream components. What was the ultimate result? Your buttercream frosting has clumpiness and an obvious graininess.

While your butter should not be melted, it should also not be taken directly from the refrigerator. Cold butter blocks will be tough to mix.

So put it on the counter for approximately an hour before using it. You may also soften it in the microwave, but be careful not to overdo it. It should not turn into a liquid.

2. Margarine

I know a lot of folks who are addicted to margarine. For a long time, my mother was a proud member of the group! While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with margarine, it is not always the best option for baking, including buttercream.

It all boils down to the margarine’s composition. You won’t be able to get the creamy, ideal consistency of buttercream since there is more water and less fat. Instead, you’ll get a grainy, overly soft mess.

While margarine may be used for toast and baked potatoes, I do not suggest it for buttercream icing.

3. Unsifted Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is a powder, therefore there will be no clumps, right? Wrong. Although powdered sugar is delicate and fine, it does not exclude the possibility of clumping in the container.

Unsifted powdered sugar will very certainly contain some clumping, both large and little. Before preparing buttercream, it must be sifted. After all, clumps aren’t going away on their own. They will just dissolve into your buttercream, leaving it gritty and nasty. Yuck!

How to Fix Grainy Buttercream (4 Tips)

Why is My Buttercream Grainy and How to Fix it

Don’t be alarmed if you end up with a batch of gritty buttercream. There are various solutions available.

1. Mix It

Sometimes your buttercream looks grainy because you haven’t blended it well enough! What is the solution? Continue to mix until the mixture is completely smooth.

I strongly suggest using a stand mixer to make your buttercream. Stand mixers will produce the smoothest buttercream imaginable without any effort on your part. Who wants to labor any harder than necessary?

If you’re using a stand mixer, you should only need to blend the buttercream for a few minutes more. If the graininess persists, try one of the alternative solutions.

2. Add Liquid

Your buttercream may just need a little amount of additional liquid, such as milk. Begin by mixing in a spoonful of liquid to your buttercream. This should resolve the issue, however you may need to add a few more tablespoons of liquid until you’re pleased.

Melted chocolate has also been added to some people’s mixtures. I haven’t tried it myself, but it makes logical given that chocolate is an emulsifier. Simply melt the chocolate and add it to the buttercream one tablespoon at a time until it is no longer gritty.

3. Let it Rest

Perhaps your buttercream simply needs a break! No, not really. However, chilling your buttercream frosting for a few hours will occasionally assist with the grainy issue. The powdered sugar crystals might melt during this resting time, resulting in a smoother buttercream.

4. Use the Paddle Attachment

If you’re making buttercream using a stand mixer, be sure you use the right attachment. Even if you use the whisk to combine other components like the eggs, always use the paddle attachment. The paddle will produce the most silky buttercream!

How to Avoid Grainy Buttercream in the Future (4 Tips)

Making buttercream and then attempting to repair it may be time-consuming. The ideal way is to prevent this accident altogether! Here are a few pointers to avoid having a gritty nightmare in the future.

1. Use Room Temperature Butter

Always use room temperature butter. It must not be melted. In fact, it should not be soft. Room temperature butter will be approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit and still feel somewhat cool to the touch. When you push your finger into the butter, it should create an impression.

2. Use Real Butter

In a buttercream recipe, do not use margarine for butter. It will not be the same, particularly in terms of texture and taste.

3. Sift Your Powdered Sugar

Even though your powdered sugar seems clump-free, this does not guarantee that it is. Before making buttercream, always sift your powdered sugar. This will save you a ton of time!

4. Use a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment

The last trick is to make your buttercream using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Use the lowest possible setting. The low and slow procedure prevents superfluous air from being beaten into the buttercream, resulting in a wonderfully creamy result.


You can now say goodbye to grainy buttercream! Do you want to know more? Here are some fascinating, often asked questions to which you may wish an answer.

Can you overbeat buttercream?

Yes, buttercream may be overbeaten. Overbeating will introduce too many air bubbles into the buttercream, spoiling its creamy texture. Only a few minutes should be spent beating your buttercream. When finished, it will have a little stiff apex.

How do you rescue split buttercream?

The simplest technique to repair split buttercream is to warm it slightly before combining. It’s best to hold it over the burner until it starts to melt, then whisk it for a few minutes with your stand mixer.

Why does my buttercream taste like powdered sugar?

There are two possibilities for why your buttercream tastes like powdered sugar. One possibility is that you used clumpy powdered sugar and are biting into the clumps. Second, you may have used insufficient seasoning. Make sure you follow your recipe exactly!

Why did my frosting curdle?

Curdled buttercream is often caused by using too-cold ingredients. To get the greatest results, always use components that are at room temperature.

Final Words

Buttercream is a delicious topping for a variety of treats, but it’s not so fantastic if it becomes gritty. To repair grainy buttercream, use the paddle attachment for a few additional minutes of mixing. If needed, add some liquid. Alternatively, let it alone and see if the buttercream works it out on its own.

What is the best way to cure grainy buttercream? Please share your skills and tips with us!


How do you make buttercream smooth again?

Transfer the buttercream to a mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for several minutes to smooth it out. If you don’t have time to allow the buttercream thaw on its own, or if it’s still a touch chilly, you may speed up the process by heating a bit of it and mixing it back in.

Why is my buttercream never smooth?

Dry and coarse icing with far from silky-smooth borders. This crime has two major perpetrators… Too much sugar or firm butter!

Why is my buttercream crystallized?

So, what exactly is causing your grainy buttercream frosting? Most of the time, the problem is the sort of sugar you use in your buttercream icing.

How do you rescue grainy buttercream?

How do you make grainy buttercream?
The most popular approach is to add extra liquid to your buttercream to help dissolve the sugar.
Allowing the buttercream to rest for a few hours or overnight is another tried and true approach.
You may also add melted, cooled chocolate (white or dark chocolate) to the buttercream.

Why does my buttercream have a weird texture?

The culprit is sugar.

This texture is dependent on the seamless mixing of confectioners’ sugar (a fine powder) with butter. If you use granulated sugar, which is grainy as the name implies, you will get an unappealing, gritty frosting.

What is the perfect buttercream texture?

The frosting should create a crisp peak with a little curl on the end. It’s hard enough to keep that curl in place, yet soft enough to create your own. That small curl is a terrific visual indicator that your frosting is the perfect consistency.

Why does my buttercream look like cottage cheese?

If the buttercream looks like cottage cheese, the butter is too cold and has to be gradually warmed. You may also feel the bowl with your hands. Does it have a cool vibe about it? This is also an indicator that the butter is excessively cold.

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