Why is My Buttercream Runny?

Why is My Buttercream Runny?

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To be honest, I have a very strong sweet taste and find it difficult to say no to sweets. It becomes more difficult when a treat, such as a cake or a cupcake, is covered with buttercream icing. It’s my ultimate favorite since it has a deep flavor and a creamy texture.

But that’s precisely why buttercream is intended to be creamy and silky. So what if all you get is a bowl of buttercream soup? What went wrong in this case?

Buttercream may become runny due to a variety of factors, including an overly hot kitchen and an excess of liquid. The good news is that runny buttercream is readily corrected, which is precisely what we’ll be addressing today.

Lets fix that runny buttercream!

Why is My Buttercream Runny? 5 Reasons

Nobody likes runny buttercream pouring over a freshly baked delight. And if you keep getting stuck with a soupy mess, its essential to know whats causing it.

Here are the top five reasons why your results are sloppy, messy, and unsatisfactory.

1. Too Much Liquid

Too much liquid (particularly milk) is the major cause of runny buttercream.

That is why it is critical to strictly adhere to your recipe. If it says for two tablespoons of milk, use exactly two tablespoons. If you just need 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence, go ahead and use it.

That being said, you should always have some high-quality measuring spoons and measuring cups on hand. When it comes to the slightly fussy buttercream, eyeballing your ingredients will lead to catastrophe.

2. Too-Hot Kitchen

To be honest, I can’t see this happening. I can’t handle baking in a hot kitchen, and I’m guessing you can’t either. But I understand that things happen. Maybe your air conditioner is broken, or maybe it’s simply a very humid day.

However, you must be cautious of the temperature and humidity conditions in your kitchen. Because buttercream frosting is largely comprised of butter (and sugar), it may easily melt at high temperatures.

3. Overbeating

Beating is an important step in making buttercream and should be done with an electric mixer (handheld or countertop stand mixer). Overbeating, on the other hand, is a major contributor to buttercream becoming a messy mess.

4. Warm Ingredients

Keep in mind that heat and humidity are absolute no-nos for buttercream. However, this does not just represent the temperature in the kitchen. You should also consider the temperature of your ingredients, since heated substances will be more prone to runniness.

How to Fix Runny Buttercream

Runny buttercream just will not do. But hold on! Before you throw away that new batch of soupy buttercream, you should know that there are simple techniques to revive it. Examine it out!

1. Add More Powdered Sugar

The easiest approach to correct runny buttercream is to add additional powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the required consistency is obtained.

Powdered sugar works well as a thickening agent while also having a deliciously sweet flavor that does not overshadow the flavor of your frosting.

If you don’t have any more powdered sugar, you may use cornstarch. However, you must exercise caution while using cornstarch. If you use too much, your buttercream will have a disagreeable starchy flavor.

2. Chill it in the Refrigerator

Another fast fix is to put it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. In the cold climate, some or all of the buttercream should thicken.

Chilling the buttercream in the fridge might cause the outside layer to firm while the inner portion remains liquid. That’s fine! Remove the thicker sides and use it normally.

As long as there isn’t too much liquid, you may also try combining the runny and thickened portions together.

How to Avoid Runny Buttercream

Now that you know how to correct runny buttercream, let’s talk about how to prevent it in the first place. After all, prevention is always preferable than cure.

1. Measure Ingredients

Following a recipe step by step is essential for buttercream success.

Make careful to measure out all of the components, particularly the liquids, and add them as directed.

But don’t overlook the necessity of using the proper quantity of butter. Butter is a solid fat that contributes to the ideal frosting thickness. While you may achieve it by adding a bit extra butter, it is ideal to be exact with the proportions.

2. Cool Down Your Kitchen

Heat and humidity are two of buttercream’s worst enemies. And, let’s be honest, you deserve to bake in a comfortable and cool kitchen.

Turn on the air conditioner for the sake of yourself and your buttercream. At the very least, direct a few of fans into the kitchen to help it cool down.

3. Don’t Overmix

You’ll want to beat the buttercream until soft peaks form and it thickens, which should take around 3-5 minutes on medium-high or high speed (depending on the recipe). Stop hammering as soon as you perceive the peaks and thickness.

Overbeating will deflate and make the buttercream fluid, and the heat from the mixer may also contribute to soupy buttercream. For optimal results, experiment with how long you beat your buttercream.

4. Use Cold Ingredients

I would never recommend using warm or even room temperature components, particularly the butter and liquid. Before beating up your buttercream, make sure these components are cold in the fridge. This should result in the desired texture.


Runny buttercream is literally a disaster, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be rectified with the right measures. Check out these FAQs to discover more about why your buttercream is runny and other useful information.

How can I thicken buttercream without powdered sugar?

The second best option is to chill it for 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t want to wait that long, the third option is to make the icing using shortening and flour. The shortening will provide much-needed thickness, while the flour will provide the proper consistency.

Can you over-mix buttercream?

You may overmix buttercream, which causes it to deflate and become runny. Following the recipe step by step is the best method to prevent this from happening. Also, always stop mixing once you observe firm peaks and thickness.

How do I fix runny cream cheese frosting?

Runny cream cheese frosting, like buttercream frosting, may be conserved in the same manner. Adding some powdered sugar or cornstarch is the greatest remedy. You may also chill it to firm it up. Some people have had success using icing sugar, meringue powder, and arrowroot powder.

Final Words

or the ingredients you’re using might be to blame. Finally, overbeating might result in deflation and runniness. The good news is that you can increase the consistency of your soupy buttercream by simply adding powdered sugar or chilling it.Because you put too much liquid, your buttercream is most likely runny. However, your kitchen’s temperature and

Have you ever had runny buttercream? How did you resolve it? Please leave a comment!


How do you fix runny buttercream?

So, whether your buttercream is a soup or just a little runny, the solution is to chill it down. If the buttercream is thin enough to run off a spoon, place the whole bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until the frosting starts to stiffen around the edges.

Why won’t my buttercream frosting thicken?

By lowering the temperature, the icing should quickly tighten. This is an excellent method for overmixed buttercream frosting or frosting produced in a warm kitchen. If this doesn’t work, try adding a few teaspoons of sifted powdered sugar at a time.

Why is my buttercream soupy?

If your buttercream seems soupy, the butter is too warm and has to be refrigerated.

Can you over beat buttercream?

The more you beat, the more air you integrate into the buttercream, resulting in plenty of holes or air pockets and a lighter color. This is OK if you want to use your buttercream largely for filling or simple swirls.

Does buttercream harden in the fridge?

At this stage, chilled buttercream will be fairly solid – as hard as a cold stick of butter, as shown above – and cannot be beaten smooth. To reassemble it, follow these steps. When softened, it may be distributed smoothly and easily.

What consistency should buttercream be?

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 is my buttercream melting?

If your buttercream seems to be slipping off the cake or your piped decorations begin to droop, the temperature in the room is likely too high, causing your buttercream to melt.

How do you thicken buttercream frosting without powdered sugar?

How can you thicken frosting without using powdered sugar? A. There are various simple techniques to thicken frosting without adding sugar or additional sweetness. Unsweetened thickeners include flour, cornstarch, meringue powder, gelatin, and cocoa powder.

Why is my frosting liquidy?

Because your combination was too heated, the butter melted and leached away its butterfat and liquid, leaving the whole mixture much too watery to create a stable emulsion.

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