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Frosting Mishaps.

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I have tried on several occassions to make a frosting. But whenever I make it, it always comes out gritty and runny and it tastes like pure sugar. What am I doing wrong? Am I overbeating the frosting and making it gritty? And what can I do to make it taste better? I'd appreciate any advice I could get :)

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The more yu beat it the thicker it will get, but it won't get runny or gritty.  What kind of frosting are you making.  I'll be able to help better knowing what  ingredients you're using.

Well I was trying to make just a simple white icing and every recipe I looked at called for the same ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. But no matter what I do, it always just tastes like sugar and it gets super runny. But I don't want to try and make it thicker by adding more sugar because it's already so sweet. I tried adding butter, but it didn't really help...

Less have to add the liquid REALLY slowly.  When you make icing, the humidity of the room will also affect the consistency, so you always have to add the liquid slowly until the icing reaches the consistency you want. 

Definitely less liquid - it takes a tiny amount of liquid to dissolve alot of sugar.

If you want to thicken it up without adding more sugar you can fold in some real whipped cream (not the kind in the can).

The other thing you can try is to put in back on your stovetop and cook a little longer.  It will get rid of some of the moisture and thicken it and also disolve the sugar.

Did you nake this in the microwave?  Sometimes it turns out why better if you do it the old fashioned way and cook it on the stove.

I actually didn't cook it at all. It just said to mix the ingredients with a mixer. Maybe that's the problem.

Some you cook, some you don't.  But even if you don't need to heat the kind you're making you put it over low heat and stir it for a few minutes.  Be very careful because all of the ingredients burn easily.  Don't let it bubble up or boil.

Are you sifting your powdered sugar first? If not, that might be why it's coming out gritty or clumpy. The recipe I use is: 1 box powdered sugar (sifted), 1 stick of butter (softened, but not melted), 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of milk. 

I usually start with a little less than a 1/4 cup of milk, add slowly while mixing and then add more until it reaches the desired consistency. 

You can also try omitting the vanilla extract and using 1/4 cup of orange juice instead of the milk for a different taste. Or, use the original recipe and add 1/4 cup cocoa powder for chocolate frosting, or a 1/4 cup strawberry Nestle Quik powder for strawberry frosting (the strawberry one is my own concoction, but is super yummy!)

Good luck!

You could try another method:

1 pound powdered sugar

1 stick Crisco shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla ext.

6 tablespoons water; divided


Cream 4 tablespoons of water, Crisco, and vanilla together until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Add rest of water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.

We used this recipe when I took a couple cake decorating classes. It's still pretty sweet but mellows out when you put it on cake.


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