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The Ingredient You Need To Fix Runny Buttercream

Cake with pink buttercream
Cake with pink buttercream - Dianebentleyraymond/Getty Images

When it comes to making a cake, whether that's a rich chocolate cake, a vanilla treat, or a different flavor, one major part of the process is making the frosting. Not only does it add sweetness and introduce new tastes to the dessert, but it also gives it a beautiful aesthetic appearance. That's true regardless of whether you're piping on flowers and other designs or simply spreading the icing over the cake.

Now, whichever of these decorating methods you go with, a big part of creating a beautifully finished dessert is getting your icing to the right consistency. Too thick, and the frosting won't spread properly. Too thin, and you'll wind up with it running off the cake! The good news is that if you're making a traditional buttercream, there's an easy fix for runny frosting. All you have to do is add in some extra confectioner's sugar to help thicken it up and get it back to the perfect spreadable texture.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

What To Know About Fixing Your Runny Buttercream

Pink buttercream frosting
Pink buttercream frosting - Jennifer Gauld/Shutterstock

When it comes to adding confectioner's sugar back into your buttercream, you want to go slowly. Otherwise, if you add too much, you can wind up with a frosting that's grainy and sickly sweet. A good rule of thumb is to add ¼ cup at a time. After each time you add more sugar, carefully mix the ingredients to ensure they're fully incorporated before deciding that you need to add more.

Another thing to be aware of is that sometimes your buttercream is too thin because the fat in it has warmed up too much. At around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the butter starts to melt and becomes quite squishy, which can cause your frosting to become too liquid as well. This may be the result of working in a warm kitchen. The good news is that you can chill your buttercream to help bring down the temperature and get it to a thicker consistency as well. You can still add confectioner's sugar if it's too runny, but it can be a way to avoid going overboard and winding up with an inedibly sweet topping.

What If My Buttercream Is Too Thick?

Spreading buttercream with a spatula
Spreading buttercream with a spatula - this_baker/Shutterstock

Sometimes, you might swing too far the other way and wind up with overly thick buttercream. If this is the case, you can mix in some milk or heavy whipping cream. Introducing liquid helps to thin it out and get it back to a more spreadable consistency. Just make sure to add only about a teaspoon at a time so that you don't wind up overshooting and getting a runny mixture.

Additionally, milk may lead to a thinner frosting. So, you may be better off sticking with heavy cream to avoid getting a mixture that's diluted and unspreadable. The ideal consistency for buttercream is a mixture that forms a stiff peak when you dip your spatula into it. Keep an eye out for this to be sure you're ready to put the ingredients away and start decorating your cake. With these tips, regardless of whether you've got a buttercream that's too thick or too thin, you know exactly how to solve the problem and finish up your dessert!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.