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Piping buttercream on thick

I'd like to know how to pipe buttercream in a thick swirl (2-3 turns, ~1 inch high) so that it doesn't fall.

When I try the buttercream just starts to fall and turns in to one big glob of icing. Do I have to make the buttercream thicker? It is just the temperature?

I've attached a picture as an example (courtesy of http://ourkitchen.fisherpaykel.com/re...



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  1. sounds like your buttercream is too thin.

    1. That might not even be "turns" as you put it. I think it looks like it was done with a fat round tip and more of a bloop, bloop, bloop, raising and lowering the tip/bag while squeezing out the buttercream all in the center of the surface. Hopefully that makes sense. The way DQ puts ice cream on a cone.
      If you are doing it by making circles with the bag, IME it works best to do the outside bottom ring, then go fill in and sort of stack up the middle a little and move to a couple more rings on the outside. That way you don't end up with a hollow center.

      +1 for stiffer buttercream.

      1. I agree that your frosting could be too thin and you also want to build up in the middle. I was going to try to describe it and decided a video would be more helpful.


        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          YES! This is exactly what I was trying to describe below - thank goodness for Youtube!

          1. re: biondanonima

            I know==I started to describe it and then thought that there must be a video of it somewhere.

        2. Definitely stiffer buttercream (and keep it cold), but you may also not be using the right tip or technique. That looks to me like it was done not with the technique that splatgirl described, but with an actual spiral using a very large round tip. There may also be a small "mountain" of icing underneath the spiral to keep it from collapsing - you just pipe a mountain with the large tip right in the center and then build the spiral around it.

          1. And now I want to make cupcakes LOL

            1. You might also want to use half shortening (Crisco) and half butter rather than all butter to get stiffer icing that will stand up. Add a little butter flavoring if you want. I usually double the vanilla in my recipe. I suppose you could use butter flavored Crisco a well.

              I've found half shortening/half butter still tastes good and is a good compromise between frosting workability, taste, and texture.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chrishel

                If you make an American-style buttercream (butter, powdered sugar and a little milk), using half shortening will definitely make it stiffer, but any of the European-style buttercreams that use egg will be fine with straight butter. I never have trouble with all-butter American buttercream either - just be sure to keep it cold as you're working and don't add too much milk.

              2. I frost almost all of my cupcakes this way and I have never had to use shortening. Shortening frostings are for practice not eating, IMHO.

                The cooked flour frostings pipe and taste great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Becca Porter

                  "I frost almost all of my cupcakes this way and I have never had to use shortening. Shortening frostings are for practice not eating, IMHO."


                2. Thanks for the tips so far, everyone! I'm looking forward to testing this out soon.

                  Becca, I'd never heard of flour frosting. I might give that a try too.