This is a question I get often…”How do you get your buttercream to be white when using real butter?!” or “How do you get your marshmallow fondant to be a bright white?”
Picture by Cakes by Raewyn
For buttercream, lately I’ve been telling people to add a cup of powdered sugar to their meringue based buttercreams (whether Italian or Swiss) then add some white gel color from Americolor. The powder sugar creates sugar crystals (that the meringue based buttercream lacks) and so the gel color bonds to the sugar crystals making a more even coloring. BUT, it takes a good amount of gel color to do that.
For marshmallow fondant, I tell people to add some Americolor White gel to the melted marshmallow stage in order to brighten the fondant.
BUT…are you ready for a mind blowing trick!! – that takes the TINIEST drop of color!!?!!?!?
Check out this video below by Cakes by Raewyn!!
And prepare for your world to be ROCKED!!! :) Here is a great way to brighten up those creamy whites to white white. I’ve also heard using the tiniest bit of blue can work too…but violet is preferred.
She recommends using Sugar Flair like this one HERE. I’ve also read you can use Americolor violet but it can tend towards a tiny bit gray and not to use Wilton as it will give you a more dull gray color.
Let’s give Raewyn a huge thank you for this simple and “bright” techinque!!!
Hi, Jessica , when you offer a link to Amazon , if you do it thru Amazonsmile, they will donate part of the proceeds from their sales, to a charity of the buyers choice!
Thats pretty crazy I’m totally confused right now – this is simply genius. Thanks for sharing Jessica!
Lots of love from germany, laura
Amazing post!!! Thank you for sharing and thumbs up for Raewyn!
I am a pastry instructor with over 35 years of experience and have been teaching this technique for the longest. This is not a new technique. It is incredible how people proclaims a discovery or ownership or of a technique that was taught and comes from the old school. Back on 1979, I was taught back then as well as of the use of gliceryn to rescue a dried or cracked fondant; I teach this as well.
When articles like this are posted or comes out, I refer them to my students and they laugh and get reassured we cannot believe everything that is posted on a site or the web.
I am posting this with all due respect to honor the old school practices and techniques that are not acknowledged but not forgotten. Thank you!
Hey there!! I totally agree there is nothing new under the sun! I should have said “This is new to me!!!” – and something I hadn’t thought of before!!! Thanks for clarifying!! Blessings!!!
Gee Leticia! Way to rain on someone’s parade!
Thanks for this post Jessica. I agree that nothing is really new, especially in patisserie and cake decorating, but something that is old to some can still be new to others and might even be a helpful reminder to those who have forgotten about certain techniques. I too do some teaching, but even teachers have to learn at some stage.
The important thing is to keep sharing our knowledge and experience. That’s how techniques develop and improve over time.
So thank you Raewyn, Jessica and Leticia for sharing, improving and reminding us that we can all still learn or revise any skill.
Jessica pls can u tell us how to make corn syrup from scratch… For those of us who are not in the US. Love ur link to the shortening recipe… Pls if u come across a recipe let us know.
I have no idea!! You can also use glucose mixed with a little water so it’s the consistency of maple syrup. Blessings!
Hi. New to site so may be a bit late………I bought corn syrup off Internet and it can also be bought at Windsor crafts in Warrington.. and by now other places too.. ?
Yes! Amazon has it too!
Jessica do u use acrylic boards or just cardboard boads to ganache cakes. Have u tried ganaching by creating a lip around the sides cutting it off and ganaching the top. Which one works best?
I use both. Depends on what I have on hand. The acrylic works awesome! I haven’t tried the lip technique. It would take longer than just using the board on top. Blessings!
Hey Jessica ….You suggest adding powdered sugar to SMBC/IMBC , but won’t that leave a gritty mouth feel …I hate gritty Butter Cream?
Thanks, Jessica, for sharing this video. As Raewyn stated, she discovered this trick for herself and shared it. She never said she ‘invented’ it. It is new to me and I sincerely appreciate your sharing her video, teaching me something I can apply immediately.
I have used Wilton purple and it works fine
Hi Jessica! Thanks for your wonderful website! Do you have to modify the recipe of the smbc to adjust the sugar or you just add the cup of icing sugar at the end? Thanx a lot!
I’m not sure I understand the question. I don’t add any icing sugar at the end. I use this method for my basic Swiss meringue buttercream and it works great. Let me know more specifically and I can help! Blessings!
I’m sorry! I mean powdered sugar! At the beggining of the post you said that you suggest to add powdered sugar to the based meringue buttercream.. I’ve heard that it gives more stability to the buttercream too.. And i live in a really really hot place!, But if doing so, should we reduce the amount of regular sugar? Because for fondant cakes i always use the 1:2:2.5 recipe that you suggest and i love it! But in summer sometimes it gets to soft… Therefor i am searching for a more stable buttercream without having to use vegetable shortening! I hope you can help me!
It does help a little bit to add the powdered sugar, but butter is butter and it will start melting around 83 degrees…so, for hot weather you’ll need to add shortening or switch to ganache which is more stable than butter. The powdered sugar addition at the end is to help gel colors adhere to the sugar molecules and give you even color. When you add water based gel colors to a fat based buttercream without sugar molecules (any meringue based buttercream where you’ve melted the sugar molecules) the color will bead up on you and not look even. SO, the powdered sugar helps with this. I don’t feel like it adds any more sweetness, but you can play around with subbing out some of the granular sugar if you feel it’s too sweet. I hope that helps!
Thank you for sharing this tip! I haven’t been able to find this product here in the US. Would you mind sharing where you are purchasing it from? Americolor and Wilton did not turn out good. Thank you
I have no idea, I’m so sorry! You can always leave her a comment on her Facebook page or on that video and see if she responds. I wish you the best!!
May i know normally you cover your cake in what temperature? 1) Can i cover my cake with fondant when i straight away take out from refrigerator? Or must in a cool room or room temperature?
2) Is it if I ice my cake with buttercream also I can cover with fondant? Or must in ganache?
3) How to make the Sharp edges after cover with fondant?
I hope you can share me some advice
Hi Bernice! My house is usually right around 70 +/- depending on the time of year. If you are covering a cake with buttercream, you need to do it right from the fridge so its hard and can have a nice foundation. If you are in a warm/humid climate, then I’d recommend ganache because you can cover it at room temp and have no issues with condensation. To learn how to get sharp edges with buttercream or ganache, check out my first Craftsy class, “Clean & Simple Cake Design”. It covers SO much and would be a huge resource for you!! Here’s a 50% off link: http://www.craftsy.com/cakedesign
I tried this last weekend ans it worked like a charm! Unfortunately I only had Americolour but it worked!!! Thanks for the tip!
Hi Jessica! This looks fantastic, I’m willing to try it. Does it work with your MMF recipe?
Yes it does!! Let me know how it goes!
I add violet gel to my buttercream icing to achieve snow white icing. I add it with a toothpick, a bit at a time and keep checking it turning white. I use only butter, very little milk and sifted icing sugar and beat it well.
I’m wanting to make pink cupcakes but as you probably know, when you add pink to the buttercream it still has the yellow colour to it.
I’m wondering if I add the violet to the buttercream to make it white first, Can I add the pink to it? or will it change the colour of the pink
Pink usually always fades if you use a Wilton or Americolor pink The way to keep that from happening is putting them in a dark box so it can’t see the light of day until party time. You can also use powdered colors. Those don’t fade. So, if you are planning to do lots of pink in the future, you can look into those. Blessings! OH, and the violet won’t effect the pink once the buttercream is a more pure white. You’ll get a better, cooler pink.