Made a cake one week ago before going on vacation. They wanted 5 shades of brown, lightest on the top to very dark on the bottom. The cake looked fine Friday night. The next day after it went out, there were spots that formed on various tiers. Any idea what could have happened? I used Wilton colors, brown, black, ivory and moss green. I broke down the colors into small portions of the Italian buttercream before mixing it back into the rest of the butttercream, so there wouldn't be any chunks of color in the buttercream, but I am guessing that maybe I missed a few pieces? The black and moss green were thicker than the brown and harder to break down. They wanted really dark color on the bottom tier and I used almost 3 jars of brown color on the bottom tier alone, plus varying amounts of the other colors to match the shade they wanted. Does anyone know of a better brand of color to buy and where to get it? I've attached a pic of the before cake, but haven't seen a pic of the "after" cake. Thoughts?
It would be auesome to see the finished picture to identify the spots. Can you find anything online that looks similar, or can you reproduce what you had again? The photo will be the only way to definately tell whats happening.
I've gotten "spots" where someone or something has touched the frosting....in the cooler. Like a finger or a drip (condensation) can darken spots on your frosting. Also using a heated knive to smooth your frosting can bring out any undeveloped/undisolved bits of coloring paste in your frosting. It becomes more accentuated as the frosting warms up from being in the cooler.
I still like Wilton colors.....their flavorless and dense. Americolor has a really bad taste when you need a heavily saturated color.
Different buttercream recipes take color differently. The last place I worked at, their buttercream recipe wouldn't take color at all......... it required way more paste then other frostings I've used!!
Sometimes adding some xxxsugar can change the absorbtion of the color into your buttercream. If you add some salt too it counter balances the sweetness the xxxsugar has.
Another thing I've come across with some Witlton paste colors is they clot weird as they dry, with-in the paste jar over time in storage. Like their moss green always has tiny bits/clots of the coloring,
Last point, try not to use a blended mix of colors when your gradating frosting from light to darkness. It doesn't work as well a one straight color does in Wilton paste. Always start with you darkest color. Get that perfect, then add white frosting to each layer to lighten the shade with-out changing the hue. Most people work the opposite........but it's not as successful.
If there really was a problem on your end, I promise you a photo will show up! You know how that goes.....
Sorry about the whole color swatching thing...........it's like nut allergies....who can guarentee perfection ...all you can do is your best. Some factors are out of your control.
They seem like problem customers, the kind of people who would find a problem; even if there wasn't one. The only thing I can say is I hate having an important product land at a time or day when I'm not there personally. It's like Murphys Law something will happen then.
When you're using an all butter buttercream, you can't really avoid having darker areas in some places as you smooth it out; especially if you are very careful when you first apply it then try to go back over it to do any kind of touch-up; no matter how careful you are. That's where the buttercream color will darken and you can't do anything about it. As Wendy mentions, I've even seen some places whom I know use vegetable shortening (as well as butter) in their frostings have a similar issue. Sometimes people say it's the salt in that kind of buttercream that makes it happen, but I have no idea. But you can see tiny pin dot spots in the frosting; and you can see where someone went over it to smooth it out. Kind of like when you rub a piece of velvet cloth - the nap changes and you get two colors (lighter and darker). You have two different shades of colored frosting.
I agree with Wendy; Wilton colors are not wonderful; I like to use a gel-paste color (Americolor or Chefmaster) but still, you aren't going to get an exact match, and color changes over time. Even in my cooler, where purple will fade to blue or blue fades to something awful and don't get me started on black. Depending on whether the manufacturer uses green as a base color for black or something else, that's what you'll end up with. With the Americolor Warm Brown, I can guarantee it will be pink in the morning!
If the spotting was like tiny pin dots in the frosting, I've seen that happen when the egg whites are beaten too much - I can see it when the buttercream has no color in it! (The Italian Meringue kind, I mean) and if you add a color to the frosting it is much more noticeable.
We just added Pur Colour to our line of products. They come from Couture Confections in Colorado. The are all natural colorants. I think the Dry Powdered Colorant would work best for you, want to try it? The dry colorants are for fondant, batter, whipped cream and frosting. We have brown. Let me know- I can send you a sample to try to see if it works for you. Or you can just order one- they come in 4 oz bags- goes a long way! Let me know- love to help!