Help! I Can’t Get My Chocolate Frosting To Look Right

published Apr 28, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: I’m having a real problem getting my chocolate frosting to look right. I was making Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes, and while the cake and caramel turned out perfect, the frosting in this recipe turned out entirely too thin and runny to be piped.

Because I was out of chocolate and couldn’t really start over, I tried to salvage it as best as I could. I beat in some more powdered sugar, and eventually turned it into something with the consistency of a ganache. Ultimately, it tasted just fine — but I was frustrated that I couldn’t replicate the picture, especially since I had some pretty specific decorating ideas I wasn’t able to implement.

I’m not entirely sure if the fault was mine (was the butter a little too cold? did I not cool down the chocolate enough?) or the recipe’s (missing step? important timing stuff that wasn’t spelled out?) or some combination of the two. I don’t have a problem mixing up other buttercream frostings — I’ve got a pretty good grip on the fluffy white stuff that looks like it’s from a storebought cake but tastes SO much better. But the chocolate frosting is driving me nuts.

Are there any secrets I’m missing here? Is there a better recipe for pipeable chocolate frosting? Any help you or your readers can offer would be much appreciated.

Sent by Rob

Editor: Here is the recipe Rob is working with:

Rob, we are curious if you were able to refrigerate the frosting for a while after making it? For frosting recipes that start out warm, like this one, we often refrigerate them overnight and then re-whip the next day. We find that many chocolate frosting recipes need to chill thoroughly before they stiffen up.

That’s just one idea, though. Readers, any other thoughts or recipe suggestions?

(Image: 52 Cupcakes)