My Buttercream Icing Separated!

Decorating By cncgirl00 Updated 14 Oct 2006 , 2:44pm by cncgirl00

cncgirl00 Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 2:59pm
post #1 of 18

I iced a cake last night. I answered the phone and when I came back the icing had separated. It slid off the cake and just looked awful. I scraped it off and added another 1/2 lb. of powdered sugar to it just to get it to hold shape. I don't know what happened. I use 1/2 crisco and 1/2 butter crusting buttercream. My kitchen was cool. I've never had icing to look like that before. Has anyone ever had this to happen?

17 replies
cncgirl00 Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 3:03pm
post #2 of 18


Parable Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 3:32pm
post #3 of 18

Wow, I can't figure that out either. How much sugar did you start off with? How many tablespoons of liquid (water & flavorings) did you add? How long did you beat the icing with the mixer?

mkerton Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 3:37pm
post #4 of 18

yeah I use a 1/2 and 1/2 recipe all the time....never heard or seen that happen! Details please.

cncgirl00 Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 5:45pm
post #5 of 18

I used 2 lbs of p. sugar (like I always do), 1/3 c. water, 1c. butter, 1 t. vanilla and 1 c. crisco. I've never had this to happen before. I got this recipe from a Roland Winbeckler book. I use a timer and followed the times that it says in his directions. I don't know what happened.

cncgirl00 Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 18

I iced this cake 3 times before it looked right. It's the ballerina cake in my photos.

lsawyer Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 10:58pm
post #7 of 18

Was your cake warm? This sounds very odd. You can always add 1T of meringue powder to every pound of sugar to act as a stabilizer.

birdgirl Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 12:12am
post #8 of 18

I have had it happen once--the butter was really soft so I assume that it may have been too soft and it seperated. Just a thought.

cncgirl00 Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 12:17pm
post #9 of 18

The cake was cold. Maybe it was the butter. I hope it doesn't happen anymore! Oh, I delivered the ballerina cake last night and they loved it. They paid me more that the price that I quoted them. I told them just to give me the original price but they said that I was underpricing my cakes and they paid me what they cake was worth to them. I love customers like this! AND, they ordered another cake!

Parable Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 1:14pm
post #10 of 18

Definately meringue powder next time.

I looked at your cake and it is cute as a button. I see why they keep coming back for more. I would like to know if you use some sort of lettering chart or do you just write that beautifully normally. Please share your secret?

cncgirl00 Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 1:57pm
post #11 of 18

I cheated on the writing. I have a wilton letter press that say Happy Birthday and just pressed that on the cake and iced over it. I printed the name out on my computer with a font that matched the Happy Birthday letters. I used a tootpick to try to put the name on the cake, then iced over it. My own handwriting is not so good.

cncgirl00 Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 1:59pm
post #12 of 18

I'm also gonna try the meringue powder next time. Will it change the flavor of the icing?

Parable Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 2:05pm
post #13 of 18

Thanks! But that is NOT cheating.....that is using your creativity, ingenuity and tools. I have tons of fonts I've printed out, of the alphabet, to help me.

Parable Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 2:24pm
post #14 of 18

No, I do not think meringue powder changes the least all my customers don't think so....they rave about the icing!

jstritt Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 2:48pm
post #15 of 18

I tried making icing once without meringue powder, and it was a disaster. I will always use meringue powder. It doesn't change the taste of the icing at all. All that suger covers up any taste it might add.

cncgirl00 Posted 12 Oct 2006 , 4:36pm
post #16 of 18

Thanks for all the help!

FreshAir Posted 14 Oct 2006 , 12:27pm
post #17 of 18

Well cncgirl00, I've been there before! I made a cake once and the exact same thing happened to me. In my situation I concluded that I let the butter get too soft. Normally if I use butter in my icing I just let it get to room temperature but it still holds it's shape pretty well. The time my icing slid off of my cake I had placed the butter in the bowl to soften &, when I got ready to make my icing, it was so soft that I could have stirred it up with a spoon. I made the icing going by the normal recipe but when I iced the cake it looked almost shiny (that should have been a warning sign.) I finished decorating it & within an hour my top boarder had slid down the side of the cake. At first I couldn't figure it out. I thought that maybe I had made the boarder too big & put it too close to the edge but after I thought about it more, I thought it was probably the butter. Hopefully that will never happen to you again. BTW, your ballerina cake is just the cutest & whatever happened to it before, you would never know it by looking at that picture!! Great save!

cncgirl00 Posted 14 Oct 2006 , 2:44pm
post #18 of 18

Appreciate all the feedback. Hopefully, I won't have this trouble again. What should have taken me 45 min. or so to decorate took over 3 hrs! It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I still wasn't happy with but I was so tired at the end I was just glad I didn't have to trash it!

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