Cracking Icing...help!!!!

Decorating By 2sdae Updated 18 Mar 2008 , 2:26am by sugarshack

2sdae Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 11:12am
post #1 of 26

The last few times I have made cakes every time I goto smooth my cakes my icing cracks.
I use the sugarshack recipe and method.
What causes this and how do I stop it!!!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

25 replies
Granpam Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:01pm
post #2 of 26

Cracking how ? As you are smoothing or when you are moving the cake as you smooth? It could be your boards are not strong enough or you are waiting too long to smooth and it is too crusted. I saw her video at cakle club and it seemed to me that it would take me a lot of time between steps and my icing woukld be too crusted to smooth. Just an observation for my own usage.

2sdae Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:10pm
post #3 of 26
Granpam Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:22pm
post #4 of 26

I'm no expert and my thought is that your icing is not even from the bottom to the top. I have had the sagging type thing happen to me and I just added ore icing on the bottom and then smoothed a second time. I think I had my spatula at too much of an angle without realizing it until I was done.

thecupcakemom Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:33pm
post #5 of 26

I just posted about cracking cakes, as well. I have this problem, as well. My sheet cakes crack when I move the cake off of my turntable onto the cake box. I tried using two cake boards and I still have the problem. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. I am happy to try a different kind of cakeboard if anyone has suggestions.

2sdae Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:36pm
post #6 of 26

Mine arent due to moving, I use masonite boards so they arent cracking from bending boards...it's as soon as my icing crusts I go to smooth it it and it starts to crack and get all wrinkly on me......

justme50 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:37pm
post #7 of 26

I think Granpam is probably on the right track.

It looks to me like that kind of cracking is due to smoothing with the icing too crusted. Also, you may be applying too much pressure pushing your icing down on the top edges because those "cracks" look more like the result of the icing buckling rather than just cracking.

claribelcakes Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:21pm
post #8 of 26

I had the same problem. I went to the Hardware store and bought a small microfoam paint roller. As soon as the icing crusts, I roll over it and it gives you the smoothest "fondant-looking" finish. Let me know if it works for.

2sdae Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:27pm
post #9 of 26

I have the rollers too, I used them on the pic in fact. I smooth as soon as it crusts...you couldn't smooth it before I do or it would be wet.
I'm wondering if I decraese the sugar some if that will help it crust slower and more smooth.<<<also making it a thinner consistency too.

claribelcakes Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:54pm
post #10 of 26

I also had this problem on a cake I did that was too heavy, is it possible that the batter you used is causing your cake to buckle and that its not just the icing?

I'm new to all this so may be way off. In any case I really hope someone else can help you. Your cakes are very pretty!!

cariage Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:23pm
post #11 of 26

I did a care bears cake yesterday and had the same problem. I had to scrape it all off and start over. In my case the icing was too thin. It was just sliding right off of the cake. I made another batch with less liquid and it worked just fine. (I use sugar shacks recipe also) I normally follow her recipe exactly, but I thought it might smooth easier for me if it was a little thinner so I added extra liquid ...guess thats what I get for thinking. icon_smile.gif

Granpam Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 7:43pm
post #12 of 26

thecupcakemom, I never use less than 3 cake boards under a cake sometimes 4 if it is a heavy cake. I also alternate the the corrigation ( the lines ) of the cardboard to make them even stronger. I cut my own square and rectangle cardboards from boxes I bring home from work. I don't think you could do that with purchased rectangles only squares and circles.

busymom9431 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 7:57pm
post #13 of 26

I don't have any suggestions on the sagging icing, but the cake looks great to me.
For cake boards, I use the foam board that you can buy at a hobby lobby type store. You can get two different thicknesses and you have to cut it to size, it comes in 20x30in. boards but by the time you would triple or quadruple your boards these would be cheaper. It is super stiff. Watch the sale paper b/c I got them 50% off. They ended up being like $1
Haven't had a problem with the cracking due to movement. Now I wouldn't use anything else!

tracey1970 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 7:58pm
post #14 of 26

I've had this happen too. When it seemed to happen to me was after the icing had crusted, and I had started to smooth it. When I use the "hot spatula" method (putting spatula in hot water, drying it, and using it to smooth the icing), this sometimes happens to me on areas of the cake, even ones I've given a light smooth already. Not sure why. Perhaps the icing in that area was crusted beyond the smoothing stage by the time I got back to it with the hot knife?? It dosen't sound like that's your problem, though, if you are using the roller and doing it as soon as the icing crusts. That's just been my experience.

sugarshack Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 9:09pm
post #15 of 26

Looks to me like your icing was not stiff enough. When I make my icing too soft ( or use the wlamart brand of PS; for some reason it messes up my icing BAD)... this happens.


The icing has too much give ,and is compressing too much under the rigors of your smoothing. So it just smooshes togtehr, bags and wrinkles.

How stiff was your icing?


I try to make my icing as stiff as I can get it, wihtout getting. air into it while mixing. I find that gives me the smoothest sharpest results on the cake.


HTH. I feel your pain ( been there)

CakesOnly Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 12:04am
post #16 of 26

I too have this problem. I also get air bubbles at the same time. What recipe doyou all use, and how long do you mix it? If I don't mix it long enough it isn't smooth. Either way I still get lots of cracks.

tracey1970 Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 1:34am
post #17 of 26

I am so sorry if I am hijacking this thread, but when I saw Sharon's response, I had to ask a question. I have your buttercream DVD (and the fondant one too), and I have watched the YouTube video of you making your icing many times. Almost all of the BC recipes I've seen tell us to cream the shortening/butter, add the flavouring (i.e. vanilla, etc.) after that, add the powdered sugar, and then add the rest of the liquid (water, milk, creamer, etc.). I notice that you put your liquids in before creaming the shortening and before adding the powdered sugar, which makes more sense to me since my poor KA just groans under the weight of all that powdered sugar with no real liquid in there yet.

My question is with regard to consistency, which you mentioned in your reply. If you put your liquids in first, then you must have a consistency in mind when you make a batch, but do/can you add more liquid later if the powdered sugar perhaps contains too much cornstarch, and the icing turns out thicker than you thought? Do you add different amounts of liquid up front for different consistencies? I presume the video is based on how to make icing that one would use to ice a cake. Do you do something different to make BC roses, for example? How do you know how much liquid to add when you add it before you add the powdered sugar?

Sorry for the questions, but I am a struggling cake decorator who has yet to figure out how to make icing as smooth as yours. (and sorry if I've hijacked this thread)

sugarshack Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 2:58am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracey1970



My question is with regard to consistency, which you mentioned in your reply. If you put your liquids in first, then you must have a consistency in mind when you make a batch, but do/can you add more liquid later if the powdered sugar perhaps contains too much cornstarch, and the icing turns out thicker than you thought?

yes, and i do quite often have to add 1/2 to 1tbs more from bacth to batch, depending upon how the PS is acting



Do you add different amounts of liquid up front for different consistencies?

you can, sure, but I only make this one consistency.



I presume the video is based on how to make icing that one would use to ice a cake. Do you do something different to make BC roses, for example?

I do not no, but you could surely change the consistency as you need to. you could develop 3 "recipes" for stiff, med, and thinner.


How do you know how much liquid to add when you add it before you add the powdered sugar?


just having made it hundreds of times, i know 16 tbs is the minimum I need. i can tell pretty early in the mixing process if I am going to need just a tad more liquid.


Sorry for the questions, but I am a struggling cake decorator who has yet to figure out how to make icing as smooth as yours. (and sorry if I've hijacked this thread)


i totally understand as I have been there and back myself. This recpe just evolved for me over years of trial and error.

I hope I helped some.




tonedna Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:19am
post #19 of 26

I think the icing is too thin..I agree with Sharon..
Edna

2sdae Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 9:51am
post #20 of 26

You know...come to think of it...my icing was thinner the last time for sure...I always start off with it thicker...for daming purposes mostly and because Sharon's recipe is just naturally thick....it seemed softer than normal for me this time.
BUT I used the same things I always use though..... icon_cry.gif
Now I will have to make another batch just to play this out..... icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif

grannys3angels Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 1:00pm
post #21 of 26

I know sometimes the PS and or the weather can play a big roll in how my icing turns out also. At times I may have to add more PS or other times more liquid.

This month makes a year that I have been using Sharon's bc recipe & tips party.gif I love it, will never ever go back to the old recipe I used. I also love her BC DVD and hope soon to get her new DVD on stacking cakes...man do I need that one icon_lol.gif .

CakesOnly, I use Sugarshack's bc recipe & tips....here is a link to her youtube on how to make it, if you would like to check it out.




God Bless,
Sharon

pjaycakes Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:01pm
post #22 of 26

Sugarshack - I noticed when I first make your bc icing it is really smooth. If I put it aside for a few days, when I go to use it it has more air bubbles in it. Do you re mix it on low before using or is this not suppose to happen? Thanks

tracey1970 Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 12:46am
post #23 of 26

Thanks, Sharon, for your help!

sugarshack Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 2:25am
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaycakes

Sugarshack - I noticed when I first make your bc icing it is really smooth. If I put it aside for a few days, when I go to use it it has more air bubbles in it. Do you re mix it on low before using or is this not suppose to happen? Thanks




This does not happen to me.

1) i think sweetex is less prone to do this than other shortenings

2) try making it with just a little bit more liquid and see if that helps.

sugarshack Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 2:25am
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaycakes

Sugarshack - I noticed when I first make your bc icing it is really smooth. If I put it aside for a few days, when I go to use it it has more air bubbles in it. Do you re mix it on low before using or is this not suppose to happen? Thanks




This does not happen to me.

1) i think sweetex is less prone to do this than other shortenings

2) try making it with just a little bit more liquid and see if that helps.

sugarshack Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 2:26am
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaycakes

Sugarshack - I noticed when I first make your bc icing it is really smooth. If I put it aside for a few days, when I go to use it it has more air bubbles in it. Do you re mix it on low before using or is this not suppose to happen? Thanks




This does not happen to me.

1) i think sweetex is less prone to do this than other shortenings

2) try making it with just a little bit more liquid and see if that helps.

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