Crusting Butter Cream Disasters...

Decorating By SuHwa Updated 29 May 2008 , 3:43pm by SuHwa

SuHwa Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:43pm
post #1 of 14

I've made the viva crusting buttercream from this site for a long time and up until a couple of weeks ago it's always worked perfectly. Well, almost always. I had trouble when crisco changed, but I moved to hi-ratio shortening. Then we CCer's got upset with the supplier I bought my original order of hi-ratio from and I got my next batch from a different place. Not one single batch using that shortening has worked. It crusts way too quickly for me to give it a first smoothing. But the flip side is that it's only the top that does it, making the whole thing shift and look like saggy elephant skin when I do start smoothing it with paper. I've tried thinning it but it just separates and get's goopy even after whipping it again. Last time when I had this problem, it was super humid outside and I thought that it was perhaps that causing my troubles since it is rarely humid where I live. Yesterday wasn't humid at all.

I'm really discouraged right now. The cake that's due for pick up today was supposed to be done as gift boxes done in crusting buttercream and painted like wrapping paper. I ended up using a softer buttercream recipe because I was worried about failure so close to the deadline... (I'd already had to scrape and redo the whole thing by 9 last night.) I have more cakes in the next two weeks and I'm wondering where to turn. Several are carved and I need that hard icing. I don't bake for sale, but my pride and perfectionist tendencies are hurting over this.

13 replies
DianeLM Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:51pm
post #2 of 14

Have you tried adding more shortening to your recipe? More shortening should make it a little softer plus give you more time to work with it. I wouldn't add more liquid.

vickymacd Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:51pm
post #3 of 14

I've started to buy store brands of 'crisco' and make sure you look at the trans fat label! I'm finding that it doesn't matter who makes it as long as it's NOT the '0' transfat!!

DianeLM Posted 17 May 2008 , 2:48pm
post #4 of 14

BTW, which brand of shortening are you using now?

SuHwa Posted 17 May 2008 , 2:54pm
post #5 of 14

Alpine is the brand I'm using now. So it's supposed to still have the transfats in it... I hope. I won't ever go back to the store bought shortenings as I've had too much trouble making certain colors with it.

I forgot to mention that I did add more shortening to the recipe for the first cakes that this problem happened with. I have a variation of this frosting for cream cheese and for chocolate and I haven't had trouble with it in the past. The chocolate turned out the worst and I ended up solving some of the problem by using less of the shortening. Because it worked then for the chocolate, I thought it would work well for the vanilla icing I made yesterday. But it flopped just like the frostings from the week before. That's why I'm puzzled. Nothing seems to work.

sugarshack Posted 20 May 2008 , 1:58am
post #6 of 14

sounds to me like you need more fat and less liquid, IMO

Lesia Posted 20 May 2008 , 2:10am
post #7 of 14

I've never tried any kind of hi-ratio shortening. But I did learn on another board that if you use cream in place of water for the crisco recipe buttercream, it will crust just like the old crisco. It adds a nice creamy taste, too. Sometimes I use part butter also, but not often in this Florida heat/humidity. icon_biggrin.gif

steplite Posted 20 May 2008 , 2:22am
post #8 of 14

Using the Heavy Cream makes a world of difference.

harlemcakelady Posted 27 May 2008 , 3:27pm
post #9 of 14

I built the 4 tier buttercream wedding cake. It was beautiful.
I look at the cake the morning of delivery to find all the icing has cracked. I specifically used 1/2 foamcore between all the tiers + a 20" round wood board underneath the main tier.

I doweled the cake with big fat straws that I have never had a problem with.


I had to redo the cake at the reception because now I noticed the crisco was melting. That has never happened before. The car was airconditioned and it was only 70 degrees outside.

The icing has been disastrous for me since the trans fat was taken out.

Please help. I'm having a nervous breakdown.

Thanks.

vdrsolo Posted 27 May 2008 , 4:16pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

sounds to me like you need more fat and less liquid, IMO




My thoughts, exactly.

wgoat5 Posted 29 May 2008 , 12:45am
post #11 of 14

when icing crusts quickly doesn't that mean that there is too much ps? Or am I wrong? Or did you all say that LOL .. I thought the more sugar the quicker the crust.. arggghh where is my brain tonight?

Ohh I know.. it's flaming over the fact Sweetex is going 0 trans fat GRRRR

vdrsolo Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:05am
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgoat5

when icing crusts quickly doesn't that mean that there is too much ps? Or am I wrong? Or did you all say that LOL .. I thought the more sugar the quicker the crust.. arggghh where is my brain tonight?

Ohh I know.. it's flaming over the fact Sweetex is going 0 trans fat GRRRR




I hear ya on the Sweetex icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

But yes you are right...the more powdered sugar, the quicker and harder the crust.

I personally don't like it too crusty...it starts crusting before I'm done icing a bottom tier! Plus, it's not very repairable, just in case!

harlemcakelady Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:26pm
post #13 of 14

Sweetex too?

I guess icing will never be the same again.

SuHwa Posted 29 May 2008 , 3:43pm
post #14 of 14

Well I ended up using a combo of sugar shack's icing and the viva recipe and it turned out ok. My mother in law was wonding if the real problem might not be the butter. She said that different brands of butter have differ in the volume of water that they have. Since I use a cheeper store brand butter, she wondered if maybe they've upped the water content and it's messed with my recipe. I don't know. It's sad to hear that we'll no longer be able to some of our hi-ratio shortenings to work like we like them too. I may try the viva recipe this afternoon with the adition of the heavy cream. Do you sub the heavy cream equally for the amount of other liquid? Do those of you that use Crisco in this meathod have trouble with it separating from the icing colors? I do when I don't have distilled water on hand, and I'm wondering if the heavy cream fixes that problem too.

Thanks for your past and future help. icon_smile.gif

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