Attack Of The Melting Buttercream! Help!

Decorating By queenuvhearts8 Updated 26 Jun 2008 , 6:35pm by JanH

queenuvhearts8 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:53pm
post #1 of 9

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this board, as well as new to the art of wedding cake making/decorating. I made my first two-tier cake last week, and though it tasted divine, my buttercream (Italian) melted upon contact with the 85 degree weather outdoors. By the time I was able to get it to the party only 10 minutes later, it had melted quite significantly and my very simple decorations were drooping.

Fast forward to yesterday when I was asked to make a wedding cake for a friend who is getting married next year in July. I would love to make her a cake, however, I can't imagine the disaster that would ensue if I were to use the same type of buttercream. Any advice? Should I switch to a powdered sugar based BC or fondant? Is there anyway to preserve the cake long enough so that the Italian BC holds up?



8 replies
cakedout Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 5:26pm
post #2 of 9

Italian Buttercream + heat = disaster! icon_eek.gif

Same goes for the French Buttercream I use....almost had a similar problem the first weekend in June when we had an unseasonable heat wave!

I'd stick to a high-humidity traditional bc or fondant for those summer weddings! thumbs_up.gif

queenuvhearts8 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 5:30pm
post #3 of 9

Thanks for the suggestion!

I was just reading the "Everything you ever wanted to know about BC" thread and there is a recipe in there that talks about Hi-Ratio Shortening, Icing Base, 6X sugar, and an optional stick of butter. Do you think that would be better? I'm always concerned about the butter content of the frosting, but shortening-based frostening tastes nasty, imo

JanH Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 5:54pm
post #4 of 9

Hi and Welcome to CC, queenuvhearts8. icon_smile.gif

Decoding CC acronyms:

You can't have both a butter based b/c recipe and a non-melting b/c in summer heat. icon_cry.gif

Originally Posted by queenuvhearts8

I'm always concerned about the butter content of the frosting, but shortening-based frostening tastes nasty, imo

If you so dislike shortening based frostings, you can cover the cake in fondant (over marzipan or jam):

(The Brite White b/c is my favorite, but it's not a meringue b/c; so don't fault because it's not.) icon_confused.gif


mcdonald Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 5:57pm
post #5 of 9

I even had a shortening based icing melt on me. But I am in Texas and it was 100 degrees with about the same humidity so you just have to be careful even with shortening.

queenuvhearts8 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 6:03pm
post #6 of 9

Oh I'm sorry JanH! I wasn't dissing your frosting tapedshut.gif Please accept my apologies...I in no way meant to offend you or your recipes icon_sad.gif

When I think of shortening frostings, I think of local grocery store cakes whose frostings are often cloyingly sweet. The Hi-Ratio recipe looked much more appetizing (and with the addition of a stick of butter even better!). In fact, I want to experiment decorating with it in the v. near future. I do get a little confused as to which BC is best for decorating? For example, is crusting BC too stiff to make flowers/borders? I'm still a little confused as to what it is used for (there is SO MUCH to learn!)

JanH Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 6:17pm
post #7 of 9

Thank you. Apology accepted. icon_cool.gif

There are different types of icings for different uses and for different tastes. All of them are liked by somebody - it's just a matter of personal preference. thumbs_up.gif

Everything you ever wanted to know about making your 1st tiered cake:
(Has a lot of info you might find helpful.)

Indydebi's illustrated guide to cutting neat slices of tiered cakes:
(So much easier than Wilton's method.)


P.S. The Brite White w/butter variation was what I used for my son's garden wedding in August (here in IN). icon_biggrin.gif

queenuvhearts8 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 6:23pm
post #8 of 9

Just to clarify, is the Brite White w/butter variation the Hi-Ratio recipe? If so, that sounds perfect. I currently reside in Champaign, IL, and the wedding will be in the Chicago suburbs, so it's nice to hear that the cake held up in similar weather.

Much thanks for the links! I have been using a wedding cake instruction/recipe book up until this point, however, the author had failed to mention that her cakes were very weather dependent. I've learned so much on this board just within the past hour! icon_biggrin.gif

JanH Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 6:35pm
post #9 of 9

Yes it is. icon_smile.gif

(There's a link to the recipe in the above thread.)

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