What Makes Buttercream Crust?

Decorating By loriemoms Updated 23 Jul 2008 , 11:09am by Jocmom

loriemoms Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 12:27pm
post #1 of 33

I know this question has to be in here somewhere, but I am too lazy to search. Grin.

This discussion came up in my house and you know, I don't really know the answer! What does make buttercream crust? Is it the shortening, the sugar? How do you make it crust less or crust more? Or not crust at all?

Just curious!

32 replies
Shola Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 1:00pm
post #2 of 33

Good question! icon_confused.gificon_smile.gif I always assumed that the sugar on the outside exposed to the air just dried out again and went hard, but then you get the non crusting kind and that still has PS in it so ???? icon_confused.gif

kakeladi Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 1:10pm
post #3 of 33

You are going to get a ton of different answersicon_smile.gif
The *MAIN* thing is the amount of powdered sugar to the amount of 'fat' (butter,Criso etc).
The more sugar and less fat the more it will crust.

indydebi Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 1:43pm
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

You are going to get a ton of different answersicon_smile.gif
The *MAIN* thing is the amount of powdered sugar to the amount of 'fat' (butter,Criso etc).
The more sugar and less fat the more it will crust.




Yep! That's it!

MadPhoeMom Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 1:51pm
post #5 of 33

originally, i was told by my wilton instructor that it was merinque powder...but i did a class at earlene moore's and she said the same as mentioned above....sugar to fat ratio.....and with no MP, it still crusts! i was quite disappointed in my wilton instructor but then, who stands to gain while the MP sells?

my vote: sugar to fat!
sally

indydebi Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 1:58pm
post #6 of 33

Sally, I had never heard of merinque powder until I hit CC less than 2 years ago. icon_lol.gif So based on having a good crusting BC for 25 years, I'd have to agree and say that MP has nothing to do with it! icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 2:01pm
post #7 of 33

The merengue powder just helps in the consistency of the icing. Like in RI for string work

newnancy Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 2:19pm
post #8 of 33

Meringue Powder
"http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--184/Egg-Products.asp"
"Meringue powder is basically dried egg whites with the addition of sugar and gum. Meringue is created when the powder is added to water and is then whipped. Like all other uncooked egg products, meringue powder is pasteurized so it is very useful when preparing dishes requiring uncooked meringues. It also has a long shelf life (over one year)."
I got this off the above page & I've also used the Wilton meringue powder in their buttercream recipe & what's the purpose of it, I don't get it...I was told it was like a stablizer, is that true?

CakesByLJ Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 2:21pm
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadPhoeMom

originally, i was told by my wilton instructor that it was merinque powder...but i did a class at earlene moore's and she said the same as mentioned above....sugar to fat ratio.....and with no MP, it still crusts! i was quite disappointed in my wilton instructor but then, who stands to gain while the MP sells?

my vote: sugar to fat!
sally




Don't be too hard on your Wilton instructor... she was just doing what they are trained to do....... icon_wink.gif

tonedna Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 2:29pm
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by newnancy

Meringue Powder
"http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--184/Egg-Products.asp"
"Meringue powder is basically dried egg whites with the addition of sugar and gum. Meringue is created when the powder is added to water and is then whipped. Like all other uncooked egg products, meringue powder is pasteurized so it is very useful when preparing dishes requiring uncooked meringues. It also has a long shelf life (over one year)."
I got this off the above page & I've also used the Wilton meringue powder in their buttercream recipe & what's the purpose of it, I don't get it...I was told it was like a stablizer, is that true?




It is a stabilizer!...This is true!...when you do stringwork you add the merengue powder to the RY as a stabilizer and makes the strings strong!
I guess the same goes for buttercream
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

newnancy Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 3:01pm
post #11 of 33

Thanks Edna! I had been wondering if I ever needed to use it again. I've looked at your photos & WOW.....you're cakes (all of them) are gorgeous. It looks like it must all come so easy to you.

tonedna Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 3:42pm
post #12 of 33

Thanks Nancy!....It does come easy to me..but then again i practice a lot!...
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Jocmom Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 3:53pm
post #13 of 33

I was told that meringue powder was a stabilizer. It helped keep the icing from breaking down and keeps colors from bleeding. Our Wilton instructor told us that there's a lot of meringue powder in red food coloring to keep it from bleeding and that's why red coloring has a "taste" to it. I just smiled and nodded.

newnancy Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 4:47pm
post #14 of 33

Edna, the old saying is true "practice makes perfect", you've done it & it shows.

loriemoms Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 10:00pm
post #15 of 33

wow thanks guys! Whenever I have time, my step son and I are gonna play...make buttercream with less sugar and more fat and visa versa and see how they change. hahaha! So I assume that all butter buttercreams do not crust as easily as all shortening buttercreams?

Carolynlovescake Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 2:59am
post #16 of 33

I am actually sitting in Sacramento, CA in my hotel room after finishing up a WMI training from this weekend.

It is said at every meeting by our trainers that it helps it crust.

I have done so many variations of bttercream over the years that I can't say if it's true or not anymore but I know years back (when I was in my mid teens and learning to decorate) I did have a difference in my frosting crusting when I used it and when I didn't.

At times it would crust more than others.

Making icing isn't an exact science and honestly even in perfect weather conditions it could go screwy on you if the moon is in line with saturn on a day that ends in a y on the 13th of an even numbered month while the chunky man wearing pink striped pant with plaid suspenders crosses on a don't walk sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByLJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadPhoeMom

originally, i was told by my wilton instructor that it was merinque powder...but i did a class at earlene moore's and she said the same as mentioned above....sugar to fat ratio.....and with no MP, it still crusts! i was quite disappointed in my wilton instructor but then, who stands to gain while the MP sells?

my vote: sugar to fat!
sally



Don't be too hard on your Wilton instructor... she was just doing what they are trained to do....... icon_wink.gif




We stand nothing to gain by what you buy or don't buy.

Honestly, many WMI's are repeating things like this from their training so don't be to harsh on her.

There is so much thrown at us with catch phrases like that at seminars and meetings that we go by faith what we are being told has truth to it.

Bottom line, if you feel it's useless then don't buy it. If you feel it is an essential to your frosting to make it turn out then buy it.

There's no right or wrong answer to this one. thumbs_up.gif

loriemoms Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 11:23am
post #17 of 33

I think the MP helps a lot with stablizing..I notice when I don't use it during the summer months, my buttercream has a more kind of sheen to it, but never noticed if the crusting was less or not.

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 12:20pm
post #18 of 33

I just tried Indydebi's wonderful buttercream recipe the other day and it crusts very well...much better than the wilton recipe, which has been my old faithful for the last ten years. I had never tried adding the meringue powder to the wilton recipe until recently (hadn't bought the Wilton yearbook since 2002), and I did notice that it seemed to make the Wilton recipe take color better, and not break down as fast from the heat in my kitchen.

Anyhow, if you need a good crusting buttercream, Indydebi's is the way to go. I used it on a family cake that I let my daughters decorate (my kitchen is still pink and purple icon_biggrin.gif ), it stood up well to my 6 year old piping borders, and everyone was crazy about the taste. My husband stood in the kitchen scooping it out of the mixing bowl with his finger and eating it until I had to whack him with the spatula. Even my mother, the pickiest woman alive, gave it rave reviews.

loriemoms Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 12:29pm
post #19 of 33

You'll have to post her recipe for us then! (or Debi can! grin) I didnt see it in the recipe search.

I wanted to try SugarShacks recipe for just birthday cakes, but I haven't found a consistant recipe for it...some say 5 lbs of hi ratio, some say 5 1/2, some dont have how much creamer to add, some say just 3/4 cup (doesnt seem like enough!) and I don't know where to get wedding bouquet....and some said it was a special mixture she had. Would love to see a tried and true recipe for it. And can you use whipping cream instead? I hate the smell of non dairy creamer...yeck!

Valli_War Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 12:39pm
post #20 of 33

Texas_rose,
When you tried indydebi's buttercream, did you use 0 trans fat crisco or some other shortening? I can either use 0 trans fat crisco or I have to make it with butter. I cannot use the regular shortening which has trans fats in it.

TIA,

CakesByLJ Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 1:00pm
post #21 of 33

I meant no disrespect CarolynGwen icon_smile.gif I was a WMI for over 12 years, and attended many of those training seminars. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 6:07pm
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

You'll have to post her recipe for us then! (or Debi can! grin) I didnt see it in the recipe search.




It's in there. icon_biggrin.gif http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-6992-Indydebis-Crisco-Based-Buttercream-Icing.html

If you put in "Search for: Indydebi" and "Submitter: Indydebi", it comes up.

I use zero-trans-fat crisco. I never even knew crisco had made a recipe change until I read about it on CC. Didn't notice any difference at all.

Valli_War Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 6:18pm
post #23 of 33

Thanks Debi.

CakesByJen2 Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 8:07pm
post #24 of 33

It is the ratio of sugar to fat that determines whether the icing crusts or not, but meringue powder added to an icing will stabilize it and make it crust faster and firmer than without. It does help prevent color bleeding, too. I add MP to my BC for outdoor weddings, longer deliveries in hot weather, and for designs that involve using plastic mats to imprint desgins in the BC (so it crusts faster and the imprinted design is crisper), or when making dried BC flowers.

indydebi Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 8:13pm
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

and for designs that involve using plastic mats to imprint desgins in the BC (so it crusts faster and the imprinted design is crisper),



I've been wanting to try the impression mats but wasn't sure how it would really work on BC (I'm a BC only person). Thanks for this tip!!

tonedna Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 8:23pm
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

and for designs that involve using plastic mats to imprint desgins in the BC (so it crusts faster and the imprinted design is crisper),


I've been wanting to try the but wasn't sure how it would really work on BC (I'm a BC only person). Thanks for this tip!!




In my experience Impression mats leave a better impression in buttercream than in fondant. Not that they can't be used on fondant but it needs a lot more pressure to leave the impression thumbs_up.gif
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

TexasSugar Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 9:04pm
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I've been wanting to try the but wasn't sure how it would really work on BC (I'm a BC only person). Thanks for this tip!!




Oh Debi, go for it!! icon_wink.gif Here is a cake I did using the diamond impression mat and buttercream. I've had the mats for about 3 years now and am just getting around to try it out. HeHe.
LL

Jocmom Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 9:42pm
post #28 of 33

indydebi - thanks for the recipe.

TexasSugar - pretty cake! I thought impression mats were for fondant. I don't like covering a cake in fondant, so I never gave the mats a second look. thumbs_up.gif

Carolynlovescake Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 1:06am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByLJ

I meant no disrespect CarolynGwen icon_smile.gif I was a WMI for over 12 years, and attended many of those training seminars. icon_smile.gif




when I was replying last night I was exhausted from AIM/DCD back to back and thinking of the 10-12 hour drive home and hope I didn't come across snarky.

I was drained mentally and physically and the pizza delivery person was 20 minutes late at that point.

So in return, I hope I didn't offend either. It was the end of a very long weekend.

We got home about an hour ago and I'm still wiped out. BLEH

CakesByLJ Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 2:57pm
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

So in return, I hope I didn't offend either. It was the end of a very long weekend.
We got home about an hour ago and I'm still wiped out. BLEH




I remember all too well how exhausting those seminars are icon_wink.gif Out of curiosity, what position are the trainers taking on the Crisco zero transfat issue? What do they recommend now, if anything? thanks...

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