Humidity?!--Help!!!

Decorating By millermom Updated 8 Aug 2008 , 3:30pm by millermom

millermom Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 7:13pm
post #1 of 16

Help!!!!!

I am somewhat of a newbie, and definitely a hobbyist, but I have never had THIS problem before.

My good friend asked me to make a wedding cake for her son; a very small cake for a very small wedding. She didn't want fondant, and wanted something very traditional, but simple. Unfortunately, it is August, and the temperature is around 100 degrees with humidity just as high. I think (hope) this is the problem, otherwise I just don't know what happened.

I turned my thermostat down to 70 a day or so before I started, and worked in the early day (before noon) because by afternoon, the temp in my house was 75 even with the thermostat turned down! icon_eek.gif

I frosted them and had all sorts of trouble getting it even, but finally decided it was OK, so I set them to crust so I could smooth them, and when I came back, the frosting had slid down the sides! icon_sad.gif

After fighting with it and trying to fix it, I finally scraped it ALL OFF, added more powdered sugar to the frosting to stiffen it up a little, and re-frosted them. I had much better luck that time, but after sitting, one spot on each tier had slid a little. I tried patting it back up, but realized that playing with it was only making it worse, so I left it and decorated the cake. But I'm just sick!! ouch.gif Not only is it drooping in spots, but it is crackling on the surface when I try to smooth it.

I am attaching some pictures, but it is hard to tell from them just what is going on. The top picture shows the dip the most, but the bottom border hides how it is "pooling" at the bottom.

Also, I use an old buttercream recipe of my mom's (she has done wedding cakes since I was little); You cream white cake mix in with your Crisco, then add your water, flavoring and sugar. (It just occurred to me that maybe it is the new Crisco?!)

I did call my mom, and she couldn't tell much over the phone. I will send her pictures as well.

When the cake is assembled, it will have a topper from the bride, and fresh roses between the tiers. Hopefully that will distract from everything else. I am not charging them, (long story) but I still wanted it to be better for their wedding.
LL
LL
LL

15 replies
trixe371 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 10:18pm
post #2 of 16

I've never heard of using white cake mix in your icing, but you learn something new every day. however I didn't see where you said any thing about using merange powder, added to your frosting it does help in the humidity icon_biggrin.gif

chrissycorrado Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 1:59am
post #3 of 16

Hi - I had a similar problem happen to me this weekend for the first time! I really think it is the new Crisco! I had been using cheap, generic shortening in my icing and everything was fine. I found a huge container of Crisco at Costco which cost the same as the generic stuff so I thought I should use the "good stuff" if it is the same price. But then my icing was so much softer. By the time I got the cake to its destination, the borders all melted! I am going to try hi-ratio shortening next, but it is so much more expensive. Otherwise, I think I am going to go back to the generic shortening. One other thing I found was a product called icing stabilizer. It is supposed to help keep icing from melting. I found it on KitchenKrafts.com. I hope it helps!

step0nmi Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 2:14am
post #4 of 16

yes...it is most likely your crisco...when making bc frosting it is not the merange powder that helps the frosting crust but the ratio of trans fat that is in it. right now I use a very cheap brand of grocery store shortening that has the 2.5 trans fat in it...and I use the crusting bc recipe on this site and have never had problems.

good luck to you finishing your cake...I just say to put your cake in the fridge for a long time and see if you can get the frosting smoothed after that. unless you have time to make new frosting? good luck icon_smile.gif

Rikki0422 Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 2:15am
post #5 of 16

If your using shortening, try to increase the amount that your using. Also I found that mixing at a lower speed may help too! I hate summer time icon_mad.gif
Hope this helps......

woodthi32 Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 2:17am
post #6 of 16

I use hi ratio now, just bought it. I like you had hesitated for a long time due to the cost, BUT I don't think I will use anything ese now.

To the humidity/ THAT definitely is an element. 70 is NOT cool for a kitchen at the beginning of the day. The incomparable Margaret braun keeps hers at 6oicon_smile.gif...I had a cake at the beginning of July, and my kitchen was 75, and the humidity outside was VERY high. THat icing did not crust and I ended up offering a partial refund, because the more I tried to fix the icky spots, the more and ickier it got.

I would try to put a fan on it, reconsider that recipe in hot weather, and cool my kitchen...if you can. That said, your cake is adorable, and it is not at all likely that the bride and groom will be at all disappointed. They NEVER see what you think they will!! The fact that you made it will be special, and don't underestimate that either.

millermom Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 8:49pm
post #7 of 16

Thanks everyone! I think you're right, I need to try new shortening. I'll also try meringue. I have another cake this weekend, and although it has cooled significantly, the humidity is still high.

Here's a pic of the finished cake. The bride and MIL were thrilled, and everyone raved about the flavor which I guess is equally important!

You can still see a little sagging, but once the flowers and topper were on, they distracted the eye.
LL

step0nmi Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 9:25pm
post #8 of 16

oh! I think it turned out great! no wonder they were pleased! ;D

hope that a new shortening will help you. Also, the crusting bc recipe on this site is really great and flavorful!

Cake_Princess Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 11:57pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

yes...it is most likely your crisco...when making bc frosting it is not the merange powder that helps the frosting crust but the ratio of trans fat that is in it. right now I use a very cheap brand of grocery store shortening that has the 2.5 trans fat in it...and I use the crusting bc recipe on this site and have never had problems.

good luck to you finishing your cake...I just say to put your cake in the fridge for a long time and see if you can get the frosting smoothed after that. unless you have time to make new frosting? good luck icon_smile.gif




Transfats do not cause the icing to crust over.

step0nmi Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:11am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake_Princess

Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

yes...it is most likely your crisco...when making bc frosting it is not the merange powder that helps the frosting crust but the ratio of trans fat that is in it. right now I use a very cheap brand of grocery store shortening that has the 2.5 trans fat in it...and I use the crusting bc recipe on this site and have never had problems.

good luck to you finishing your cake...I just say to put your cake in the fridge for a long time and see if you can get the frosting smoothed after that. unless you have time to make new frosting? good luck icon_smile.gif



Transfats do not cause the icing to crust over.




ahh...thank you for finding my unfinished thought! it is the ratio of shortening and butter. That is what I've found out.

millermom Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 2:32pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

Also, the crusting bc recipe on this site is really great and flavorful!




Which one? icon_confused.gif There are quite a few when I type in "crusting buttercream" under recipes.

step0nmi Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 2:40pm
post #12 of 16

oh! didn't realize there were so many.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2075-Crusting-Buttercream-Icing-VIVA-Method.html

this is the one that I use...with the VIVA paper towel method. works wonders for getting that really smooth look...and I have fooled a few people! icon_wink.gif
http://www.cakecentral.com/article10-How-To-Create-Faux-Fondant-The-Paper-Towel-Method----Viva.html

millermom Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:15pm
post #13 of 16

Thanks icon_smile.gif

Jasmine33 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:46pm
post #14 of 16

Thanx for posting that. I may have to try it. How many cups is in 2 lbs of conf. sugar?

kellertur Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:27am
post #15 of 16

Your cake still looks nice- but I can understand your feelings.

Humidity is the enemy! When I started decorating, I somehow picked the most humid day we've had in years... needless to say it was a disaster. Aside from the obvious shortening issues, my colors didn't blend well.

Buttercream + humidity = LOTS of crying!!! icon_cry.gif

millermom Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:30pm
post #16 of 16

Thanks everyone! icon_biggrin.gif Your suggestions and encouragement have been VERY helpful.

There were a few times this week when I never wanted to decorate another cake as long as I live, but now that it's all behind me, I am much more rational. In fact, my 14 yr old daughter and I are making a "cooler" cake for a church pool party tomorrow. Wish us luck!

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