Does Your Buttercream Crack??

Decorating By ranbel Updated 25 Jun 2016 , 2:22pm by indydebi

ranbel Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 3:27pm
post #1 of 27

Is there any fix to keeping the crusting buttercream icing from cracking??? icon_eek.gif

I hate that it cracks and make the cake look worse than it did after you finished it....I have to do most of my decorating at night for the next day delivery..and the least little movement, makes it crack.

Any suggestions from anyone...

Thanks

26 replies
costumeczar Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 3:41pm
post #2 of 27

What recipe are you using for the icing? I've noticed that sometimes mine will crack, but not all the time. A quick fix will be to use a sturdy board that won't bend to put the cake on, which will give you less of a chance to flex the icing on the cake.

Having said that, last week I had a cake that was sitting flat on a table and developed a vertical crack in the icing. I had never seen anything like that before, so I have no idea what caused it. The cake wasn't being moved around at all, so it wasn't movement, and the icing was cracking straight up and down, which was weird.

I think it has something to do with the formula for the icing, but I'm not sure. You could also try a meringue buttercream instead of the shortening-based ones...The meringues won't crack because they don't crust over.

Mencked Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 3:55pm
post #3 of 27

My first thought was to make sure you have a very sturdy cake board under your cake. I remember watching the bottom tier of a huge cake crack while my husband was holding it in the elevator as we were on our way up to the reception site to set up the wedding cake--When the cake was set back on the flat surface of the table, the crack disappeared. If you've already got the sturdy board, I know I've read on here something about adding something to your BC that helps it not crack--dang if I can remember what--hopefully someone else will know!!!

crisseyann Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 3:59pm
post #4 of 27

I've heard on CC that just a TOUCH of vinegar added to your icing will help with the cracking. Good luck!

Mencked Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:02pm
post #5 of 27

That's it! Vinegar!!! But how much is just a touch?

luv2cake Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 27

I delivered a cake yesterday that had icing that was terribly cracked. I was embarassed to give it to her because it wasn't up to my standards. I agree that the sturdy cake board would be a solution, but that can get expensive when trying to find something that is sturdy and disposable.

I like the taste of my BC. I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening. The 100% shortening recipe doesn't crack on me, but I can't stand the thought of eating all that Crisco or Hi-ratio shortening.....ugh! So I guess there is a trade off somewhere - looks vs. taste. I love to use fondant b/c it always looks great, no cracking, but not too many people like eating it.

So, I'm not much help, other than to say that I have the same problem and haven't found a solution yet.

MamaBerry Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:14pm
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2cake

I delivered a cake yesterday that had icing that was terribly cracked. I was embarassed to give it to her because it wasn't up to my standards. I agree that the sturdy cake board would be a solution, but that can get expensive when trying to find something that is sturdy and disposable.

I like the taste of my BC. I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening. The 100% shortening recipe doesn't crack on me, but I can't stand the thought of eating all that Crisco or Hi-ratio shortening.....ugh! So I guess there is a trade off somewhere - looks vs. taste. I love to use fondant b/c it always looks great, no cracking, but not too many people like eating it.

So, I'm not much help, other than to say that I have the same problem and haven't found a solution yet.



Okay, I have a question.

I've seen many posts on here that have ppl using shortening in their bc. How does your body respond to it?

I'm not trying to get gross or be a snot. It's just that everytime I use shortening even the "whole foods non-hydrogenated" kind I get so sick to my stomach. It's a little weird because I have an iron stomach.

luv2cake Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:21pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBerry

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2cake

I delivered a cake yesterday that had icing that was terribly cracked. I was embarassed to give it to her because it wasn't up to my standards. I agree that the sturdy cake board would be a solution, but that can get expensive when trying to find something that is sturdy and disposable.

I like the taste of my BC. I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening. The 100% shortening recipe doesn't crack on me, but I can't stand the thought of eating all that Crisco or Hi-ratio shortening.....ugh! So I guess there is a trade off somewhere - looks vs. taste. I love to use fondant b/c it always looks great, no cracking, but not too many people like eating it.

So, I'm not much help, other than to say that I have the same problem and haven't found a solution yet.


Okay, I have a question.

I've seen many posts on here that have ppl using shortening in their bc. How does your body respond to it?

I'm not trying to get gross or be a snot. It's just that everytime I use shortening even the "whole foods non-hydrogenated" kind I get so sick to my stomach. It's a little weird because I have an iron stomach.




Okay, since you asked, I'll tell you....
Honestly, I have noticed that when I eat BC w/ 100% shortening, I do get diarrhea. Yuck, I know. But I am glad to know that I am not the only one. I was just hoping that this doesn't happen to my friends and family who eat the cakes that I make. Yikes! icon_surprised.gif

CakesByLJ Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:34pm
post #9 of 27

I read recently (I think on here) that meringue powder makes the cracks worse.. I don't use it in bc icings anymore and don't have a problem with cracks either.... hummmm icon_eek.gif

kakeladi Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:36pm
post #10 of 27

There are two things that cause icing to crack:
Not a strong enough b oard and not enough fat (be it Criso &/or butter).
Some cakes need 2 or even 3 cake boards under them - use masionite or well covered wood if necessary.
Add an additional 1/8-1/4 Cup fat to the recipe.

KeltoKel Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 5:04pm
post #11 of 27

I often have problems with cracking as well and I recently started adding about 1 tbsp. of corn syrup into my icing recipe. It does seem to smooth better and crack less when I do this. Also, I used to not put enough icing on my cakes and now I make my icing very thick on top. I also agree a study cake board is important.

indydebi Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 6:12pm
post #12 of 27

Agree that the sturdy board is #1. I usually use 3 boards wrapped in the decorative foil for the base tier of wedding cakes. The cost of 2 extra boards is no where near the cost of an unhappy bride.

If icing is too stiff, the SLIGHTEST movement may cause cracking. I add a little more milk to mine to keep it a workable consistency for smoothing and for basketweave (icing that is too stiff when working basketweave hurts my hands).

I've also had cracking show up when I iced the cake when it was frozen or too cold. As it goes from frozen to room temp, it expands and cause cause cracking. Another reason that I don't refrigerate my cakes, either.

Delivered a cake to a hotel yesterday and I set the bottom tier on the table. hotel staff wanted to put a fluffed tablecloth on the table first. So as I'm on my way over to the table to pick up the cake, one of the guys picks up this huge bottom tier, square cake WITH ONE HAND icon_surprised.gif and I just see the cracking start!! I'm almost yelling "Two hands! Use two hands!" as I sprint over to him and grab it away from him with both hands! aauugghhh!! I had brought my Melvira Roller with me and was able to smooth out the cracks ok.

ranbel Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 9:47pm
post #13 of 27

I do use at least 2 board under my sheet cakes and have use plywood as well. Maybe it's the meringue powder..I will leave it out next time and maybe at a touch of kayro syrup...and I do use the full shortning, only becuase I like the biright white...i flavor with butter....

Thanks guys...

tracycakes Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 11:21pm
post #14 of 27

I used to have a lot of problems with cracking. I've been trying several different recipes of icing lately and the 2 problems I had, not enough fat and I've quit using meringue powder also and I've had no more problems with cracking.

luv2cake Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 1:02am
post #15 of 27

I use 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of Crisco for a 16oz bag of powdered sugar. I use milk as my liquid. Is this enough fat?

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 1:05am
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2cake

I use 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of Crisco for a 16oz bag of powdered sugar. I use milk as my liquid. Is this enough fat?




it's almost twice the amount that I use. icon_eek.gif

luv2cake Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:37am
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2cake

I use 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of Crisco for a 16oz bag of powdered sugar. I use milk as my liquid. Is this enough fat?



it's almost twice the amount that I use. icon_eek.gif




Okay, so I can't figure out why it is still cracking then.....other than not using a sturdier cake board.

By the way, this is just the Wilton recipe, doubled, and butter to replace 1/2 the shortening.
Is there a better recipe out there? What do you use indydebi?

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:41am
post #18 of 27
luv2cake Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:44am
post #19 of 27

Oh wow. I didn't know it was posted in the recipe section. Thanks. I'll have to try it out.

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:53am
post #20 of 27

I use Sam's Club buttercream. It gets super smooth and is not overly sweet. Never had a problem with it cracking.

DollyCakes Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 4:40pm
post #21 of 27

We have several sizes of plexiglass boards that we use under our cakes. We've never had cracking with either a butter based bc or the sugarshack (hi-ratio shortening) bc recipe.

luv2cake Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 5:27pm
post #22 of 27

I just went to Home Depot and bought some 12" and 13" square tiles to use as cake boards. They were only $1.09 and $1.51. Now I know they will be sturdy and that's a price I can afford to pay for a disposable cake board.

Now, if anyone has any ideas on other alternatives to cake boards like the tile, except I am needing something round....

Thanks!

missmeg Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 4:08pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Delivered a cake to a hotel yesterday and I set the bottom tier on the table. hotel staff wanted to put a fluffed tablecloth on the table first. So as I'm on my way over to the table to pick up the cake, one of the guys picks up this huge bottom tier, square cake WITH ONE HAND icon_surprised.gif and I just see the cracking start!! I'm almost yelling "Two hands! Use two hands!" as I sprint over to him and grab it away from him with both hands! aauugghhh!! I had brought my Melvira Roller with me and was able to smooth out the cracks ok.



OMG Debi - why is it that people think they can do that with such a large cake icon_surprised.gificon_mad.gif ??? I've been eduating my own dad for 5 years now regarding the proper procedure for handling cake. Dad owns a truck and helps me with most of my deliveries. No matter how many times he sees me *carefully* slide my hands under a large cake to support completely, he still tries to do it with one hand icon_confused.gif ?

I need to try the vinegar or corn syrup. Although now that I use 3-4 cake boards for support, I haven't had many problems in the way of cracking.

pdattilo Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 3:49pm
post #24 of 27

thanks for all the posts and helpful hints. I delivered a cake that I am so embarrassed with this morning. the cracking in my buttercream was awful. I did a basketweave and until I delivered it the cake was fine. I will NEVER use meringue powder again. I like the crusting factor but the end result is just not good. I'm sitting here with a sick stomach because I had to try to "fix" my cake and even though I know it tastes really good- it's not up to my standards by any means.

kakeladi Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 10:18pm
post #25 of 27

Again, what makes a b'cream crust is how much fat vs. sugar.  The more fat used in ratio to the  sugar the less it will crust.   If you are positive your base board is sturdy

enough then you need to make the icing creamier by adding more fat NOT thinned down w/water.  Start by adding a couple of TAblespoons increasing the fat amount until you are happy w/the creamyness :)

......... I will NEVER use meringue powder again...........

Meringue powder does allow a *very! slight* crusting but is nowhere near the major factor for sure.

I suggest you try this recipe.  It tastes great, is easy to work with and can be adjusted to crust as much as you want - or not at all :)   http://cakecentral.com/a/2-icing

Vergaline Posted 25 Jun 2016 , 11:10am
post #26 of 27

Indydebi, what is a Melvira roller?

Thanks,

Vergie

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2016 , 2:22pm
post #27 of 27


Quote by @Vergaline on 3 hours ago

Indydebi, what is a Melvira roller?

Thanks,

Vergie

http://www.cakecentral.com/tutorial/query/melvira 

Quote by @%username% on %date%

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