Tooooo Crusty Buttercream

Decorating By tonia3604 Updated 2 Sep 2008 , 3:49am by tonia3604

tonia3604 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 4:20pm
post #1 of 18

When I decorate a cake that requires alot of time, the buttercream gets too crusty. I add corn syrup and all that, but it is still sooo crusty. Everyone tells me this is normal, but it still just doesn't seem right to me. I made a baseball cake last night and spent about 5 hours decorating and now the icing is so crusty that when I pick the cake up and the board bends slightly the icing cracks. I don't get on wedding cakes how you can let them sit out all night uncovered and the icing be OK the next day. Anybody got any thoughts on this?

17 replies
jibbies Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 18

Most of my cakes are bc and so far I haven't had any trouble (27 years). Maybe you are not using enough liquid in your recipe. I use heavy whipping cream in my bc, not milk or water. Maybe you could share your recipe and we can see what the trouble is.


mommy_of_3_DDs Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 4:53pm
post #3 of 18

Also, perhaps you need a stronger cake base. If there is flexing the icing will crack. I use 1/2 inch thick foam for the base of my cakes. If it is a large cake, then I will use wood.

sweetcravings Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 4:53pm
post #4 of 18

What kind of recipe are you using?
If it is a shortening based recipe try increasing the amount of shrotening. If you are using meringue powder..decrease this. When i first started i used the wilton recipe and this happened all the time with that one. Now i use something different as i find the wilton recipe is too dense and sweet.
A sturdy board is also important but if you are using enough 'fat' in your recipe you shouldn't have this problem. Just add a little at a time..not too much or it won't crust at all. What i do is use a plate as a pretend cake. Smear some icing on it flat like you would on a cake and wait and see how quickly it hardens. HTH

woodthi32 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 5:14pm
post #5 of 18

Tell us what your BC recipe isicon_smile.gif

tonia3604 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 5:40pm
post #6 of 18

Here's my recipe, although I have changed recipes 2 or 3 times and it always happens.

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
pinch of salt

I have also noticed sometimes on a finished cake moisture forms on the cake and I wondered if I was adding too much liquid. How can it be so dry its cracking, but sweat too?

tonedna Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 5:48pm
post #7 of 18

Maybe your board is not strong enough..

woodthi32 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 5:55pm
post #8 of 18

Are you decorating your cakes cold?

tonia3604 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 6:17pm
post #9 of 18

Yes, completely cooled before decorating.

amysue99 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 6:31pm
post #10 of 18

I'm not an expert, but I think you need more fat. I used to have this happen as well - very hard crunchy crust, cracking icing. I changed my recipe and it's been much better since. 1 lb of butter, 1 cup of shortening, 3 lbs of sugar.

A stronger board will help too. I always use at least two cardboard boards.

tonia3604 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 7:23pm
post #11 of 18

Thank you AmySue I'll try that. Did you ever have anyone complain about the hard icing? Thats what I am worried about, is that other people are noticing! No one has complained, but most of my cakes have been for people I know. I guess if I don't get any repeat business I'll know why!

tonia3604 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 7:34pm
post #12 of 18

Where do you buy this foam core board everyone is talking about? How expensive is it and do you have to cut it to size or does it come in different sizes? My board was definately too flimsy. I usually buy them at the cake supply store, but this time I bought a package of them at Walmart and they were definately not as strong as what I usually buy.

kakeladi Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 9:10pm
post #13 of 18

Personally I find foamcore board hard to cut smoothly;9
I'd much rather buy 'regular' cakeboards and double or triple them (glue them together).

indydebi Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 9:55pm
post #14 of 18

Your recipe has 2.5 cups of fat to 2 lbs of p.sugar. My recipe is only 1-1/3 cups of fat to 2 lbs of p.sugar. Mine crusts well, but is still nice and soft when cutting. Honestly, with that much fat in the recipe, I'm surprised it's not sliding off the sides.

If cracking is the main problem, I'd also go with using a more sturdy board. I use 2 cardboards min on 11x15 sheets and 3 boards on a 12x18.

springlakecake Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 10:22pm
post #15 of 18

Actually it is only 2 cups fat to 2 pounds sugar ( i think if I am reading correctly). I think that is a pretty good ratio.

I think stiff board will definitely help and perhaps subing milk or cream instead of water might help too.

indydebi Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 10:25pm
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by merissa

Actually it is only 2 cups fat to 2 pounds sugar

You're right! I went a little math dumb there! Thanks for the correction! thumbs_up.gif

springlakecake Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 10:26pm
post #17 of 18

also if you don't like the crusting, you could try a meringue buttercream which doesnt crust at all.

tonia3604 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 3:49am
post #18 of 18

Thank you all for posting. I feel better now. I got to go to the tail end of the birthday party my last cake was for and was able to have a slice of cake! It turned out fine and tasted great. I tried to post a picture, but I am getting an error message about the resolution. Thanks you all for your help!

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