Ahh...my Saturday Evening Cake-Tastrophe!

Decorating By KeltoKel Updated 24 Dec 2008 , 6:59am by sugarshack

KeltoKel Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 5:01am
post #1 of 20

Not a major catastrophe, but I just had a hard time with icing my cake tonight. Really, I have been doing cakes for almost 2 years now and icing a cake still causes me such frustration. I hated how my icing looked and so I decided I had to remove it and start over. My top layer of my cake cracked and so I ended up baking a whole new layer. UGH! I will finish the cake tomorrow morning now. I was hoping to have it done by now.

My wonderful husband went out to the store for me at 10 p.m. and bought me some ingredients since I was out. Thank goodness for him!

I don't know what I can do to get better at icing a cake. I can never seem to get it smooth. I even use the Viva method but often my icing cracks and looks bad when it dries. Maybe I am using too much icing, I often put a lot on. I even watch tutorials on-line and it is never that easy for me.

Anyhow, just needed to vent.

19 replies
xstitcher Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 7:49am
post #2 of 20

I can sympathize with you....

Have you ever thought of ordering Sugarshack's perfecting the art of buttercream video? It might help you out.....

Also, I've read somewhere here before that some people use a small amount of vinegar in there icing to help with the cracking (I haven't used it myself yet but I though I'd mention it to you).

sayhellojana Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 8:04am
post #3 of 20

i feel your pain. I can get icing smooth, but it takes me a while. I've spent upwards of 45 mins getting everything smooth, only to smack the side of the cake with something and start over, which is what I did tonight. I wanted to have my double drop string border done tonight, but I havent even colored the icing for it yet. Oh well, time to sleep, Christmas shopping to do in the morning.

kaat Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 1:27pm
post #4 of 20

Icing the cake is my LEAST favorite part of decorating. But it is something that has to be done! (picutre a cake with no icing except for decorations!)icon_lol.gif I will find any trick I can to make this part as painless as possible. I actually found that using the very large wilton tip (it's flat on one side serated on the other)can't tell you the number as my neighbour has it right now.... Anyway.... I use a large bage and with the serated side against the cake I go to town. It's so fast and will be mostly uniform in thickness. then i use my handy dandy drywall spreader (technical term icon_smile.gif ) And I get great results with less fussiness. HTH icon_biggrin.gif

psurrette Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 1:48pm
post #5 of 20

Are you using butter in your recipe? It helps with soothing it more than just crisco. Make sure its thin enough or if will be hard to work with.
God luck

butterfly831915 Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 1:49pm
post #6 of 20

I so feel your pain. I suffer from this every time I do a cake. I'll get one side very nice and then move on to the other and mess up the side I was just pleased with or I can't get my top edging right. Just wanted to say, feel your pain... I haven't tried the roller method yet, just because every time I get a roller my friend steals it to paint with. Oh well.... Better luck coming your way (and mine) I hope....

grama_j Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 1:58pm
post #7 of 20

It sounds like your icing may be to thick...... try thinning it a little.....

KeltoKel Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 5:48pm
post #8 of 20

Thanks everyone. I think I am going to buy Sugarshack's DVD. I have heard so many people say it is wonderful.

I will also thin my icing more next time. Thanks for allowing me to vent.

costumeczar Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 5:53pm
post #9 of 20

I do a 50/50 butter and crisco buttercream, and I noticed that the new no-trans fat crisco was cracking a lot more than the old formula. People on CC had suggested using the store-brand shortening that still has trans fat in it, so I started buying that instead, and the problem went away. Maybe that would help. I don't think it matters what brand you use, as long as it has trans fat in it.

mellormom Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 6:00pm
post #10 of 20

You can also get a high density foam roller from home depot to smooth out your cake. After using the dry wall spreader then you go over it with the roller after the icing as set for about 15 minutes. (boy do you have to do a lot of waiting in cake decorating!! LOL)
Jen...

BrendaS104 Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 2:47am
post #11 of 20

yes.. it's the transfat in the crisco. I buy the wal-mart Great value brand that still has the bad fat. LOL I mean seriously.. they're eating an inch of buttercream in every bite.. do they really need to be concerned about the transfat? icon_lol.gif

BrendaS104 Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 2:48am
post #12 of 20

yes.. it's the lack of transfat in the crisco. I buy the wal-mart Great value brand that still has the bad fat. LOL I mean seriously.. they're eating an inch of buttercream in every bite.. do they really need to be concerned about the transfat? icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 4:27am
post #13 of 20

I agree that it sounds like your icing is too thick. And I never even noticed a formula change in the Crisco when it went to trans-fat.

static Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 1:23am
post #14 of 20

I wish I had this cracking problem, mine is the oposite. Mine never seems to crust. Could it be my recipe? I use a crisco/margarine mix that I was taught at my cake class by the local bakery. Also I was taught to smooth the cakes, I need to boil water and keep dipping my cake knike into it,whipe it off and smooth the icing , but after refridgerating it I get discoloration or tiny moisture marks no mater how dry my knife is when I do it. Could this be a resault of the heat from the knife does any one know?

indydebi Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:06am
post #15 of 20

static, crusting is a result of the fat/sugar ratio. How much butter/crisco and how much sugar are you using?

tonedna Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:23am
post #16 of 20

Try some high ratio shortening...Another thing is, make sure your board is sturdy, cause a soft board will make the icing crack..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

liapsim Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:38am
post #17 of 20

Sorry it was rough for you! Sometimes you just have one of those days...Hope it gets better!

jammjenks Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 4:01am
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

Try some high ratio shortening...Another thing is, make sure your board is sturdy, cause a soft board will make the icing crack..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif




I was going to say that, but you beat me to it. I use a crusting bc and the only time I have it crack is if there's not a strong enough board underneath. For a single-layer 11x15, I use at least 2 boards.

static Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 1:38am
post #19 of 20

I use 3 cups crisco or kovo (covo )not sure how to spell it, and 1 cup margarine. I am certainly willint to try a new recipe though. Any I deas of which version of buttercream is best?

sugarshack Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 6:59am
post #20 of 20

it sounds liek you might need more fat in your recipe. if it is excessivwly dry and cracky. If you can get hi ratioo I recommend it. I also am not sure how margarine will affect things as it has a high water content, possibly affecting the crusting?

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