This is me being anal about planning. When I set up a cake, and IF there happen to be tiny stress cracks in the crusting buttercream, is there a way to "fix" them?? Could you mist them lightly with water? I have read all about using the boards and foamcore, etc., but I am a hobby baker and do not have the money for much equipment. I use my 40% coupons at Michaels and just squeak by with materials. I do double my cardboard rounds and transport my cakes unstacked on pieces of plywood. Any ideas??
Have you priced foamcore? A 20" x 30" sheet of it is @$2.99, or $1.79 after your 40% coupon. And if you do not have an xActo knife, they are under $5. A 20" x 30" sheet of foamcore will yield several cake circles, and you will never have stress cracks again.
But if you insist on using regular cardboard cake circles (a package of which costs more than a sheet of foamcore), yes, you can lightly mist them and smooth them with a spatula using a VERY gentle touch.
If you are having 'stress cracks' it just might be that your icing needs a bit more fat in it. Are you using a crusting recipe? Then up the fat by maybe 1/4 cup and I bet you won't have any more.
You could try misting & going over the icing but in the long run you probably will have more of a mess that shows than if you just left it alone. The average 'non-cake person' is NOT going to notice them!
Thank you both for your answers. kakeladi, I use the Buttercream Dream recipe from this site.
1 stk unsalted, 1 stk salted, 1 cup shortening, flavorings, 2 lb sugar. Would the additional fat make it not crust? If it does not crust, what method do you use to smooth? I use the viva paper towel.
Sparklepopz, I get my cardboard circles free. The cracks happen when I am stacking.
Hi......I read a post on here where you add just a drop or two of Vinegar to your buttercream to prevent crusting cracks. They said it didn't change the flavor either. I haven't tried it but I haven't had any do that on me yet. I actually read it in two posts on here. GL HTH
Your recipe is already heavy in fat. I guess it is more the boards you are using.
You say you get them free.......are they made for cake use? Are they heavy enough? They might not be the right weight for the weight of the cake.
I say this because I've had students who would cut cardboard boxes up thinking they were saving money. Not only can the cardboard not be heavy enough who knows where those boxes were and/or what has touched them.