Although, I've never made buttercream flowers, I have done some basic piping in the past. I have been trying to practice flowers today, watching SeriousCakes videos. However, my buttercream is melting right before my eyes. I've covered cakes with this recipe (again SeriousCakes recipe) with no problems. I feel like it started off with good consistency and I'm just wondering if the heat and humidy of todays weather here in florida is the problem? Which will probably make it even more of a problem as the summer heats up. Any suggestions on a different recipe which might hold up to the humidity? I could try to make it thicker with less liquid. Any thoughts??
Hello. I am not sure which buttercream recipe you used but you could try to make a combination of butter and shortening or using all shortening and then use butter flavoring, along with any other flavorings you might frequently use. You could also try adding more 10X sugar or adding less milk when mixing the icing. You could also increase the amt of meringue powder to stabilize it a little more. It does sound like the heat and humitidy, combined with the heat coming from your hands is the culprit.
When I'm decorating with buttercream and it begins to get really soft, I also sometimes pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This also helps.
Are you using an all butter recipe? Did you make sure the butter was completely softened before you mixed it in? I've found that an all butter recipe is harder to deal with for that very reason. I had to alternate having one bag always ready to go in the freezer/fridge while I had one I was piping with until it got too warm.
Heat and humidity will effect some recipes. I have not used her's so I can't really speak to that.
It sounds like you indeed might have had too much liquid in the recipe. Making flowers needs a stiff consistency usually.
Try adding more powdered sugar &/or some cornstarch to thicken it up to see if that is the problem.
The recipe I use is a combination of butter and crisco. I chose it because I had read a combo would hold up better under the humidity. It does not call for meringue powder. I have seen this in other recipe's, but wasn't sure what it does for the frosting. This particular recipe calls for 22TBL butter and 2/3 cup crisco. After looking over other recipes, I do find that some call for less. Maybe I'll try one of these. One more question, can a crusting buttercream be used for making flowers? Thanks for your thoughts! I appreciate any ideas and will see about making a change.
.......can a crusting buttercream be used for making flowers? ......
Definitely! You should be using a crusting recipe for flowers.
Just to get the feel for what it should be why don't you use the Wilton class b'cream recipe?
OR try my icing for air-dried flowers.
That is simply making royal icing; after it is stiff, you add 2/3 cup of crisco & mix well. This must be kept well covered when not in use. No problem in your piping bag. Once you have made the flower do NOT cover or put in the frig... allow to sit UNcovered overnight and even roses should be dry enough to handle by morning. Dropflowers and other flat (thin) flowers should be ready to handle in an hour or two.
My recipe is your basic buttercream, with a ratio of 1 cup of shortening/butter to 4 cups (1 lb.) of powdered sugar (it's doubled for the recipe though to make 6 cups of frosting). With the heat and humidity I'd say cut down on the liquid and if you're doing a lot of piping for the flowers either use 2 different bags keeping one in the fridge while you're working with the other one or do like I do, I fill a cake pan with ice, put another cake pan on top and put my bags on that between uses. Because of the amount of butter it will melt quicker in your hands (especially if your hands are like mine-heaters!). Add only 4 tbs of whipping cream at the beginning and see what your consistency is once the sugar is all in, you might not need any more liquid. The other day I was making a batch just for stiff consistency and because it was humid and warm out I found I didn't need to add anything else after the sugar.
Thanks again for the suggestions. Since no one in this little town had glycerin yesterday and I couldn't make fondant, I think I'll make several batches of buttercream using different recipes. 88 degrees and chance of rain, it ought to be a good day to experiment (plenty of humidity). I'll try both suggestions from kakeladi and SeriousCakes (I love your videos - very helpful). Might try to find a white chocolate buttercream. i have read this holds up well in the heat.
I love the recipie posted on this site by Sharon Zambito "Sugarshacks buttercream icing", she also has a tutorial posted on UTube. This recipe is perfect for heat and or humidity. Held up all day long for a wedding I did that was held outdoors and an island and it was 98 degrees with unbeliable humity. Easy and tasted great not too sweet. you can change up the flavors with the creamer and extracts HTH