First Wedding Cake (Frosting And Filling Questions)

Decorating By lrlt2000 Updated 15 Jun 2009 , 1:05pm by lrlt2000

lrlt2000 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 1:31am
post #1 of 22

I'm nervous!!! I feel like I still can't figure out which frosting recipes work for which purpose! I am so overwhelmed by the thousands of icing recipes here and I just need someone to tell me which ones I need!

I have tried several different buttercream recipes, and although all tasted pretty good, all of them were too sweet and all made me nervous when kept out of the fridge (even Buttercream Dream was too sweet and seemed to 'melt' while I worked with it). Also, I was not comfortable with any of them for tip decorating. Should I definitely just stick with Royal for those external tip decorations?

Also, with respect to the finish icing, when you have dual concerns--like room temperature and silky smooth finish--can I find a recipe that accommodates both!? I want the smoothest finish I can get (the bride does not want fondant!!!) but at the same time want to avoid having to refrigerate it, if possible.

As for fillings. . . I haven't really found what I've been looking for! What is that seemingly buttery very stiff filling I've tasted in some bakery cakes that holds layers up well and is not soupy or 'wet'?? It seems really fluffy, almost like a whipped cream filling, but it's so stiff it can't be. Also, it is not too sweet, like all buttercream recipes I've made.

Anyone know what this might be??

It seems like any frosting I make with powdered sugar calls for too much and ends up too sweet, plus still looks too grainy even with the most careful finish scraping.

Any comments would be very appreciated!

21 replies
mindy1204 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:03am
post #2 of 22

Most of that I cant answer as I am a newbie, but as for the sweetness of the icing, do you add salt? My first few batches were so sweet, I learned on here to add popcorn salt. Dissolve it in liquid first so it doesnt make funny spot in the completed icing. It really cut down on the sweetness.

pattycakesnj Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:09am
post #3 of 22

I agree with mindy, a little salt cuts the sweetness. i use indydebi's buttercream, I get a smooth finish and it holds up well in the heat. HTH

yamber82 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:16am
post #4 of 22

i am also about to do my first wedding cake (except for my own cake) and i think i am going to go with the sleeve fillings. i am too scared to experiment.

sweet1122 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:21am
post #5 of 22

That whipped cream that you're talking about is probably something that's called Bettercreme or Frosting Pride. Its what the bakeries use for their whipped icings. They give you a choice between buttercream or whipped when you order a cake. It comes in liquid form and whips up. You can buy it at some cake supply shops. I've heard some Sam's clubs or Walmarts will sell it to you too, but mine don't.

ptanyer Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:28am
post #6 of 22

First of all, welcome to Cake Central! This is the greatest cake decorating website in the world. You will find all kinds of info and techniques that are sure to make your cake decorating rise to new heights icon_smile.gif

Now, I am not an expert by any means, but I will try to answer your questions with what I have learned.

There are tons of recipes on CC and yes it can get confusing. Do you have an cake decorating books from some of the better known cake designers? Collette Peters, Toba Garrett both have great books.

Sugarshack offers great DVD's and I recommend that they be the base for all DVD's you buy. She covers buttercream, fondant, stacking and other categories and are well worth the money. Her buttercream recipe is great for filling and icing and decorating and doesn't have to be refrigerated.

serious_cakes also has great recipes and they can be found here on CC and she also has videos on YouTube. Tonedna also has great recipes and tutorials and well worth watching!

If your buttercream seems to melt when you are piping it, you may have warm hands which heats up the icing and causes it to "melt". I think that you might benefit from making your icing thicker to allow for some heat from your hands melting it. Or use several small bags and keep some in the ref to stiffen it up and rotate them in and out of the ref while you pipe.

Using RI for all external decorating will cause all the decorations to be hard and wouldn't give the "buttercream" feel when you cut and eat the cake.

Real buttercream, or even half and half will need some refrigeration or cooler temps - that's the nature of the product.

"As for fillings. . . I haven't really found what I've been looking for! What is that seemingly buttery very stiff filling I've tasted in some bakery cakes that holds layers up well and is not soupy or 'wet'?? It seems really fluffy, almost like a whipped cream filling, but it's so stiff it can't be. Also, it is not too sweet, like all buttercream recipes I've made. " I'm sorry but I can't answer that one. I have never liked regular grocery store bakery cakes or their fillings and that's how I ended up making my own icon_smile.gif I'm sure someone here can maybe answer that for you.

I think that you just haven't found the right recipe for buttercream and suggest that you do some research as I mentioned above and then try some of their recipes and see what you like the most. One problem you may be experiencing is too much air whipped into your icings. That is a never ending cycle of frustration. Sugarshack, Tonedna and serious_cakes all have icing recipes which do away with most of the air and makes a wonderfully smooth icing which also crusts great.

Hope I was able to help. icon_smile.gif

lrlt2000 Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 3:11pm
post #7 of 22

Thank you all! thumbs_up.gif I decided to do a test cake this weekend! Luckily, I have a neighborhood block party tomorrow night, so it will not go to waste!

I am using Indydebi's recipe, so I will see how it turns out with that and go from there.

lrlt2000 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:03am
post #8 of 22

Well, let's just say I am FREAKING out now. . . this practice run was all wrong! The frosting, that is. I just ordered some Sweetex, so hopefully, it will come in the next 2 days, so I have time to experiment with consistency!

I did not intend to do what you see in the picture--I put the hydrangea there to hide the slide!!! (Which is clear in the second picture, before I put the flowers on).
LL
LL

yamber82 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:33am
post #9 of 22

i'm so sorry! at least it was a practice. i don' tdo practice cakes but that makes me reeeeeallly consider it. what happend? looks like part of the cake fell slightly?

Juds2323 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:48am
post #10 of 22

It does look like your cake colapsed. Are you leveling your layers? What are you using for supports? Also, beware of using hydrangeas, they are toxic. You may also want to consider trying Swiss or Italian meringue buttercreams. They are less sweet - they don't crust so they are a bit more difficult to smooth.

HTH

Judi

lrlt2000 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:15pm
post #11 of 22

Thanks girls. Yes, actually, the top layer of that bottom tier had a piece break off that I glued back on with that frosting. I think once I put the weight of the crumb coat and then the finish coat, it was too much weight for that part to hold.

Anything better to glue/repair with?? I realized after the fact that I should have just carved that part off, since I sat the two top layers off center anyway, to avoid putting more pressure on that side.

As for the hydrangea, I did not stick the stems directly into the cake--I wrapped them in a tiny piece of wet paper towel inside a small plastic bag (the corner cut from a ziploc, cut to match the size of the stem). This week when I go shopping I plan to stop into Michael's and see what they have in the cake aisle for professional stem covers.

For support, I used classic cake boards/dowels. I cut holes in each top layer cake board to match the dowels extended up from the lower layer so the layer on top fit onto them. It was pretty sturdy and I feel confident with this small cake. I will, however, look for the SPS at Michael's also, because the real cake this week will be one larger bottom layer bigger.

thumbs_up.gif

ptanyer Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:53pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlt2000

I will, however, look for the SPS at Michael's also, because the real cake this week will be one larger bottom layer bigger.

thumbs_up.gif




You can't buy Bakery Crafts SPS in Michaels, Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore. You can find Wilton separator plates and hidden pillars but they do not fit together like the SPS. The pillars are a thick plastic that can actually be cut with scissors. The SPS pillars are hard and I use a little hacksaw to cut them to length. And the SPS pillars actually lock into place, whereas the Wilton ones just slip over the separator plate feet and do not lock into place and can cause the cake tier to slip.

You can get the SPS from Globalsugarart and from Oasis Supply. Oasis has terrible customer service, but cheaper prices.

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 5:03pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlt2000

As for the hydrangea, I did not stick the stems directly into the cake--I wrapped them in a tiny piece of wet paper towel inside a small plastic bag (the corner cut from a ziploc, cut to match the size of the stem).



From everything I've read (and please, anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this), but hydrangeas are VERY toxic. If someone has a sensitivity to this kind of stuff, the fact that the petals were touching the cake can cause a problem. You wrapped the stem .... which is good. But you still had a toxic flower touching that cake. I will not permit real hydrangeas to be placed on my cakes.

Quote:
Quote:

..... I sat the two top layers off center anyway, to avoid putting more pressure on that side.


I'm glad to see you are exploring better support systems, because the cake has nothing to do with supporting the upper tiers. The cake itself does not support the upper tiers ... the support system does. You can make a bottom tier out of Cool Whip and with the proper support system, you can put 4 tiers of cake on top of it and it will hold.

Minstrelmiss Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 5:19pm
post #14 of 22

I see that there is only a day between the time you said you were going to make the cake and posted a pic. I would suggest letting your cakes sit, well wrapped, to allow them enough time to settle. There are many fantastic threads here that discuss everyone's different procedures for how they treat their cakes after baking. Some wrap and refridgerate, others freeze (myself included), others use containers. Freezing will make your cakes more dense and moist which will make stacking easier. HTH! icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 5:34pm
post #15 of 22

I agree with Debi, hydrangeas are notoriously toxic. Anyone allergic to them can have a severe reaction.

How about getting some wide lace that matches the BC at a craft/fabric store, and wrapping that around the back, like a posy, then plastic on the stem? It would block the leaves from touching the cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

lrlt2000 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 9:09pm
post #16 of 22

Thank you for the info on the hydrangea--I think I will omit them from the cake, or maybe replicate them in frosting and keep the real thing on the table.

I did find this: http://www.cakeconnection.com/freshflower.htm and should have looked at that first!

FrostingQueens Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 9:19pm
post #17 of 22

There are also some fake hydrangeas at Hobby Lobby and Micheal's that look very real. We used them in my wedding along with real fillers and no one could tell the difference. Plus you do not have to worry about the summer heat making them wilt! You can get a good deal when you print out the 40% coupon from Micheal's too!

FlourPots Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 9:55pm
post #18 of 22

Just wanted to add that I use indydeb's recipe too, but I add 1/2 tsp. of salt, cut the powdered sugar to 6 cups, and always make it at least 3 days before I need it...it's even better that way and not too sweet.

Also, I had to "glue" parts of a cake back together once when I forgot to buy parchment for the pan and it stuck with just butter. Don't know if that's what happend to you, but if so, try parchment...works every time.

lrlt2000 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 10:32pm
post #19 of 22

I don't think it had anything to do with the baking pan--I think it was a tad overcooked, so it was dry!

As for the hydrangea--I just realized, I got the bloom from the bride's florist and told her exactly who I was and what I intended to do. She didn't say one thing about the hydrangea being poisonous!!!!!!!!!! They ought to know that, no!? Maybe she thought I knew something she didn't!? She actually told me stick the stem all the way in, so just the blooms would be showing nice and neatly!!!!!

Ding-dong!

I like the fake idea.

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:59pm
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlt2000

I don't think it had anything to do with the baking pan--I think it was a tad overcooked, so it was dry!

As for the hydrangea--I just realized, I got the bloom from the bride's florist and told her exactly who I was and what I intended to do. She didn't say one thing about the hydrangea being poisonous!!!!!!!!!! They ought to know that, no!? Maybe she thought I knew something she didn't!? She actually told me stick the stem all the way in, so just the blooms would be showing nice and neatly!!!!!

Ding-dong!

I like the fake idea.




Florists are experts in flowers, not food .... they are not food safe certified; they know nothing about food safety. That's why it's in my contract that I will place the flowers on the cake, not the florist. And I wont' say that the florist "doesn't care", because I honestly dont' believe it to be the case, but if someone gets ill from a toxic flower on the cake, it's most likely the cake person who's going to be sued, not the florist. They dont' have as much vested in making sure this is safe as we do.

jmchao Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 12:25pm
post #21 of 22

Do you use the Viva method to get a nice smooth finish? If not, I'd recommend trying that. This lets you use almost any good, crusting buttercream recipe and still get that smooth, fondant-looking effect. Here, I used the same indydebi's buttercream icing that you said you used and after it crusted, used the Viva papertowel method to give it the fondant effect. I loved how it came out!
LL

lrlt2000 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 1:05pm
post #22 of 22

icon_surprised.gif WOW icon_surprised.gif That is BEAUTIFUL!!! I am going to experiment with a new batch of the Indydebi BC, but keep it as stiff as I can but still spreadable.

Thanks!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%