Pending Disaster!! Please Help All You Experts! Sorry...long

Decorating By notjustcakes Updated 27 Jul 2009 , 10:56pm by __Jamie__

notjustcakes Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:02pm
post #1 of 27

OMG...What have i gotten myself into!! I am about to bust a gasket...I have 2 wedding cakes due on Aug. 1st along with 150 cupcakes for a wedding. Both cakes are square. One is 16, 12, 8..The other is a 10 and 6. In the meantime my buttercream is misbehaving. I am trying to do the 10 and 6 ahead of time and freeze already frosted and filled...Then on the day before pull out and stack and decorate. It is hot and humid here and will be more so in Aug. I've made lots and lots of cakes, many tiered, but these are my first wedding cakes...I'm scared I'll disappoint the brides at this rate.

Well, my own buttercream will not crust...it usually does...it is half butter, half shortening, meringue powder (to aid in crusting), flavorings, pinch of salt, and half and half...Forget it!!! Hours pass and no crusting!!!! Under the cieling fan on full blast!!! no crusting!!! Okay...take off all of frosting....Try Indydeb's frosting....No crusting, no how, no way!! In the fridge over night...hm...better...still won't hold up to decorate with piping work.....This morning, take off all the frosting, try Cakepro's icing...better at holding up....can't get it smooth because the crusting is to light to withstand the Viva method....Into the freezer for 10 minutes..Now tried to use the Melvira method of smoothing....Not working...The iciing is coming up ontothe roller. Can someone please help me troubleshoot this...I am at a loss! Sorry so long...

26 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:13pm
post #2 of 27

I've never had trouble getting Indydebi's buttercream to crust.

What is the humidity like in your house? Do you have an air conditioner and is it working right? If not, can you find a friend who has a dehumidifier and borrow it? For me, the only time I have frosting issues is when I have air conditioning issues.

notjustcakes Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:18pm
post #3 of 27

I live in the SW US...We use swamp coolers or what some call evaporative air....because humidity is very low outside...(less than 10% today) The house is cool, but the evaporated air does put a small amount of humidity into the house as it cools it...It is about 97 degrees outside, low humidity and low humidity in the house....

Stephi1 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:19pm
post #4 of 27

First of all relax! It sounds like humidity. I would definitely check into a dehumidifier. If thats not an option. Try an all shortning buttercream. The taste is not as good, but it should crust. HTH

Tita9499 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:20pm
post #5 of 27

I have never had an issue with Debi's BC either. It's always crusted very nicely in fact. Not to a smart-butt, but are you following the recipe correctly?

I was curious as to why you're going to prepare and freeze the cakes so far in advance. Have you had success with that in the past. I can only imagine how much the cake itself will sweat with Texas heat and having been already iced it will bead up a lot and may cause even more issues. Not to mention if it's a colored BC you may have streaking. JMO.

I also live in Texas, but in El Paso...humidity is never an issue here. LOL! Good luck with everything.

all4cake Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:25pm
post #6 of 27

The cakes you are frosting aren't frozen or chilled, are they? If so, it's going to take a bit longer for them to crust.

2SchnauzerLady Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:26pm
post #7 of 27

Humidity is an issue in Southeast Virginia - I'm a few miles from the ocean. Indydebi's BC works very well, the dream whip cuts the greasy taste, and you can use butter flavoring to sub for the butter taste. The other one that holds in high humidity is "SHUDDER" the standard Wilton recipe with all shortening.

notjustcakes Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:27pm
post #8 of 27

Yes...I double checked the recipe...I did follow it precisely..No it is just a white cake...August 1st is only a couple of weeks from now.. so I figured it would be fresh...Several others on CC have said they've frozen frosted decorated cakes, so I was trying to get ahead a bit...From what others have said as long as you defrost completely wrapped, the "sweating" won't occur....Cakepro's icing is all shortening based...

Texas_Rose Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:31pm
post #9 of 27

Ahhh...maybe it's the swamp cooler? If you're having to run it and you usually don't need to, then maybe the extra humidity it puts into the air is causing the buttercream issues? I worked at a church that had a swamp cooler and our chapel grew mold on the backs of all the pews because of the excess moisture in the air (South TX already has plenty of humidity without extra being added).

Could you try decreasing the liquid in one of the all-shortening recipes and see if that helps you?

matthewkyrankelly Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:35pm
post #10 of 27

OK, just a thought... Is it the new Crisco or the old? You might want to get some trans-fat laden store brand to try or get Sweetex. There have been some complaints with the new Crisco.

Mencked Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:47pm
post #11 of 27

Whether it's the new or old crisco, I've found that just using milk in my icing instead of water solves every problem the new crisco caused I remember IndyDebi saying she never had a problem with the new crisco--the secret is using milk, so I'm a little puzzled about why her recipe won't crust.....dang it anyway! Something that I do to save time is bake ahead of time, fill with icing, and then double wrap and freeze without putting on the final icing......just a thought!!!

notjustcakes Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:51pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

Whether it's the new or old crisco, I've found that just using milk in my icing instead of water solves every problem the new crisco caused I remember IndyDebi saying she never had a problem with the new crisco--the secret is using milk, so I'm a little puzzled about why her recipe won't crust.....dang it anyway! Something that I do to save time is bake ahead of time, fill with icing, and then double wrap and freeze without putting on the final icing......just a thought!!!


Well all the decorations it's going to have is scrollwork...ivory on ivory so I was going to try to get that on there before freezing...That ought to hold up through freezing right...It's just scrolls...No flowers or anythin ornate...

matthewkyrankelly Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 7:46pm
post #13 of 27

I freeze all the time decorated. No Problem. Decorate,box,wrap, freeze. Thaw wrapped and you are good to go. I would take out the night before delivery to unwrap the next morning. Check for dings and you are ready to go.

Deb_ Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 12:49am
post #14 of 27

Wow, I'm interested to know how this works out for you. I've never frozen fully iced and decorated cakes for a Wedding or anything else before.

Good luck!

woodruffbn Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 1:14am
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustcakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

Whether it's the new or old crisco, I've found that just using milk in my icing instead of water solves every problem the new crisco caused I remember IndyDebi saying she never had a problem with the new crisco--the secret is using milk, so I'm a little puzzled about why her recipe won't crust.....dang it anyway! Something that I do to save time is bake ahead of time, fill with icing, and then double wrap and freeze without putting on the final icing......just a thought!!!

Well all the decorations it's going to have is scrollwork...ivory on ivory so I was going to try to get that on there before freezing...That ought to hold up through freezing right...It's just scrolls...No flowers or anythin ornate...





K.. here's my question: How are you planning on covering your cakes? You said they will be iced and will have some piping work.. I just assume that you would have to use plastic wrap, right?? icon_confused.gif I mean you dont want a freezer burned cake! So wouldn't your wrap mess up the finish and/or the scrolls? icon_confused.gif

messy_chef Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 1:26am
post #16 of 27

My BC will not crust if the cakes are cold...I always have to thaw completely before icing.

Nancy_TX Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 3:17am
post #17 of 27

Add a package of Dream Whip to your frosting recipe with the Crisco. I had the exact same problem until someone told me about that - works like a charm.

chefjulie Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 3:32am
post #18 of 27

I've had a helluva time getting my BC to crust lately. The humidity is KILLING me (in Houston). I've just had to crank my A/C and plan on waiting a little longer than normal for it to set. Also, I dont think you're doing yourself any favors by sticking your cakes in the fridge to crust.

notjustcakes Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 12:47pm
post #19 of 27

I am going to freeze the decorated cake unwrapped for just long enough for the icing to harden...Then box the cake and fully wrap the box in layers of plastic and foil. According do others who do this, it works great as long as you defrost completely before unwrapping (so it doesn't sweat)....

EvMarie Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 9:14pm
post #20 of 27

I'm not sure if you've solved your issues. And, rest assured, I'm no expert. But, you can't smooth if it doesn't crust right? I'm assuming this is the main issue.

Although, I'm a newbie...I like to frost and first smooth with a hot offset spatula. I heat a pot of water & pour in a 1/4 sheet pan. I dip my spatula and then quick wipe to dry and smooth. Then, I do the viva method. If you are experienced, maybe you can smooth just with the hot offset spatula?

I hope it all works out for you.

notjustcakes Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 1:37pm
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvMarie

I'm not sure if you've solved your issues. And, rest assured, I'm no expert. But, you can't smooth if it doesn't crust right? I'm assuming this is the main issue.

Although, I'm a newbie...I like to frost and first smooth with a hot offset spatula. I heat a pot of water & pour in a 1/4 sheet pan. I dip my spatula and then quick wipe to dry and smooth. Then, I do the viva method. If you are experienced, maybe you can smooth just with the hot offset spatula?

I hope it all works out for you.


Well the cake finally did crust...Didn't get to decorate it...But wrapped and froze it..

EvMarie- Yes, I did try the offset spatula dipped in hot water...Unfortunately, I am really not very good at that....Too heavy handed and a bit clumsy still with the spatula LOL!

My husband thought I was crazy last night....I threw the spatula across the room and said I was never doing another cake again....Why oh Why is wedding season in the hot months???grrrrrr....

Cakes are so much easier in the cooler months....

leah_s Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 1:47pm
post #22 of 27

Yaknow, I use a non-crusting buttecreme. I find it much easier to work with.

PinkZiab Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 3:11pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Yaknow, I use a non-crusting buttecreme. I find it much easier to work with.




Ditto... crust is the enemy to me lol.

EvMarie Posted 18 Jul 2009 , 7:48pm
post #24 of 27

Ahhhhh, the throwing of the spatula! I've been there, many times!

Peridot Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 9:34pm
post #25 of 27

Leahs & PinkZiab,

I have read on many of your posts that you use non-crusting BC. What happens when you put fondant over the non-crusting BC? Doesn't it get all mushy and squish out of the bottom from the weight of the fondant? What happens when you smooth the fondant with the soft BC under it? What happens when you decorate the cake with fondant or gumpaste and you don't put down a layer of fondant first? Is that even possible?

Just the thought of using a non-crusitng BC stikes terror in my heart.

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 10:41pm
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peridot

Leahs & PinkZiab,

I have read on many of your posts that you use non-crusting BC. What happens when you put fondant over the non-crusting BC? Doesn't it get all mushy and squish out of the bottom from the weight of the fondant? What happens when you smooth the fondant with the soft BC under it? What happens when you decorate the cake with fondant or gumpaste and you don't put down a layer of fondant first? Is that even possible?

Just the thought of using a non-crusitng BC stikes terror in my heart.




Nothing happens. I only make meringue based (real egg whites) buttercremes (with real butter) and I frost the cake like usual, let it set up in the fridge for no more then an hour, cover with fondant, no mush. I've even covered a buttercream covered cake (16" square) without putting it in the fridge & covered it with fondant & had no problems. This cake was even stacked. The wedding cake in my pictures is a IMBC, covered in fondant, without being in the fridge & it didn't squish. It was decorated the day before it was delivered & nvever got squishy. Fondant is actually very good at keeping cakes fresh & stable.

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 10:56pm
post #27 of 27

SMBC on 99% of cakes. Sugarshack with the required Sweetex, not "oh Crisco will do (no it doesn't) for the others. You put fondant on a firmly chilled cake. No squishing is possible this way.

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