Melting Buttercream...what Should I Do?

Decorating By pinkcupcake512 Updated 2 Sep 2009 , 12:41am by DDiva

pinkcupcake512 Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 3:26am
post #1 of 10

Hi:

I made a cake for a friend, I frosted it with buttercream and decorated it with fondant stars (small).

after i crumb coated it, I placed it in my fridge to cool. took it out after a 1/2 hr. while I was decorating it, i noticed the buttercream looked like it was melting, I finished and I put it back in the fridge, I just looked at the cake and it looks really shiny and it looks like it's melting..

what should I do??
should I put it in the freezer?
this cake is due tomorrow morning....

9 replies
diane Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 5:08am
post #2 of 10

i don't think you need to put it in the freezer...the frig. will be fine. did you already put the fondant details on it?? icon_confused.gif

jonahsmom Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 12:59pm
post #3 of 10

The cake that I did for the benefit auction today is kind of doing the same thing. I used a different brand of shortening than I normally do and it's "slermy" around the edges. It doesn't look totally disgusting, but to ME it's huge!!!! But you know we always see things as the decorators that no one else even pays attention to.

But I'm not using that OTHER shortening EVER EVER again!!!!

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 1:05pm
post #4 of 10

When people put their cakes in the frig to get the icing to crust or otherwise solidify, sometimes its just a feel-good effort and doesnt' really do anything long term.

Unless you are using a good crusting icing, putting it in the 'frig will just cause the fat to solidify for a short time period. The fat is turned cold, the molecules dont' move around as fast in a cold environment and hte icing "appears" to have crusted.

When you remove the cake from the cold environment, it comes to room temperature, enabling the molecules to move faster, which is the "melting" process that results from anyting that is moved from a cold environment to a warm environment.

Think about when you put a stick of butter in the 'frig. It will turn hard, just like you want it to. But when you remove it from the 'frig, to a room temp environment, it goes soft again .... aka "melts" .... just like your icing is doing.

What is your fat/sugar ratio in your icing?

Bottom line: Unless you're using a perishable filling that must be refirgerated, don't refrigerate it. If you need the icing to set or crust, you need to use a good crusting icing. A good crusting icing will set up in about 5 minutes just by sitting on your counter (see my dream whip recipe for a good one ... I've used it for 30 years and didnt' even notice when crisco went to zero trans fat).

The only two times I had issues with my icing was when I put it in the refrigerator. Which is why I don't do that anymore. Ever.

Deb_ Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 7:21pm
post #5 of 10

I completely agree with Indy on the refrigerator issue.

In my photos look at the graduation cake. It was a hot humid day and I couldn't get my butter cream to crust so I put it in the fridge to "firm" it up.

HUGE MISTAKE.............HUGE!

The icing on that cake was slipping and sliding all day until we cut it.

There's no doubt in my mind that it was because I refrigerated it and then took it out into a hot environment and it started forming condensation on all surfaces.

Thank goodness it was for a niece.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 5:38pm
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

I completely agree with Indy on the refrigerator issue.

In my photos look at the graduation cake. It was a hot humid day and I couldn't get my butter cream to crust so I put it in the fridge to "firm" it up.

HUGE MISTAKE.............HUGE!

The icing on that cake was slipping and sliding all day until we cut it.

There's no doubt in my mind that it was because I refrigerated it and then took it out into a hot environment and it started forming condensation on all surfaces.

Thank goodness it was for a niece.




I guess we all have different experiences. I crumb my cakes, then into the cooler a few hours, then ice/decorate and back into the cooler overnight before delivery....never had any problems with it......and mine are all buttercream.

Deb_ Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:11pm
post #7 of 10

I agree Jeff that there are many factors that effect our products. Since I can't sell anything that is perishable I've never refrigerated my cakes.

The one time I did is when I had an issue with it.

I do live in a very humid area of the country, but that never mattered in the past since I use hi-ratio along with butter in my butter cream. For some strange reason that icing just kept melting, slipping and sliding.

cutthecake Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:25pm
post #8 of 10

Is there a difference between a regular refrigerator and a "cooler"?

Jeff_Arnett Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:17am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

Is there a difference between a regular refrigerator and a "cooler"?




Well...yes and no....a cooler generally does not have a freezer, is larger than a home-type refrigerator, and you can also control the humidity level in it.

DDiva Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:41am
post #10 of 10

Interesting....
I make a crusting buttercream and I use hi ratio shortening (have for years). I also live in the South, so humidity is always an issue.

I agree with Indydeb: if you aren't using a crusting buttercream refrigerating the cake only delays the inevitable.

I agree with Jeff: I work on cold cakes. Have for years. Never have a problem; not with buttercream or fondant.

I agree with dkelly: we all have found the method that works for us. For me, it's taken years to find what works in my environment. Just try the different suggestions; note what works and what doesn't. At the end of the 'tests' you'll have YOUR method.
Good luck.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%