I just made butter cream to frost 400 cupcakes for tomorrow. I used a recipe that calls for equal parts shortening and margarine (they're vegan). I am having a huge problem with the b/c getting thick enough. It seems as if no matter how much p/s I put in the consistency is still too thin. Also, it's an outdoor party and the weather is going to be 79 degrees at the time of the party.
My questions are: 1)Is there a possibility that the b/c is so thin because the marg is melting? If so, how do I correct that? 2)Is the buttercream going to turn into a huge glob of melted fat at the party, or will the shortening be able to keep it stable?
What did you exactly use? Margarine is as stable as butter, but under margarine we today understand spreads as for example Rama. They are made to be spreadable at room temperatures, even straight from fridge. If you used such, you have a huge problem.
What you can try: Stabilize your buttercream with corn starch, about 1/4 cup for each 2 pounds of sugar. No idea if this will be enough.
For an outdoor party it would be advisable to use shortening only.
In your case - try to add corn starch first. If you get so the right consistency, frost the cupcakes and refrigerate them as long as you can. The frosting will solidify and sometimes it is enough to keep it stable even outdoor in high temperatures. It won't start too melt right away.
But if you can't get the right consistency from start on - you need to make the buttercream from shortening only.
There is another way to stabilize buttercream. But for vegan cupcakes it is unfortunately out of question - it would be meringue powder, also dried egg whites.
It depends on what type of margarine you used. If you used a canola oil based on, it will remain soft. Not all margarine is vegan either. But, if you used a soy based margarine, like Earth Balance, it will stay soft, but it should hold up.
Thanks! I used a soy based margarine. I refrigerated the buttercream overnight and it did harden a bit but not enough to ease my fears. I will try the cornstarch trick, hopefully that will work. I will let you know.