My Buttercream Will Not Crust, Ever, No Matter What I Do!

Decorating By tarascupcakes Updated 21 Sep 2009 , 6:15pm by tarascupcakes

tarascupcakes Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 67

I use Crisco which is not high ratio anymore. Is that the problem? I have tried using water, regular milk, soy milk, dry milk, very little liquid, store-brand shortening, different brands of powdered sugar, etc. I know I'm measuring correctly, the sugar to fat ratio. As a matter of fact, I usually follow the Wilton class buttercream recipe. I don't use butter because I need it more stable than that.
I can't afford to have the high-ratio shortening shipped to me and then that not help either. I have gotten pretty good with my spatula to smooth my cakes, but would love to be able to smooth even more with my Viva paper towels if the darn cakes would crust! Any suggestions would be great!


www.tarascupcakes.blogspot.com

66 replies
majka_ze Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:44pm
post #2 of 67

Did the recipe crust before? Some buttercream won't crust. The buttercream needs high ratio of sugar to butter / crisco. What recipe did you use?

indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:14pm
post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes

I use Crisco which is not high ratio anymore.



Do you mean it's not trans-fat anymore?

I would ask the same questions as above. Did it crust before and what is the recipe (fat/sugar ratio)?

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:15pm
post #4 of 67

North Carolina? Super high humidity?

leah_s Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:32pm
post #5 of 67

Crisco was never a hi-ratio shortening.

And I use - on purpose - a non-crusting bc. I think its so much easier to work with.

jlsheik Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:32pm
post #6 of 67

Ditch that recipe and use Indydebi's...never fails and It has rained for a week here....Check out my pics, every cake I have used her recipe for.

JanH Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 12:28am
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes

I use Crisco which is not high ratio anymore.




Just as Leah_s said, Crisco was never a hi-ratio shortening. Crisco is an all purpose shortening. The trans fat was removed from Crisco, but some members never noticed the change while others had serious performance issues with their recipes.

Here's a previous thread on Crisco and hi-ratio shortenings:
(With popular CC recipes for each.)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-651241-.html

HTH

sweetcravings Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 12:38am
post #8 of 67

My suggestion would be to reduce the fat in the recipe and see if that helps.

tarascupcakes Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 1:19am
post #9 of 67

Ok, so if I want to try to get a crusting buttercream to see if that fixes some of the issues I'm having, I will look for another shortening. I did not know Crisco was never a high-ratio shortening. I had seen a tutorial by tonedna and she said they removed the trans fat, so I assumes they once had it in there. Any hoo...
If I do cut out some of the fat, then it will be thicker if I leave the amount of sugar the same...so to thin it out, I should add water or milk? Meringue powder doesn't seem to matter whether I have it in there or not. I've tried both.
You know, now that I think of it, my icing did crust before. It was when I used a cheaper store brand. I forgot about it cause it's been a while. I will try that and see if that helps. I kept hearing my Wilton instructor in my ear saying Crisco is the best to use, so I started buying it.
Thanks to all!
I'll update ya after my next order!

indydebi Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 1:26am
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes


If I do cut out some of the fat, then it will be thicker if I leave the amount of sugar the same...so to thin it out, I should add water or milk?



Crusting is the ratio of fat to sugar. More sugar = more crusting. More fat = less crusting. To thin mine, I add more milk.

JaeRodriguez Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 1:44am
post #11 of 67

It's not the humidity, I'm in SC and Indy's crusts every time, keep at it! :]

patticakesnc Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 1:54am
post #12 of 67

I am in NC too so humidity isn't the problem at all. Mine crusts all the time. I use Ednas and Indydebis recipes. I have also used the my own recipe but they are basically similar. I can't help to feel you are adding too much liquid.

sleepy33 Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 2:14am
post #13 of 67

If you add enough PS to it, it will crust. I usually use this crusting recipe:

1 Cup Water
2 tsp. other flavor (optionalâI donât use one)
2 tsp. Clear Vanilla
2 tsp. Clear Butter
3 Cups Crisco Shortening
¼ tsp. Popcorn Salt
2 Tbsp. Meringue Powder
4 Tbsp. Corn Starch
4 Lbs. Powdered Sugar


I have used it with Crisco as well as hi-ratio. But then, last week, I ran out of shortening and needed some quick icing for a family picnic, so I just whipped up some plain old all-butter buttercream, just butter and powdered sugar and a teeny little dab of milk, like my grandma used to make, and just out of habit I suppose I put in enough PS that it sure did crust over when I iced the cake. The merengue and corn starch and all does help it to crust faster and firmer I think, but it will still crust without. It's truly just a matter of adding enough PS. Just keep on adding PS even when the icing looks 'dry'. With the recipe above, I usually add every bit of 4 lbs of powdered sugar.

tarascupcakes Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 12:28pm
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

I am in NC too so humidity isn't the problem at all. Mine crusts all the time. I use Ednas and Indydebis recipes. I have also used the my own recipe but they are basically similar. I can't help to feel you are adding too much liquid.




I make mine about a medium consistency. The spautula still stands up in it. I don't think I am, but I'm gonna try Indydebis recipe and see what happens! Thanks!

prterrell Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 12:44am
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes

I did not know Crisco was never a high-ratio shortening. I had seen a tutorial by tonedna and she said they removed the trans fat, so I assumes they once had it in there.




Crisco did have trans-fats in it previously. However, trans-fats does NOT equal high-ratio.

There is an excellent explanation of what high-ratio shortening is here:
http://www.littleladycakes.com/2009/04/high-ratio-shortening.html

tarascupcakes Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:16am
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes

I did not know Crisco was never a high-ratio shortening. I had seen a tutorial by tonedna and she said they removed the trans fat, so I assumes they once had it in there.



Crisco did have trans-fats in it previously. However, trans-fats does NOT equal high-ratio.

There is an excellent explanation of what high-ratio shortening is here:
http://www.littleladycakes.com/2009/04/high-ratio-shortening.html




Ohhhhhhh! I did not know that! I am all confused now. I'm gonna try Indydebis recipe this weekend for 2 orders I have. I have like 10 orders coming up this month so far, so please pray for me with these buttercream and fondant issues!!
Thanks!

Lisaa1996 Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:24am
post #17 of 67

I also use Indydebi's and it has NEVER failed! icon_smile.gif

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 8:16pm
post #18 of 67

So I followed Indydebis recipe to the "T". I even tried to add a little less milk just in case. It was very thick, but before I added anymore milk, I wanted to see if it would crust. And of course, it did not. I really and truly give up. This is so frustrating. I simply can not have a crusting buttercream. It won't crust in the bowl, on a spoon, on my cake, nothing. It tastes good, but that's it. I know in my heart I'm doing nothing wrong. I have been cooking and baking all my life (33 years old) and I've never messed a recipe up, never. So there is a variable somewhere that is making this not work for me.
Anyway, I just wanted to share. Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm going back to my old recipe cause it does the same thing and it's cheaper without that Dream Whip.

cheeseball Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 9:00pm
post #19 of 67

Awwww! Somebody from Greensboro! What part? When I was there, shortening/butter/margarine based icings always eventually crusted, although in the summer, I couldn't add any milk or other liquid because of the humidity...then I moved to Belize and found out what humidity really was! icon_lol.gif The only time a shortening/butter/margarine based icing crusts here is if you have one of those very rare days when the moisture level is low...and you never know when that will be icon_rolleyes.gif
Ya might need to try a store brand shortening...and maybe I should try Debi's recipe too icon_wink.gif

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:16pm
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseball

Awwww! Somebody from Greensboro! What part? When I was there, shortening/butter/margarine based icings always eventually crusted, although in the summer, I couldn't add any milk or other liquid because of the humidity...then I moved to Belize and found out what humidity really was! icon_lol.gif The only time a shortening/butter/margarine based icing crusts here is if you have one of those very rare days when the moisture level is low...and you never know when that will be icon_rolleyes.gif
Ya might need to try a store brand shortening...and maybe I should try Debi's recipe too icon_wink.gif




Thank you for making me feel as though it's not completely my fault. We just moved over here by the mall. How do you make a buttercream with NO LIQUID AT ALL?
Also, can you tell me this. I ice my cakes frozen, because if not, they rip. But then as they dethaw, I have condensation on the buttercream I have to blot before I put fondant on. What other way could/should I be doing this? Should I make my BC more thin, so maybe I can ice the cake fresh? If I leave the condensation alone, will it evaporate off the cake and then I could fondant the cake successfully? What do you do? I should be charging WAY more for this man!! icon_wink.gif

jojo0676 Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:27pm
post #21 of 67

Is that why it doesn't crust? The condensation coming from the frozen cake? I don't know if this is correct at all. Just a theory.

2SchnauzerLady Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:31pm
post #22 of 67

Since you are in North Carolina, you should have a Harris Teeter grocery store. I use their store brand vegetable shortening which has the transfat and it crusts nicely - and I have high humidity and heat near the ocean.

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:33pm
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo0676

Is that why it doesn't crust? The condensation coming from the frozen cake? I don't know if this is correct at all. Just a theory.




It won't even crust in the bowl or even if a little is on a spatula. Nothing, no crusting. After a few hours it gets a LITTLE firmer, but definitely not a crust that could be smoothed. Could it be one of the brands of ingredients I'm using? use Sam's Club brand PS, Crisco, almond extract, vanilla extract, butter extract, and water or milk.

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:39pm
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTFundraiser

Since you are in North Carolina, you should have a Harris Teeter grocery store. I use their store brand vegetable shortening which has the transfat and it crusts nicely - and I have high humidity and heat near the ocean.




That is definitely my next step. To try something WITH the trans fat in it. That still doesn't explain why everyone else using Indydebis recipe using Crisco doesn't have a problem. Also, do you use the Dream Whip in yours? That definitely increases the price. I can only make 2 batches of BC with 1 box of the Dream Whip and that is like $2.60 + tax. That adds to my cost of course and I'd rather not do that. I'm working on a shoestring right now.
TIA for the info!

2SchnauzerLady Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:42pm
post #25 of 67

Maybe it would help if you wrote what you do and use step by step. Greensboro isn't any more humid that most of the Southeast, so that shouldn't be the issue.

tigersluv Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:42pm
post #26 of 67

If you over mix the buttercream it won't crust. You will think it is ready to VIVA smooth but then the buttercream just pulls off of the cake.

It could be the condensation from the freezing. If you use (sorry I forget who gave me this) the pan "greaser" of equal parts shortening, vegetable oil and flour it makes a huge difference in the amount of crumbs.

ziggytarheel Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:42pm
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarascupcakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo0676

Is that why it doesn't crust? The condensation coming from the frozen cake? I don't know if this is correct at all. Just a theory.



It won't even crust in the bowl or even if a little is on a spatula. Nothing, no crusting. After a few hours it gets a LITTLE firmer, but definitely not a crust that could be smoothed. Could it be one of the brands of ingredients I'm using? use Sam's Club brand PS, Crisco, almond extract, vanilla extract, butter extract, and water or milk.




I've been following this thread, thinking you would figure this out. I don't live all that far from you and I don't have these problems. I'm just a hobby baker and usually use an all butter buttercream. I'm wondering if there is an issue in your house? In my experience, if I have enough powdered sugar, it will crust.

This has me stumped. I'm sorry I can't help!

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:51pm
post #28 of 67

I just moved to a new house this month and the same problem exists as in the old house. Believe me, I thought of that too.
Also, I don't use a butter BS recipe because of cost and I like the stability of shortening. So I'd prefer to not change that.
When adding the liquid to my recipe, I used to use Soy Milk cause that's what we drink in our house. I am not sure if you all know this, but when you try to make instant pudding with soy, it won't set up. I remembered that (after I tried making pudding a few times with no success) and then switched to just water as the Wilton class BC recipe says you can use either milk or water. I would think, if you're not refrigerating the BS for a while water would be better to not go bad as milk in it. That still didn't work. Today, I made my own milk from powdered milk (nonfat) and it didn't work. Maybe, there just isn't enough fat. I mean, there's no trans fat in the shortening, no fat in the milk....hhhmmmm. But I know at one point a few years ago when I was taking my Wilton courses and making the class BC recipe, it was crusting then.
Maybe I will try my next batch with regular store bought milk (I just never have this) and a store brand shortening with transfat in it. I DID use a store brand once (Lowe's Foods) and I don't believe it crust with that either.
IDK!!!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

tarascupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 10:54pm
post #29 of 67

Oh and I don't freeze my cakes to ice them because of the crumbs (I do a crumb coat) I do it because they are so moist and will tear sometimes if they are not frozen or at least chilled really cold.

moxey2000 Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 11:24pm
post #30 of 67

I live in the Bahamas and we lived on the ocean with no A/C for 5 years. I baked and decorated cakes the entire time and never had Indydebi's buttercream not crust. I think the freezing and thawing is adding condensation to your cakes. I wrap my cakes warm and let them sit overnight. They are firm and easy to work with the next morning.

Also, as far as the cost of the Dream whip...you are also using less Crisco so there's some balance there. I think Indydebi's is still a little more expensive, but the taste and ease of use makes it worth it.

I know how frustrating it can be when something isn't coming out right. Good luck to you, I hope your problem is resolved soon icon_smile.gif

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