Frustrated With Buttercream

Decorating By SliceCakeStudio Updated 28 Sep 2009 , 4:43pm by SliceCakeStudio

SliceCakeStudio Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 12:57pm
post #1 of 10

I'm sure there are posts on this, but I have not yet found it... I am so frustrated with buttercream I'm tempted to only use fondant from here on out!! When making wedding cakes, my brides typically opt for the lower priced buttercream, but in hindsight, I'm spending so much more time being meticulous about the finish, that I think fondant is worth it's weight in gold.

I have AIR POCKETS in my buttercream. I can do the hot spatula and get it shiny and smooth, but the air pockets will remain. Does anyone else find that they actually spend less time covering the cakes in fondant?

I would really consider pricing the two equally in order to increase the likelihood of customers ordering fondant.

9 replies
lthiele Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:05pm
post #2 of 10

Absolutely! I spend way more time mucking around with bc than I do with fondant. I absolutely hate the stuff (only because I cant get it perfectly smooth!) I have watched some youtube vids, countless times but still cant do it right. I dream that one day, my cakes will look something like Edna's!

Love your website btw, just had a quick look. Beatiful cakes and a clean simple site that is elegant and easy to navigate!

indydebi Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:10pm
post #3 of 10

When I started making cakes, there wasn't fondant, so we had no choice but to learn BC and we pretty much had to learn it on our own. No food network, no Michael's classes, nothing.

Have you watched Sharon's video? She has some great tips on how to make icing. Edna's video is fabulous on spreading and smoothing BC. (I recently rewatched Edna's and my BC is looking better than ever, even after 30 years of doing it.)

When you mix the icing, are you really REALLY pulverizing the fat? Sometimes air pockets in the icing is caused by particles of fat. When you push the icing with the spatula, you are moving a particle of fat thru the icing, creating a "tunnel" (like when you move your hand thru fine sand and there's a pebble in there ... it leaves a tunnel or a trail).

Here's a thread with pics of me mixing my icing http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-650745-0.html ...notice in the first pic how silky the mixture looks. That's because the fat is totally pulverized. No particals whatsoever.

Are you using a crusting BC so you can Melvira it? I won't do a cake without using Melvira's method ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago. "THE" best method ever!

Some CC'ers DO price their BC the same or higher than fondant to encourage folks to go with fondant. Since there is BC under the fondant, the client still can have the BC icing if that's the taste they prefer.

SliceCakeStudio Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:11pm
post #4 of 10

Thanks!! I too have watched Edna's tutorials, maybe I'm not using a buttercream that crusts well enough, but agreed! Spending too much time on them!

franskitchen1 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:13pm
post #5 of 10

So Agree with you gals, Buttercream is so time consuming!! I too would rather cover with fondant!
I spend so much time smoothing BC because the bride picks a Fondant covered cake and expects the Bc to be as smooth as the Fondant, So much work!!I have also tried many different BC recipes. The best method that I use is the foam piant roller method on chilled BC. I found this in the articles on CC. It does work very nicely.

karensue Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:17pm
post #6 of 10

Since I raised my price on buttercream higher than fondant (for the same reason you stated "teri1975"), I've only had ONE buttercream wedding cake this year. I, too, found the extra time/labor expended to get my BC as smooth as I wanted was much more than the extra cost of the fondant.

SliceCakeStudio Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 3:56pm
post #7 of 10

Glad I'm not alone in this! Thanks for the tips... I have not seen "Sharon's" video - who it that? Where do I find her links?

I think I do pulverize the fat, my thought as to what is happening is that I just have almost like an air bubble that gets popped when I smooth over. I just found that paint roller idea, I'll try it. In the mean time, I think I may push the pricing higher on BC. I think you are right "franskitchen1" - bride's expect the bc to be as smooth as fondant, and as a perfectionist, I hate when I photograph my cake and see the air pockets.

Thanks everyone!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 7:38pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by teri1975

I'm sure there are posts on this, but I have not yet found it... I am so frustrated with buttercream I'm tempted to only use fondant from here on out!! When making wedding cakes, my brides typically opt for the lower priced buttercream, but in hindsight, I'm spending so much more time being meticulous about the finish, that I think fondant is worth it's weight in gold.

I have AIR POCKETS in my buttercream. I can do the hot spatula and get it shiny and smooth, but the air pockets will remain. Does anyone else find that they actually spend less time covering the cakes in fondant?

I would really consider pricing the two equally in order to increase the likelihood of customers ordering fondant.




Try this. Make you icing as you normally do, even days before. When ready to use, remix a portion in an old fashioned two beater stand mixer [I have a Sunbeam Mixmaster dedicated to this purpose] on low speed, scraping bowl constantly for a minute or two....it will be as smooth as silk without air.

If you don't have a two beater stand mixer, beg, borrow or buy one...it is worth it's weight in gold!

peg818 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 8:53pm
post #9 of 10

Or pop your premade icing in a food processor. It will be smooth as can be.

SliceCakeStudio Posted 28 Sep 2009 , 4:43pm
post #10 of 10

Interesting, haven't heard that one. I'll try it!

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