Cracked Buttercream On Square Cake

Decorating By MerlotCook Updated 28 Nov 2009 , 3:45am by indydebi

MerlotCook Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 1:08am
post #1 of 9

So I'm doing my first square cake and my buttercream refuses to smooth out (I'm using Indydebi's recipe- love it!). I have the cakes stacked and they aren't looking too good. I may be able to cover them up with the vine I'm using (out of buttercream, too, hopefully it won't crack!). How smooth are buttercream cakes supposed to be? I can't imaging people expect them to look just like fondant, do they? I would much rather use fondant, but who knows!

8 replies
kelleym Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 1:35am
post #2 of 9

With square cakes, pans can be the culprit. It's hard to make a good looking square cake with a pan that has flared sides (like Wilton's basic square pan).

Maybe if you could describe how they "aren't looking too good" in more detail, we could give you more suggestions?

Here is a picture tutorial on how to frost a square cake:

Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 1:35am
post #3 of 9

Help me understand what the icing is doing. Cracking and "not smoothing" out are two different things to me.

Is it crusting ok for you? What smoothing method are you using? Did you get it smooth and then it cracked when you picked it up or you just can't get it smooth to start with? Square cakes can be more difficult when you first start doing them .... is it the whole cake giving you a problem or just the corners/edges? If you can post a pic of what you're running into, we might be able to see what you're running into.

Let me know and we'll get you there! thumbs_up.gif

icer101 Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 2:08am
post #4 of 9

i believe she is saying.. her icing isn,t right... not how they baked up.. if your icing isn,t getting smooth or its cracking.. then it is the icing and how she is applying it.. its not the pans no matter the brand name. it sounds like she needs to thin it more. and keep practicing until she gets better and better at it. yes, a pic would help.. you can take a perfectly square cake.. and if you don,t know how to apply the icing.. no matter how you bake it.. then it ain,t gonna be square or any shape.. round.. oval.. etc.. that is how i see it anyway.. i am sure indydebi can help her if she sees the pic...

icer101 Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 2:12am
post #5 of 9

i meant to add.... yes, there are some people on this site.. their buttecream cakes look like fondant.. sharon zambito ... no. 1.. check out her site.... and check on her buttercream dvd.. it is great.. i,ve never seen anyone that can apply buttercream like she can. so . hope you can get your help.. good luck....

MerlotCook Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 2:47am
post #6 of 9

Okay, I added pics so you can see. I know it will look fine, as I can add vines and flowers and the border obviously! It just isn't smooth. The icing was an easy to work with consistency (and, I might add, it did not taste bad either!), so I think it was how I applied it. I don't know...

indydebi Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 3:34am
post #7 of 9

I do like how the color gets darker as you go down the cake! I like that effect!

By looking at it, two things come to mind ...

1) it looks like the icing may have been too dry (or sometimes described as too thick), which could have caused it to crust really fast.

2) I've gotten this effect when I've tried to smooth it after waiting too long after it crusted. THe icing crusts and has pretty much set, so then when I tried to Melvira it, it had a look very similar to yours.

If the icing crusted fast, as described in (1) above, then you run into the situation described in (2).

A couple of options for the fix ... (1) add more crisco. Crusting is result of fat/sugar ration, so the more fat, the less crusting. This will prevent it from crusting too hard, too fast, giving you time to work with it.

(2) add more milk. This thins the icing, but retains the correct fat/sugar ratio. I have found that I can thin it with more milk, making it super easy to spread, but since I haven't changed the fat/sugar ratio, it still crusts just as well and the smoothing process is the same.

I'm sure you'll receive some add'l great ideas and suggestions. As you work with it, you'll find the tips that work best for your work envirnment (temp. humidity, skill level, etc). thumbs_up.gif

MerlotCook Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 3:43am
post #8 of 9

Debi, do you think there's any hope for it to look decent? Is it just going to be "textured" and so I just need to deal with it? Thanks for your input; I appreciate it!

indydebi Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 3:45am
post #9 of 9

The only advice I can give is to add another coat of icing (thinner, smoother). I've added another coat just right on top of this before ... and I've also scraped off the bad icing and re-done it.

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