Icing

Baking By dirt Updated 3 Jun 2010 , 8:32pm by kimmerly1966

dirt Posted 2 May 2010 , 12:30pm
post #1 of 28

icon_sad.gif I need help as to why my icing, after I decorate a cake there is water by the border of the cake. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong.? I use crisco, power sugar, water, little salt. The icing feels sticky to me.

27 replies
minicuppie Posted 2 May 2010 , 1:42pm
post #2 of 28

Sounds like your recipe needs a bit of tweaking. Needs more sugar, less liquid. OBTW, why are you using water? If you insist on using water, at least add some creamer to it, will taste richer and mix in easier. Fresh, juicy fruit will also give up quite a bit of liquid when added to sugar.

foxymomma521 Posted 2 May 2010 , 2:14pm
post #3 of 28

I'd bet it's the Crisco...

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:16pm
post #4 of 28

I never use water in my buttercream. I use milk. Oil and water don't mix thumbs_up.gif

etr2002 Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:34pm
post #5 of 28

Robin,

I just read another thread where you said you don't refrigerate your cakes. Is it not necessary to refrigerate when you have milk in the icing? I'm new and just a hobbiest, so I don't know a lot of "cake chemistry" but my Wilton instructor said we had to refrigerate the cake when iced with milk or heavy whipping cream. So, was I taught wrong?

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:43pm
post #6 of 28

Yes you were taught wrong icon_lol.gif The sugar preserves the milk. I don't know the scientifics of how it works but it does. I have kept buttercream in a covered bowl at room temp. for up to two weeks. I'd imagine it would actually be fine for up to four weeks or so. I just whip it a bit before using.

jnmgreen Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:59pm
post #7 of 28

I don't know where you got your information that sugar preserves the milk, but in my food sanitation classes with using milk it had to be refrigerated. I'm really surprised that you haven't given anybody food poisoning.

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 11:11pm
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnmgreen

I don't know where you got your information that sugar preserves the milk, but in my food sanitation classes with using milk it had to be refrigerated. I'm really surprised that you haven't given anybody food poisoning.




Are you serious?? icon_lol.gif The information you learned is incorrect. Sugar does indeed preserve the milk in buttercream. Hopefully Doug will jump in and give his scientific explaination to you. Just because ya learned it in class doesn't mean you got correct information. You're wrong on this. I also don't appreciate your last sentence. Indydebi has said that she doesn't refrigerate her cakes and Leah_S has said that she doesn't either. Are you saying that you're suprised that these very successful, smart businesswomen haven't given someone food poisioning? Honestly icon_lol.gif

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 11:40pm
post #9 of 28

Doug, Leah, Indydebi...anyone care to help me out here? thumbs_up.gif

bakermom3107 Posted 2 May 2010 , 11:47pm
post #10 of 28

The bakery I used to work at also leaves buttercream at room temp... for weeks.

To the OP- If you are refrigerating your cake after it is iced, the water you see is probably condensation. Every once in a while, I refrigerate a cake and the same thing happens to meicon_sad.gif HTH!!

Doug Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:08am
post #11 of 28

yes sugar IS a preservative.

uh hello -- jams, jellies?!?!?

sugar -- and it's "bad" fellow high blood pressure inducing salt -- are two of the 3 oldest know methods of preservation, the other being dehydration (any care for some beef jerky? -- oh, you prefer salt preservation? how about some salted ham or salt packed fish?)

sugar and salt both work the same way -- they suck the moisture out of the stuff (including the air) around them. That is why they clump if not protected from high humidity. They just LOVE water.

now in order for any bad buggies to survive they need water.

add copious amounts of sugar or salt to the area the buggies are trying to live and proliferate and they get in a fight for the water that is present. Sugar or Salt win if present in sufficient concentration.

Ever done the kill a slug with salt routine? Sugar will do it too.

The trick is that sufficient quantity.

in most icings the amount of liquid be it milk or water is generally just a few tablespoons. Compare that to the amount of sugar present.

no contest, bugs loose, sugar wins.

if you want the technical specifics it has to do with osmotic pressure and the hygroscopic (water seeking) properties of sugar and salt. The water in the bacteria is literally drawn out of it by the sugar which has a higher molecular bonding energy than the innards of the bad (now dead) buggie.

While it might be fun to imagine the little buggies going into diabetic shock from sugar overload, the truth is you've dumped into a Sahara Desert of sugar.

You will NOT poison anyone (well unless you're an Aunt Abby or Aunt Martha wannabee with your arsenic and old lace) by making icing with milk.

for your reading and learning pleasure -- a plethora of links on the topic
http://www.google.com/search?q=sugar+as+a+preservative&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGLL_en___US359

Niliquely Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:17am
post #12 of 28

Wow Doug that was an impressive explanation! The science teacher in me (who for some unknown wacky reason quit teaching to decorate cakes) gives you an A - I love it! (Also love the arsenic and old lace reference - love that movie with Cary Grant!) Good info for everyone to know!

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:20am
post #13 of 28

Thank you Doug. thumbs_up.gif I'm not a science teacher but I also think you deserve an A. I appreciate your help. I wouldn't want anyone to think I'd actually run a risk of poisoning anyone. icon_lol.gif

leah_s Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:25am
post #14 of 28

I was gonna jump in here and 'splain, but Doug beat me to it. It's not exactly that the sugar preserves the milk, but that the sugar binds up all the water so that bacteria either cannot grow or have a really, nearly impossible chance of growing.

jnmgreen, perhaps you should check again with your food sanitation teacher. I know mine taught me correctly.

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:29am
post #15 of 28

Thanks Leah, I knew I was right but I didn't know "why". Your time and knowledge is very much appreciated icon_lol.gif

Mrs-A Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:38am
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

yes sugar IS a preservative.




thanks!

my wilton instructor told me last week to use water but i prefer milk so will keep using milk

foxymomma521 Posted 4 May 2010 , 2:24pm
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

I never use water in my buttercream. I use milk. Oil and water don't mix thumbs_up.gif



I use water all the time and never have a problem with them "not mixing" icon_smile.gif

minicuppie Posted 5 May 2010 , 11:07am
post #18 of 28

I think we scared the newbie OP off. Dirt...did you get the answer you were looking for?

jnmgreen Posted 5 May 2010 , 6:31pm
post #19 of 28

Sorry I was misunderstood, glad to be so well informed. That is what I like about this sight, I'm constantly learning something new. Thanks for the info.

dirt Posted 8 May 2010 , 12:11pm
post #20 of 28

Thanks for all the information & I'm still confused. One more thing, I sift my power sugar, could this also be my cause too.?

minicuppie Posted 8 May 2010 , 12:36pm
post #21 of 28

I sift all the time to get those tiny crystals that sometimes form in the product. But in order to have the correct amt of 10x, I do it after measuring.

mamawrobin Posted 8 May 2010 , 3:22pm
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirt

Thanks for all the information & I'm still confused. One more thing, I sift my power sugar, could this also be my cause too.?




I ALWAYS sift all of my dry ingredients. thumbs_up.gif

dirt, you say that you're still confused. As for your origional question about the water issue. Try using milk in your buttercream instead of water and see if you still have the same issue. Just a suggestion. I never use water and I've never had this happen.

jazzimat Posted 9 May 2010 , 12:40am
post #23 of 28

Hi,

I just took my 1st Wilton class on Tuesday and thats what the instructor said too. Use water, because using milk would need refrigeration.

Thank you for the info. I will now use milk without worries. Now, can I use non fat milk? That's all we have. Or, can I use whipping cream? I have that on hand too.

Thanks,
jazzi

mamawrobin Posted 9 May 2010 , 12:46am
post #24 of 28

jazzimat I use whipping cream quite often. Makes it so creamy. Since Crisco no longer has the trans fat using the cream (or milk w/fat) helps to make a creamier icing.

jazzimat Posted 9 May 2010 , 1:03am
post #25 of 28

Thank you! I'm so glad I found this website!!!

jazzi

southerngirl5 Posted 18 May 2010 , 3:36am
post #26 of 28

Okay, you guys solved the milk - refrigeration issue, what about pudding? I like to use pudding for fillings when I do cakes primarily for kids but refrigerations messes with the buttercream crusting.

Anyone got some science for this one?

mamawrobin Posted 18 May 2010 , 4:05am
post #27 of 28

Sorry. If you use a perishable filling you're going to need to refrigerate.

kimmerly1966 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:32pm
post #28 of 28

WOW this was really interesting reading!! LOL

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