ok, so i've been using the wilton buttercream icing and really like the taste. However, i've been having lots of problems lately w/it's consistency. It seems really sticky and airy (if that makes sense). when i'm icing a cake i've been having the hardest time getting it smooth. i've tried the viva method w/no luck, any other suggestions? I have to do a wedding cake in a few months and my cousin doesn't want fondant, i'm really worried about the sides of the cake looking perfect. i'm really stressed about it, so any advice would be great. The cake will be a tiered cake and I have to take it about a half an hour from home up a very hilly and curvy area, i'm terrifed about transporing it (even though it won't be constructed), doesn't a large cake move when it's placed on the floor of your car going up a steep hill?
I have read that others use a non-skid rubber mat under their cakes for transporting. You buy the roll of it near contac paper and cut the size you need.
It also makes a nice placemat for a toddler who tends to push his plate all around the table! It also holds your cutting board in place when you need to slice something. So many uses....
Here's a recent thread on air bubbles in icing:
For making the cake:
(disregard whimsical portion - use method/s below)
One of my favorite b/c recipes:
You could try a different buttercream. I've never had problems with the type I use, but then, I buy it from a local lady. It tastes great, has a long shelf life, and it's a dream to decorate with. So if you're having problems, keep looking for an alternative. If all else fails, PM me, and I can give you the contact information for the frosting I use.
so, i made another cake tonight for our new neighbor, and something is just not right!! i'll post a picture tomorrow of my "airy" problem and you guys can tell me what you think it is. I'm going to try out a few of the other receipes next time, but i didn't have all the ingredients tonight. anyway, like i said i'll post the pic tomorrow.
Are there little air bubbles/pockets in the icing? If so you may be mixing it too fast or too long. You really want to use your lowest speed once you add the powder sugar and you want to mix it long enough to mix everything well then another minute or two. You don't want to whip this type of icing.
I was thinking that maybe you're putting too much milk in. When I want a nice whippy BC, I add extra milk and corn syrup to the BC, like when I'm icing cupcakes. When I'm icing a cake, I leave it on the dry thick side. I seem to have better results when smoothing and have never had any complaints about taste or texture.
Good luck and keep practicing. You're doing it right!
thanks, i may be mixing to long or too fast. i do add milk to make it creamier, is corn syrup better? well, stupid me, i dropped off the cake and forgot to take a picture....oops. but yes, it looks like pockets/air bubbles. i did the basket weave and noticed it just wasn't pipping smooth either. What would the best icing be for a wedding cake? it's going to be round, 3 or 4 high. really worried about getting it smooth on the sides, seems like when i'm icing i get it smooth, but you start to see the side of the cake coming through. i'm thinking about talking the bride (my cousin) into fondant, but so far i haven't enjoyed the taste of any, i've done wilton fondant and mmf. i need it to taste good. any thoughts?
i'm also looking for a vanilla cake receipe that is of course tasty, but bakes nicely but it a little more sturdy than box cake. if anyone can help that would be great.
Are you using the Icing Tip to apply the icing? That may help you not see the sides of the cake when you get it smooth.
Try mixing it for a shorter period and see if that helps.
If you see the side of the cake through the icing you need more icing.
Just a couple quick thoughts.
Are you using the whip attachment, or the paddle? I guess that's if you have a mixer w/ intechangable attachments. But if you do, you should be using the paddle.
Have you tried other recipes? The Buttercream Dream is REALLY good. I also like the recipe that is in the Viva Method tutorial. I use butter and vanilla flavorings and put a little extra also! HTH!
I like using a half butter/ half shortening recipe...I just like the taste better....and I dont have any problems getting it pretty smooth (though I am by no means perfect) but I do have problems with it if I try to do basketweave (clogs my tip)...still havent decided why that is (as i let the butter come to room temp and sift my powdered sugar)....best of luck to you though!
The butter might be your culprit. The last time I used the butter in my Wilton icing it wouldn't smooth very well. Also are your using meringe powder?
I also use 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening. I mix it on the lowest setting and use the paddle attachment. As for transporting, if you own a silpat, they work great! My cakes haven't moved at all with the silpat under it. (my husbands idea!!)
when using basket weave tip, i thin the icing a little, it goes on a lot smoother and the strips dont break.
i made a 14 inch practice "wedding" cake last week, to see if i could do it. i first coated it with a thin crumb coat the night before and let it crust over. then next day i put another layer on before decorating, and it covered the cake really well. i use a small pump spray bottle and mist some water over it to smoothe it out, works really well. not the kind of spray bottle with a trigger, just an old fashioned pump. i got a small bottle, about 3-4 inches tall, at walmart where you buy small sized items for travel. it only takes a few light misting sprays to dampen the icing, then using a large spatula, it smoothes out quickly and evenly. i've learned that the more times you pass over the area, the more prone you are to getting the icing stuck on the spatula, so try to do a few quick passes.
i do use the paddle on my KA, i'm going to have to try the buttercream dream receipe. thanks for all the advice, i'm so nervous about his wedding cake!! as for the traveling aspect, what is a silpat? my whole problem is this: to get to the location i have to go up a very very steep, like verticle winding hill, i'm afraid the cake will slide off the board or something awful.
as for the cake.....anybody have a yummy vanilla cake receipe?
A silpat is a non-stick silicone mat. You can use them for baking, rolling dough, etc. The only thing I can think of for your steep trip, is maybe putting a wedge under the cakes so that they seem to be level when going up the hill. That's if that is really necessary. How steep is it? I'm pretty sure if you dowel it and put a non-skid something underneath it, you'd be okay. Hopefully someone w/ a little more experience can come along. Sorry I'm not of more help. Good luck to you!
what do you know, i have a silpat!! never knew that's what they were called. i may have to do the wedge thing, the hill is probably (this is what my hubby says) like a 40 degree hill. thanks for all the help though, don't know what i would do without this website!
I try to make my frosting the day before. Then I take a silicone spatula and mix it-more like mash it before using. It seems to get rid of any air bubbles. I like to overmix my frosting and just cant break the habit.
When I take classes I buy frosting from my instructer. The stuff is amazing-smooth as silk. I'm going to ask to watch her make it next time. Her royal icing should win awards-I don't know what she does, but I love to work with the stuff. Mine is okay-hers is amazing.
I never have air bubbles with IMBC.