Buttercream Issues

Baking By SugarSugarDesserts Updated 5 Jul 2010 , 1:36pm by southernswthrt

SugarSugarDesserts Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:39pm
post #1 of 21

I have been using wilton's buttercream recipe (1/2cup crisco, 1/2 cup butter) with 1 tbsp of meringue powder and I love the taste as well as all my customers. But lately I have been having several issues.
1.) color keeps spreading - dark colors has been melting and spreading over the cake
2.) buttercream sliding off cake

My question(s) is, is it simply a humidty problem and if so how do I fix it. I have been using little to no liquid due to it being so runny lately.

Or is it a crisco problem. I have read several things about the 0 trans fat problem but I dont know if the stuff I was using ever had transfat. I have only been doing this since last october and I think crisco changed their formula before that. If it is a crisco problem how do I fix?
Is there any subsitute for high ratio shortening becuase no one around me sells it and it would send my cost through the roof to have to order it.

20 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:51pm
post #2 of 21

My icing doesn't melt, doesn't run, doesn't bleed. I never even knew crisco had changed their recipe until I read the big huge thread here on CC.


mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:59pm
post #3 of 21

I'm betting it's the butter in the recipe due to the humidity causing your problems. I know that you say you "love the taste" icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif "as well as your customers" icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif

Since I deal with extreme heat and humidity here in Arkansas I use Indydebi's buttercream recipe exclusively. If you and your customers actually "love" the taste of the Wilton icing then you are absolutely going to flip over the taste of her recipe. Seriously..meringue powder leaves an aftertaste and doesn't Wilton icing use water instead of milk? I promise that it taste better than the icing that you're currently using and it will also hold up to heat and humidity (even at outdoor events with 98% humidity and 100 degree temperatures) If your customers "love" your icing now they are going to be "in love" with you for trying this one. thumbs_up.gif
I landed my part-time job as baker for a catering company because the owner loved my icing so much and they also have a lot of outdoor events to cater and this icing will hold up to that. The owner actually ask me IF I used shortening in my icing. It's all shortening but you can't taste the crisco and it has no "greasy" mouth feel.

You ask about the trans-fat issue with crisco...the absence of trans-fat doesn't affect her icing at all. I think it may be because of the Dream Whip. Actually I believe her recipe is the same as Wilton's High Humidity Icing Recipe if I'm not mistaken. It is also easy to make and I was never able to get my buttercream perfectly smooth until I started using her recipe. It is "hands down" the BEST American buttercream I've ever tasted.

Edited to say that Indydebi hadn't posted when I started typing my post. And she isn't paying me to brag on her either. icon_lol.gif

TexasSugar Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:25pm
post #4 of 21

My guess is the humidity is the cause for the bleeding.

And the other issues are probably from the butter. I do use the wilton recipe with mp but all crisco. You can use water or milk as the liquid. Butter has a lower melting point, so heat will affect it more than an all crisco buttercream.

As far as the trans fat thing, they changed formulas several years ago, so what you have been using is the zero trans fat.

There seem to be alot of issues with buttercream this year, I'm just pretty much blaming the weather. icon_smile.gif

SugarSugarDesserts Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 7:57pm
post #5 of 21

The recipe I use in is the wilton but not with the water.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crisco
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs meringe powder
2 tbs milk (or less since it has been so hot)

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 8:24pm
post #6 of 21

Do you refrigerate your cakes? Do you ice your cakes when they are frozen, partially frozen or cold? Even using a "humidity friendly" icing will not help if you are refrigerating cakes where you have humidity issues. This is the main reason I will never refrigerate a cake. I've also seen Edna (tonedna) say the same thing. When you take a cake out of the fridge into a humid environment it is going to have severe problems. (It will I promise) If a cake is left at room temperature it survives the humidity (with the correct type of icing) without any melting, sliding, bleeding, etc.

That said I have already offered my best advice on icing. Indydebi's has passed the test for me (outdoor event 100 degrees with 98% humidity) and didn't melt, slide or even sweat. It was in that heat for 4 hours and it DID hold up. "Proof's in the pudding"..so to speak. thumbs_up.gif

kakeladi Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 9:19pm
post #7 of 21

I'm sooooooooo discussted(sp?) Twice I had typed out a long reply only to have it dissapear when just about to submit icon_sad.gif
I'll try just this once more.

mamawrobin is right on re refrigerating cakesicon_smile.gif
There is one issue that hasn't been addressed: coloring icing.
The farther ahead one colors the icing, the less chance of bleeding. If you make the colors as you go there could be trouble icon_sad.gif
Dark, intense colors (navy blue; red; brown; black esepcially), even primery colors need time to develop the color. The more gel/paste used the more it will darken over time.
For brown, navy and black save your dibs & dabs of *any & all color* icing in an airtight container/glass jar in the fzr. When one of those colors is needed, take it out; stir it up (depending on what colors you mixed together it will be an ugly color but don't frett) just add the paste. You will use far less paste/gel thereby not get that bitter taste usually associated with those intense colors.
For red, tint the white icing either pink, yellow or orange before adding super red until it is several shades *lighter* than you need. If there is no objection to some flavoring to the icing, add about 1/2 teaspoon UNsweetened KoolAid powder per cup of icing (strawberry or blk cherry) stir up well and let stand overnight (or equal amount of time). When needed, you might think something is wrong as it will have dark/black spots through it, but just stir well and it will be just fine.

FUNNY NOTE: when I was teaching wilton classes and told a class about saving leftover icing to make black, one gal showed up at the last class with almost 1/2 gallon of black icing!! She had saved all the icings used in the 4 classes and made it black!

If there is say 1/4 cup or so of icing save it; use it for another cake - one can always use a bit of green for a few more leaves; or colors for a few drop flowers on a cake. Buttercream keeps well in the frig for several weeks or it can be frozen for keeping up to a year.

KarolynAndrea Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 9:39pm
post #8 of 21

Since there is milk in that recipe, how long can the cake sit out? Will it spoil?

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 9:49pm
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by KarolynAndrea

Since there is milk in that recipe, how long can the cake sit out? Will it spoil?

No. See my post in the following link and JanH's excellent reference links on this topic.

Gramma probably didn't know the scientific reason, but she knew her icing that she made with milk could sit on a cake on the counter for days and still be just fine. thumbs_up.gif


sweettreat101 Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:33am
post #10 of 21

I like butter cream that has butter in it. Not liquid butter flavorings. I haven't used Wilton's recipe since I took classes over ten years ago. Do you live in a humid climate? I live on the west coast and we don't have humidity problems. I have been contemplating trying her frosting but when I read that there was no butter I chickened out. Sounds like to much shortening and sugar to me but since everyone keeps giving great compliments I might give it a try.

LindaF144a Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:51pm
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by sweettreat101

I like butter cream that has butter in it. Not liquid butter flavorings. I haven't used Wilton's recipe since I took classes over ten years ago. Do you live in a humid climate? I live on the west coast and we don't have humidity problems. I have been contemplating trying her frosting but when I read that there was no butter I chickened out. Sounds like to much shortening and sugar to me but since everyone keeps giving great compliments I might give it a try.

Just a little side note to say I really miss that no humidity on the west coast. I moved back to the east coast about 10 years ago and I still miss it.

And I agree with everyboyd else. It is the butter and you should try Indydeb's recipe. It goes over real well and nobody seems to miss the butter taste.

SugarSugarDesserts Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 6:50pm
post #12 of 21

Sorry for the late response... I do not refrigerate my cakes... ever.

I do mix colors as I need them so I will definately try mixing them ahead of time and letting them sit before I use them. I really hope that helps with the bleeding problem.

I will also be giving that recipe a try soon.

humminbird712 Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:12pm
post #13 of 21

OK...so I have heard a lot about the whole crisco trans fat thing. I didn't know they changed it b/c I'm late on finding out everything. Anyways, when I was looking at the back of store brands like people suggested...it all says that there is no trans fat in it too....walmart and HEB brand. I don't know where you can get bake-rite. What do ya'll use? I don't know if the trans fat will help my buttercream or not, but I wanted to see if it made a difference.

SugarSugarDesserts Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:18pm
post #14 of 21

You can see in this picture what I mean by bleeding.. Under the yellow basketball but still on top there is a small line you can see starting to form on the bottom right. That is some purple color that somehow bled or melted from the purple line above it. It got worse after this picture.

humminbird712 Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:50pm
post #15 of 21

I would think it's the butter in your BC. I use all shortening, powdered sugar, milk, and then the flavorings almond and butter. I've never had it bleed before. ????

kakeladi Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 11:42pm
post #16 of 21

O. K. from the pic it looks to me like your icing is way too thin. Leave out maybe as much as 1/2 the liquid.
Play around with your recipe. They are only a guide -- not a hard and fast rule. At least when making icing icon_smile.gif

It might well have to do with humidity. I delt mostly with west coast weather....no humidity.
Hope that helps icon_smile.gif

southernswthrt Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 12:00am
post #17 of 21

I had the same problem this weekend with my BC sliding down the sides of the cake. I use Indydebi's Icing with Sweetex not Crisco. I'm really panicking right now b/c I brought a cake to my SIL w/ icing sliding off - it was embarassing icon_redface.gif I had a small cake with leftover batter and it did the same thing icon_confused.gif

I really would love to know how to fix this. I have two cakes in a couple weeks and I'm thinking about backing out b/c I can't seem to stop this. Could it be that my BC is too thick? I used the max amt of liquid listed in the recipe. Maybe I'm putting it on the cake too thick?

I had this problem one other time on a red velvet cake and this one was chocolate...could it be b/c it's chocolate cake???

Can you tell I'm more than a little freaked out by this! HELP...thanks to OP for posting this!

mamawrobin Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 3:48am
post #18 of 21

I have tried several different shortenings with Indydebi's recipe and Crisco works the best for her recipe. I have never had an issue with her icing when I used Crisco. Don't know why but it is what works best.

It's very hot and humid where I live and I've never had an issue with melting or "sliding" icing...ever. I've never had any issues with this icing except for the ONE time that I refrigerated my cake. Maybe your icing is too thick....don't know without being able to see what your icing looks like.

humminbird712 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 5:10am
post #19 of 21

Never had the sliding problem before...I use crisco. I don't think b/c it was a chocolate cake has anything to do with it. ???

indydebi Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 6:27am
post #20 of 21

Is Sweetex a high-ratio shortening? I've never used a high ratio but it seems to me I've read on here that if you use a high-ratio, you need to reduce the amount of fat? and if that's true, then the fat-sugar ratio was out of whack, which may cause the problem.

Please correct me if I'm recalling the high-ratio stuff wrong.

southernswthrt Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 1:36pm
post #21 of 21

Yes, Indydebi - Sweetex is high-ratio shortening and I've been using your recipe for almost a year and get RAVE reviews! I have made it with both Crisco and Sweetex, and my family says it's better with Sweetex. Now I do this as a hobby and don't bake every weekend, but I've made well over a dozen cakes with your recipe and this has never happened before!

The batch this weekend was yummy as ever and you didn't taste the shortening at all. Maybe I should put less shortening next time...or sub water for some of the milk to reduce the fat amount???

I just started decorating last October so I haven't been through a summer decorating, so this is really baffling me.

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