How Can I Tell If A Recipe For Frosting Is Crusting Or Not?

Lounge By KayMc Updated 26 Jul 2010 , 1:13am by anxietyattack

KayMc Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:01am
post #1 of 18

I know there is a ratio, but I can't find it anywhere. Thanks in advance.

17 replies
indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:17am
post #2 of 18

The gen'l rule is "more fat = less crusting; more sugar = more crusting". I remember it by thinking fat is slippery so the more fat, the more slippery the icing is and the more likely it will be soft and slip right off of the cake (i.e. "melt").

I use 1-1/3 cups fat (crisco) to 2 lbs of p.sugar.

Many use a 1:1 ratio (1 cup fat to 1 lb p.sugar) with good results, but I've noticed that usually when someone posts a "my icing won't crust!" problem, it's usually a 1:1 ratio. Best advice I can give on that one is try it and see how it works for you.

But what I watch for is less than 1 cup of fat per lb of p.sugar.

mamawrobin Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:18am
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc

I know there is a ratio, but I can't find it anywhere. Thanks in advance.




The sugar to fat is what makes the icing crust. The higher the sugar the faster it crust. Indydebi's is a 2:1 sugar to fat ratio and it crust very fast. Some, like Wilton's, is a 1:1 ratio.

karabeal Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:48am
post #4 of 18

I bow down before the combined wisdom of IndyDebi and MamawRobin and humbly inquire: What about meringue powder? My Wilton instructor (and I KNOW she was not the end all of cake wisdom, but bear with me as I try to learn) emphatically said that meringue powder was the ingredient that caused crusting. I know the two of you use the same recipe and it includes Dream Whip. Could there be something in the Dream Whip that mimics the meringue powder action and causes crusting?

I've been adding meringue powder to the different buttercream recipes I've been trying even if the recipe didn't include it (other than yours, IndyDebi) just to ensure crusting. Has this been completely unnecessary?

mamawrobin Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:12am
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by karabeal

I bow down before the combined wisdom of IndyDebi and MamawRobin and humbly inquire: What about meringue powder? My Wilton instructor (and I KNOW she was not the end all of cake wisdom, but bear with me as I try to learn) emphatically said that meringue powder was the ingredient that caused crusting. I know the two of you use the same recipe and it includes Dream Whip. Could there be something in the Dream Whip that mimics the meringue powder action and causes crusting?

I've been adding meringue powder to the different buttercream recipes I've been trying even if the recipe didn't include it (other than yours, IndyDebi) just to ensure crusting. Has this been completely unnecessary?




Indydebi's buttercream would crust fine without the Dream Whip. It's the sugar to fat ratio that causes the crusting. I have never used meringue powder in any crusting buttercream recipe that I've ever used. It leaves an awful aftertaste and is absolutely NOT necessary in order for the icing to crust. What IS necessary is that the sugar to fat ratio be at least 1:1. Like Indydebi mentioned whenever there is a post with a 'non-crusting' issue it's usually a 1:1 ratio recipe. Her recipe is a 2:1 ratio and I've never had any problems with her icing crusting.
Like I said in my previous post the higher the sugar the faster it crust. So stop adding that meringue powder.

I know some people add it thinking it's necessary...not sure where that comes from but it certainly isn't true. thumbs_up.gif

karabeal Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:52am
post #6 of 18

Okey dokey. No meringue powder in tomorrow's batch of buttercream!

Thank you over and over again for all of the time you put into the forums. I read you daily and appreciate the opportunity to learn from masters such as you!

KayMc Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 12:42pm
post #7 of 18

I hope this isn't totally stupid: First of all, thanks for answering, Indydeb and Mamawrobin! Please let me clarify: the ratio is used with CUPS of fat and POUNDS of sugar, right? (not cups of sugar). icon_redface.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 1:15pm
post #8 of 18

Kay you are correct .... cups of fat and pounds of sugar! thumbs_up.gif

as mamarobin already said, merique powder has NOTHING to do with crusting. I made icing for 30 years and never used it (except in cookie icing). To be honest, I had no idea what the heck merinque powder even was for until I came on CC and read some of the threads!

No disrespect to the wilton instructor, but part of their job is to sell wilton products. But to say the merinque powder is required is just wrong. Flat out wrong.

TexasSugar Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 1:32pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Many use a 1:1 ratio (1 cup fat to 1 lb p.sugar) with good results, but I've noticed that usually when someone posts a "my icing won't crust!" problem, it's usually a 1:1 ratio. Best advice I can give on that one is try it and see how it works for you.




1 cup Crisco to 1 lb powder sugar crusts fine. I think those 1:1 ratios that have butter mixed in are the one wiht crusting issues. icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 1:36pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

No disrespect to the wilton instructor, but part of their job is to sell wilton products. But to say the merinque powder is required is just wrong. Flat out wrong.




They way the books are written it makes it look like it is required, but it isn't. Even in the new books they actually do say you can leave it out.

Icing will crust with out it, if you have the right ration of sugar and fat.

I do currently use it in my icing because for me it helps with the heat and humidity. I'm not saying there isn't other things out there that don't, but from my experince, my icing preforms better with it.

mkolmar Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 9:23pm
post #11 of 18

I use butter for my buttercream with a little bit of sweetex added for a basic American style buttercream on hot days. It crusts just fine. I use 1 cup of unsalted butter to 2/3 cup of Sweetex. Using butter will crust just as good as a full crisco/sweetex recipe. It just has a lower melting point in the heat. Butter will start to break down around 80 degrees F. compared to Sweetex which the melting point is around 95 degrees F. The flavor difference is big though, that's why I prefer using as much butter as possible when I can.

A lot of crusting issues have to deal with adding too much liquid. That's one of the main issues I see on here. People add so much water/milk or whatever else they are using to thin down the buttercream which changes the crusting factor. Don't forget that flavorings and extracts counts as liquid also. Butter also has changed in the US to contain more water and all brands are not created equal. Each brand contains a different %. Margarine *spit, vile stuff* has and even higher % of water. I work in a facility and there was a mistake ordering butter. A nasty margarine/butter blend came instead. I had to change my baking up a little bit to combat the extra water % as well as omit all the salt in the recipes. I work with unsalted butter to have better control over my baking then I just add how much salt I need. With using the blend it really changed my baking for that week.

As far as meringue powder I haven't used it since the middle of my 1st Wilton course.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 11:57pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkolmar

A lot of crusting issues have to deal with adding too much liquid. That's one of the main issues I see on here. People add so much water/milk or whatever else they are using to thin down the buttercream which changes the crusting factor.


I'm not sure that is completely true. Once in awhile I will thin the icing down for a crumb coat if the cake is super moist (goes on easier), but it still crusts fine. I expected to have different results but in my mind, while I added some liquid, I didnt' change the fat to sugar ratio. Fat .... sugar..... liquid ... 3 different things. 2 of the 3 affect crusting.

I'm sure if I dumped a whole extra cup of milk or something that it may affect it .... but in my experience, I've thinned it to prevent cramping hands (like on lots of lacework or basketweave or lots and lots of dots (i.e. my "hand cramp cake") and it's always still crusted fine.

mkolmar Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 12:50am
post #13 of 18

That's not what I mean. You can add liquid, but if you add TOO much it will change it from a crusting to a non crusting buttercream. I knew this would happen and the last batch I made I did the same as always. At least I thought I did till I realized I added too much liquid, my buttercream would hardly crust.

Working with an all crisco recipe is a little different, it can take on a little more liquid than one with butter from my experience.

LindaF144a Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:19am
post #14 of 18

I just made two different batches of cream cheese frosting, one had a higher sugar ratio than the other. The one with the higher sugar ratio crusted. Everything else in each batch was the same ingredients - butter, cream cheese, vanilla. I just had different proportions.

The higher ratio sugar frosting crusted, but it also had that gritty powdered sugar crunch you get between your teeth. The higher fat ratio didn't. I prefer the higher fat ratio frosting because I don't like to feel that grit. My guess is the higher fat ratio is able to dissolve the powdered sugar. Eventually I'm going to find that perfect ratio of fat to sugar where it dissolves it, but is not so creamy.

But as an aside, I sent cupcakes to work with DD and DH today with the higher fat ratio cream cheese frosting and it want over extremely well.

Oh, and to tell it crusted. When I touched the frosting with the higher sugar ratio, no frosting came off on my finger. When I touched the frosting of the higher fat ratio, frosting came off on my finger and was cushy. HTH

mkolmar Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:53am
post #15 of 18

It tasted better because it had more fat in it. Fat = flavor.
I prefer the really creamy buttercreams, so that sounds good to me. I love SMBC for that reason.

anxietyattack Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 5:04pm
post #16 of 18

Ok, so this may be a silly question but I've noticed that all the crusting buttercream recipes I've seen have had crisco in them. Can you make a crusting butter cream with just butter using the given ratio?

...not to steal the thread :}

mamawrobin Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 5:57pm
post #17 of 18

Absolutely. FAT to sugar ratio. Butter=fat. thumbs_up.gif Butter just has a lower melting point than shortening and produces a 'softer' icing. BUT it does crust.

anxietyattack Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 1:13am
post #18 of 18

Awesome, thanks mamawrobin! You always have the best advice!!!

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