Is There An "i Hate Buttercream" Club?

Decorating By MJTKNT Updated 20 Oct 2010 , 6:49pm by MJTKNT

MJTKNT Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:01am
post #1 of 29

I think I need to be a member if there is. I don't know why, but I can't work with the stuff! Fondant? Great! Buttercream? Terror! I can spend hours getting it to look perfect and then, oops! A little bump from my clumsy fingers ruins the whole thing... or I'm trying to do an impression after I've spend ages getting it perfect, and when I peel up the object, the buttercream comes with on some spots, and is perfect on others. I just hate it. I know it will get easier with time and experience, but I totally dread working with it. Am I alone?

28 replies
indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:09am
post #2 of 29

Since I started doing cakes in the days of "Buttercream or Bust!" days, it was an issue of either learn to do it or forget about doing cakes. Period.

Don't overwork it .... don't overthink it. Pull up some of the great technique videos from folks like Edna and Sharon to give you some great tips and methods.

I have found that folks who start with BC make the transition to fondant with little and/or no effort at all, but folks who start with fondant will struggle to make the jump to BC. (When I finally went into Fondant World, I found it so easy to work with that I thought to myself, "OMG ... and we charge EXTRA for this? COOL!!!" icon_biggrin.gif )

Don't give up. try different recipes. Some are easier to work with than others, too. but being a master of both just means you have more to offer your clients!! thumbs_up.gif

amygortoncakes Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:15am
post #3 of 29

I am not a fan of buttercream either. I only offer fondant cakes because an all buttercream cake for me is actually a nightmare I have had. I should look up the technique videos like indydeb suggests as well. Fondant is so easy, but I am learning that it only looks as good as your buttercream underneath.

I will gladly join your club. icon_biggrin.gif

mbark Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:27am
post #4 of 29

yes after whipping out a billion (or so it felt) cakes in the bakery I used to work at, I am super comfortable working with buttercream. I agree with Debi, fondant was a super easy transition. I think practice is the key!

Loucinda Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 12:48pm
post #5 of 29

Ditto - with Debi! If you master buttercream first, fondant is a breeze to work with. I know quite a few folks who started with fondant skills first, and they cannot use buttercream properly to save their souls.

tastyart Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 1:10pm
post #6 of 29

Just remember that the BC doesn't have to be PERFECT. It's still suposed to like cake, not plastic. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it.

pag41989 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 1:16pm
post #7 of 29

I LOVE the taste of buttercream, working with it? Not so much. I have the same issue, there is nothing like spending a ton of time trying to get it smooth and pretty then going to move the cake and bumping it and you have to smooth it all over again. Fondant covered cakes are definately my favorite to work with. Almost everyone wants buttercream though.

charlene008 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 1:37pm
post #8 of 29

I LOVE working with fondant! When i get a cake order and they say they don't like the taste of fondant, I usually ask if they have ever had it. Most of the time its no, but they heard it doesn't taste good. I always explain to them that not everyone eats it and that there is frosting underneath it. But the decorations tht you can do with it are awesome and to get the look that they want, I do it with fondant. My mom, who decorated for years prior to me, never used the stuff and can't believe what can be done with it! Fondant--oh yeah!!! thumbs_up.gif

maendings Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 1:38pm
post #9 of 29

I've come to the conclusion that my 'signiture' is a fingerprint or thumprint indent on my cakes!!!!!!!!lol It just happens............

Colleen

luvmysmoother Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 2:41pm
post #10 of 29

I also love fondant mainly for the fact they are so much less fragile (one little bump and the buttercream cake is dented and needs repair. Plus it's soooo hard to get smooth - I've tried every trick at least once (computer paper, bench scrapers, parchment, microfiber paint roller) - my buttercream always looks like poop. Worst of all I took the Wilton buttercream courses and dropped out of the fondant course so I should have at least a tiny bit of skill with buttercreamicon_sad.gif

indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 2:57pm
post #11 of 29

I'm going to defend us buttercreamers ..... icon_biggrin.gif

It's not "Buttercream is so hard to get smooth."

It's "I have a hard time getting buttercream smooth" or "It's hard for ME to get buttercream smooth."

because we lifetime buttercreamers don't find it hard at all. We just happen to have years of practice under our belt! thumbs_up.gif

sugarprincess Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:08pm
post #12 of 29

I have only ever used buttercream ( italian meringue buttercream ) I have gotten very comfortable using the buttercream and it smooths out so nice. It does take alot a practice to get a smooth finish, but just keep working at it, you will eventually triumph!

My hats off to those of you who do use fondant to cover a cake. I only tried it once years ago using the wilton fondant. What a disaster!!!! And the taste was disgusting. I know now that there better tasting fondants out there, but everyone that I have made a cake for has only asked for buttercream so far.

crazyladybaker Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:12pm
post #13 of 29

I like it better than fondant. I guess I haven't graduated to the fondant club yet...lol
Depends on what I am doing with the cake and where it's going as to which recipe I use. Some smooth easier and faster than others but I have learned to sit down and chill out before trying to smooth it.
Also, something else that helped was realizing that it's better for me to put more BC on the cake than what I need and then scrape and smooth it off. In the beginning I was trying to put just the amount of BC that I needed and then smooth it...not such a great idea.
That's what works best for me anyway.
I haven't given up on fondant. I just need more practice with it icon_wink.gif

Loucinda Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:12pm
post #14 of 29

icon_biggrin.gif Maybe that is it Debi - it is us "old timers"!

I had a bride this past weekend that just couldn't believe 98% of the cakes in my portfolio were buttercream. She kept saying "this one is fondant, right?" Nooo....it is buttercream! icon_lol.gif

Gale Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:13pm
post #15 of 29

I'm with you Indydebi. It just takes a lot of practice and patience. You can achieve a very smooth look with bc and in my opinion, it does taste much better than fondant. I'll do embelishments with fondant but don't cover entire cakes with it. That's just me.

kansaslaura Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:26pm
post #16 of 29

I've been working with buttercream for untold years. And, I agree with Indy when I first tried fondant I was in heaven! Wow!! It's fun!!

But--not everyone enjoys chewing their frosting, at least not in my neck of the woods! I still do fondant accents, but rarely cover an entire cake in it.

I didn't realize how easy I make frosting a cake look. My freshman-in-college-son announced about a month ago he was doing a demonstrative speech--his topic? How to smoothly frost a cake.

I asked him.. are you SURE?? you want to do that? His reply--Mom, I've seen you do it 1000's of times, it really doesn't look that hard! I suggested, rather firmly, that he practice. He agreed, mostly because it meant CAKE to eat. After an hour (I left him alone, because he told me he knew what to do) he came into the family room, spatula in hand and in a frustrated tone informed me it was much harder than I made it look.

Ya think?? icon_lol.gif

tootie0809 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:32pm
post #17 of 29

I can get the sides smooth with buttercream, but it's the **** top of the cake and trying to get it smooth and EVEN that sends me into a tizzy just about every cake. I've tried just about every method I know of, but I feel some weeks I'm actually getting worse at icing a buttercream cake than better.

daltonam Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:35pm
post #18 of 29

Buttercream can be scary, BUT if it's the only thing someone wants to order, you learn to do it AND if you do it GREAT sometimes you can't tell the difference between it & fondant....I still can't get over some of Edna's cakes (I mean nothing bad to anyone else, but I just remember the first time I seen them), I had to look & I mean REALLY look at them to see it was BC. (don't get me wrong, she does fondant work also)

Oh & I TOTALLY get the...... it's soooooo pretty & perfect, OOPS I dropped that flower & now it's not so perfect anymore....that's when I start screaming...

daltonam Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:38pm
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

My freshman-in-college-son announced about a month ago he was doing a demonstrative speech--his topic? How to smoothly frost a cake.

I asked him.. are you SURE?? you want to do that? His reply--Mom, I've seen you do it 1000's of times, it really doesn't look that hard! I suggested, rather firmly, that he practice. He agreed, mostly because it meant CAKE to eat. After an hour (I left him alone, because he told me he knew what to do) he came into the family room, spatula in hand and in a frustrated tone informed me it was much harder than I made it look.

Ya think?? icon_lol.gif




that is PRICELESS

indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:38pm
post #20 of 29

daltonan, it's easy. You just cover that mar with a BC leaf!!! thumbs_up.gif

Laura, LUV'D your son's story!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

sweetsirten Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:48pm
post #21 of 29

I have challenged myself to be the queen of buttercream! After my last practice cake adventure, I learned that if you just calm down and relax, it's a lot easier and actually fun icon_smile.gif The first cake in this practice session cracked on me, and I was so sad about it that I just took the whole thing apart, scraped off the icing and started over. Needless to say, I learned a lot about stacking and leveling ... your bc will never look perfect if the cake underneath it is not perfect - icing doesn't hide everything. I got myself a bench scraper and piled on the icing, using the scraper to pull the icing off and smooth at the same time ... it was SO much better. Viva paper helps a lot, too. The pink cake with dots in my photos is my most recent venture ... I still have a lot of work to do, but practice makes perfect!

kansaslaura Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:49pm
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

I can get the sides smooth with buttercream, but it's the **** top of the cake and trying to get it smooth and EVEN that sends me into a tizzy just about every cake. I've tried just about every method I know of, but I feel some weeks I'm actually getting worse at icing a buttercream cake than better.




Be sure there is PLENTY of frosting on top of that cake--smooth the sides first, a "lip" of icing around the edge to pull onto the top is a must. Force yourself to work quickly, the longer you work with buttercream the harder it becomes. Maybe thin it out a bit if the crusting it getting ahead of you. Just don't give up!!


And--check out the Melvira method here on CC. It will help!! It's cut a lot of time off my decorating.

cakeythings1961 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 3:50pm
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

I've been working with buttercream for untold years. And, I agree with Indy when I first tried fondant I was in heaven! Wow!! It's fun!!

But--not everyone enjoys chewing their frosting, at least not in my neck of the woods! I still do fondant accents, but rarely cover an entire cake in it.

I didn't realize how easy I make frosting a cake look. My freshman-in-college-son announced about a month ago he was doing a demonstrative speech--his topic? How to smoothly frost a cake.

I asked him.. are you SURE?? you want to do that? His reply--Mom, I've seen you do it 1000's of times, it really doesn't look that hard! I suggested, rather firmly, that he practice. He agreed, mostly because it meant CAKE to eat. After an hour (I left him alone, because he told me he knew what to do) he came into the family room, spatula in hand and in a frustrated tone informed me it was much harder than I made it look.

Ya think?? icon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gif I was in a cranky mood until I read this!! I think it will have me giggling all day---thanks!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:07pm
post #24 of 29

I am the opposite..I have a hrad time with fondant ...but a breeze with BC...and yes...like Indydebi states ....it's the user and sometimes the recipe makes all the difference in the world.Once I changed recipes for BC and found a soft whipped bakery icing..smoothing is a dream!

MJTKNT Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:41pm
post #25 of 29

Maybe my problem is messing with it too much...and it starts crusting on me. The cake I was really struggling with was the beer mug cake. It was supposed to have indents on the sides from a spatula. I'd get it perfectly smooth and go to make the indents, and instead of the frosting just pushing in, it'd pull off with the spatula, whether I just tried lifting it, sliding it up, whatever...I gave up and put fondant accents on it.

sweetmonkeycheese Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:51pm
post #26 of 29

I am only a cake eater, not a maker so I would belong to the "I Love Buttercream so Much I Want To Marry It" club!

aundron Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 5:15pm
post #27 of 29

I too struggle with Buttercream!! icon_redface.gif I started out with buttercream, I can do it, but it's not super beautiful like everyone else's. icon_cry.gif Me and fondant are best friends; I transitioned to it easily!!

Buttercream to me, is an art form and I have to bow down to those who do it so well!! (bows down to Indy, SugarShack, etc)

kansaslaura Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 6:40pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJTKNT

Maybe my problem is messing with it too much...and it starts crusting on me. The cake I was really struggling with was the beer mug cake. It was supposed to have indents on the sides from a spatula. I'd get it perfectly smooth and go to make the indents, and instead of the frosting just pushing in, it'd pull off with the spatula, whether I just tried lifting it, sliding it up, whatever...I gave up and put fondant accents on it.




Before you make indents or any kind mark into the buttercream, be sure it's crusted. Depending on the atmosphere that can take anywhere between 2 - 10 minutes. If you wait until it's crusted over you should have no break in the surface, nothing pulling off. That is assuming you're using a recipe that crusts. What are you using??

MJTKNT Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 6:49pm
post #29 of 29

I was using a crusting recipe, and I waited about twenty minutes the first time- then smoothed it- then waited another and tried doing the indents and it pulled off. Frustration! I smoothed it again and put it in the fridge and went to bed. Got up the next morning to do the indents and it pulled huge chunks off. I used the buttercream recipe (viva method). I usually use Indy's, but I was out of dreamwhip and couldn't get to the store, so went with this one b/c I had the ingredients on hand.

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