I stopped doing cakes almost 2 years ago, and no longer have hi ratio on hand. I was asked (begged!) to do a last minute wedding cake for next weekend. I never did wedding cakes, just special occasion ones. I always did buttercream cakes, using Crisco before it was changed, then I used hi Ratio. I used to order it by the case and cannot get it in small quantities, so I need a different recipe to use, and I need it quick! I remember trying Indydebi's years ago but never had great results. I'm not sure if I should try that again or go with a SMBC or what's the other one, IBC? I forget the names!
Also, I always used a doctored box cake recipe, can I use that for a wedding cake??
If you are accustomed to a crusting BC then I would stick with that, unless you're feeling adventurous and want to try a meringue BC. Indydebi's is a great Crisco based icing. It crusts well and the bonus is that you don't have to scour the earth looking for hi ratio shortening.
To make Indy's BC, I cream the shortening for 20 minutes, until it looks fluffy like sour cream, then I add in my extracts. I add a little powdered sugar at a time, then alternate that with the dream whip dissolved in hot milk. Then I add the rest of the sugar and beat for another 20 minutes. I just made a double batch of it last night, adding a little almond extract and a little butter flavoring. It does look rough in the bowl, but once you get it on the cake it's super easy to work with and it looks good.
Now, if you want to try a meringue buttercream, I would go with this recipe:
I use 2 TABLESPOONS of vanilla to flavor this BC. Make sure you use UNSALTED butter. That is the key to making this taste good. With all the butter and vanilla, it's not going to be a bright white. Just keep that in mind.
I really appreciate your help, Annie.
That's a very good point I wasn't thinking of. I used crusting recipes for 10 years, to switch now after not cake-ing for almost 2 years (and for a wedding cake of all cakes) wouldn't be smart.
Maybe I'll give Indy's a try again. I don't really remember why it didn't work well for me. I'm wondering if I could find my cake binder and the recipe and see if I wrote any notes on it.
Can I ask you another question?? For smoothing Indy's recipe, is it better to use a hot, dry, spatula or a hot damp one? I did that method with the roller a couple times and it worked well... does this recipe crust enough for that?
I'm a little nervous about the top edges of the cakes, I've always done special occasion cakes, that have a border of some sort around the edges, this won't have one and I'm nervous about the top edges.
Non-crusting recipes are a little tricky at first, that's why I recommended Indy's. It's a good crusting recipe that isn't the typical Crisco type.
Here are my tips for smoothing:
1. Put on twice as much icing as you think you need. Then get yourself a bench/dough scraper OR a scraper from a hardware store and using your turntable, make one continuous sweeping motion around the cake. I usually put the scraper at the back of the cake and turn the table counter clockwise toward me, if that makes sense. Obviously I'm talking about round cakes here. This should get it fairly smooth on the first try. If not, use your scraper like a spackle tool and fill in any holes, uneven spots, etc.
2. Do the sides first, and you will build up a collar of icing around the top edge of the cake. Take your spatula and pull the icing over the top of the cake toward the middle.
3. I have always taken my scraper and run it under hot water, then wiped it dry to go around the sides again. I only do this after I have gotten it as smooth as I can before heating the scraper.
4. This icing crusts very well. I always do the 1 1/3 cup of Crisco as called for in the recipe plus a little bit extra (like a cereal spoon full) to delay the crusting a bit. When it's crusted over, you can use a Viva paper towel OR a piece of parchment or waxed paper OR a piece of computer paper to smooth it out. I lay my paper towel on the icing and then use the scraper on top of that to smooth it. I'm at work now, so I can't get on YouTube, but if you look up SeriousCakes video on how to smooth buttercream it is very useful. It is helpful no matter what crusting recipe you use. Also, if you get on YouTube and look up Tonedna's how to smooth buttercream this will help you see the "collar" of icing I'm talking about.
5. Do a search for the Melvira method on smoothing. It utilizes a high density foam roller to smooth the icing. You may have mentioned that you use that method already. I have never personally done this but a lot of people have and swear by it.
Just remember for Indy's recipe:
-Cream the Crisco ALONE for 20 minutes. I also add a small palm full of popcorn salt (about 1 tsp) at this point to cut the sweetness. Twenty minutes is a lot of time, but you really need to beat the fat to get it smooth. During this time, I sift my powdered sugar. It's a pain in the a$$ but it does make a difference!
-After your 20 minutes has passed, add your extracts and beat another couple of minutes to incorporate those. For a double batch, I use 4 tablespoons of vanilla, one teaspoon of butter flavoring, and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. Watch the butter and almond, because they are really strong. Actually, I find the butter obnoxious and way fake tasting if I use more than 1 teaspoon.
-Start with the 1/3 cup of milk and microwave until it's hot. You can use milk, half & half, heavy cream, whatever. Don't use water though. Whisk your Dream Whip powder into the milk until it dissolves.
-Start adding your powdered sugar into the shortening. I add about three or four cups to start with, then add some of the hot liquid. Then I alternate dry and wet until everything is incorporated. Then make sure you BEAT it another 20 minutes after everything is mixed. It seems excessive but it needs to be beaten to adequately incorporate everything.
-It will look rough in the bowl, but when you put it on a cake it's very smooth.
Let me know if you need any other help. Maybe give it a whirl on an 8" round and see if you can practice before the big day.
Remember, wedding cakes are just smaller cakes stacked one on top of the other. Please purchase SPS-it will make your life very easy. You can buy it right from Global Sugar Art.
You can do it!
AnnieCahill thanks for all the tips, I have been wanting to try Indy's recipe, right now I dont have a proper mixing blade for my KA so now I know I must wait to try it or I'll be sorry!
AnnieCahill, thanks for those details about mixing Indydebi's icing. I've had trouble getting that recipe to work for me, but I'm going to try it your way--mixing the Dream Whip in heated milk. Thank you!!!!
The only reason I started doing the Dream Whip in the milk thing was because there were constant complaints about the icing being "gritty." People were saying it was the Dream Whip making it gritty which is why I started doing that. I disagree that the Dream Whip is the cause, but I dissolve mine anyway just to make sure it's evenly incorporated into the icing.
Keep in mind that this recipe has a lot less fat than sugar, which is why it crusts so well. Look at it compared to say the Wilton recipe or any other crusting BC recipe. What goes along with less fat and more sugar is the fact that there will be some grit from the powdered sugar. EVERY powdered sugar icing I've had, including those from grocery stores and professional bakeries, has some grit to it. That's just the way it goes with powdered sugar based icings. Adding hot liquids helps to break down some of that gritty texture, but it's going to be there no matter what.
Also, make sure you use the actual Crisco brand. It does not have trans fats, but the Dream Whip helps in that department. I have had no problems getting my icing to take color.
Start with the smallest amount of liquid first, then if it needs more gradually add it in. Make sure you are beating this for at least 20 minutes after everything has been added in. Also, make sure you scrape your bowl frequently until everything is evenly incorporated.
Thank you so much for all the pointers. I appreciate you taking the time to type that all up.
I went through my old folders and binders to look for Indydebi's recipe and I found it, but surprisingly, there were no notes on it. I know I had made it because I remember watching the youtube video. I also found one for Buttercream Dream and I had written "great" on that one.
What I'm going to do is make up some cakes today and make both icings and decide which works better for me. Then I'll let it sit a couple days and try them again, because some icings change with time.
If I have any questions, I'll holler! Thank you SO much!
You know what? I was just looking up the videos and realize the video I watched was Sugarshack's, not something by Indydebi! I wonder now if that's the one I thought I had tried, maybe I never tried Indydebi's???? I wonder how the recipes compare, maybe I'll check that out.
Re using doctored mix for a wedding...yep you can! I had a tasting with a couple months ago with both scratch and mix choices, and the couple chose doctored box yellow for their wedding, which I'm delivering today! And it tastes pretty good if I don't say so myself!
If you have a local bakery you could call and ask them if you could buy a couple of pounds of hi-ratio. Every once in a while when I've been in a real pinch I've bought 2-5lbs from the bakery in town...it can't hurt to ask
Kita, that's what I'm going to do. When I used to make scratch cakes, people didn't love them as much as my doctored box cakes, people still comment on the taste. I went to WalMart yesterday and bought an obscene amount! lol!
Multilayered, that's a really good idea. It didn't even cross my mind.
I forgot about your doctored mix question. I do both scratch and mix baking. It just depends on what I'm feeling like at the moment.
Yes doctored mixes are fine for wedding cakes. I am getting married in December and I went to a bridal show at the beginning of the year. One of the cake vendors there told me she uses doctored mixes. I'm making my own wedding cake and I will be using a couple of scratch recipes and a couple of doctored recipes.
I recommend the original WASC by kakeladi or the other WASC by Rebecca Sutterby. Make sure you are using whole milk in place of the water and full fat sour cream. Also make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before baking. This helps the cake bake more evenly. I am anti-pudding in the cake. I may be in the minority but I can DEFINITELY tell there has been instant pudding added. I can taste some starchy chemicalness if that even makes sense.
Neither of the WASC recipes I mentioned has pudding mix added to it. I thought about trying the Super Enhanced recipe because it has butter, but I never got around to trying it.
I tried the WASC cake before and it never rose, it looked like a brick and I never tried it again. I wonder if it was a fluke or what?!
Ok with the WASC it is very common for this cake to sink. This is more common with the Rebecca Sutterby version (the one with oil). I have never had that problem with the kakeladi's original WASC. I have avoided the sinking problem by not opening the oven door for at least 45 minutes while it's in the oven. It takes damn near an hour (for me) for an 8" to bake at 325. But if I leave it alone for a while it does ok. You can also reduce the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup if necessary.
same thing happened to me, what a waste of ingredients! (it didn't sink, it just never rose). The interesting thing was that I used some of the batter for cupcakes, and they DID rise because I cooked them for five minutes at the beginning on a higher temp to get the dome. The cakes I cooked at a low temp the entire time until the top started to brown, a skewer came out clean, and it began to come away from the sides. But, the cakes were frisbees. Oh well. I will never make it again because even the cupcakes stuck like b*****s to the papers, even peeling them off still left bits of paper behind. The flavour was nice, but not nice enough to put up with that!
I tried the WASC cake before and it never rose, it looked like a brick and I never tried it again. I wonder if it was a fluke or what?!
AnnieCahill: Thanks so much for all your generous posts. You have been very informative.
Hey no problem...anything I can do to help just let me know.
AHHHH, I just did a batch of Buttercream dream and one of Indydebi's, and I didn't like Indy's at all! I guess because I'm used to an icing with half butter and half hi ratio. Indy's tasted a lot like the old Wilton recipe to me. It had a different texture but the taste didn't do it for me. I used 2 T of vanilla and 1 T of butter flavoring, but no luck. I followed all your suggestions, (It took like 45 mins or more!) but it's a taste issue. But at least I know which I like better!! I didn't use them to frost with yet, I'm just talking about the taste.
I agree, I also prefer a buttercream with real butter. However, I find it difficult to get really good, deep colors using one with butter. I have used Buttercream Dream-it is very good too!
What coloring do you use? I started with those Wilton colors years ago but went to Americolor gels. I love them for their rich colors.
I was just thinking, wasn't it you who said they were making their own wedding cake?? My husband and I renewed our vows at 10 years, and I wanted to make my own wedding cake, but the week of the wedding so much stuff came up that it was impossible to devote all that time to it. I already had the trays of buttercream flowers and chocolate leaves so I just used them on cupcakes, and even that took too much time from the time I had!! Be sure to start well in advance and don't give yourself anything else to do!
I use Americolor and Wilton. I think the last time I tried to get a deep blue with a butter-based buttercream it was greenish.
You are right-I am making my own cake. It's by no means elaborate. I'm having four flavors, all iced in Italian Meringue Buttercream. I haven't decided yet whether or not I'm going to put in the effort to make it smooth. I was just going to do a homestyle icing job on it, and put real floral centerpieces on top.
I am going to start baking very soon and keeping the cakes in the freezer.
Maybe it's just a quantity problem, squeeze a lot more color in!! I've made kids cakes that are so colorful, like Thomas the Tank and Elmo & Cookie Monster and their colors were right on and I used butter based icings. Maybe experiment and add more.
There's a really nice cake in the gallery for Buttercream wedding cake contests that has sides that aren't smooth. It's a fall colored cake if I remember right, beige icing with orangish colored rose petals scattered on the tiers, and it's so pretty. There's only like 5 pages to that album, maybe if you scan through you'll see it. Might be a good inspiration cake!
Oh that is so cute! Thanks so much for that link! It makes me feel better now. I can be lazy but still have a cute cake, LOL!
Haha! It's not lazyness, it's time management!
Oh also, thanks for the tips about the darker colors. I have always been paranoid about using too much color because I don't want the icing to be bitter!
I've never had it happen with Americolors. A long time ago it happened with Wilton Red, but that was like 10 years ago. My customers were always moms of little kids so all the cakes were very vibrant with very saturated colors and it never happened. I have the big bottles, not the teeny ones, because I'd use so much, those little ones go quickly!