Any Tips For Baking And Decorating In A Tropical Climate?

Decorating By pamconn Updated 12 Nov 2010 , 2:26pm by caymancake

pamconn Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:36pm
post #1 of 10

I just moved to Hawaii and had a very unsuccessful day of baking yesterday. We don't have air conditioning so the humidity may have been the culprit.

Any and all tips on baking and decorating in general in a tropical climate would be appreciated.

Thank you.

9 replies
caymancake Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 5:17pm
post #2 of 10

I live in the Cayman Islands and I know decorating without a/c can be a nightmare! What kind of problems were you having specifically? Some of the things that work for me:
- don't decorate when the oven is on, as it heats up the kitchen even more.
- when using fondant, a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar is really effective
- for buttercream, i always use the wilton method for buttercream (1/2 shortening, 1/2 butter). If it is really hot, then I use more shortening as it holds up in the heat. Any other type of buttercream, I have found will just sweat and melt due to the heat and humidity.

If you are having any other problems, please feel free to PM me, and I'll do my best to help!

pamconn Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 6:32pm
post #3 of 10

Thank you caymancake. I baked rolled sugar cookies-3 different recipes that I have had success with before. They spread like crazy and the dough was hard to work with. Thank you so much for the offer of additional help!

cupcakemkr Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 6:58pm
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by pamconn

Thank you caymancake. I baked rolled sugar cookies-3 different recipes that I have had success with before. They spread like crazy and the dough was hard to work with. Thank you so much for the offer of additional help!

Pam - freeze your sugar cookies and then bake - they should hold their shape this way

pamconn Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 7:27pm
post #5 of 10


Thank you, I will try that next time.

sweet56pooh Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 7:47pm
post #6 of 10

Welcome to Hawaii! I live on Oahu and baked a whole bunch of cookies for my daughter's first birthday. I used khalstead modified recipe and experienced a little spreading. I freeze my cutouts before baking and bake at night when it's cooler. I didn't have any problems with my RI. Hope things work out for you!

pamconn Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:33pm
post #7 of 10

sweet56pooh, I'm living on Oahu too! I used the modified NFSC too, I think that my butter may have been too soft to begin with. I will try baking at night.

caymancake Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 1:28am
post #8 of 10

This is the sugar cookie recipe I use - never had a problem with it EVER. It doesn't spread at all, so its perfect for hot and humid weather. I got it from a lovely lady on one of the other cake sites I'm on. I haven't used another sugar cookie recipe since! Hope this helps!

1 cup salted butter ( I only use REAL sweet cream butter)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour
A couple drops of Almond Extract (I use Wilton Almond... love it)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

I cream the butter and the sugar together then add the egg and mix till well combined. Add just a couple drops of Almond Extract. Add one cup of flour and mix well. Add the second cup and mix well. Then I add a half cup and mix well then I add the remaining 1/2 cup a little at a time making sure the dough does not get too hard. If it looks like it is, don't add any more flour.

Divide the dough in half cover the bowl with a towel while you work with the other half. Roll out on a floured surface about 1/8" thick and cut your shapes. Try to not overwork the dough or the cookies are not as flaky. I roll mine with a soft hand. Meaning not to push real hard on the roller just quick soft motion.

Put your cookies 1" apart. You can cook on parchment if you want.
I use both the mini cutters and the regular size cutters. ALWAYS have the same size on the pan. Never bake big and little cookies together. They bake differently.
the regular size cookie cutter I bake for 11 minutes. The mini cutter size I bake for 7 minutes.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp Almond Extract (again I use Wilton)
Add the milk to the powdered sugar mixing well if you need the icing thinner, just add a tad bit more milk. I love to ice my cookies and dip them into sanding sugar.

These stay fresh for about a month as long as you store them in a cool sealed container. I have baked them and stored them for a month and are as soft as the day I made them. This recipe DOES NOT get hard ever. Unless you over bake them. I always bake ALL of my cookies at 300 for a longer time. Most cookies I bake at 300 for 16 minutes. If you are using the small cutters only bake them for 6 to 7 minutes. They bake much quicker.

pamconn Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 4:25am
post #9 of 10

Oh, I can't wait to try that recipe, thank you!

caymancake Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 2:26pm
post #10 of 10

Let me know how it turns out! I know the cookies are done when I check the bottom and they are lightly browned. I LOVE these cookies - and all of my customers rave about them. I do them as cookie favours all of the time, and I always have a few guests who call me after to ask if I happen to have any extra cookies left that they can purchase from me! Every time I use this recipe, I send Ms. Jeri C compliments and thanks for sharing her wonderful recipe with me!

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