Why Does My Icing Crack??

Decorating By KeltoKel Updated 28 Mar 2011 , 1:51pm by Sangriacupcake

KeltoKel Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:17pm
post #1 of 22

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Can someone please tell me why my icing cracks all the time? My recipe is as follows-

1 stick of butter
3/4 cup crisco
2 lb. of 10x sugar
milk until I get my consistency

When I ice a cake, it always goes on smooth. As it dries, it seems to get crusty and eventually crack. Attached is a cake I did last night and you can see some cracks. By this morning, there were more in the base of the cake. What gives???

21 replies
KeltoKel Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:18pm
post #2 of 22

ok, for some reason CC won't allow me to post a pic with my question so the cake is in my gallery. It is the Toy Story cake. Thanks!

blissfulbaker Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:30pm
post #3 of 22

You could try adding 2 T of meringue powder to your icing and see if that helps. The meringue powder is suppose to add stability to the frosting.

StacyN Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:48pm
post #4 of 22

I was using a recipe very similar to the one you are using and had the same problem. I think its was the fat to sugar ratio. (more experienced cakers please correct me if I am wrong) icon_smile.gif I changed recipes and have never had the problem since. I use serious cakes buttercream recipe now. Crusts nicely and have not had it crack at all. HTH

LindaF144a Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:20pm
post #5 of 22

Where did it crack? What was the temp of the cake when you put the frosting on? Room temp, frozen, fridge?

I personally do not use this kind of icing, but these answers might help others.

sugardugar Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:27pm
post #6 of 22

Hey there,

Do you live in a dry/cool area this time of year? I do and my BC was cracking. I use Indydebi's recipe and I think it's designed for a warmer climate. Anywho I add 1 cup less sugar. It no longer cracks.

In the end I think living in the colder area is the reason: I just don't need that "extra crust" to hold up to crazy heat and whatnot. HTH!

lissacarol Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:32pm
post #7 of 22

Just curious...does the cake start to form these cracks after it is totally finished and you move it?

NanaSandy Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:38pm
post #8 of 22

you need to have a higher fat content in your BC. Just my opinion

KeltoKel Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 1:31am
post #9 of 22

I live in Pennsylvania. My heat is set at 65 degrees. The cake was completely cooled for an entire day when I iced it. I did move it but it didn't crack when I moved it. It was when I woke the next morning and saw all the cracks.

I am wondering if this has something to do with the shortening? I use generic brand from Walmart, but I recall reading about Crisco changing their trans fat and people having problems with their icing.

I am thinking that maybe I should use more butter?

Nanasandy - when you say higher fat content, should I use whole milk or whipping cream?

Thanks everyone for your help!

VickeyC Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:17am
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyN

I was using a recipe very similar to the one you are using and had the same problem. I think its was the fat to sugar ratio. (more experienced cakers please correct me if I am wrong) icon_smile.gif I changed recipes and have never had the problem since. I use serious cakes buttercream recipe now. Crusts nicely and have not had it crack at all. HTH




Where can I this recipe? I have been using tonednas bc recipe and love it. However like the OP, mine has a tendency to crack. I have a wedding cake coming up in the near future that is going to be covered in BC and I am so worried about the BC cracking.
Thanks

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:29am
post #11 of 22

You definitly need more more fat. I worked for a place that used a recipe like that, and their cakes always cracked. I used 1 lb of sugar for 1/2 cup of generic walmart shortening and 1/2 cup butter. No cracks.
I noticed you have no flavor in there Is that a typo? I hope so! I also used 1tsp butter flavor and 1 tsp vanilla flavor for that recipe, and milk to get the consistency, about 2 TBS.

jade8 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:33am
post #12 of 22

i recall reading a post on cc where a small amount of vinegar was added and that stops the icing from cracking. i think a tsp. i will try looking it up and post it.

VickeyC Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:34am
post #13 of 22

I found the recipe. I should have searched first. Sorry

cakegirl1973 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:43am
post #14 of 22

Something also to consider is the sturdiness of your cake board. I used to have problems with bc cracks, then I started doubling up on my cake boards or using a cake drum and now my cake doesn't crack.

NanaSandy Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 5:32am
post #15 of 22

When I said the fat content, I was referring to your shortening or your butter.
I use 1 cup of shortening to 1 lb of PS, plus flavoring and water. I also add a little popcorn salt to take out the sweetness of the icing. I also had a problem with my cakes cracking, and just added a little more shortening to the recipe, and haven't had as many problems. I am wondering about the Crisco thing though? Have they changed something that is making it react that way? (the cracking)??
Hmmm?
I have been wanting to try the vinegar...so maybe I will try that this week. Good luck, and please let us know what works for you!

Corrie76 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 6:07am
post #16 of 22

i use the new crisco all the time and have no problems, adding butter helps get the fats stabilized. the icing is probably cracking due to too much liquid being added. try only adding a 1/4 cup of milk and if the icing is too stiff, then add shortening to get it to the right consistency. even with the small amount of milk- the bc will still crust- but will take a little longer than you are probably used to. Wal-mart shortening is very poor quality too- you will see with crisco, that its worth the few extra pennies.
I tried the vinegar thing once...I have sensitive tastebuds and could immediately detect the horrible vinegary flavor, even though I only added one tsp to the batch...threw it all out icon_sad.gif My guess would be that if you wanted an acidy component to your icing you're probably WAY better off using lemon juice.
and lastly, sometimes cakes will crack on you if you ice them frozen or partially frozen and then let them sit out at room temp when done, as the cake thaws out completely- it expands sometimes and will cause cracking.

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 4:42pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NanaSandy

When I said the fat content, I was referring to your shortening or your butter.
I use 1 cup of shortening to 1 lb of PS, plus flavoring and water. I also add a little popcorn salt to take out the sweetness of the icing. I also had a problem with my cakes cracking, and just added a little more shortening to the recipe, and haven't had as many problems. I am wondering about the Crisco thing though? Have they changed something that is making it react that way? (the cracking)??
Hmmm?
I have been wanting to try the vinegar...so maybe I will try that this week. Good luck, and please let us know what works for you!




That's what I said too! lol! I am scared to use vinegar, YUCK! Vinegar is so nasty! Using whipping cream really helps add fat and lessen cracking, as well.

CakeRN Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 4:59pm
post #18 of 22

I have the same problem with my cakes cracking. I think that the icing crusts too hard and thus the cracking. Doesn't adding more fat /butter make it greasy tasting? I have my sons wedding cake to ice today and don't want cracking...

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 5:06pm
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRN

I have the same problem with my cakes cracking. I think that the icing crusts too hard and thus the cracking. Doesn't adding more fat /butter make it greasy tasting? I have my sons wedding cake to ice today and don't want cracking...




Use butter! It won't be anymore greasy. And use whipping cream. It is a small amount, and the sugar preserves it. Please, trust me! If you are worried about it being slightly off white, you can put 1 drop of purple in to make it whiter, or use a whitener.

cai0311 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 7:06pm
post #20 of 22

My icing use to crack all the time. Now I use Sugar Shack's recipe and I haven't had 1 crack since.

As others have mentioned it was because of the fat to sugar ratio. More fat = less cracks

KeltoKel Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 12:30pm
post #21 of 22

Thanks so much everyone!

I used the Walmart brand because last year there were many posts about people having problems with Crisco because they changed their trans fat in their product and you had to get the generic. I had noticed last year that my icing didn't seem the same with Crisco.

I am definitely going to use more fat for now on.

And yes, I use flavoring in my icing.

Sangriacupcake Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 1:51pm
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

My icing use to crack all the time. Now I use Sugar Shack's recipe and I haven't had 1 crack since.

As others have mentioned it was because of the fat to sugar ratio. More fat = less cracks




This is what I use for large cakes. I wonder if the high ratio shortening helps prevent the cracking?

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