Not sure what I'm doing wrong here... I crumb coat my cakes very lightly, then with the same buttercream, I frost my cakes, trying to scrape off excess so there isn't a ton of frosting on there. I then use the VIVA method to smooth them out, and then refrigerate. They usually look great until they are chilled, even after an hour or so.... They start to get little cracks all over. What am I doing wrong here? Anyone have any ideas?
This is the recipe I use:
2 lb. Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 c. Crisco
2 teas. meringue powder
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract (the recipe actually calls for vanilla, sometimes I use both)
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP. water
1/4 cup milk
the only think I can think of is the board your cake is sitting on. Is it sturdy enough.
I have had my icing crack when moving it and it was because the cake board/base wasn't
thick enough. HTH
I don't think you have enough "fat" in your recipe? I use 2 cups of crisco to 2 lbs of PS. Just my opinion. This has actually been discussed quite a bit lately, so I would also recommend doing a search for this topic. If you go to the Forums and hit the search button, then put in Cracked and Icing...it should come up. I know you want to put the word "and" in there to get it to search correctly. I hope this has helped you!
Thank you! I'll try putting more support under my cake.
Do you think that if I added a stick of butter to this recipe, that may work? Maybe this would also help balance out the crisco. ??
Try adding more Crisco, or use butter if you want to try that (I use half Crisco, half butter), and cut back on the liquids. I only use milk (or heavy cream if I have some) and though I never measure, I am certain I don't use a 1/2c+ of liquid.
looking again nanaSandy is right you need more fat.
I use Sharon Zambito' recipe and love it. 1 cup shortening to 1 lb sugar is the ratio.
you really don't need the meringue powder either. Is the lemon juice for flavor? have not seen that before.
I'm not sure what the lemon is for, I just use store bought lemon juice. I'm fairly new to baking, and this is a recipe I have to so I've been using it. I've been looking for one that I just LOVE... but haven't found one yet. If I use milk only, no water, is it ok to be left out still?
I've also heard of people putting a dash of vinegar into their frostings to help with the cracking, is this ok to do?
That used to always happen to me. My problem was not a thick enough board under the cake. When I moved it, the board flexed and caused cracks. Now I use thick boards and I have no problem.
Thanks for all your tips everyone... TRULY APPRECIATED!! I just looked up the Indydebi's buttercream recipe. I have a cake to do for this weekend, so I'm going to try it out. And I'm definitely going to make a sturdier base. Anyone have a good recipe to make the Indydebi's recipe chocolate? I need a dark brown for part of my cake, and adding part chocolate buttercream might be yummy!
You can generally replace some powdered sugar with cocoa powder, or mix in some melted chocolate to get a chocolate flavor. You could also replace the milk with chocolate milk. If you want to make a large batch of white frosting and just make a little chocolate I would try the melted chocolate method.
I am thinking the lemon juice in the recipe is too make it not so sweet? That would just be a guess.
My Mom always put a little lemon juice in her icing to cut the sweetest.