Disaster In Taste Only...

Baking By ihateveggies Updated 13 May 2011 , 12:49pm by ihateveggies

ihateveggies Posted 11 May 2011 , 3:46pm
post #1 of 17

So my recent customer is an acquaintance of mine & asked for a cake for her sons' first birthday. She has had my cake pops before but never a cake on its own. She had previously used a really talented baker but found her icing too sweet. I use a butter/icing sugar/vanilla/milk recipe & apart from getting too soft when left sitting out, I haven't had complaints about it. For this particular cake I used a suped up box version so the part about the cake flavour I'm not too upset about - I didn't tell her I made it from scratch or otherwise & have never heard anyone complain about box cake flavour before....



I asked her for honest opinions & this is what she told me:

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The cake itself was not very good. I don't know if the root issue was with the icing, but the cake was very 'wet' and dense. It didn't taste like chocolate either. The icing was really oily and kind of tasted 'off'. I am not a baker, but it seemed like the oiliness of the icing bled through the cake. When we started to cut it, the exterior fell off of the cake. It was strange, like something didn't set right.



I'm not upset or angry about it at all, just kindo of befuddled because it seems as if something in the icing kind of caused a steamroll effect and made the cake something that it should not be. I don't know what in the icing would cause it to shed so much moisture, but something obviously didn't work out from a chemistry standpoint.




So what do I do with that information to have it not happen again? I'm making a cake this weekend using vanilla buttercream again & am not sure if I should use the same recipe I always have or not? (some have mentioned they use sugarshack's recipe but we don't have Sweetex in Canada - & I'm weary about using an icing that is mostly lard - I don't want it to taste fake KWIM??) The cake was left out overnight & for the morning until the party so I KNOW the buttercream was soft but I've never heard anyone say "oily" before?

How would you fix this??

(photo included)

16 replies
decoratingfool Posted 11 May 2011 , 3:54pm
post #2 of 17

well as far as what happened to your cake, i can't really say but I can tell you that i use Indidebi's recipe and it is wonderful, it is all crisco but it does NOT taste like it. It has a wonderful texture and the taste well every time i make it everyone loves it... Good Luck...

ihateveggies Posted 11 May 2011 , 4:09pm
post #3 of 17

does it hold up well when the cake can't go in the fridge? (off to search for her recipe....)

elvisb Posted 11 May 2011 , 4:15pm
post #4 of 17

I also use souped up box mixes and get rave reviews about the moisture and flavor. Boxes are what most people are used to, so a scratch cake often takes dry to them. So that "befuddles" me that she didn't like it. I just make sure at the very least it gets one more egg and 1 more tablespoon of oil than the box suggests. When we start doctoring them to make them moist, they become a little denser by nature. So that's maybe where part of her cake issue is. She's just not used to a nice moist cake??? My icing is also an all Crisco based buttercream very similar to indydebi's. It does not taste like Crisco and is not overly sweet because of the pinch of salt. I have had problems before with a butter/milk recipe and won't use it again. Had the soft problem, and also it seemed to separate as it sat. Could be similar to what she is calling oily? So I won't use that anymore. And I always leave my cakes set out at room temp without a problem. The icing will help hold in the moisture of the cake as it sits, but it should not have made it oily or anything. I've noticed with my cakes that as several days go by (with cakes I make for my family--I don't bake several days ahead for customers icon_smile.gif ), there is a bit of oily residue at the base of the cake board, but I know as my icing sets (in a bucket) the flavorings will weep out and need to be stirred back in before it's used again. So it could be that your extracts separated out. As far as the icing falling away from the cake, I have had that happen too, but I figured out that it's when I add too much powdered sugar and the icing is a little on the "dry" side. Otherwise it sticks fine.

I don't know how much help I've been, but I hope you get it figured out and dont give up based on one cake disappointment. Some days can be really frustrating, but your masterpiece might be right around the corner! Good luck!

wildflowercakes Posted 11 May 2011 , 4:16pm
post #5 of 17

You said she usually used another baker but didn't care for her frosting maybe the same thing happened here she just didn't care for the taste. I have used different frosting recipes in the past and DH has made the comment "I'm not crazy about that frosting it taste greasy." As far as the cake if it had not cooled (or thawed) completely before icing that could cause super moist almost heavy cake. If it is too moist the sides will fall off when cutting. Another thing to ask yourself "Did I do anything different than I normally do to soup up the mix?" different kind of mix ect. and one last thought did she just expect your cake to taste like your cake pops? It's not always on the baker :0) Hope this post helps and doesn't sound like a politician go on and on and not say a thing! Happy Baking

ddaigle Posted 11 May 2011 , 4:25pm
post #6 of 17

You said a word that sent up a red flag...."LARD".....are you using lard? If you don't have sweetex in Canada, you must use VEGETABLE SHORTENING. I accidently bought a tub of walmart brand that was NOT vegetable shortening and I had a batch of oily butter cream.

kmdrysdale Posted 11 May 2011 , 4:41pm
post #7 of 17

I have found you can buy Hi ratio Shortening at Bulk Barn, Also i am from Canada and found that Indidebi's recipe is great in the warmer months and it cracks a lot in the cooler months So i do not use it in the winter or fall.

KTB4 Posted 11 May 2011 , 6:31pm
post #8 of 17

Hmmm that's very strange. Makes me wonder what she was really after.

DId you use a Devil's Food mix or Choc Fudge? I don't find DF to be terribly chocolately so only use Choc Fudge. As for oily buttercream - it's icing - butter/shortening and sugar, it's going to be a little oily in my mind.

Looked awesome though icon_wink.gif

ihateveggies Posted 11 May 2011 , 6:48pm
post #9 of 17

Hey KTB - glad you found me! (you know the recipient of this cake!)

I used the chocolate fudge with fudge pudding thrown in - I thought this version would be easier for carving.

I have used the Crisco (but I think it tastes like lard) - I haven't used this type of recipe since I took a class on it - I've only used Butter recipes.

Can someone post Indi's recipe for me? I've looked but found posts talking about it & not the actual recipe.

KTB - which do you use?

TexasSugar Posted 11 May 2011 , 6:58pm
post #10 of 17

I wonder if her house was really warm? What would cause the icing to soften and possibly appear oily looking.

superwawa Posted 11 May 2011 , 6:59pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihateveggies


Can someone post Indi's recipe for me? I've looked but found posts talking about it & not the actual recipe.




Here it is in the Recipes section:
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/6992/indydebis-crisco-based-buttercream-icing

ihateveggies Posted 11 May 2011 , 7:10pm
post #12 of 17

TexasSugar - I dropped it off for her - it was in a room with a lot of windows & it was sunny that day but I didn't notice if her house was unusually warm or not?

Superwawa - thanks for posting this - I kept trying to click on recipes on her name but got a fatal error...

Do ppl like this one better than sugarshacks?

newcakester Posted 11 May 2011 , 7:39pm
post #13 of 17

I use Sugarshack's recipe all the time and love it. It tastes great, spreads smooth and crusts really well. I have tried making Indydebi's a couple of times, but each time it turns out grainy. Can't figure that one out?

KATHIESKREATIONS Posted 11 May 2011 , 7:46pm
post #14 of 17

I personally like them both! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif I love Indidebi's recipe because you don't refrigerate it at all, so it is great for warmer months (the dream whip stabilizes it.) Sometimes I take out a 1/3 cup of the Crisco & replace it with unsalted butter. Sugarshack's is really good too! I did just purchase the Sweetex & just love that now. icon_lol.gif

KTB4 Posted 12 May 2011 , 12:26am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihateveggies

Hey KTB - glad you found me! (you know the recipient of this cake!)

I used the chocolate fudge with fudge pudding thrown in - I thought this version would be easier for carving.

I have used the Crisco (but I think it tastes like lard) - I haven't used this type of recipe since I took a class on it - I've only used Butter recipes.

Can someone post Indi's recipe for me? I've looked but found posts talking about it & not the actual recipe.

KTB - which do you use?




I wondered icon_smile.gif Now I just need to put the pieces together icon_razz.gif

Hmm - that's exactly what I do for the mix, can't imagine why it wasn't chocolately enough - I get the opposite from people. In fact I baked some last night and thought to myself how good it was. Weird.

For icing I use a 50/50 butter shortening mix. I use whatever butter I get on sale (salted or unsalted) and then yellow brand shortening since it has transfats, I only use Crisco now in a pinch.

I use 1lb butter, 1lb shortening, 4lbs sugar, 2-4 tbsp vanilla depending on flavour I'm after and then 4-6 tbsp of water depending on consistency. If I use unsalted butter I put a little popcorn salt in my water to dissolve it.

indydebi Posted 12 May 2011 , 10:00am
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihateveggies

does it hold up well when the cake can't go in the fridge? (off to search for her recipe....)


I never refrigerate my cakes and I store the icing in an airtight container on the counter. For days.

ihateveggies Posted 13 May 2011 , 12:49pm
post #17 of 17

thanks Debi!

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