Why Does Imbc Fracture?

Decorating By jenmat Updated 15 Aug 2011 , 12:49am by jenmat

jenmat Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 4:11pm
post #1 of 12

I've been using a lot of Italian Meringue Buttercream on my wedding cakes this wedding season, and I've noticed that it "fractures" or splits a lot. The cracks go all the way through to the cake, so its not hairline, its all the way through. Does anyone else have this problem?

I've also noticed it on my fondant covered IMBC cakes, once in a while the IMBC will fracture while I am constructing and I can see it through the fondant or it will cause the fondant to ripple.

Any recommendations? Any special ideas to stop it from happening? I'm thinking that it must be a prevention solution, since once the fracture is there, I can cover it up but I can't repair it completely.

Any help would be sooo greatly appreciated!


11 replies
FromScratchSF Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 12

I can honestly say I've never heard of that. I use SMBC which is the same thing, and the only time I've had it "crack" is along the bottom of the board if I've handled it too much or tipped it. Maybe try a different recipe?

KoryAK Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:03pm
post #3 of 12

Yes this can happen. It's because it sets up so firm that there is no give, if it gives it breaks. Sound like you just need stronger boards and maybe gentler handling? Maybe a thicker coating?

AnnieCahill Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:18pm
post #4 of 12

I don't use fondant so I can't help with that, but I would agree with KoryAK about the thicker board and gentler handling. I could also heed my own advice since I tend to throw my cakes around like a football sometimes, and that's if I use American buttercream or IMBC.

mariacakestoo Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by KoryAK

Yes this can happen. It's because it sets up so firm that there is no give, if it gives it breaks. Sound like you just need stronger boards and maybe gentler handling? Maybe a thicker coating?

That's exactly it.

fabray13 Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:56pm
post #6 of 12

I have also had this happen a twice. Both times it was on sheet cakes after handling. I was using cardboard boards at the time. Since I have been using masonite boards, I dont have this problem. So I have to agree with the others to use stronger boards

jenmat Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 10:27pm
post #7 of 12

I guess that is probably true, the rough handling. However, each cake gets 3-4 cardboards and a masonite board on the bottom tier. They do not seem to be poorly handled, and when I go to take a freshly iced cake from the fridge the next day, it has actually split overnight. I never touched it, it was fine, and then there are all these little fractures, or sometimes entire vertical fractures all the way up and down.
I am also getting the cracks in the middle of the cake- vertical- partially up the cake, but not to the top. Is there any way the cake is actually expanding? It is very true that this type of icing is much less flexible than American Buttercream. I can handle that just fine, with NO issues, ever. But I like the IMBC sooo much better!

FromScratchSF- I used Warren Brown's recipe, which seems to be the standard, but i think the recipe may be part of it. Maybe more egg whites to emulsify more, make it more flexible?

KoryAK Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 10:57pm
post #8 of 12

Perhaps the cakes are settling after they are iced?

jenmat Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:06am
post #9 of 12

Perhaps KoryAK. Another thing I was thinking about as we've been discussing is that I tend to ice my cakes while still a littler frozen. I think this may be the issue. Maybe the cake is thawing, expanding and the IMBC just isn't as flexible. I am going to try this weekend (I have another 3 weddings in IMBC) to let the cakes completely thaw, although still fairly cold, and see if that works better.

Thanks to all for the thoughts and letting me hash this out, sometimes I just need to bounce ideas around and talk it out and the solution becomes more clear. icon_smile.gif

mariacakestoo Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:18am
post #10 of 12

Yeah, I would not use nearly frozen cakes with a meringue that will practically solidify once it hits something so cold.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:19am
post #11 of 12

I bet that's it. I ice chilled cakes but never frozen and have never had my icing (SMBC) crack.

jenmat Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:49am
post #12 of 12

Yeah, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm feeling a little silly.
Sometimes it just takes reading it out loud to see where the issues are. You'd think after doing this so long stupidity would take a back seat, but what can I say, old habits die hard!

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