Need Advice Why Buttercream Fell Off Cake!

Decorating By sandyfae Updated 1 Sep 2014 , 7:07pm by sandyfae

sandyfae Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 2:43am
post #1 of 10

AI made a wedding cake today, two tiers, 8in and 10in. The 10in was an ombre buttercream ruffle. I used a crusting buttercream. It looked beautiful, then driving to the wedding, the buttercream had crusted already a litte bit. I don't know if it was to warm in my car, or the bumps, or of it was because the icing was crusted, but on the way, the ruffle just flopped right over and slid off the cake, all the way around! It was so embarrassing delivering it. I ended up just taking off the top tier and using the top one. Any advice on what went wrong and what I could do for next time? A different kind of icing? I'm so confused now , first time this has happened!

9 replies
sandyfae Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 2:45am
post #2 of 10


What it looked like as it started to fall, before the whole sides fell off

vldutoit Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 1:44pm
post #3 of 10

Did the ruffle, just break and fall off?  Or did the whole side of buttercream slide off?  From the photo, it looks like the ruffle broke and fell off.  It could be that the buttercream was on the dry side and after it crusted it crumbled. If that is the case try adding a bit more butter or shortening to your recipe and see if that helps. I used to use cake release and that residue would cause my buttercream to slide off the sides of my cakes. I stopped using it and use only parchment and that solved my problem.  Heat also can cause the sliding problem.  When I deliver I always start my car, blast the AC for a good 10 minutes prior to putting that cake in it to help compensate.

sandyfae Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 2:26pm
post #4 of 10

AAt first it started to just break, I had to drive about a half an hour to the reception site. By the time I got there the rest of the side had fallen off as well, all the way down to the cake... I did not use exact measurment with my butter and Cisco, maybe that was my problem, I used an equal ratio of butter to crisco, my consistency of icing was not that dry. Is if the crisco or the butter that makes it crust more?

-K8memphis Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 2:29pm
post #5 of 10

AI'm really sorry that happened -- I don't know why -- obviously it didn't adhere well and jiggled off -- ouch!

but my suggestion for you to consider is deliver climate controlled cold cakes in a sealed box with freezer packs if needed--

just like as has been suggested watch out for your oils on the outside edges and make sure you are piping on nice & firmly attached -- hey this makes another good reason to shave off the sides of tiers before you ice -- I'm not a big crumb coater -- I put on one coat -- why do it twice unless you got a crumb problem you're trying to contain but even then I like to spread it on like mayonnaise --

one other nugget is that it could have been caused by a cake bubble/fart -- and the weight and the grease and the non adherence was a perfect lousy heart breaking storm -- so pin prick your layers all the way through the icing into the cake to provide an escape hatch -- upward pin pricks are easier to conceal -- leave the holes open --

best to you -- good save -- so sorry

vldutoit Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 5:22pm
post #6 of 10

AFor the crusting,it is a ratio of sugar to fat that determines the crusting ability, not butter to crisco. The more fat you have, the less it will crust. Also the more powder sugar you have the drier the icing. If I am making any sense at all.. Been on pain killers for a week so I may just be in lala land...

cakegrandma Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 7:11pm
post #7 of 10

"For the crusting,it is a ratio of sugar to fat that determines the crusting ability, not butter to crisco. The more fat you have, the less it will crust. Also the more powder sugar you have the drier the icing."


I agree with the quote but, a question. Did you not take extra icing and tools to repair any boo boos? The cake should have been kept cold for a delivery that long and also the repair kit should have been right with it.  I can not think of ever delivering a cake without the kit, just one little finger bump, kablooey! Sorry you had a problem but try to work more with the icing so it is the correct consistency to pipe with, not too stiff or not too soft, kind of like baby bear's porridge.... just right!  :-P

rexygirl Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 7:12pm
post #8 of 10

AI had the same thing happen to me with am Easter cake (basket weave buttercream) for my family (thankfully) personally I think it was two things, one it didn't have enough set up time it the fridge, and two it was just too heavily piped on the sides and really the weight of pulled it down, may be what happened with yours

-K8memphis Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 7:20pm
post #9 of 10

rexygirl, yes when basketweave became all the rage back a few decades ago -- like i said you lightly crumb coated and then made sure to smoosh the piping firmly connecting with the surface -- i'm repeating myself here -- but i think i said it better this time --

sandyfae Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 7:07pm
post #10 of 10

AThanks, all of your guys so right on, I think the icing crusted to hard and the piping was very heavy on the sides. I delivered only about 45 min after I finished so it didn't settle. I brought a little kit along, but the entire sides fell off, I would have needed my whole kitchen to fix that one! Thankfully I had enough with me to take the top tier of and add a border on the bottom. live and learn! I will def be changing lots of things for next time

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