I prepared buttercream using the Wilton recipe given in course 1 (with all shortening so it is white). After icing my cake and the cake being out at room temperature for a while my buttercream appeared wet. It was very soft to the touch also. I had previously only used pre-made buttercream & didn't have this problem. This was the first time I ever made buttercream myself. I thought maybe I thinned it too much. But I made a new batch yesterday, and this time also removed the cake from the fridge like 2 hours before icing it, in case it was absorbing moisture from the cold cake. I also did not thin as much so I iced it with medium consistency. But it happened again. Just not as much. When it looks wet like this, to me it also feels somewhat greasy. You cannot touch the icing on the cake as it is very soft. I didn't have this issue with pre-made I bought. What am I doing wrong?
(I am currently taking the Wilton course so I have to use this recipe for now).
Hmmm....interesting. Any of the situations you describe still shouldn't happen with that basic recipe. It should crust enough to be able to touch it.
Perhaps it's the shortening you are using. Since these newer transfast-free ones hit the shelves, people have experienced all kinds of issues.
You will hear a lot of people on here praising the use of hi-ratio shortenings such as Sweetex or Alpine, and while it's a bit pricy to get, especially if you pay shipping, it's worth it's weight in gold for the improvments you will see in the quality of your icing and in the ease of handling and stability of the icing.
Are you using vegetable shortening or palm/coconut shortening? I use Vegetable shortening (Crisco, no trans fat) and/or butter and haven't had this happen.
If you are using this recipe: http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing, DO NOT use the margarine, use butter or all vegetable shortening. I use either Indydebi's recipe on here or 2 cups of fat per 2lbs of powdered sugar (10x cane sugar) and add enough liquid to get the right consistency.
Yep. Crisco shortening and 2 lbs powdered sugar (along with the other ingredients). I am very new to baking so I am still learning, mostly from tutorials and all the wonderful info available online. I read somewhere that maybe it has something to do with the humidity. I live in FL so I wonder if that's what's causing it.
At least it tastes good :)
I live in Florida too (Central), it doesn't do that to me. Weird...
I just thought of something. I froze iced cupcakes once, and when they came to room temp the icing was moist and sweaty. Might be similar. You can probably ice a frozen cake, but when icing comes back from being frozen itself I have to whip it back into shape cause it's weepy (like a mud puddle).
I wonder if anyone else works with high humidity and high temps outside has more insight perhaps?
I'm currently living in Paraguay, which is about the same distance from the equator as Florida and also often very humid and the same thing tends to happen down here. Other than keeping the icing as cold as you can and adding more sugar, I'm lot sure what else you can do. Almost everyone here uses whipped topping to ice cakes, which doesn't have those issues but probably doesn't help you much for class purposes.
Next time I do buttercream, I'm going to try adding some cornstarch. I don't know if it will work, but a lot of people here put cornstarch in recipes to help with the moisture problem. If you add some cornstarch to just a little portion you might be able to tell if it would work without ruining the whole batch if it doesn't.
For class we have to use the recipe in the book. But I will experiment with other recipes to see if others are different once I'm done with the class. Wilton has a high humidity recipe which does include cornstarch, so that should help. Not sure if anything else about the recipe is different.... I didn't try it since I can't use it yet. I'm going to try a different brand of sugar (I bought a cheap brand the first time). Maybe I need to mix a little longer too. I guess it will be trial and error as I learn. But thankful for sites like this to be able to get tips from others with experience :)