Crusting Buttercream Problems

Decorating By kentlybp Updated 1 Mar 2016 , 5:07am by kentlybp

kentlybp Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 4:40pm
post #1 of 7

Hi all, 

I have a couple of issues I want to address and talk about with my crusting buttercream. Some of this might be me thinking aloud, so I hope you'll bear with me and provide your feedback.

6 replies
AAtKT Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 10:09pm
post #2 of 7


I am not psychic or can read the invisible questions... 

Can you please post them for all to see and then maybe we can help...


kakeladi Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 10:55pm
post #3 of 7

Unfortunately your post apparently was cut off so the ?s you wanted to ask didn't come through :(

kentlybp Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 11:02pm
post #4 of 7

Wow! I typed out 3 separate issues that I was having and my thoughts on what the problems might be, but somehow none of that made it to the thread. Weird. And very annoying! Thank you for replying anyway - otherwise, I never would have realized that the rest of the content was missing. 

Let's try again... 

Issue 1:

I am working on a wedding cake that requires mango buttercream. The couple has also requested a damask stencil pattern. I have tried SMBC (my go-to for basically everything) and a crusting buttercream. The crusting buttercream first off, didn't crust well. It was really delicate - too delicate to smooth using the Viva method. I think this might be because it was too soft. I added mango puree to the buttercream for flavor, but in order to get a good enough flavor, I guess I added too much. I think I can manage this by either reducing the mango puree to a thick syrup so I'm adding less liquid but still getting a concentrated flavor, adding some mango extract, or both. 

Issue 2:

I left the cake out overnight to see how it fared, and the frosting oozed down the sides at parts. I'm practicing using dummy styrofoam cakes, and I wrapped them in plastic since I thought that would make it easier to clean and reuse. I wonder if the plastic is the culprit because the surface was too slippery. It wasn't a warm day either, so temperature should not have been a problem. 

I used SMBC on a different dummy tier and the frosting held up perfectly. 

Issue 3: 

I'm used to freezing my cakes and then decorating them. When I did this so that the buttercream would crust, I took the cake out of the freezer, and it developed condensation, making it impossible to smooth. It was a mess! Would the same thing happen if I chilled the cake in the fridge? 

Again, thanks for bearing with me on this. Feedback and suggestions would be much appreciated!


costumeczar Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 12:22am
post #5 of 7

Adding fruit to a crusting buttercream won't end well, it will definitely soften it up more than adding it to a meringue. Could you use a mango SMBC inside the tiers for the filling and just do a plain crusting BC on the outside? That will work better for you.

I don't know what part of the icing was oozing, but it was probably the addition of the mango to the buttercream that caused it too.

If you put a cake in the freezer and then try to ice it with crusting buttercream you'll definitely get the condensation issues. You could try smoothing it with the hot knife method, or just ice it at room temp, which is what I do. 

kakeladi Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 12:38am
post #6 of 7

...............crusting buttercream....didn't crust well. It was really delicate to smooth using the Viva method.... might be because it was too soft. I added mango puree to the buttercream for flavor, ... guess I added too much..............

What makes a b'cream crust is the ratio of fat to sugar and the amount of liquid used to thin it. The less fat the better it will crust.  Read up a bit on that here:  http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/22469/2-icing     Few, if any icing recipes need thinning with liquid.         

.................frosting oozed down the sides at parts... practicing using dummy ... wrapped  in plastic since I thought that would make it easier to clean and reuse. I wonder if the plastic is the culprit because the surface was too slippery...............   

  NO the plastic really had nothing to do w/it.  It's the consistency of the b'cream you used.  Thicken up that mango puree!  :)   B'cream does NOT crust in the frig or fzr!  Cooling b'cream does NOT cause it to crust - it just makes it solidify especially if real butter is used:)  It has to dry at room temp to crust properly.  

 Any food will have condensation when removed from a frig or fzr.  Just let it sit until it comes to room temp before touching it.  It's the difference of temp between frig or fzr and the room temp that causes that.  Until the cold item comes to room temp it will sweat but that condensation evaporates.  

kentlybp Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 5:07am
post #7 of 7

Thank you for the replies. I really appreciate it. 

Costumeczar, I hadn't thought about doing a different buttercream for the filling versus the outside. It's definitely something to consider. 

I figured that the mango made the buttercream too soft but wanted to confirm, so thanks for that. :) I literally never use crusting buttercream, and I'm still figuring out how it behaves differently than meringue buttercreams. 

Kakeladi, I'm glad it isn't the plastic that caused my oozy frosting! It really is SO much easier to clean up using the plastic wrap. 

Alright, reduced puree and mango extract will be my next experiments!


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