Buttercream Ruffles/humidity Anxiety!!!!

Decorating By HannahsMomi Updated 27 Jun 2016 , 3:15pm by TwoThumbs2

HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 12:48pm
post #1 of 25

I have a 3 tier buttercream ruffle wedding cake coming up this next weekend and I am so anxious!  Temps will be right around 90 and humidity will be high.  Transporting those ruffles is scaring me to death.  I only have to drive about 10 miles, but I think I am traumatized from  a previous experience!  I had buttercream ruffles slide down the side of a cake during an hour drive last summer and I haven't recovered since.  I was able to repair it, but it was a major issue.  Any tips for me?  I typically don't refrigerate cakes, but I did last weekend for one wedding cake and it sweated so badly once it was set up at the venue.  I was so worried the buttercream was going to slide off the cake!  It held up fine though.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you so much!

24 replies
jchuck Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:21pm
post #2 of 25

First of all, make a high humidity icing..minimum 70/30 shortening and butter. Add a fair amount of meringue powder, this will help your icing set firm and stat put. And absolutely refrigerate your cake. Take out just before delivering. My cake club leader posted this on our FB page for delivering cakes. An insulated cake bix you can make yourself. Works for up to 4 tier cakes.  Said it worked a charm. Thought you might be interested.


cutiger Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:26pm
post #3 of 25

I have the same problem...humidity and melting buttercream!  So I feel your pain.  Could you do the ruffles in fondant or a 50/50 mix of fondant and gumpaste?  Or maybe mix buttercream with royal icing.  If the bride doesn't care, I would go with the fondant/gumpaste first.  I don't refrigerate my cakes either, mainly because my refrigerator is too small.  Plus, I am afraid it would make the buttercream slide even more when it came to room temp in our humidity.  Good luck with your cake...I know how frustrating it is to watch all your hard work slide off a cake! 

HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:37pm
post #4 of 25

Thanks for the responses so far!  Keep them coming!  The Bride does NOT want fondant...no way (in her words).  So, of course it is going to be 90 degrees plus on the day of delivery!  I am using IndyDebi's american buttercream....no butter, hi-ratio shortening.  I want the buttercream to be as stable as possible.  I've never heard of mixing royal icing and buttercream, you can do that?  Or add MP to buttercream maybe?  And that is what I am worrying about...if I refrigerate, once the cake is at the venue and it continues to come to room temperature...will the condensation from the humidity cause the ruffles to slide???  Ugh...I am getting an ulcer.   I think in the future, I will just refuse doing buttercream ruffles in the summer due to the risk of humidity and heat.  I feel so much more comfortable not chilling a cake...

HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:39pm
post #5 of 25

And by the way jchuck....that insulated box tutorial is amazing! Thanks for that!  I may be making one!!

jchuck Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:48pm
post #6 of 25

Well my cake club leader is a Pro decorator in the business for 40 yrs +. Said it was the best and most useful new tip she's seen in years. Easy to make, cheap, and said it worked so well. She makes and delivers a ton of  bc covered cakes. Right now iit is sooo hot and humid here. Kinda early for June. Best if luck. Post how it goes.

HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 1:52pm
post #7 of 25

I will be sure to post how it goes, along with a pic.  I guess I just need to hear from others that buttercream ruffles can survive transport and how others have done it in the past!  Maybe then the anxiety will go away!  

carolinecakes Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 2:32pm
post #8 of 25

I feel your pain, I had a bad experience with buttercream fur falling off my cake. It was the only time I did not refridgerate my cake. So you can imagine my anxiety when I did a BC RUFFLE cake a month later and had to drive it a hour to the reception. Felt like we hit every bump on the roadway that day, and each time my heart stopped, but all was well. The cake arrived in tact.

I use Sugar Shacks BC Recipe, all Sweetex, refridgerate after decorating, and kept in fridge until delivery. Cooled the car down and kept the AC blasting for the drive.

Are you boxing your cake before you place in the fridge, that should help with sweating issues. When I can't box the cake, I put it in the fridge and let it BC harden and then gently wrap with saran wrap. I remove the saran wrap before delivery.  I donot have any sweating issues. I do not use a commercial fridge, I bake from my home. HTH

I'm the opposite of you , I feel more comfortable chilling my cakes. lol  We all do what works for us. Good luck!!

@jchuck ‍ love that insulated box.

carolinecakes Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 2:42pm
post #9 of 25

Oh..... I was so paranoid about that cake that I packed with me bags of BC ( it was a pink ombre ruffle cake) ,bench scraper, spatula and cake turntable ( I use a lazy -susan from IKEA), fully expecting to have to redo my ruffles. Thankfully I did not have to.

Also what tip are you using, I used ATECO 070, it literally does the ruffling for you. I love it, and highly recommend it.

HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 3:22pm
post #10 of 25

Thanks carolinecakes!  You are easing my anxiety!  I think I will definitely box it if I refrigerate it.  I will be so happy once this cake is delivered!  If people only knew what we go through!  Thanks so much for all of your useful advice!

I will be sure to pack extra buttercream just in case.  Also, I typically use the wilton tip 104 or 103.  Isn't the Ateco 70 a leaf tip?  I may have to see about getting this if it is as great as you say!

carolinecakes Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 3:51pm
post #11 of 25

ITS ATECO 070 ITS A RUFFLE TIP, here's a look......

carolinecakes Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 4:13pm
post #12 of 25
HannahsMomi Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 5:13pm
post #13 of 25

Thank you carolinecakes!  You are amazing!  And that tip is amazing!  My ruffles are the opposite though...starting at the top of the tier and working down (ruffle pointing out/up).  Would this tip work for that?  I think I should stick with the tip I know for this cake, but definitely get the Ateco 70 for future ruffle cakes.  That tip looks like it makes it so much easier!

carolinecakes Posted 20 Jun 2016 , 5:22pm
post #14 of 25

I don't think the Ateco 070 will work for your "upright ruffles". Yes I agree, you should use the 104/103, for your design. I have yet to try those " upright ruffles"  they look really pretty.

TwoThumbs2 Posted 23 Jun 2016 , 4:20pm
post #15 of 25

I've had a lot of success traveling with well-chilled buttercream ruffles, even in south Georgia with a 50/50 buttercream/ shortening icing (it was before I learned from these pro's that more shortening would have been better...I'm just a hobby baker).  For the last one  (a graduation cake) the doors were unexpectedly locked at the venue and I had to keep the cake in the car (ac blasting on high!) in the 100 degree weather while we waited for someone to arrive with a key. I was so stressed!  But the cake was fine, and I think yours will be, too. :)

costumeczar Posted 23 Jun 2016 , 4:26pm
post #16 of 25

Definitely chill it well and travel with it in a box! It will keep it cool until you get where you're going, and with only a ten minute ride you'll be fine. I hate heat + buttercream, it's nerve-wracking

HannahsMomi Posted 23 Jun 2016 , 7:11pm
post #17 of 25

Thank you all for your input!  I especially like hearing how  others have successfully traveled with and delivered their buttercream ruffle cakes!  I have been on the fence with chilling or not chilling the cake (because I'm stressed about the cake sweating once delivered).  It is going to be 92 here on Saturday and the humidity is going to be high!  I think I am leaning towards chilling though...the middle tier will have gold sugar crystals.  Refrigeration won't be an issue for the crystals will it?

640Cake Posted 24 Jun 2016 , 1:51pm
post #18 of 25

I don't know about the sugar crystals, but if you can refrigerate the cake in a box, the box should hold the condensation, not the cake.  You would obviously need fridge space for a box large enough to fit your cake...

HannahsMomi Posted 25 Jun 2016 , 9:48pm
post #19 of 25

I did it !! After much stress and me cradling it during the drive, the buttercream ruffles made it intact!

I had to drive the cake fully stacked due to another wedding cake delivery I had as well, so I opted not to refrigerate due to the gold sugar crystals.  I was a nervous wreck!!!  But it was successful!  Thank you all for your help!!900_buttercream-ruffleshumid_456073576efc395dbfc.jpg

-K8memphis Posted 25 Jun 2016 , 9:57pm
post #20 of 25

i said how pretty it is on another thread but it bears repeating -- it's gorgeous!

jchuck Posted 25 Jun 2016 , 10:01pm
post #21 of 25

absolutely gorgeous...fab job...now you can relax..sit back and receive compliments for a job/cake well done...from the B & G!!!!

carolinecakes Posted 26 Jun 2016 , 12:05am
post #22 of 25

WOW........that's a beauty..........you did it.........great work!!!!

HannahsMomi Posted 26 Jun 2016 , 1:53am
post #23 of 25

Thank you all!  I love how it turned out!  If Bride's only knew the stress we go through when transporting their wedding cakes!!!  I really do appreciate all of the advice and compliments!

cutiger Posted 26 Jun 2016 , 11:01am
post #24 of 25

It is beautiful! So glad it made it with no problems. So nerve racking to do cakes in summer!

TwoThumbs2 Posted 27 Jun 2016 , 3:15pm
post #25 of 25

It's beautiful! Isn't that big sigh of relief when it's all said and done the best thing ever?!

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