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Why does my buttercream crack?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I usually use the Wilton recipe or occassionly will buy Sam's Club Buttercream if I'm short on time. No matter what I do, after my icing crusts, when I go to transport it always ends up cracking. It's very frustrating icon_cry.gif

HELP!!!

Crystal
post #2 of 20
I'm not sure why this happens, but I do have an attempt at a solution...I make sure that my cake board is VERY sturdy to that it does not bend when the cake is picked up. I've also resorted to using sanding sugars or sprinkles if the cake is simple and has cracks...it seems to hide all of the flaws. I'll be watching for help on this area as well...so thanks!
post #3 of 20
Sounds a like cake board sturdiness issue. I use at least 2 cake boards for any cake 11x15 and at least 3 for 12x18 or larger. If I have to cut my own boards, I turn the grain of the boards in opposite directions to add strength.

This may be a silly question, but how do you pick up the cake? I'm sure you're aware, but I see a lot of cake civilians pick up a cake by holding the two sides. When they come to the shop to pick up a cake, I practically fly across the counter with a loud, "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOt like that!!!!!!!!!!!!" and show them how to slide BOTH of their hands under the box, centering their hands in the two halves of the cake, to give proper support.
post #4 of 20
Definitely what they ^^^^^^^ said!

Now, if making your board(s) stronger still results in some cracking they you need to make your icing a bit creamier. You don't want to thin it w/liquid, but add a bit more fat (Crisco or butter, whatever you use). You will have to play around with how much....it might be as little as another Tablespoon, but most likely up to as much as 1/4 - 1/2 Cup icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 20
I agree with the others....you need a sturdier board icon_smile.gif Good luck on your next one!
post #6 of 20
I share in your frustration!! icon_mad.gif I have heard of people using a "few drops" of white vinegar in their buttercream to prevent cracking. Does anyone do this and how many is a few? I always doulble Wiltons recipe = approx. 8 cups.
post #7 of 20
I agree with the others....it's the board. I had three weddings this weekend and 2 were great...but the last one I did not have a heavy wooden or masonite board so I wrapped a base of 5...16inch cardboard rounds for a 14 inch base cake and I noticed that, that base had the crackles but the others were fine. For me lesson learned...
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When going up the ladder of life, be nice to people on your way up. You never know, when you will see them on the way back down.

A Sweet Success
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post #8 of 20
Cracking is almost always a support/board problem.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #9 of 20
I tried a few drops of the white vinegar because I was having problems with cracking as well. It worked, the icing didn't crack at all and it didn't affect the flavor.
post #10 of 20
Hi Maude,
would you mind letting us know what was the ratio of vinegar to icing??


TIA icon_surprised.gif)
If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns. -Rita Dunn
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If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns. -Rita Dunn
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post #11 of 20
I put a little vinegar in my icing, and I started using the Hi ratio shortening recipe and it's way better.It don't crack at all.
post #12 of 20
I put a little vinegar in my icing, and I started using the Hi ratio shortening recipe and it's way better.It don't crack at all.
post #13 of 20
post #14 of 20
I've added vinegar to my icing... I think I added a 1/4 tsp to a double batch (4 lbs sugar) of icing. You can probably add up to 1/2 tsp, but it doesn't affect the flavor at all. I've noticed that I don't have cracking if I use whipping cream for my liquid and make sure that it is "creamy" and not too thick.
post #15 of 20
1/4 inch foam board is much sturdier... Little flexing and you don't have to worry about doubling up or the grain, which can be tough on the bigger pieces.
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