I Need Some Quick Advice On An Outdoor Wedding

Business By squarepair Updated 11 May 2007 , 8:16pm by clarisse1

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squarepair Posted 7 May 2007 , 1:48pm
post #1 of 21

How hot and humid can it be and still use buttercream that has butter? Also how does fondant deal with the heat? I have search and couldn't find any specific info except suggestions to use the all shortening buttercream.

Thanks, Kristin

20 replies
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ncdessertdiva Posted 7 May 2007 , 2:47pm
post #2 of 21

My daughter's wedding was held in August on the beach and she had a cake with buttercream icing and it held up well. I was watching the Food Network last night about the Hawaiian wedding and the difficulties that they were having with the fondant and the humidity.


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lvjan777 Posted 7 May 2007 , 4:30pm
post #3 of 21

I'm looking for technique info too. My daughter is getting married in Kauai July 08 and we live in Las Vegas. I'm planning on making the cake and would like some advice on how to handle the humidity. I'd like to use gumpaste flowers but the food network show said they had trouble getting them to dry. My daughter wants a dolphin wedding topper, so any suggestions on cake design to match would be greatly appreciated. I've attached a picture of the top she wants

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bethola Posted 7 May 2007 , 4:36pm
post #4 of 21

Here AGAIN...in KY in October 2005 I had a tasting for a bride and her mom. Used butter buttercream and butter FLAVORED shortening buttercream. The icing lasted 30 minutes in the humidity and it wasn't HOT....just humid!

I'm really afraid of using dairy products in the heat if it is going to be out longer than 1- 1 1/2 hours. I don't know what the Health Dept. rules are. I'm just a paranoid cakerator. INDYDEBI where ARE you? I'm pretty sure this is something you would know!

I don't know about the fondant/gumpaste. I know that this past week on Food Network they had trouble with them in the heat and humidity.

Beth in KY

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indydebi Posted 7 May 2007 , 6:57pm
post #5 of 21

Butter has a lower melting point than shortening so it's going to breakdown at a lower temp than shortening. I use a crisco only recipe. It crusts really well. I've never had icing melt-down....in 25 years.

I did a wedding in August, in 90+ degree heat, and VERY high humidity (when I left, the thunderstorm broke out when I was just minutes down the road!). Icing held up great. I wasn't doing too well .... they had another caterer so I spent as much time as I could sitting in my car with the air conditioner on, but I didn't want to stay in there too long (then you suffer even more when you get out in the heat). I kept a handtowel with me to wipe the sweat from my face, had my bottled water, found a place to sit and read a book until it was time to cut the cake.

I melted ..... but the cake held up fine.

(This was the wedding with the $1500 rented toilets .... you can see the pics of the porta-johns on my Flickr website, link below).

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bethola Posted 7 May 2007 , 7:32pm
post #6 of 21

After reading your post indydebi, I forgot to add to my previous post that the Crisco Only buttercream held up GREAT! Now, as we ALWAYS know the bride and MOB always know MORE than we know, don't they? LOL

The MOB and bride had INSISTED on the real butter recipe. I had tried and tried to explain that it wouldn't work. Then when they actually SAW it melt away the comment was this. "Oh my, the butter recipe isn't going to do at all!" Well, DUH! Where did they hear THAT? LOL

Beth in KY

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emmascakes Posted 7 May 2007 , 7:32pm
post #7 of 21

Fondant gets sweaty in humidity - but pastillage doesn't. You couldn't coat a cake in pastillage but it would be perfect for decorations that you need to stand up.

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indydebi Posted 7 May 2007 , 7:43pm
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Originally Posted by bethola

....The MOB and bride had INSISTED on the real butter recipe. I had tried and tried to explain that it wouldn't work....

"Here's the phone number of a cake decorator who might try to make a butter icing in that kind of heat. Give her a call."

Ya gotta know when to hold 'em .... know when to to fold 'em. Know when to walk away..... and know when to run!

I told a co-worker once, "There is no butter in my buttercream". She said, "In California there is!" I said, 'You might notice the weather is different in Indiana. This ain't California and there AIN'T no butter in my buttercream!" (Yes I was in mom-mode-voice!)

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bethola Posted 7 May 2007 , 7:49pm
post #9 of 21

Oh My Word! This bride and MOB were transplants to KY from California!!!



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Wendoger Posted 7 May 2007 , 8:10pm
post #10 of 21

squarepair....I haven't had to do one in high heat/humidity but I would suggest the all crisco bc...honestly I think it would be your best bet.

Ivjan777....that topper is fantastic! There are soooo many fabulous ideas here on CC...you should search the pics and see the other dolphin/beach cakes...there are some really incredible ones that could inspire you!

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alimonkey Posted 7 May 2007 , 8:27pm
post #11 of 21

Butter starts to soften severely around 86 degrees. Shortening starts to melt in the high 90's, sometimes even hotter.

I have never had a problem with fondant sweating in heat and humidity, as long as it isn't refrigerated first. My daughter's birthday is in June and in Austin, TX that's pretty dang hot. She only gets real buttercream if the cake never goes outdoors. Even then, my kitchen gets warm enough that it can't sit out for very long at room temp without softening up.

lvjan777 - regarding your daughter's birthday cake in Hawaii, if you make the decorations at home and transport them already done, you shouldn't have any problems. In the competition, they need the gumpaste to dry quickly, and that just doesn't happen.

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lvjan777 Posted 7 May 2007 , 8:35pm
post #12 of 21

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I found some cakes with edible coral and shells. Can anyone tell me about a book or website where I could learn how to do them? My future son-in-law also wants passion fruit filling. Does anyone have a recipe?


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ccwkg Posted 7 May 2007 , 8:46pm
post #13 of 21


I was just wondering what this is??

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squarepair Posted 7 May 2007 , 9:45pm
post #14 of 21

Ok, I am starting to worry a little. I have looked at weather.com and it looks like the average high temperature for June is 83 and for May is 75. The wedding is June 2nd. So probably I will be fine with the fondant but she wants the draping/swags between tiers so I am wondering if that would be a problem with it getting warm. Ahhhh, is there a secure way to attach them so they wont melt and fall off. I attached them with toothpicks when I was practicing at home in addition to gumpaste but it was just to take a picture. Oh why did my first wedding have to be an outdoors one!!! And I have never even lived in VA in June before!!!


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alimonkey Posted 8 May 2007 , 12:46am
post #15 of 21

Don't worry. 83 is not that hot at all. Just give yourself plenty of time to put the swags on the cake. If you work in the evening when it's cooler, that will make it a bit easier.

To help the swags set a bit faster, just mix some gum-tex into it (about 1 tsp per pound fondant). If you're still having problems, which I doubt, turn a fan on it and that will help it set.

Mostly relax, and just think how much worse you could have it. We've already made it almost to the 90's here.

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andrea7 Posted 8 May 2007 , 1:53am
post #16 of 21

I actually got married on the beach. I made my own cake and used Swiss meringue buttercream. With humidity it was about 92 degrees. The cake was out on the beach about 2 hours and did fine. You just have to take precautions. The cake was awesome!

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clarisse1 Posted 11 May 2007 , 10:04am
post #17 of 21

I live on Oahu, not on Kauai. So I'm not sure about what the humidity difference is. However, I do know that the past couple years have not been as hot as previous ones. Last year, we did not use the A/C until the beginning of July. You can track the weather at various news web sites: KGMB.com , KITV.com

If you are using real butter in your icing, for the first three hours as long as the cake is in the shade it should be ok. icon_smile.gif

If you are planning a fondant covered cake keep it in your air conditioned room as long as possible(where the humidity is minimal)

I like to use Swiss merengue buttercream, so for a passion fruit filling I buy the Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi(passion fruit) drink concentrate and incorporate it to taste in the vanilla SWB. Sprinkling the concentrate on the cake ups the flavor also. You might think about quava or passion-orange-guava as filling flavors...all available as drink concentrates in freezer section of the grocery store.

I know that I just saw a tutorial about fondant shells. Can't remember where. Will write again when I find it! AArrg!

Feel free to email me :chingcakes!yahoo.com


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clarisse1 Posted 11 May 2007 , 10:38am
post #18 of 21

Clarisse here again, sorry the correct email is [email protected]

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lvjan777 Posted 11 May 2007 , 2:54pm
post #19 of 21

Thanks for the pointers on a Hawaiian wedding cakes Andrea7 and Clarisse

If you find the tutorial about fondant shells, that would be great!

Ive never tried swiss meringue buttercream. Ill have to try it. Would either of you mind sharing your recipe?

Ill see if we have Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi drink at any of our grocery stores here. Do you use the concentrate in place of flavoring in the recipe or add extra at the end. How do you thicken up swiss meringue if you get it too thin?

Thanks again for your help.

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albumangel Posted 11 May 2007 , 7:51pm
post #20 of 21

I'm so glad to read this thread! I'm doing my sister's wedding cake in August in Pennsylvania. Luckily, it's an indoor, air-conditioned reception. And I can use the reception hall the day before to do all of the decorating there. I didn't want to take any chances! But I think I'll still work on my all-shortening buttercream recipe between now & then...

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clarisse1 Posted 11 May 2007 , 8:16pm
post #21 of 21

SMB recipe i like is

1lb granulated sugar
1 cp egg whites
1.25 lbs unsalted butter, room temp
2tsp Vanilla or more if you like

Put sugar and whites in bowl over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until all sugar is melted. Mixture should be hotter than bath water. I can't keep my finger in it more than a second, jsut to check if all the sugar is melted. Transfer to mixing bowl. Do not scrape any sugar crystals into bowl. Use whip attachment on high till very fluffy and practically rm temp. Cookbooks often say add butter a little at a time on low speed. I add about 1/3 the butter at a time till blended. Add vanilla. Icing might be liquidy but keep it at low speed and as it cools it will firm up. As it sits it will become spongy. Use the paddle or a hand held whip to stir outr the bubbles when you are ready to use it.

Sometimes my butter is a little on the cool side,but the warmth of the meringue softens the butter and the buttercream takes less time to firm up. if your buttercream curdles/seperates hold bowl over the leftover hot water from the eggwhites a little and then continue mixing. Repeat until the b/c comes back together. Or if the b/c is too warm Put in freezer/fridge a little and mix till it comes together.

I put in the drink conc. at this point. Having it a little warm helps incorporate it into the b/c. Speaking of the drink conc. When I said available at the grocery store, I meant stores in Hawaii, sorry.

If you don't want to got the hassle for shells, the are also sold online.

I bought my shell/starfish molds online at the Sweet Celebrations, sweetc.com, I have the cheaper plastic vs silicone molds.

dust mold with cornstarch, form ball of fondant big enough to fill mold dust with more c-starch. Push fondant into mold. Trim off excess. Unmold and dust of extra cornstarch. Let dry and then apply luster/pearl dust
I try to make the shells a little hollow so that they are lighter and use less fondant.

You might also want to make different size pearls out of fondant. Just make balls, let fry and apply lusters dusts.

Really quite easy. You don't really need a video. Sometimes it is just a little tricky to pull the shape out of the mold without changing the shape too much. But you can always push it back to the way it was.

I hope this helps. icon_biggrin.gif

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