How Do You Deal With Heat/humidity??

Decorating By antonia74 Updated 20 Jun 2005 , 3:56am by KayDay

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antonia74 Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 3:03am
post #1 of 26

It's a steamy night here in Toronto and of course, my oven has been on for 4 hours now!

I was just thinking to myself...what are people's secrets for their cakes in humidity? I have some upcoming fondant cakes (i.e. no refrigeration) and I'd love to hear your tips.

My air conditioner is in the living room at the other end of the house!!Does a dehumidifier help at all??

icon_cry.gificon_confused.gificon_mad.gifthumbsdown.gificon_sad.gif so many emotions...but too hot to care!

25 replies
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melissablack Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 5:05am
post #2 of 26

I am dealing with this problem too. I live in Louisiana, we have central A/C, but the insulation in this house is not very good so the A/C runs constantly all day and it still stays about 76 degrees in here, even when I'm not baking.

I am having problems with my icing from the humidity too. I thought I had found the perfect recipe, but the last few times I made it, it was all watery & breaking down icon_cry.gif

I don't have any suggestions, other than trying to keep it as cool as possible in your house. I try to bake in the evenings now, so it's cool in my kitchen when I'm trying to decorate.

Melissa icon_razz.gif

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stephanie214 Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 1:21pm
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I have problems with the heat from my hands keeping the icing soft. I now use a small take along cooler and the ice paks to keep my icing in when I'm decorating this has helped alot.

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cakeconfections Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 2:20pm
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when the weather gets hot like this, I will add meringue to my icing. I dont normally do that. It will help a bit on the icing not breaking down. I am not sure how much butter you use in your icing, but I will also cut back a bit on the butter, and us a butter flavor and increase the shortening. that will help with the stability.

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ntertayneme Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 2:46pm
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I can relate to the humidity too .. being in Louisiana, humidity capitol of the world I'd think lol ... I was having so many probs w/an edible image on a frosting sheet late Friday night that I just wanted to cry... I tore the first one, and the second one too, but was able to repair it enough where it wasn't too noticable .. it was so late by the time I finished the cake, I just stayed up because it was too close to time for everyone to be here for my FIL's big birthday bash we had here at my home ... 57 relatives attended.. and 40 hours of no sleep lol .. but I made it .. icon_biggrin.gif

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antonia74 Posted 12 Jun 2005 , 10:36pm
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I think you're whole egg buttercream softens a LOT faster than my egg white buttercream in this nasty heat!!

Lesson learned!!!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 4:20am
post #7 of 26

Antonia, I am in Ottawa, lived in Ajax about 7 years ago. Honestly, other than central air conditioning set at 70F, I don't think much helps. A de-humidifier, would help a bit. But I found you really need central air when it gets this hot and humid regardless of what is in the icing. Butter of course is worse, but fondant or shortening based buttercreams are not much better when the heat/humidity factor goes above 89F.
Perhaps baking one night, making the icing the next one will help.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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antonia74 Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 2:32pm
post #8 of 26

Thanks for the advice.

I'm I guess I have to buy another air conditioner and dream of living in a shady cabin up north!


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SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 3:07pm
post #9 of 26

Yes, up north in the Northwest Territories sounds good right about now, haha!
Likely an extra air conditioner would solve oyour problems or a larger unit.
Do you think this high humidity/heat spell is ever going to end? The air is grey and you could cut it with a knife!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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mjones17 Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 3:13pm
post #10 of 26

Glad you brought up this topic because you got me thinking about the wedding cake I am doing in July. I will have to borrow my mom's vehicle to transport it because I have no more air in my vehicle. icon_cry.gif

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 3:23pm
post #11 of 26

Mjones, that is another good point, you almost have to have air conditioning to transport cakes, haha, especially in Syracuse which has very much the same weather as we have here, 3 hours away. My favourite cousins and aunt live there. You get this awful humidity we get.
Otherwise, you need large coolers or some manner of packing up the cakes with ice. I have used large coolers or plastic containers, lined with ice with the cake boxes bagged in unscented garbage bags in between cookie sheets, with ice above and below them.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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mami2sweeties Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 4:09pm
post #12 of 26

Wow listening to your stories. I won't ever complain about heat in Florida. I use either 50/50 or all shortening. Usually all shortening and butter flavor in the summer and the 50/50 in the non-summer season. I also have moved to a much better house and oh how that helped.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 4:14pm
post #13 of 26

Haha Mami2sweeties, don't all of you folks in Florida have air-conditioning, haha? Even your winters are summer to us, haha!
I think the problem for many folks is that they live in areas where summer is very short and so many have small window units that don't do the cooling job as efficiently!
We have central air but after a week or two of heat, the humidity still manages to get into the house and though it is cool enough to keep the icing fine, the poor old decorator starts to feel the effects after awhile.
Icing with butter in it becomes troublesome at temperatures of 83F or more factoring in the humidex reading while shortening can withstand about 89F with humidity factored in.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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mami2sweeties Posted 13 Jun 2005 , 7:14pm
post #14 of 26

Well, I used to live in a mobile home/renting. We just bought our house. Living in a mobile home is like a death wish since we live not too far from the coast. I am an Ivan survivor! I can not believe how dry this house is. Dh laughed at how surprised I was. Uh let's see this is the first time I have lived in a house. I grew up living in a mobile home. The kind that stays permenant not the RV kind.

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tcturtleshell Posted 14 Jun 2005 , 1:33am
post #15 of 26

Some advice when the humidity/temp is very high...

Use parchment bags instead of disposable bags. I use parchment bags all the time. There easier to use for me.

Color icing the night before & keep icing in the frig till ready to use.

I also get a box fan & put it near an A/C vent & point it towards me while I'm decorating. Keeps me from overheating icon_smile.gif I turn the A/C down while I'm decorating too.

Anything to keep me & my cakes cool!! icon_smile.gif

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peacockplace Posted 14 Jun 2005 , 3:16am
post #16 of 26

TC... me too. I freeze my family out when I'm doing a cake. I just get so hot and that get on my nerves when I'm really busy!

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llj68 Posted 14 Jun 2005 , 2:40pm
post #17 of 26

I just did an Elmo cake last weekend (I'll have to post it in the gallery--it turned out really cute!) and the temp was 93 with a humidity level of 89%!! I was TERRIFIED that it was going to melt into a pool of sugar/butter/shortening. However...this was my timeline. (The cake was for Saturday.)

Make icing for decorations and color - Wednesday (I needed to get red--so I wanted to give it lots of time to develop.)

Bake - Thursday

Make bc for icing cakes, assembled cakes and iced - Friday morning.

COOLED cakes - iced - in basement until Friday evening.

Decorated cakes - Friday evening

I cooled the cake overnight in the basement (covered of course) and left it down there until I had to leave for the party. I have central a/c in my house, but where the party was, there was NO a/c at all. Just a lot of heat (90's again) and humidity (80%) It was so thick outside that you could almost cut the air with a knife. However, since the cakes were cooled so well (but not refridgerated) and I used Dawn's bc recipe--it stood the test of time and held up really well. By the time it was served (about 5 hours after I arrived at the party) it was perfect--not meling or so cool as to make the cake feel crumbly. Of course, I kept going and checking on it--I was just waiting to see the first signs of melting--thankfully, none were present.


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sweet4tooth Posted 16 Jun 2005 , 1:20am
post #18 of 26

Hi, try to burn candle around the the cake area. This will prevent the humidity from building. Let me know.

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tcturtleshell Posted 16 Jun 2005 , 1:54am
post #19 of 26

Never heard of that sweet4tooth... We're gonna have to try that.

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ntertayneme Posted 16 Jun 2005 , 2:02am
post #20 of 26

Never heard of it either tcturtleshell but if it works I'll sure use it icon_smile.gif

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llj68 Posted 16 Jun 2005 , 2:13am
post #21 of 26

I have heard of using burning candles to help control humidity in bathroom (yes--it actually works!) but I never thought about doing it in the cake decorating area.

Great idea!!


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wandy27 Posted 17 Jun 2005 , 11:25pm
post #22 of 26

Well imagine the heat here in Puerto Rico HHOOOOOTTTT!!!!!!!!
When decorating I HAVE to turn the A/C on, and something that helped (I don't know why) is that I changed a little my buttercream, instead of using milk I use water now. I also keep the consistency stiffer. Now the icing doesn't "sweat".


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tcturtleshell Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 6:01am
post #23 of 26

Humidity.......... Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Our temp has been in the hig 90's this week!!!! Heat index in the 100's... La. always has some really hot days in June. Then we get used to the heat a little better for July & Aug!! LOL!! It's just getting us used to it before the real heat comes in!!!!

I decorated my Mamaw's bday cake today. The weather had cooled off & the humidity went down because of bad storms we had yesterday evening. The temp was in the 70's all day! How nice it was the decorate w/ cooler weather!!!!

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DenaBug Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 5:01pm
post #24 of 26

Don't I wish I had asked for help before my wedding last Saturday!!! I turned the AC way down, froze the bc roses, but still had "cake droop". I need to learn to keep my borders closer to the cake because mine seperated in the humidity and left a big crevice! So much for outdoor weddings!
Aside from that, our wedding was beautiful and I want to thank everyone for the help I did get here at CC. I couldn't have done it w/o all of you. thumbs_up.gif


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diane Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 8:01am
post #25 of 26

i have a portable air conditioner that i use in my kitchen, just for when i'm baking!!

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KayDay Posted 20 Jun 2005 , 3:56am
post #26 of 26

I am in Alabama and as hot as it gets here I just thank God for my great central air! And when I am at my shop I have a great ac there too. When I transport a cake I alwyas let the SUV air run for a while b4 I load the cake.

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