Buttercream Not Sticking Or Staying...help!

Decorating By Nicolle711 Updated 7 Aug 2008 , 1:38am by Nicolle711

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Nicolle711 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 1:13pm
post #1 of 11

Well, I don't consider this a disaster b/c I was able to work around my buttercream issues but for some reason while I was trying to crumb coat a cake last night, my buttercream wouldn't stick or stay onto the cake icon_confused.gificon_cry.gif

This has never happened to me before so maybe I thought there was something wrong with my b/c so I made 3 different batches of it, and nothing! icon_mad.gif As soon as I went to spread the bc on my cake it wouldn't stay it would just fall off on top of tearing up my cake. icon_mad.gif

So I thought maybe it was my cake, it maybe needed to be cooled up. So I popped it in the fridge for 20 min and took it out and reapplied the b/c, nothing, same deal.

Have any of you had this problem??? I am so confused since this has never happened to me before. Sorry, just needed to vent icon_redface.gif

10 replies
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DianeLM Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 1:58pm
post #2 of 11

The main reasons bc doesn't stick is

1. It's too thick. Were you pulling pieces of cake off while you were trying to spread your crumb coat?

2. Cake isn't cool enough. You said you popped it in the frig for 20 mins. That may not have been enough time. How long between the time you baked it and tried to ice it? Was it a chocolate cake?

I hope we get to the bottom of this soon!

P.S. I love your mini cakes. So cute!

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Nicolle711 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 2:15pm
post #3 of 11

Hi Diane, Thanks so much for the quick response!

Yes! The bc was pulling off pieces of cake! Thank goodness I made enough cake for "just in case" issues. But, I baked the cake the night before, so it was already cool since I wrapped it and had it in the fridge overnight. So this is why I am so confused.

I did take the cake out while I was preparing my bc. But once I noticed it wasn't sticking and tearing my cake, I popped it back in the fridge. I tried again about 20 min later and it continued. Would I have to freeze the cake??

Or is my BC too thick? How do I thin out bc if this is the case? My bc consists of unsalted butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla. I have never had a problem with this recipe before. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help! icon_biggrin.gif

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psurrette Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 2:20pm
post #4 of 11

your buttercream icing is too thick. Did you forget the liquid?

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Nicolle711 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 2:25pm
post #5 of 11

icon_redface.gif I have never put liquid in my bc. I never had a problem before but I guess there is a first time for everything. What type of liquid would I have to put in it? Milk? Water?

Originally Posted by psurrette

your buttercream icing is too thick. Did you forget the liquid?

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justfrosting Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 2:33pm
post #6 of 11

Could it be you are using a 0 trans fat shortening?

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DianeLM Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 3:14pm
post #7 of 11


It's hard to believe a 100% butter recipe could be too thick. If I tried that in this Texas heat, I'd literally have to POUR the icing on!

I wouldn't thin a full butter recipe with any liquid. I'd just warm it up a little til it was the right consistency.

You said you made 3 batches of icing. Did they all 'feel' right to you? Did you use a new brand of sugar or butter?

I wonder if the cake is the culprit. Was it a new recipe? Did you notice any weirdness when you leveled or torted it? Have you cut into it since trying to ice it? If it crumbles, then we'll know it was the cake. But, then we'll have to figure out what went wrong there!

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Nicolle711 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 3:27pm
post #8 of 11

I know right...really odd!!! I have used this bc before to ice cakes and didn't ever have this type of problem.

The cake recipe is somewhat new but I have iced this cake recipe before with no problem. When I torted the cake it was very moist and not crumbly at all. It was a very nice moist and fluffy cake. I just don't understand how this could happen. icon_confused.gif

I mean maybe, I could warm up the icing a bit like you suggested to see if maybe it was too stiff. I have another cake to do by Friday and have plenty of bc already prepared, so I will rewhip it when I need it and warm it up a tad bit and try again. I will also be making the same cake recipe so I will keep an eye out for my cake to make sure it is not crumbly. Or else, I will be back here on Thursday night in tears b/c I don't know what is going on with my bc icon_eek.gif

Thanks for your help guys! thumbs_up.gif

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Cake_Princess Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:53am
post #9 of 11

Your icing probably needed a bit of liquid added to it. When I make a pure butter buttercream icing I still add a bit of liquid.

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tonedna Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:16am
post #10 of 11

The humidity changes might change the consistency of your icing. If you are having troubles with your crumbcoat you can thin it a little bit and then the second coat use as normal. Sometimes is not the icing it can be the cake. Maybe the cake was too soft. If that is the case, even if it is been in the fridge, the crumbcoat will be difficult to put on unless you soften the icing a little. Why the changes in the cake. Can be cooking time, variations on the oven temperature.. So many reasons..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

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Nicolle711 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:38am
post #11 of 11

Hi all! I just wanted to give you an update on my buttercream experiment.

So, this time around, once my caked cooled enough, I placed it in the fridge to harden up a bid. Later on in the day I worked on my filling. I took out the cake, moistened it with vanilla sugar syrup, filled it first with a dam of stiff bc, then filled it in with my strawberry filling. I wrapped it up with seran wrap and placed in the freezer. This evening I worked on my buttercream again. I did add 2 tablespoons of milk and it definitely made is softer. I applied the crumbcoat with no problem.

I am thinking what happened was that my cake was still to cool and moist to apply the bc and my bc was too stiff. Adding a little bit of liquid did do the trick along with the cake being cool.

Thank you all for your tips, suggestions and advice. I am still a work in progress icon_biggrin.gif

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