Help!! Do You Have To Refrigerate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Decorating By silentforce21 Updated 21 Oct 2011 , 4:00pm by mariacakestoo

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silentforce21 Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:02am
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This is probably a really silly question. I'm doing a Humpty Dumpty baby shower cake and there will be 6 pregnant women there. I don't want to make them sick!!!!! I always use the swiss meringue buttercream for my cakes and that is what they requested. Love the taste, not so sugary as the American style. But back to the questions....

1. They need to pick the cake up a day early, but will have no where to store it in a refrigerator. Will it be ok to sit out that long. I know that people use it for wedding cakes, but wasn't sure how long it is able to sit at room temperature.

2. Can you cover this type of buttercream with fondant? I typically use a crusting type when a fondant cake is requested.

Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!! Thanks in advance!

8 replies
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LeckieAnne Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 3:23pm
post #2 of 9

I've left a smbc iced cake on my counter for several days, and it's fine.

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Bridgette1129 Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 1:35am
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Does everyone agree it can be left out?

And CAN it be refrigerated (on a cake) without anything bad happening?

I usually make ABC and never refrigerate it, and have not had any problems.

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FromScratchSF Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 2:16am
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1st, you should always check with your local HD if you are selling cake and have any food safety questions. For some reason MBCs are a mystery to so many people and they are scared of it. Makes no sense, those same people eat runny egg yolks for breakfast. Which is raw egg.

But... I have yet to see anyone ever post that their local HD classifies MBC as perishable that needs to be refrigerated. Mine doesn't, and cakes and cupcakes with MBCs are not even required to be kept in a refrigerated display case in a storefront.

MBCs do not turn into cherynoble and kill people. They just don't. The eggs are cooked and it contains more then 50% sugar which prohibits the growth of bacteria.

Yes, it can be used under fondant. See all my photos. All SMBC.

Common sense that ay differ from your local HD:
Yes, it can be left out.

Yes, it can be left out for several days. The only thing that happens is it can melt if it's to hot in the room and it gets a "stale" flavor to it, just like when you leave butter out of the fridge. Tastes great the 1st day, after a few days it starts to get that stale flavor.

Noting will happen to your cake if you do refrigerate it, except it can sweat and get condensation on it when coming back to room temperature. Some fillings made from SMBC can deflate if you refrigerate in the cake then let come back to room temperature giving you a bulge.

But again, if you are selling cake, check with your local HD and follow their rules.

Good luck!


PS. I'm sure you know that if you sell cake, you have zero control over what the customer does with your product after you give it to them. Your responsibility ends when they pick it up and it's not your problem if they purchase a product and they don't have the proper storage for it.

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Bridgette1129 Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 4:32am
post #5 of 9

Thanks so much for your lengthly reply. You are so insightful and I appreciate it. I am not selling it, but those are some good pointers for when I do start selling cakes icon_wink.gif

The only reason I was mystified is because I have seen people who say they think it's dangerous to keep out and I didn't think it would be.

Also, I know a lot of people do not refrigerate cakes so I was worried it might ruin the frosting.

Thanks again!

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FromScratchSF Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 5:01am
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No problem! I've answered this more then few times and I always get slammed for not mentioning you should call your HD so I now make sure I mention it at least 3 times! Good luck!

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sillywabbitz Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 5:45am
post #7 of 9

In Texas, the state health department has technical guidelines for non-perishable. It must be within a certain pH and water activity level. pH you can test yourself. Water activity has to be measured in a lab. The lab test here is $20 but it's $100 to set up a small business account. I don't currently use the MBCs but I would love to. As soon as I get some pH strips I'm going to test that first. If it's within a specif pH the water activity level becomes irrelevant.

I know it's a long shot but if anyone has ever had an MBCS tested, I would love to know the results.

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scp1127 Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 9:25am
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I don't say it is unsafe, I too agree with FromScratch that it is a local HD issue. In MD, at the state level, they are strict on the time frames and WV is close (locally).

As sillywabbitz said, if you purchase the test for your recipe, then that would be definitive. But if you don't, you should defer to the opinion of the local HD, right or wrong. You must take into consideration, as MD HD does, that the customer will abuse it and the information that should be forwarded to them may differ from safety requirements of licensed establishments.

So I do as they tell me. If it has potential to be hazardous if abused, tell them to refrigerate it, they still may leave it out some, but they may take more care.

Here is what I say about IMBC to customers:

Treat it like butter. Leave it out while you are serving, even several hours or all day. But store it in the refrigerator for longer periods, and take it out to come to room temp, again just like butter, before you serve it. If it is too warm, refrigerate.

I'm not losing my house because someone leaves the cake out for a week. We don't have to be our customers' buddy, we need to protect our assets. By the way, I do have insurance. So I will err on the side of safety and what is good for my business.

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mariacakestoo Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 4:00pm
post #9 of 9

And freezing cold cake with hard SMBC is such a guilty pleasure of mine. Right out of the fridge. Oh yum.

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