Defeated By Humidity

Decorating By Sherena Updated 13 Jul 2010 , 10:02pm by handymama

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Sherena Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 8:23pm
post #1 of 18

Guys I know that there are several posts on fondant but I need a definitive answer on melting, sticky fondant in Texas. Lately there has been a lot of rain, add that to the usual Texas heat. I have made several cakes lately that were covered in fondant
a) Right out of the fridge
b) After sitting a while on the counter
c) Covered in ganache
d) Covered with buttercream
e) using MMF, Wilton, and SatinIce fondants.

And they ALL melted!! I'm about ready to throw in the towel..

17 replies
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dguerrant Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 18

someone suggested on another post the use of a dehumidifier. she said that she would use one in the area where the finished cakes would be put. i live in arkansas and i clearly understand the sweating issue, one thing i do is to immediately box the cake and tape it closed. I have also slid a boxed cake into a small plastic trash bag and twisted it closed on really humid days. Condensation occurs when the moist air touches a surface that is cooler than the room air, so eliminate the air touching the cake.

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carmijok Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 8:53pm
post #3 of 18

I made an Uncle Sam hat cake this weekend out of buttercream with fondant stars and stripes. I'm in Oklahoma and it's been rainy, hot and humid. I had to have a finished cake a full day before the party (I had company come in) and the party wasn't until the evening of the next day. I boxed it, wrapped it in cling wrap and kept in the refrigerator until delivery. It took about 45 minutes to deliver and by the time it arrived, it had warmed up but not melted. It was fine. Just keep it in the box until you get to the location. It minimizes the condensation. The cake even sat out in a warm humid house for an additional 4 hours and survived.

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mamawrobin Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 9:08pm
post #4 of 18

It is very hot and humid here in Arkansas and I NEVER refrigerate a cake. A cake that is kept at room temperature will fair much better when introduced to heat and humidity than one that has been refrigerated. I have only had issues with a cake ONCE and it was the ONE time that I put it in the refrigerator. I made a three tiered birthday cake for an outdoor party three weeks ago and the temperature that day was 100 degrees with 98% humidity. The cake sat outdoors for 2 1/2 hours before it was cut and it didn't melt or show ANY signs of being in those conditions. I also use Indydebi's buttercream recipe because it is "humidity friendly" as I call it icon_smile.gif

Try leaving your cakes at room temperature and see if that doesn't help with your problem. I don't use perishable fillings so there is never a reason for me to refrigerate.

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Loucinda Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 9:12pm
post #5 of 18

I am with mamarobin...I never refrigerate cakes, and never have any problems at all. I use sugarshack's buttercream recipe, and like indydebi's - it is heat and humidity proof. I make sure to use fillings that are room temperature stable too.

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Texas_Rose Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 9:48pm
post #6 of 18

If you have an air conditioner and it's working right, the humidity inside your home should not be causing you problems. The summer I had to live without an air conditioner, I used a dehumidifier and it made it possible for me to do cakes, even with the heat. I didn't used to refrigerate my cakes because everyone said not to. Now I do, and I don't have problems with the humidity when the cake comes out...but I keep my air conditioner set on 71 all the time, so that might be why.

How are you storing the cakes once the fondant is on? If you're storing it in an airtight container like a cake keeper or covering it tightly with plastic wrap, that will make the fondant melt. Fondant has to be able to breathe.

Indydebi's buttercream is a good thing to try, if you haven't yet. I used to use the Wilton recipe and it always behaved badly for me, but Indy's recipe is much more heat-resistant. It's not totally heat-proof...I have had it melt under fondant and slide down the side of the cake, when it was 100 degrees and something like 95% humidity. The fondant looked fine when that happened, the cake just had a bulge around the bottom on one side and when we cut into it, all the icing had come down the side of the cake. I live in San Antonio and it was last year during the heat wave that we had. That's the only time I've had melting issues with Indy's recipe.

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leah_s Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 18

I'm with mama and loucinda. I never, ever refrigerate a cake. That's just asking for trouble.

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kaat Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 11:40pm
post #8 of 18

The humidity here has been atrocious! Three of my display cakes have melted and they have never been in the fridge! One I've had for 2 years without a problem. This has been a particularly bad spell and I am not looking forward to the cakes I have this weekend. I'm sending hubby out for a dehumidifier but still worried as last week's cake topper never made it to the party icon_sad.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 3:45pm
post #9 of 18

Did you happen to put them in an cake carrier or an air tight container?

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Sherena Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 3:47pm
post #10 of 18

Thanks so much guys, I was really ready to hang up my whisk, my investor was even worried..not good :/

Any brand names for the dehumidifier? Also I will never Ever refrigerate a cake again! I have a gift box cake this weekend, maybe this will save my skin, wish me luck!

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Sherena Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 4:16pm
post #11 of 18

No I didnt put them in a carrier, they were all pretty big and oddly shaped. I created a box to fit atop of the cake board for transit.

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cheatize Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 11:29pm
post #12 of 18

Create the cake in a small room with a door you can close. Give the dehumidifier a good chance of working well for you. icon_smile.gif

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CreativeCakeFactory Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 11:56pm
post #13 of 18

I live in South Florida where its really hot and humid. And I was having problems with melting too. Now, after I fill my cakes I cover them in ganache and place them in the fridge. The next day I cover them with alittle buttercream and then fondant them. After I decorate the cake I put the entire thing all finished back in the fridge! I know this seems crazy but it has been working for me with zero problems or color bleeding. You just have to take the cake out of the fridge about 1-2 hours before delivery time. This wont work for airbrushed cakes though.

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Sherena Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 3:02pm
post #14 of 18

Thanks so much guys, the fact that some can refrigerate in humid areas and some can not boggles the mind, but I'm determined to keep testing all of your processes.

The computer programmer in me can't let this go unresolved icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!!!!

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shalini1 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:58pm
post #15 of 18

I've been fortunate not to experience crazy humidity in Toronto...that is, until these past few weeks. I made a 2 tier cake for a friend's party and I wanted to cry. I had to re-cover the cake in fondant 3 different times (what a waste of supply). It didn't actually sweat or melt, more like elephant skin. It started cracking everywhere and to top it off it started forming air bubbles. As I tried to smooth it over and over (..and over!) it started bulging more...I'm just hoping I don't experience the same elephant skin again, but my point is: Girl, I feel for you!

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Sherena Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 9:33pm
post #16 of 18

@buttercup-bakery I almost wept reading through your post just becuase the heartbreak is so new icon_smile.gif
I hate not knowing, it's like an albatross- and I never know when it will strike again! Is it weird to say that I'm happy that I'm not alone :/
Also?! I'm now covering mostly everything in a super smooth bc and using fondant for only accents...

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deMuralist Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 9:54pm
post #17 of 18

My experience with a dehumidifier is that it is not worth the money, we had horrible trouble with them (yes multiple). In the end it turns out that an air-conditioner is basically a dehumidifier. So we ended up getting a room air conditioner for the space and keeping it at the same temp as the rest of the house. Much cheaper, more reliable, and with my hot flashes-much more comfortable!

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handymama Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 10:02pm
post #18 of 18

To those who refrigerate: do you use a home 'frig or commercial? Home refrigerators dehumidify, but commercial coolers actually put moisture in. I have a BC with fondant accents cake due while in San Diego at the ICES convention, and really don't know what the best approach is since it will have to sit--completed--from Tuesday until the wedding on Saturday. It's a 2-tier 8/12 and I'm concerned about settling as well as issues with the fondant pieces. Leah--I use your sps system. All suggestions welcome.

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