Dear Buttercream Masters...can My Cake Be Saved???

Baking By Mb20fan Updated 4 Apr 2011 , 9:09pm by sugarshack

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Mb20fan Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 4:26am
post #1 of 14

I'm almost ill with worry right now...I had my first disaster last weekend. Did a cake for my nephew and it came out good and photographed well at home before I went to the party - simple sheet cake with an edible image - came out really cute. (Not in my photos). hubby and I made the 30 minute ride to my sister-in-law's house and when we arrived, some of my icing had slid down two of the sides. It wasn't a big deal to my SIL, but it was devastating to me!!! My 4 year nephew LOVED it and I totally redeemed myself with the taste, but I really was embarrassed. This was the first time this had EVER happened - but I came to the conclusion that my buttercream was too soft. I use Sugarshacks recipe exactly (I have access to THE wedding bouquet flavor Sharon uses) - the only difference is I've alternated between Crisco and Hi-Ratio shortening. I learned from Wendy (Sharon's right hand gal) that with the HI-Ratio, it's important to mix long enough to break that down. So I got used to setting my timer to mix longer that I used to when I was using Crisco.
Well today, I had a last minute cake to do (was asked to do this yesterday) for a co-worker whose daughter has downs syndrome and loves "The Fresh Beat Band" TV show (never heard of it before) and she's turning 3. She isn't able to talk yet, BUT when she sees this show on TV, she just lights up - she starts to mumble like she has something to say and tries to say "Beat, Beat" so I really wanted this cake to be special for a special little girl. Since it was so last minute and they didnt want something fancy, just something shed recognize, of course I suggested an edible image. The cake is done its cute and colorful and quite girly BUTIm petrified that my BC is too soft yet again. Short on time and supplies, I used Crisco instead of the Hi-Ratio and I think I mixed it too long. Usually, I can touch the icing and it feels harder like not so movable. Right now, I can press and still maneuver it. Make sense?

Heres the question can this be saved? My co-workers drive with this cake is an hour and a half (cant believe he commutes back and forth, but anyway) and Im sooooo scared that when he gets home, the icing will be on the cake board and that thought makes me sick to my stomach. If I refrigerate this over night (have NEVER refrigerated an iced cake before), will that be enough to make it set and harden more? I have it boxed in the fridge now, but Im hoping someone will say that its happened to them before but cooling over night helped I hope this can be saved. I certainly didnt plan to spend all day tomorrow on a cake b/c I already had family plans but agreed to do this for the special circumstance thinking Id just wipe it out tonight. Dont get me wrong, IF the general consensus is that there is no saving it, I WILL change my plans and start over tomorrow since Im not meeting him till tomorrow evening. But right nowI cant even go to sleep wondering how I would be able to do this all over from scratch tomorrow especially since I had to send off for the image. Not like I can just print another.
Thank you in advance to anyone that may take the time to commentI appreciate the input.

13 replies
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NanaSandy Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 4:48am
post #2 of 14

Since I haven't ever had this happen, I am sorry but I don't think I will be of much help. But logic says that it will harden up in the fridge. My worry is when it comes back to room temp, what will happen? Is it warm where you are? We are having a warm trend this weekend, so that would be my worry, since the person has such a long drive!? I truly hope somebody else has a better answer for you!!

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cathyscakes Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 4:50am
post #3 of 14

I would definitely refrigerate the cake, I do that to all of my cakes, it makes me feel more secure to have firm cake. I'm delivering a cake 2 hours away tomorrow, and mine is in the frig now, it just feels more secure. Next time you make the buttercream i would hold back on some of the liquid or add some extra powdered sugar. I put some butter in sugarshacks recipe, because I didn't have hi ratio shortening either, crisco is trans fat free, so don't trust it, so I add some butter, it works fine.

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creativethoughts Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 5:04am
post #4 of 14

I agree with cathyscakes, you should put the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours- overnight. Also if its any warmer then 75-80 degrees F. then you need to have a car that has AC. If it gets warmer than that then the icing will start to melt again!

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teresa13 Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 5:14am
post #5 of 14

If the image is on top of the cake you could remove the icing from the sides, make more icing using butter and more powdered sugar and then re-ice the sides bringing the icing over the top a little and then pipe a ruffled border around the top edge to cover where the sides meets the top. That would save you from making the whole cake again. thumbs_up.gif

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Mb20fan Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 3:17pm
post #6 of 14

Oh wow guys....thank you so much for being so helpful!!! The cake has been in the fridge over night - boxed and saran wrapped to keep it fresh. It will be able to remain in the fridge for at least another 8 hours. BUT...what a wonderful idea to just remove the icing from the sides!!!!!!!! Yes, the image IS on top - I never even thought of that!!!!!!!! OMG...that totally saved me from starting from scratch.

And yes, it's warm here - and up until very recently, I've always used Crisco without this problem - but I really think I just over mixed it and it became too 'whipped'. I mean, it felt firm when I was smoothing it with Viva and and fondant smoother - I really applied some pressure as I usually do to try to compact the icing and such, but it just didn't crust up AS MUCH as it usually does which is why I'm concerned.

But at least I have the option to just re-do the sides...that really makes me feel so much better!!!!!!

Thank you all soooooo much! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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Mb20fan Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 9:48pm
post #7 of 14

Well, all went well. Putting in the fridge for so long definitely helped the icing set and harden up some - and it made the trip just fine. Thanks again everyone. I'm so relieved this one is over. icon_smile.gif

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warchild Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 10:33pm
post #8 of 14

Mb20fan, I add 2 tablespoons meringue powder to my buttercream. I know many don't, but its what I was taught years back and its worked out just fine for me. I've never had a problem with my buttercream slipping off my cakes, or not crusting enough with the meringue powder added.
I always put my cakes in the fridge like the others have stated. Cold cake, better transport, especially if its warm.

Good to hear your cake made it safely! thumbs_up.gif

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sugarshack Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 4:51pm
post #9 of 14

Crisco is the culprit. It has no trans fats, and that causes the icing to turn into sliding goo. icon_sad.gif

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grama_j Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 5:12pm
post #10 of 14

warchild, I was just going to suggest that..... and if it is humid, I add a little extra..... seems to stabilize the icing more......and crusts better......

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Mb20fan Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 7:46pm
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by sugarshack

Crisco is the culprit. It has no trans fats, and that causes the icing to turn into sliding goo. icon_sad.gif

Lesson learned...Image

Thanks again everyone. I appreciate the help, always!!! Image

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sugarshack Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 8:43pm
post #12 of 14

you can use a geenric store brand, just look for trans fats in the nutrition info....

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Mb20fan Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 9:03pm
post #13 of 14

Thank you Sharon! Image

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sugarshack Posted 4 Apr 2011 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 14

happy to help!! icon_smile.gif

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