Recent Problems With A Tried And True Buttercream Recipe

Baking By jenbakescakes Updated 28 May 2011 , 9:07pm by jenabbott00

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jenbakescakes Posted 19 May 2011 , 2:13pm
post #1 of 9

Hi all! I'm at my wits end on what to do so I figured I'd let you smart cake people give me your take on the situation....I've been using the same buttercream recipe for years and never had a problem aside from the occasional airbubble. It's 1 stick butter, 1 1/2 c shortening (I usually use Walmarts brand), 2 lbs PS, 1/3 c water, 2 Tbsp vanilla. The last couple of cakes, I have had trouble with the icing on the sides of the cake wanting to crack at the top corner and literally slide down the side. NOT pretty! The first time it happened I thought maybe I just put too much on the sides, but it happened to 2 of my 4 tiers this past weekend and I know I'm not being THAT heavy handed. Now I'm thinking that Walmart changed their shortening recipe. It's the no transfat recipe and I can tell when I'm taking it out of the bucket that it's softer than before. I tried adding less water to stiffen it up, that didnt work either. Please give your imput on what I should do! I'm so frustrated and having to try to fix the sliding icing is really affecting the clean look of my cakes! Thanks in advance.

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SweetArt Posted 19 May 2011 , 3:38pm
post #2 of 9

Wal-mart did change their shortening. It's useless for icing now. I'd suggest finding another brand (very hard to find another good one since they all seem to be doing this) or switch to high-ratio shortening.

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Claire138 Posted 19 May 2011 , 4:02pm
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I don't use shortening at all, only margarine (I use the same recipe as you) & it works fine, maybe try that.

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cakegrandma Posted 19 May 2011 , 4:04pm
post #4 of 9

Try using hi-ratio shortening for your icing and baking, you will notice the difference and love it. It is all I use and I even made a pie, which I haven't done in at least 20 years, and the crust was fantastic. You can find it on the internet or if you have a cake supply store close to you. I suggest buying a smaller size to try it for yourself and then you could purchase it in the 50# size. I take my 50#s and divide it into plastic containers that give me enough to use for a length of time and stick them in the freezer. It is also safe to just keep at room temp if you have a place to store it. Hope you try it.

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jenbakescakes Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:44pm
post #5 of 9

Thanks for the suggestions! I have heard of hi ratio shortening but have no clue where to get it, so I have to check into that. Yeah I'm all for things being healthier and no transfat but yeesh...what a mess! Claire138- So you just sub the margarine for shortening? The same amount? Does it crust well?

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LindaF144a Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:09pm
post #6 of 9

If you can't get hi ratio shortening, then you may want to at least try Crisco brand. It might be different than Walmart brand.

You could also add a package of Dream Whip to the frosting like IndyDeb does in her frosting. This has transfat in it and it may put back in what Walmart took out. And this will crust. Any BC will crust where the sugar is a much higher ratio than the fat.

For transfat free and it still works well, you could try Spectrum found in organic sections of the grocery store. But be warned, it is way more expensive than what you were paying for the Walmart brand.

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dorothymarie Posted 19 May 2011 , 10:00pm
post #7 of 9

There is some info in this thread that may help:

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Claire138 Posted 24 May 2011 , 6:04am
post #8 of 9

Sorry about not responding earlier, but no, the bc with only margarine does not crust. I haven't found it a problem bc I only use it for cupcakes or piping. I use ganache exclusively under fondant. HTH

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jenabbott00 Posted 28 May 2011 , 9:07pm
post #9 of 9

I made 2 batches of icing with crisco and they were horrible. They had a horrible texture and just about melted when I was about halfway through a cake and gave up. I made a batch yesterday with hi ratio.... much better. I will be doing a cake with it monday so hopefully it still holds up. Now is seems way to sweet so when I take it out to rewhip think it will be ok to add salt then?

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