Problems With Icing Drying Out While Decorating...

Decorating By AlyssaTruluck Updated 14 Jun 2012 , 11:59am by AlyssaTruluck

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AlyssaTruluck Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 1:27pm
post #1 of 6

Hey, you guys! I've been making tasty cakes for years, but I've just recently begun to make themed, decorated cakes for friends. Man, it is different! I just made a Wizard of Oz themed cake for a friend's birthday and used cakecentral for the icing and the cake recipe.. come to think of it, I used cakecentral for a tutorial on how to carve it too.. The cake recipe was pretty good; the icing tasted amazing, but it dried out so fast and as soon as it was the slightest bit dry, it started showing little white freckles (that I nicknamed the measles). I ended up being able to save it by covering up with flowers and edible glitter. I also had problems getting the icing to stick when I frosted it - even though I did a crumb coat. But now my friend wants me to make the cake again in a month for an actor's guild after party. I've been researching and I think the problem may be that the recipe called for a little bit of salt and possibly that I had frozen the cake so I could carve it easily and it wasn't thawed all the way when I frosted it... I need some tips from you experts on 1. a good recipe for decorator icing, if this one isn't good, 2. how to decorate it without the icing drying out, 3. once I have it decorated, how to keep a two tiered cake from drying out. I had two layers of plastic wrap around it and that didn't work.. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Here is my recipe: 1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 tablespoons warm water

2 (16.oz) packages confectioners sugar

5 replies
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dillonsmimi Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 2:22pm
post #2 of 6

Too much sugar.
It looks like you are using the Wilton (decorator) buttercream recipe.
1 c shortening
1 t vanilla
4 c (1 lb) sifted powdered sugar (don't HAVE to sift, just makes it lots easier to whip out any lumps)
2 T water

When I used this recipe in the past (have since moved on to SMBC) I traded a flavor emulsion for the plain vanilla and added a tiny bit of popcorn salt.
Your measles were most likely a result of your coloring binding to some of the extra 10x ( 1 cup fat can only hold so much dry ingredients).

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kakeladi Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 7:09pm
post #3 of 6

There are sooo many better recipes for icing than that one.
It definately does NOT have enough fat (too much sugar).
For future reference try this one:

Crusting version of 2 of everything icing:

1 cup butter (at room temp)
2 cups shortening (I used Crisco)
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons flavoriong

Cream together butter & shortening for 5 minutes. Add about 1/3 of the sugar and mix 5-7 minutes; add another 1/3 of the sugar & the flavoring, creaming another 5 minutes before adding the rest of the sugar and mix for another 5-10 minutes.
Some people like to add 2 pinches of salt
Flavoring can be *ANY* you prefere. What I use is 1 Tablespoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons butter flavoring & 1 teaspoon almond.
This keeps well at room temp for a week; for 3-5 months in the frig OR forever in the fzr icon_smile.gif

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AlyssaTruluck Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 1:14am
post #4 of 6

Thanks, you guys! I'll try those recipes soon.. how do you all keep it from drying out though, or will the higher fat in your icing recipes prevent that? The whole Saran wrap thing sucks. Squished everything.

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dillonsmimi Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 1:50am
post #5 of 6

The drying out is referred to as "crusting".
Sometimes you want your decorator icing to crust a bit to hold shape (too crusty places the decos in danger of cracking and possibly falling off)
Look for BC recipes that are described as crusting and have as an ingredient meringue powder.
MP will give you a bit more control over how "crusty" your end product will be.
I have in the past used Toba Garrett's decorator icing with great results.
A good choice for a cake that will be in a warm environment for a couple of hours before cutting.

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AlyssaTruluck Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 11:59am
post #6 of 6

Yeah, I definitely had problems with decorations falling off. I did want it to crust a little bit, but the icing was almost dry all the way through. I'll have to try your suggestions! Thanks!

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