Help! Cracked Icing Problem

Decorating By tami517a Updated 3 Jun 2013 , 12:38am by AnnieCahill

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tami517a Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 5:00pm
post #1 of 11

I'm hoping you can help me with this icing problem. I use Indydeb's crusting buttercream recipe and I am having trouble with it cracking. I've tried making it softer and that didn't help. Then I tried making it stiffer but it was harder to get smooth and still cracked. It looks fine at first but it develops these cracks after it sits for a few hours. Anyone else run across this problem or have an idea what would stop it from happening?

10 replies
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Yriah91 Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 5:04pm
post #2 of 11

A lot of American crusting buttercreams do this. Try adding less powder sugar. 

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Jimbos76 Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 5:26pm
post #3 of 11

This happens to me a lot too.  Make sure the cake is on a supportive, non flexible base.  That helps as well.  If it's not, once you go to move it, it will crack.  HTH!

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maddy1977 Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 5:52pm
post #4 of 11

That happened to me too and it was too much merengue powder for the crusting so I switch to cornstarch instead and it helped a lot. :)

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auntginn Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 5:56pm
post #5 of 11

They crack because there is not enough butter or shortening (which ever you use, both if you use 50/50) Adding liquid will soften it temporarily but the true fix, imo is in the butter.   I read once that you can add a touch of glycerin to help.  I don't know if this really works tho because I don't have that problem.  I use a different recipe. HTH

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bostonterrierlady Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 6:51pm
post #6 of 11

Do you share your icing recipe?

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tami517a Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 7:04pm
post #7 of 11

I learned my lesson about cake boards the hard way when I cracked a big cake right down the middle. Now my boards are always very sturdy so I don't think that is the problem. It will sometimes crack just sitting on the table!


I use indydeb's recipe that is posted on this site. So maybe less sugar / more Crisco next time? Or less dream whip. I will try that and see if it helps. Thanks for the ideas.

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auntginn Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 11:31pm
post #8 of 11

Bostonterrierlady, if your asking me, yes.  It's not that much of a secret, lol.  


1c ea butter and shortening, (butter needs to be room temp, warm)

1 - 1/2 c white chocolate

sea salt to taste

1 1/2 lbs approx powdered sugar

liquid of your choice 

Flavor to taste (Vanilla, Hazelnut, peanut butter, etc)


Cream butter and shortening until well blended

Melt chocolate and add to butter mixture by folding it in so it doesn't harden or leave chunks/pieces.

Add salt

Add in ps 1/2 cup at a time, blending it in so it doesn't fly all over

At this point I put in my liquid to the consistency I am looking for and the flavor all to taste.


When I first make it, it might be on the softer side, I make my bc at least the day before and allow it to set up.  It's a cross between bc and ganache and spreads smooth and holds up.  Great under fondant. Thin a little to crumb coat. If your cakes are cold like they should be when icing, it will crust quickly.


If anybody has more questions I'll be happy to answer and share.

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auntginn Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 11:33pm
post #9 of 11

Oh by the way, I don't remember where I saw the tutorial, but it taught to warm the spatula's with warm water and run lightly around your bc to smooth it out.  This really does work.

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leah_s Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 11:47pm
post #10 of 11

Know what else really works?  A crockpot.  I fill it full of boiling water, and set it to high.  Dip my bench scraper into it, fling off the excess and smooth away.  It's an easy way to keep water hot, as long as you need it.

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AnnieCahill Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 12:38am
post #11 of 11

It cracks because there isn't enough fat and liquid in the recipe.  I had that happen when I tried her recipe a couple of times way back when.  You can add a bit more shortening and a couple of tablespoons of corn syrup to prevent cracking.

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