Help! Chocolate Icing Nightmare!

Decorating By jmedders Updated 20 Sep 2014 , 12:40pm by vldutoit

jmedders Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jmedders Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:28pm
post #1 of 5

I have been using Toba Garrett's Chocolate Buttercream recipe for well over a year now with absolutely no problems. Same with my cake recipe. But the last few times I have made it have been disasters. I filled and iced the cake with no issues.  But after a hour or so I noticed a blowout.  When I went to examine it the whole side was just sliding off that side of the cake and the rest had begun to sag.  When I scraped it off in an attempt  an attempt to salvage what I could, the icing and the cake were both a thin greasy mess.  The cake just fell apart.  I still had some icing left and I added what I salvaged to it, mixed  again and it came back to the right consistency.  After I baked another cake I started the process again.  The exact thing happened again.  It kind of acted like the buttercream was breaking down.So now I make a third cake and repeat, this time making a fresh batch of buttercream, and guess what!  Now I am at the point of just wanting to sit in the floor and cry.  As you can guess, I have spent my entire day on a stupid little chocolate cake.  After I pulled myself together and repeated, I managed to get it good enough to go with.  Can anyone tell me what went wrong. It was tapered for a topsy turvy cake so I put it in the freezer for a bit before carving.  Could moisture from freezing caused this.  I don't use liquor.  I mix espresso powder in water but don't use as much as it calls for.  It says to use refrigerated ganache.  Could it be thinning as it comes to room temperature.  Is my buttercream not thick enough before I add the ganache.  Like I said I have never had these issues before. The only difference in the cake was I used canola instead of vegetable oil because that's what I had on hand. But that shouldn't affect anything.  I'm sorry for the novel but I am desperate to figure this out. I have a wedding in a couple of weeks that I need chocolate cake for and cannot handle this nightmare again.    

4 replies
Dayti Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Dayti Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:48pm
post #2 of 5

This happens to me EVERY TIME I refrigerate a cake too long to ready it for icing, although I have never used the recipe you mention. There must be something scientific about air expanding in the cake (not that there should be any because I settle them after filling for at least 8 hours or usually overnight) as it warms up that makes it escape through the icing. I now make sure to only chill enough for the outside to be cold, but not the very centre of the cake. If I forget to take the cake out in time, I try and leave it for longer at room temp before starting to ice. It really has made a difference to me. 


Hopefully someone else could give you pointers on the recipe but it sounds like that is not the problem here if you have previously had success with it. 

MissCuteCupcakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
MissCuteCupcakes Posted 18 Sep 2014 , 7:22pm
post #3 of 5

Not really sure what could have happened since you've been using the same recipe for while. First thing that did come to mind was that maybe its the ingredients your using. Did you try a new brand or maybe the brand your using changed its chemical makeup of its ingredient.


Here's a great tip, which might help with the "oil" factor, substitute apple sauce for equal amounts of vegetable oil that you use in your cake recipes. Its healthier, creates a very moist cake, and the flavor is the same, without the "oil" issue.

kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 19 Sep 2014 , 10:25pm
post #4 of 5

ASeveral things to consider. Have any of the ingredients you use changed? Have you changed brands? Some times when one makes a certain recipe often they don't really measure correctly - could that be part or all of your problem?

..........a great tip, which might help with the "oil" factor, substitute apple sauce for equal amounts of vegetable oil that you use in your cake recipes. Its healthier, creates a very moist cake, and the flavor is the same, without the "oil" issue...

Actually it does not have to be *apple* sauce. Any fruit sauce will work. You can 'sauce' any fruit in a blender or food processor. Or buy some jars of baby food fruit :)

vldutoit Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
vldutoit Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 12:40pm
post #5 of 5

AHave you checked to see if the manufacturer of your ingredients have changed anything. Many time they will make small changes and think we will not notice.

Quote by @%username% on %date%