Combining Icings

Decorating By sparkledee3 Updated 18 Jul 2015 , 2:53pm by SquirrellyCakes

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sparkledee3 Posted 10 Jul 2015 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 18

Hi All,

I want to use a cream cheese or whipped cream/cream cheese frosting to ice my cupcakes, and a buttercream for piping a ruffle around the edges. Will the buttercream stick to either of those frostings?

If I add gelatin to the whipped cream/cream cheese recipe how much should I add and do I add it dry from the packet? Wondering if I could then be able to frost and pipe with it both ways without using 2 different frostings.


17 replies
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SquirrellyCakes Posted 10 Jul 2015 , 10:02pm
post #2 of 18

Hi there. Are you planning on using this icing for the baby buggy cupcake cake? Because if you are, I wouldn't recommend it.

Even stabilized, whipped cream isn't terribly stable especially for piping something like that. And it doesn't keep well. Cream cheese is difficult to pipe with, you have to be quick. A combination in my opinion isn't going to be great.

Buttercream on top of whipping cream is going to weigh it down and mess up the whipping cream. It will basically break it down if you are piping the ruffle with it.

Also, the fillings you discuss on another thread would require refrigeration as would most cream cheese icings and definitely all stabilized whipping cream recipes must be refrigerated up until serving time.

You really need to use stable icings and fillings and if I were you, I would do a trial run. Believe me this is a big undertaking and if you don't have experience, you would be better off keeping it as simple as possible, while using tried and true stable recipes that you can work easily with at room temperature.

It sounds like you really want to make this special. But sometimes it is better to go simple.

Adding gelatine or clear piping gel to whipped cream only delays it from separating as quickly. But it doesn't really make it super stable.

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sparkledee3 Posted 10 Jul 2015 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 18

Thank you SquirrellyCakes. Yes it is for the baby buggy cake. What fillings would you recommend? I am putting it together at the mothers house an hour before and it will be out for another couple of hours.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 11 Jul 2015 , 12:21am
post #4 of 18

Definitely not the frostings of whipping cream or cream cheese because of stability and piping issues and the fact they have to be refrigerated up until serving and back in the fridge afterwards. 

Some lemon curd recipes are stable and can handle two or three hours at room temperatures.  There are several you can try. I have used some from the Martha Stewart site.

You can buy shelf stable commercial sleeves of fillings that are stable at room temperatures.

Most chocolate ganache recipes are stable at room temperatures.

You can add cooked jams like strawberry jam to buttercream for a stable filling.

If nut allergies aren't an issue you can use Nutella as a filling.

I am sure others can recommend additional fillings too.

You need to keep in mind the room temperature.

When you say you are putting it together an hour before, that worries me. Because even if you have all of the cupcakes already decorated and filled, you still have to attach each one to your board. Then you have to decorate the spokes and do the ruffle etc. I think even a very experienced decorator would take more than an hour to do this. I would give myself at least two hours if I were you. I would also keep it simple and only do one or two simple fillings. And please stay away from the unstable frostings. I know they will give you problems. I have used cream cheese frosting for years and I use it every Easter for bunny and egg shaped carrot cakes. The heat of your hands as you pipe makes the already soft icing runny after a few minutes. So you have to keep refrigerating it so you can pipe and your hands get greasy and it just makes it difficult. Stabilized whipped cream is ok when you are doing one cake. But for what you want to do, I really think you will regret it.

I don't want to discourage you because I can tell just how special and important this is to you. But I think we would all like to see this go smoothly for you and a 60-65 cupcake buggy cake isn't your average beginner project.

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johnson6ofus Posted 11 Jul 2015 , 5:12am
post #5 of 18

^^^^ squirrelly cakes has you covered on EVERYTHING. Listen to her. Your display WILL be awesome, and the hazards she points out are oh so true. 

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sparkledee3 Posted 11 Jul 2015 , 6:42am
post #6 of 18

Thank you SquirrellyCakes!!! You did cover everything! I appreciate all your advice and will definitely keep it simple now with a buttercream recipe from this site. I'm trying 2 different ones tomorrow. Do you have any you use from here? I am going online tonight to order some sleeve fillings. I will make the lemon myself as I have a recipe I love and want to use. I'm using a WASC recipe for the cupcakes and converting the recipe to lemon for lemon filled cupcakes. The vanilla flavored ones will have whatever other filling I choose from the sleeves. I hope they're not too sweet though as I think the WASC cake is pretty sweet by itself and the buttercream is probably sweeter than she would like. I hope to find a light (less sweet) version.

I am using a MM Fondant recipe I found on another site. I've practiced cutting out the little flowers and adding a pearl in the middle and they are adorable! Making the flower directly on top of the buttercream of each cupcake was too nerve wracking as I have enough to do at the last minute! LOL 

I do agree, now that I think about it, that I definitely need more time to put it together so I will get there at least 2 hours before. I have no idea how many people will be there running around the house doing other things.  

I made a "blue cloud" with white sparkly block letters  on top instead of the tiny writing on the board. I didn't care for that so I hope my idea looks nice.

I finally figured out tonight how to get the exact color blue I've been trying to create!

Thanks again for all your help and advice. Feel free to add anything else you might think of. :)  Oh and by the way - I signed up for the Wilton Course One decorating class today. A bit late when I start for this project, but I had fun along the way with all of this (and some stress for sure!) so I thought I'd give it a try.


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SquirrellyCakes Posted 11 Jul 2015 , 6:05pm
post #7 of 18

johnson6ofus - just wanted to say thank you for your support. It means a lot.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 11 Jul 2015 , 7:15pm
post #8 of 18

Like your idea with the blue cloud and glad you figured out how to get your blue. Just remember that the icing recipe you choose may affect the colour of blue you end up with as they all colour a bit differently according to ingredients.

Good for you taking the courses. You will be glad you did.

I understand you are trying to get away from "too sweet". I have yet to meet cake and icing that fits that category, haha, but I know a lot of people feel as you do.

I think the least sweet icings are  Italian Meringue Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream but they are still more sweet than whipped cream but far more stable. However they are trickier to make and unless you have lots of time to practice making and using them- you would be better off with something else.

I know people really like that Indydeb one I think you tried. I plan to try it soon.

In the past I have made the Whimsical Bakehouse Buttercream Recipe

6 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla - they likely used clear, I use real

With whisk attachment, in bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer to the ingredients listed above add 1 cup boiling water (only 3/4 cup on a hot day) and whip on low until smooth and cool. Add and whip until smooth, 2  3/4 cups of high ratio shortening and 6 ounces ( 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter cut into 1 inch chunks - if using salted butter omit the additional salt in the recipe). Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy and doubled in volume - 10 - 20 minutes. This recipe almost fills a 5 quart bowl. It is easier to colour to pastel colours than dark colours.

I make my own recipe usually and lately with all butter. But it is best when where it is displayed and eaten is under about 85 degrees and I actually prefer to make it in a room set at about 70F and displayed and served at less than 75F. otherwise I go with half shortening, half butter and for outside in the summer - all shortening which I don't like as well.

Squirrelly Cakes Icing

1 cup salted butter ( or 1/2 cup salted butter and 1/2 cup high ratio shortening or icing shortening or Crisco shortening - for really hot weather use 1 cup of the shortening of your choice

 4 or 5 cups of powdered sugar sifted - I prefer pure cane sugar 

1  1/ 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract - you can use the clear artificial but I prefer the regular vanilla

2 tablespoons (plus) of unwhipped whipping cream


In the bottom of a bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, on low - beat butter until softened. Add vanilla and mix. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping bowl down often and mixing thoroughly. Add cream and mix. Add more cream as needed to make icing spreadable. Mix on medium until well mixed.

I sometimes make a very rich but less sweet chocolate icing recipe from Martha Stewart. You would likely have to thin it out to pipe with it. But you could use it as a filling. Likely it should be refrigerated but can sit out at room temperature for 4 hours.

Martha Stewart's Chocolate  Icing

1 pound milk chocolate, finely chopped

4 sticks of unsalted butter (1 pound or 2 cups), softened

1 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt( you can use either regular or coarse salt according to preference)

1 cup of regular fat sour cream ( not fat reduced)

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of hot water. Cool slightly. Beat together butter, salt and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy - about 5 minutes.  Gradually beat in butter, then sour cream. Beat until well incorporated and spreadable. If it is too runny to pipe, refrigerate. You can make it and store in refrigerator for up to three days ahead, bringing to room temperature and beating until smooth before using.

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johnson6ofus Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 12:18am
post #9 of 18

Quote by @SquirrellyCakes on 6 hours ago

johnson6ofus - just wanted to say thank you for your support. It means a lot.

Hey, when you are right, you are right. And the OP knows the lack of additional answers are not because no one cares, it's just that you covered it so well. Now where is that cute little thumbs up icon......?

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sparkledee3 Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 3:39am
post #10 of 18

Hi Squirrelly! I just made the Whimsical Bakehouse BC and I thought it was delicious. It came out so light and fluffy. Easy to pipe on top of the cupcakes using the large round tip, but it was too light for the ruffle. It was the texture of whipped cream and I think my DIL would love it! I made half a recipe and used the full amount of water for a half recipe instead of using the less amount to start. I'm wondering when you've made it was it stiffer than I described? If so do you think the water was the issue? I would love to only make one recipe to frost and pipe with.

The recipe said to whisk the ingredients so I used the whisk to my KA not the paddle. Could that have been an error on my part too. I noticed your recipe said to  use the paddle. I whipped mine for 10 minutes, tasted it, then another 5 and another 5 tasting in between and I could see no difference in taste or texture so maybe for half a recipe it only takes 10 minutes.

I'm going to make your recipe next. Can you be a little more specific as to which settings to use on the KA. Is slow the stir setting or 2 the slow. I use 4 as medium but am wondering if I should use 6??? Also, do I mix it as long as the first one (10 min)and at what point?  I'm going to use half shortening and half butter. Do I add them both at the same time and the butter I'm assuming should always be room temp. Thanks again!

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sparkledee3 Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 3:47am
post #11 of 18

And one more thing tonight, I promise! LOL  BC frostings with butter, how far in advance can I them and do I store them in the fridge until ready to frost and pipe? I If so, do I rewhip at all when it comes out of the fridge?

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 5:27pm
post #12 of 18

For the Whimsical Bakehouse Buttercream, the lower amount of water might work better for piping the ruffle. I haven't used it for a ruffle but I think it should still work because people pipe roses and everything else with it.  It is fluffy and a bit different to work with but it should be made using the whisk attachment although you could try it with the paddle. The reason you use the whisk and beat so long is to get that fluffy whipped cream texture.

For my icing and for most, you use the paddle. The reason I didn't put a speed number is that there are different brands of stand mixers used, different sizes and different strengths of motors even within the same brand. I have a 16 year old 4.5 quart tilt head Kitchen Aid.  Low is about 1-3, medium about 4-6 and high about 8-10. I also have a 13 year old 6 quart K.A. and low is "Stir up to about 2, medium about 4-6 and high about 8-10.

No, you don't mix my recipe for a long time like the Whimsical one. You only mix it until all the sugar is incorporated and it feels spreadable. Not an exact art, I know but you usually use icing that is thicker for piping and decorating and thinner (meaning with more liquid added) for icing your cake. So basically the 2 tablespoons and up to another tablespoon or more for decorating and then more to make it spreadable for icing a cake.

I actually never use room temperature butter. I use it cold from the fridge, cut it up and beat on low by itself using the paddle, scraping down the bowl often, until softened. The heat of the motor and the motion, soften it without making it greasy but I always do this with the butter separate from the other ingredients. Once softened, I combine with the shortening. And actually much of the time because I have extra bowls for both stand mixers, I beat the shortening to soften and then combine it with the softened butter.

You can make either icing a week in advance - just check that the best before date on the cream and any other ingredient that has a best before date, falls a week or more after the date the cake will be eaten. Yes, you refrigerate them. I  usually let it sit at a room temperature of 70F for an hour before beating again for a short time but you could beat it cold and use it while it is cool too, if you like.

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sparkledee3 Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 4:50pm
post #13 of 18

Thanks once again for the detailed info!

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sparkledee3 Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 5:26pm
post #14 of 18

@SquirrellyCakes - Is the Whimsical Bakehouse Buttercream Recipe a crusting and does it hold up to piping? Just found the recipe here and printed it off. Also saved it so I can get back easily to all my info from you!!! Starting to feel the time crunch and the only piece that hasn't fallen into place is which icing to use! Got to make this again and see what happens this time around.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 7:40pm
post #15 of 18

I answered you on another thread but I think you have posts on three or four other threads and likely cannot find it.

It isn't crusting but you don't need your icing to be crusting. The only reason people need a crusting buttercream is when they are using the Viva paper towel method to smooth and flatten the icing on their cake.  They need it to crust so that the paper towel won't stick to the icing. You are piping on cupcakes so you don't need it to crust so that it won't stick to a paper towel when you smooth it.

And yes you can pipe anything you like with it. I haven't used it for a ruffle but other people have. If you are having trouble with the ruffle it may be inexperience with that tip. You could use a different tip and instead of a ruffle pipe a row of stars or something close together that would be more simple.

Not sure if you saw my post on one of the other threads where you were talking about using lemon juice to make lemon cupcakes and I told you just adding lemon juice to the batter wouldn't produce those results. I made suggestions on how to do it.

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sparkledee3 Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:00pm
post #16 of 18

Hi Squirrelly, I did find all my posts - I asked questions about baking cupcakes under baking, and decorating questions under decorating, but I did find all your replies and am in the process of looking them all over again. I did use lemon extract and zest to the cupcake batter and it was delicious! I'm addicted to lemon! I'm off to try to do the Whimsical Bakehouse Buttercream Recipe again and see if I use less water that I will be able to pipe. I've got the ruffle down to where I really like it (but using the buttercream). All else is falling into place. I'd just love to be able to use the Whimsical recipe and have it hold up for a few hours. :)    

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:56pm
post #17 of 18

Well, you could always make a small batch of another icing recipe just for the ruffle but I think the Whimsical should work.

I wasn't being critical of where you were posting. I just figured it was hard to find things. I think next time it would be easier to post under a heading like, "Baby Buggy Cupcakes -Cake Recipes Please" under Baking and then something like, "Baby Buggy Cupcakes - Icing Recipes and Decorating Tips" under decirating. That way you would have to track only two threads and it would be easier for you to find things. In the past I have seen people make separate threads for every question they have regarding the same thing and it gets confusing.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 18 Jul 2015 , 2:53pm
post #18 of 18

sparkledee3, I was thinking of you today and the discussion about using cream cheese icing. Since I had made a carrot cake for home use and always ice it with cream cheese icing, I decided it might be useful to show you a bit of piping with cream cheese icing.

The rosettes use quite a bit of icing so my regular icing recipe would need to be made times 1.5 and so I didn't have enough cream cheese to do that.  This is why the cake isn't completely covered.  I did it in about 5 minutes so I wasn't aiming for perfection, just to give you an idea of what can be done. 

This icing is hard to work with unless your room is cool. Since it wasn't tested for storage safety at room temperature, I cannot recommend doing so. For my own home use do store the iced cake at room temperature and always have.

I am not recommending it for your baby buggy cake but for another time you might like to try it.

I used a regular size icing bag as I find if I use the large ones, the icing gets too warm and sloppy - from the heat of my hands. Also, I don't use a coupler, just the Wilton tip # 1M.55aa687a003a8.jpeg

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