Hot Time, Summer in the City – Cake Decorating at its Most Challenging

June 14th, 2010 by Gretchen Homan

I’ll never forget that morning last August walking into the Bake, Decorate, Celebrate! taping studio.  Before leaving the night before, my assistants Joann and Linda, and I had decorated the many projects needed for the next day’s tapings – all in various stages of being decorated with fondant, buttercream or both – and set them on racks in the studio. What I found the next day was floppy fondant flowers drooping off cake top borders, icing colors bleeding from soft royal icing decorations and buttercream bubbling off the sides of cakes.

Overnight, with the studio and camera lights turned off the air conditioning hadn’t cycled on and off as it had during the day. The result was a warm, humid room, not much unlike that at a July or August wedding. Summer weather spells anxious times for professional and amateur cake decorators alike, and as we found out, our on-set cakes weren’t immune!

High Humidity IcingWhen decorating a cake for summer enjoyment, first choose your ingredients carefully. If the cake will be served in a warm environment, choose fillings and icings that will not quickly spoil. Fruit or buttercream based fillings are a wiser choice than creams or custards. Buttercream and fondant icings hold up better than whipped cream, which needs to stay refrigerated until it’s ready to be served.

Decorators in the know have long added some type of starch to buttercream icing to help keep it stabile in warm weather conditions. The Wilton Test Kitchen has developed two high-humidity versions of our favorite Buttercream icing. The first High Humidity Buttercream Icing Recipe 1 adds cornstarch, an ingredient most bakers, cooks and decorators already have in their pantry. The second version High Humidity Buttercream Icing Recipe 2 beats a whipped topping mix powder/liquid milk mixture into the icing. In addition to stabilizing the icing, the topping mix contributes a fuller vanilla flavor to the icing.

But even when using stabilized icings, it’s important that the decorated cake remain as cool as possible for as long as possible before being placed on display. At best, keep the cake in a well air conditioned room. And always keep the cake out of direct sunshine. Finally, if the event where your cake is being served is an outdoor party, try to keep the cake indoors until shortly before serving. Enjoy your summer and your decorated treats too!

Gretchen Homan Gretchen Homan, Test Kitchen Director at Wilton, has been with the company almost 7 years. She is a home economist who has worked in test kitchens and for PR firms representing food clients since graduating from college, but her baking roots run much deeper. Her earliest recollections are regular Schneckenudel (cinnamon bun), cookie and kuchen baking sessions with her Oma (grandmother) who lived with the family while she was growing up. Now that her two youngest sons are off to college, the fruits of her baking sessions need to be mail-able!

76 Replies

  1. Carmelo says:

    You know what would be really good and possibly a great product to sell?

    Whipped Cream Flavor Extract!

    I use the icing recipe that is in the course I book from the older curriculum and just use the clear vanilla extract. The icing comes out great and all my friends love it (and love me because I’m not only incredibly handsome, but I feed them cake).

    A few weeks ago, I created a strawberry short… cake. I created a sort of stiff whipped cream to go with the strawberries and kept it real cold. They said it was the best cake EVER! (the pictures are on the bottom of this blog post http://www.carmeloricarde.com/a-day-at-camilles/)

    I would like to duplicate the taste without having to use whipped cream. I live in AZ so its very hot out here and as you know, whipped cream don’t stand a chance out here! Icing is pretty durable, so I think a whipped cream flavor makes sense.

    • Laura says:

      Have you thought about trying flavored vodka? There’s a bazillion different flavors, and WHIPPED is one of them. Vanilla extract = vanilla beans steeped in alcohol. Usually that alcohol is vodka, because it has no real flavor on its own. Now that the cool thing to drink is a flavored cocktail, there are tons of flavor options available.

  2. Carmelo says:

    the link in the above post shouldn’t have the last end parenthesis. http://www.carmeloricarde.com/a-day-at-camilles/

    • Alisha says:

      Any chance you could give me your recipe? That looks absolutely DELICIOUS!!!

    • Tammy says:

      Could you please send me your recipe—I made a cake for the weekend and the frosting melted with the heat. Thanks much and nice looking cake.
      Tammy

      • Carmelo says:

        Sorry, I’m just getting back to you now. To make the cake that I have on my website http://www.carmeloricarde.com/a-day-at-camilles/ . I did the following.

        1 box of Vanilla Cake mix (pillsbury)
        1 box of French Vanilla pudding (generic)
        create cake mix according to directions but substitute the water for milk
        Bake at 325 instead of 350. Bake for 1/2 hour then turn oven off but leave in oven for additional half hour. then put in fridge
        get a bunch of strawberries and cut them up, take the green stems off of them

        to make the whipping cream, I bought a generic brand of heavy whipping cream, about 2 cups, threw it in the mixer with 1 cup of confectioners sugar. A little bit of the Wilton clear vanilla extract. about a Tbsp.

        the pink on the cake is strawberry frosting. i bought it, but hardly used it.

        after an hour of cooling, i torted the cake, damned it with the strawberry frosting, then filled it in with the whipping cream and strawberries.

        the bit of chocolate on top is semi sweet chocolate that I used a vegetable peeler on.

        the decoration is simple techniques I learned in the Wilton Course 1. Shell border.

        Hope it comes out good for you guys.

  3. Lesa says:

    I tried last weekend the High Humidity recipe that uses the cornstarch. My husband had bought me a window unit for a/c in addition to the central air we already have for our house. I made the icing exactly as written using 1/2 shortening and 1/2 real butter. It was extremely greasy. Very slow to crust. I kept the cake in front of the air and out of direct sunlight. I was glad it was for my granddaughter as the borders and all started drooping and sliding away. Fondant accents were pulling away too. I did take items with me to repair upon delivery. I noticed in the bowl that butter had literally separated and a yellowish oily goo was in the frosting bowl. I think the classroom icing would have been better or maybe even all shortening. I even reduced the liquid. When the icing did crust, it also felt gritty. To me the high humidity recipe with the ingredients I stated here is not meant for high humidity at all. I would not recommend it.

    • Colleen says:

      and by butter you really do mean butter right? not margarine because margarine will separate. I teach cake classes and I always tell my students it must say B-U-T-T-E-R on the package and not “I can’t believe its not butter” or have a lady in a blue bonnet on it. LOL

      • Lesa says:

        Yep, butter, that is why I stated above “real” butter. Not enough fat can not only ruin icing but cakes & cookies too. I also wrote to Wilton’s about it as I thought they needed to retest it. It absolutely did not work for me and I followed it to a Tee outside of adding less milk when I found it so greasy.

        • Gretchen says:

          Hi, Lesa!
          Sorry you had problems with the cornstarch recipe. Yours is the 2nd notification of a problem in 2 weeks, so we are re-trying this recipe (which was developed about 4 years ago – before the new trans-fat free shortening). Will let you know what we see here in the test kitchen!

    • Gretchen says:

      Hi, Lesa,
      I had 2 separate people try the High Humidity Icing recipe you tried, using butter and Crisco brand vegetable shortening (trans fat free). Both times the icing was a stiff consistency buttercream icing. Since it was in the upper 80s with a lot of humidity, we thinned the 2nd batch of icing down with corn syrup, spread it on a cake layer, and place the layer (in a cardboard box) out on the back lawn here at Wilton for several hours. The icing stayed perfectly on the cake, though there was a slight grease sheen over the surface. Not exactly sure what was happening when you made your icing. Sorry!

      Gretchen

      • Lesa says:

        When I used it, it was in the upper 90’s with a heat index of 105, but I made it indoors. Maybe it should be made on a day like that. It was unavoidable to make as it was my grand daughter’s birthday. I had my cake in an air conditioned home with central air and sitting in front of an additional window unit. The border began sliding away a few hours later before I drove it an hour drive away. I turned up the a/c in car for 30 minutes too before transporting from house to car. Went prepared with more icing for touch ups. The icing in the tightly sealed bowl had also started to separate. I mixed it again and cake was kept indoors but left a greasy, oily residue around outer edges.

        • Laura says:

          I’ve had a similar problem once before. I think it was the brand of butter I used because it hasn’t ever happened before or since. I use hi ratio shortening as well when I use shortening. Lately I’ve been making Swiss meringue buttercream and need no shortening at all.

  4. Colleen says:

    Thanks for sharing that Lesa- I will try the other recipe this week and post my results. I always use High Ration Shortening that you can buy at cake and candy supply stores.

    • Lesa says:

      I think I am going to try that too. I did however find a store brand at a local IGA that does have trans fat. Hoping that works better too.

    • Ruby Swails says:

      I uses to buy the hi-ratio shortening at the Honey Bee shop in Tampa Fl but they want out of bussness and I can,t fine it any where else would any one know where I could get it? Please let me know.Ruby I am in Riverview and Brandon I can,t fine a cake store close to us, within 25 miles

      • Laura says:

        When all else fails and you can’t find anything but zero trans fat shortening, how about some old fashioned lard??? I know it’s horrible for you, but it makes some really amazing buttercream icing. Forget the vegetarians-let them eat cake. Or not.

  5. Jenni says:

    What about the meringue powder? I add that to my non-Wilton recipe during high humidity, and it makes all the difference!

    • Gretchen says:

      Hi, Jenni!
      Meringue Powder will sometimes work, too, so thanks for the reminder! But it does not always – just as the other recipes won’t always work in all climate/weather situations! If only this were simpler!

    • Jess says:

      I live in Florida (can’t get any more humid) and I have always used meringue powder in my butter cream recipe. I never use milk, or butter. Just the sugar, shortening, meringue powder, flavor, and water. I haven’t had much trouble with my icing melting much. And it taste great. If I think it is to soft I add a little bit more sugar to it to make it a bit more stiff. I got the recipe right out of the wilton decorating book.

      • Lesa says:

        Oooo Jess I want that recipe, please!

        • Lesa says:

          My problem was more grease than anything else. It was slippery. Used 100% real butter & 0 trans fat shortening as that is all I could find. Going to order some high ratio too but did find a store brand with trans fat too so I hope that also helps.

          • Carmelo says:

            you really should stay away from the 0% trans fat shortening for making fattening icing. Not sure why, I’ve just been told that by my Wilton instructor

          • Gretchen says:

            Hi Lesa,
            Unfortunately many of the store brands of vegetable shortening are also trans fat free. Also, you need to check the ingredients because most manufacturers are no longer flagging the package on the front saying they are trans fat free.

            Still working on our icing test. Will keep you posted!

            Gretchen

      • susan says:

        Jess. I am having a time with the humidity here in south louisiana…Been decorating cakes since 1974! Never had so much trouble with the icing! Use the same recipe as always! Please send me your recipe if you can, I am desperate! Thank You! Susan P.

  6. Rita says:

    I have a similar problem. My son will be getting married in July in MN and I am doing the cake. I live about 10 hours away and want to do the cake in fondant. Is it possible to decorate the cake ahead of time and freeze it and transport frozen. I know the recipe for fondant says not to freeze but does this apply after the cake is decorated?

    • Lesa says:

      I have read everywhere Rita where that causes problem with even the fondant sweating and not staying on or even cracking. Could you not give it a good crumb coat before you leave, box it up, then leave early enough to allow time to finish it with the fondant if it is not too big or too detailed? You could always get the fondant made in advance and take it with you as well as the accents too and take extra accents and fondant with you as well as add’l buttercream.

      • Lesa says:

        And also Rita, that far away I am sure you may even be stopping for rest breaks and such and will have to deal with varying temperatures.

        • Lesa says:

          I might even be tempted to go ahead and apply fondant and wrap loosely and keep out of the trunk and away from direct sunlight. Cover the windows if need be and use boxes. Get the a/c going before loading it up. Just keep potty breaks brief! LOL!!!

    • Gretchen says:

      Hi Rita!
      You should not freeze fondant – whether off or on the cake. With an event 10 hours away, your best bet would be to decorate the cake when you arrive. You can crumb coat your layers, and tint all the fondant in advance and take it with you. Make sure you take shortening to knead into the fondant if it has dried out and extra confectioners’ sugar or cornstarch in case it seems too soft.

    • Dawn Knowles says:

      I did a wedding course in Lancaster ,PEnnsylvania with Julie BAshore and she freezes her wedding cakes and transports them frozen to the reception – – I was laways told not to freeze fondant but it can be frozen.
      You can find Julie Bashore at sugarartschool.com .
      Hope this was of some help.

      • Gail Hengen says:

        well I Have frozen cake with fondant on it- wilton fondant- and trust me it doesn’t work. once out of the freezer it just began to slough and “melt” off the cake.

  7. JulietsButterfly says:

    When I took the Wilton decorating classes, the class recipe was the same as the high humidity but straight up vegetable shortening instead of a 50/50 butter/shortening mix. She said you can use half butter, half shortening in the cooler months, but that anything with butter in it will just melt in the heat. Our high humidity and heat starts in March. My daughter’s party was at the end of March and outside. It wasn’t sweltering 90 degree heat like it’s been this week, but it was hot enough. The cake held up fine with all shortening icing. I also added meringue powder.

  8. Alisha says:

    Hmmm, so you’re going to make a cake for whatever reason. You’re going to use an ingredient that is KNOWN for causing serious health problems, and not even think twice about it just because of the temperature outside? I would so not buy any type of cake from any of you that would do such a thing. That’s just wrong. The things people will do for show and to make a buck. You should be ashamed of yourselves! I cook for my family on a daily basis. There is no way I would give my family, or a perfect stranger, something that could affect their health.

    • D says:

      Give my a break lady its icing and they aren’t eating it everyday or by the spoonful it’s for a special occasion

      • Dallas Keffer says:

        Good grief Alisha! Cakes do not make the most healthy choice of foods anyway, which is why it is not good to eat cake with every meal. I boost the nutritional value of my cakes, and frostings, by adding oat flour but it remains a less healthy food item. These people are certainly not out to devastate humanity with lethal poisons. Common sense moderation should be more than adequate to protect these hapless victims. Lighten up!

        • Jen says:

          Alisha,
          I can assure you that no one in this forum would be interested in selling you a cake. Go share your limited insights with some granola heads. PS. Don’t ever eat any cake ever again (unless you made it), because you just never know. It COULD be the cake that kills you.

          On another note, I am going to try using the recipe that is sans butter. I have a wedding cake to do this Saturday and the reception is in an non-airconditioned room. I am so anxious about it. I’ll keep reading to see what sort of experiences I can learn from :)

    • Winona says:

      I agree Alisha. There are so many people who have health issues and avoid the sweets tables at special events because of concerns. I would never put them at risk with garbage ingredients for any reason. I always go with organic butter and keep my cakes cooled. No reason to add toxins to our bodies just because we want a treat now and then.

  9. Amy says:

    I usually use the recipe in the old Wilton 1 class book that uses meringue powder. In cold months I substitute butter for half of the shortening and use slightly less water. In warmer months I use the class recipe as written. I love the flavor and mouthfeel that the butter adds to that recipe. I would like to be able to use butter in my buttercream all year round.

    I have a graduation cake to make this weekend and am thinking of trying the High Humidity Icing Recipe 2 recipe instead of the all-shortening class recipe. I’m going to make a quadruple batch of icing (4 lb p. sugar). Does anybody know how many teaspoons are in a packet of Dream Whip? I have two packets of Dream Whip. Will that be enough?

    • Carla says:

      First let me address Alisha. These are CELEBRATION Cakes, they are a dessert for a special occasion. We do not expect our family or friends to sit up and eat these cakes all day everyday. There are lots of really bad foods that have been known to cause health problems and anything you eat should be eaten in moderation. As far as this particular icing goes, everyone has there own tastes and some people, lots of people like, no love this icing recipe.
      Now re: the new high humidity recipe, I recently started using the cake and icing shortening and have switched for ever. I will try the Dream Whip addition but I will always use meringue powder. In the summer, I use an additional tablespoon per recipe.

  10. Olivia Mageau says:

    So long ago that I can’t remember when or where, I was given a tip for controlling buttercream in high humidity that has worked for me. Melt and gradually add paramount crystals to replace 1/4 of the total fat in the buttercream recipe. Beat in melted and cooled but not solidified, while mixing the frosting. They are composed of partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil with lecithin and citric acid (for preservation).

    According to several internet sites, they are used in candy making to thin chocolate, with melting to remove a chocolate “bloom” and to make candy coating flow like real chocolate in a chocolate fountain.

    Several sources came up when I googled “paramount crystals”.

  11. rossy de la peña says:

    I’M REALLY HAPPY AND GREATFULLUY WILTON CO TO GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE IDEAS AND DIFFERENTS PROBLEMS THAT HAPPEN IN DIFFERENT TIMES, IM FROM MEXICO I ALWAYS BE KEEPING TO THE NEWS AND ALL THE WILTON OFFER. AND THANKS ALL THE PEOPLE THAH WROTE BECAUSE I CAN LEARN ABOUT, I WILL BE READING ALL OF YOU.

  12. Denise says:

    I just did my first 4 tiered wedding cake with Buttercream icing in mid June in Nebraska…so you can imagine the heat and humidity. It was 96 degrees that day. I used a recipe very similar to Wilton’s dream whip one. Mine did call for dream whip, half butter and half crisco which I used and milk. I was paranoid so I also added meringue powder to stabilize it. I didn’t have ANY issues with melting at all. It stayed put beautifully (of course I had the van cooled down to arctic temps before loading the cake)! I bought crisco and didn’t even pay attention to whether it said Trans fat free or not…

  13. Mommacakes says:

    Quick question for you or anyone else that cane help…I’m doing my first wedding cake this summer in KS & high humidity…any suggestions/recipes/links for a yummy filling to go with chocolate cake that withstand the heat? I usually use a cream filling with oreos, but it gets so soft that I dare not use it if the cake is going to sit out for awhile. BTW, the cake will be covered with marshmallow fondant…if that makes any difference. Thanks!

    • Jackie says:

      Have you thought maybe a peanut butter filling? I adore chocolate and peanut butter together(reese cup) …or mint (think peppermint patty) or a salted caramel. I think everything goes with chocolate though. LOL.

  14. I appreciate wilton cake decoration a lots l learn from wilton father day cake l made simarly. please what i need most now is that send me a Fondant recipe am from Nigeria.Thanks I have one graduation cake that i want to do in my school please can you help me out .

  15. Elsie says:

    This recipe works for me……….
    2 lb. bag powdered sugar, 1 cup Crisco shortening, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup water (remove 1 tablespoon of the water before adding, use only if needed to spread, you can thin it with more water, if needed, to put in decorating bag). Mix all ingredients well. This is a bit stiff, but works great for those hot days. This is enough frostening to do a 9″x13″ cake. Tips: 1. Try to let your frosted/decorated cake dry overnight in airconditioned room, 68* or colder, before transporting.
    2. Make sure your cake frostening is dry before adding trim and decorations.

  16. belgica pelliere says:

    por favor si alguien habla español,como elsie me interesa lo que publico pero no entindo todas las palabras.
    De igual manera Carmelo la receta que publico si me la puede traducir.

  17. California has a ban on trans fats and it is wreaking havoc with our buttercreams. Sweetex Z and Crisco are the 2 suggestions, but what happens with warmer weather? So far those are not easy to adapt to. Any suggestions?

  18. Gretchen says:

    Julie,
    Sweetex and the new Crisco should be your “go to” in warm weather – and using all shortening, not a mixture of shortening/butter. Using these with one of the High-Humidity icing recipes should help, too!

  19. Donna says:

    Hello. I am new to this site and am thankful for all the tips on different icings and their use in high humidity. I have always used the classroom icing that calls for all shortening and meringue powder. Is there a reason that the recipe on the Wilton website does not include the meringue powder? Is it a necessary ingredient? Also I use a mixture of clear vanilla and butter flavoring to give my icing a yummy buttery taste, but would like to know what others think is the best recipe for an everyday icing.
    Thanks

  20. Jen says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    Would the Wilton Snow White Buttercream Icing be alright for warm climates?
    I know it’s slightly different than the high humidity recipes, but it calls for shortening, meringue powder and NO butter. Thoughts?

    It does call for 3 tbsp of corn syrup though. What if I used 1-2 tbsp of water instead? Would this yield a stiffer icing? Or could I not use the syrup altogether? I know this may make it harder to spread, which may cause the cake to tear while I’m applying it. But I am hoping to avoid this by applying the icing with the Cake Icer Tip and then smoothing it with a warm icing scraper.
    What do you recommend?

  21. kemi says:

    can u ladies help me out i followed d wilton fondant recipe.after decoratin fondant on my cake i was very beautiful but day break it was all sweaty am from nigeria and it hot here

  22. Jackie says:

    Hi ladies, I have been having trouble with my icings ever since they have removed all trans-fats from shortening. I have baked since I was old enough to stand on a chair and pour the ingredients into a bowl with my mom, so believe me when I say, the trans-fats are your issue as much as if not more then the heat and humidity. The heat and humidity just help the situation along. I am experimenting with this idea, and you may try it if you like as well. But, like I said it is an experiment and it has worked for me the one time I tried it. I added about 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon fat and reduced one of my other fats (shortening/butter) by that amount. It seemed to hold up fine, but as you know, the weather can sometimes trip you up…it has been my experience that there is quite a bit of difference between animal meat fats and vegetable fats. If you don’t believe me, bake a pie crust made with shortening, a pie crust with butter, and a pie crust made with “real” lard (not that stuff that Walmart calls lard but real animal fat rendered into lard). See which one bakes up flakier and golden brown. I also add meringue powder to my recipes as a stabilizer. Just use the 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter (reduced by 1-2 tablespoons and substitute with the bacon fat and no you can’t taste it) and add 1 tablespoon meringue powder and 1-2 teaspoons pure flavor extracts, and about 4 cups powdered sugar and just enough milk added one tablespoon at a time to reach the desired consistency. I’ll post my experiment findings on my blog, https://www.cakenewbies.blogspot.com as I get them.

    • Tammy says:

      I was curious as I was reading through the threads about using lard rather than shortening. Have you tried that? If so, what was your result. I did try using lard once in a cookie recipe that called for shortening and butter after I found out I am allergic to soybeans. (Crisco is made from soybean oil.) They wound up flakey and not the right consistency. Go figure. ;-) I have lard. I may try it next time I make a cake for my family to see what the results are.

  23. I have been working with Wilton products, as well as mnay others for over 25 years. I love the changes, that go through the years. Excellent products. Actually I am hoping to get the new huge tool case very soon. That would supply many things my other case doesn’t support. It’s perfect.. PS.. just wish the cost was less, but maybe I can catch it on sale soon..

    I am also writing a cookbook it has taken 5 years now in the making, perhaps I could share with everyone here.

    Thank you everyone from North Carolina

    Melanie

  24. Donna says:

    Hi, I’ve never commented on sites before, but I thought I would this time. I’m taking the Wilton cake decorating courses & I’m loving it. I absolutley HATE the Wilton frosting recipe that calls for shortening & meringue powder (sorry ladies & Wilton)! GREASY, GREASY, GREASY!!!! Plus even using the butter & vanilla flavor extracts don’t seem to help the flavor either. I am going to try the high humidity recipe tho, (I live in Arkansas) & because it does call for butter, hopefully it will taste better. Will using all butter & just omitting the shortening in the high humdity recipe be ok or am I just asking for trouble? It will be covered in fondant at my next class (it’s my homework)! Thank you for letting me sound off & for any suggestions that come my way!

    • Donna says:

      Well, I guess I will reply to my own comment. I did make the high humidity frosting just as it was stated on Wilton’s website. It calls for 2 tablespoons of milk, but you will need more than that to make it spreadable. I ended up using 8 tablespoons (one at a time) all together to get it to the consistency I needed for spreading on the cake. It does taste much better than the Wilton recipe that calls for shortening only. Less greasy as well. It does hold up to the hot & humid weather for sure!! I did not omit the shortening since this was a “homework” cake for my course, but I may try using straight butter in this recipe the next time I make a cake & it’s not for homework. Oh, & this high humidity recipe does take a little bit longer to crust, so be patient!

      • ColleenF says:

        Donna, you might like the icing made with high ratio shortening better than with Crisco. It has a less greasy mouth feel. I like swiss meringue buttercream myself, but it is not always practical.

    • jane says:

      I agree!! shortening (any kind) frosting is not edible. I’m convinced that ppl who like it have never had a real, homemade, completely from scratch cake. I’m taking class also. I can make lots of types of desserts but my finishing/decorating skills suck. In class, i have been frosting cakes with REAL buttercream (how can a recipe that calls for no butter be called buttercream?! Come on, wilson) to frost the cakes and for borders. use the shortening frosting to make the decorations. You don’t have to eat those :) have fun in class!

  25. Ronel says:

    Oh my gosh I was at the point of canceling all cake orders for summer but then I tried adding just normal old Crisco, butter and cream cheese it tasted great and stayed put but I do think for my next order I am going to add the meringue powder as well. Thanks for all the advice.

    • Donna says:

      Ronel, did you use a whole package of cream cheese (8 oz.) or less for the recipe that you posted on 6/18/13 ? Did it work well with the high humidity recipe & did it crust well since it had cream cheese in it? Sounds like the cream cheese will give it a better taste! Thank you for any input you can give me!

      • Mary Kendall says:

        Yesterday I made the Wilon frosting, double batch, used shortening and butter and meringue powder also used one 8oz pkg cream cheese, it was 103 degrees outside, frosting came out runny, used it anyways put cake in freezer, delivered a big mess

  26. zoe says:

    This is a very interesting topic for me. I make cakecupcakes for dogs (used to for people and have switched now). Most of our parties are in the summer, I have no AC & its very hot & humid in S Ontario. I tend to make the icing from peanutbutter or low fat cream cheese. I try to keep the ingredients healthy for the dogs and simple so as not to cause upset tummies. I realise thjat a little bit of some things is ok once in a while but there are some things that some dogs just can’t have. There are a lot of foods dogs can’t or shouldn’t have. I try to stay away from cornstarch but will keep it in mind as a thickening agent. I used to add more icing sugar to my people cake icing, but can’t do that with dogs. I wll look into the meringue powder. Any other suggestions?

  27. terry says:

    I love the idea of using the meringue powder. It sounds easy. I wish I had this article yesterday. I am old school and I used a little melted paraffin wax and it still worked perfectly. Had no problems with the icing in the heat and humidity. I knew there was something else I could of used.

  28. ColleenF says:

    I honestly just think I will make any brides sign a waver re: outside receptions. If you leave the cake out for more than 5 minutes it will melt. Period. What kind of masochist has their wedding OUTSIDE in July in TEXAS? sorry for the shouting, but really, are they idiots?

    Cal Java does have a you tube video where they show how to make a delivery box using dry ice, kind of makes it a mini fridge, looks interesting. It is sometimes hard to get the car/van cooled off enough in the summer here, I think this is a great idea. http://youtu.be/ZUAt7TfI_H0

  29. KC says:

    Regarding the meringue powder, can you substitute powdered egg whites?

  30. Corinne says:

    Try adding a cup of melted and cooled white chocolate chips to your butter cream… I can do all butter this way and even in the heat stays well.

  31. angelica says:

    Anyone answer can I use the High Humidity Buttercream Icing Recipe 1 n instead of corn starch use meringue power ?

    • Donna says:

      Angelica, I wouldn’t recommend omitting the corn starch cause that’s what helps to keep it from melting off the cake, but I also added meringue powder to the recipe as well & the frosting really held up well. It does take it a little bit longer to crust, but be patient it will. I live in Arkansas & I can assure you it is hot, steamy & sticky here in the summer & my cake turned out nice & the frosting performed & tasted good.

  32. Nellie Van Huet Brissette says:

    Miss the show bake decorate celebrate will it come back on the tv ? Also how many seasons of the show were put out on dvd and where can we buy them. MANY THANKS will be waiting for your answer in my email box THANKS

  33. Gretchen says:

    Thank you for your kind words about Bake Decorate Celebrate! Unfortunately, no new shows are being taped, but many Public Television Stations across the country are carrying our reruns. The show also gets picked up from time to time by the Create Network, which airs blocks of craft and cooking shows on local public television stations – often on Saturday afternoons!

    The DVDs are no longer being sold – we’re sorry!

  34. i need help. need to get diffrent frosting for cupcakes but that can hold in realy hot weather

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