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Discussion Forum

Topic: question about buttercream
cakes143 03/02/2010 3:08 AM
Hello! Everytime, I decorate a cake using buttercream, the buttercream ends up really hard on the cake by the time it is ready to be served. I have tried the Wilton recipe and others, and they are all doing the same thing. Am I doing something wrong? I follow the directions just as the recipe says. What can be done to prevent hardening? I have gotten cakes from bakeries before, and their buttercream is so nice and soft. After a while of sitting, mine starts to crack on the cake, very embarrasing! :( Is there anyone out there that can help me? Would it be better to use the already made frosting that comes in the tub that Wilton sells? Would it still decorate the same? What other options are out there that I could try? I love baking and decorating cakes for my family, and I don't want to give up! Thanks!
cakes143 03/02/2010 3:09 AM
Also, when frosting a cake, is it easier if the cake is frozen? Or should it be room temp?
peg 03/02/2010 9:14 AM
up the fat in your recipe, it will make the frosting softer. Or try a different recipe. There are meringue based icings that don't crust over like that, and they aren't nearly as sweet as an American butter cream, they are more involved to make
rainrshine 03/09/2010 8:25 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "really hard" by the time you serve a cake with buttercream frosting. I am new to cake decorating so I'm certainly no expert but I do know if I allow my cake to sit in the open air for a period of time the buttercream will form a crust but is still soft inside. I usually don't leave it out however and after it has been decorated I cover it so my frosting seems to stay pretty soft.

As far as using pre-made frosting I would not really recommend it due to the flavor loss. I find pre-made icings to have a slight chemical taste and I would rather have aause frosting with a slight crust than a chemical flavor.

I am just wondering... are you by any chance using the royal frosting recipe? This definately would become really hard by the time it's served and may definately crack. I also read that if you decorate a cake while still frozen you may have this problem because the cake will "breathe" while defrosting. If you think about basic science, heat expands and cold contracts; If your cake is frozen when you frost it you stand a chance that when the frozen cake expands it will crack.

Advice? check to make sure your not using royal icing and ask someone who is in your area, like a wilton instructor, to see if the humidity or lack thereof in the area has an affect on the buttercream recipe and what can you do to compensate for this problem.
cakes143 03/10/2010 12:00 AM
Thank you for your advice! What I meant by "really hard" is that the frosting will harden to where it is crunchy. I have perfected my buttercream recipe and it seems to be ok. With everyone's help of course! lol Now, as for the frosting a cake when it's frozen I completely understand what you are saying, but I have heard that it is easier to smooth the frosting on when the cake is frozen. maybe I was told wrong. I was actually told by a baking instructor that I had in culinary school. At any rate, the last buttercream that I made turned out really well, thank you for the input from everyone!
cakedecor1 04/08/2010 2:35 PM
I think your problem is that you might be putting the cake in the fridge. You should not put the cake in the fridge. I hope this helped the people that their buttercream is hardening.
sassygrass~sweets 04/11/2010 9:53 PM
hey cakes:
Would you be willing to share your buttercream recipe with us all...or just me!! hehehe! you can email it to me if you would like:

Sassy Grass!
KBCakeDecorating 07/31/2010 8:57 AM
Would you send me your buttercream recipe? I am having the same drying out problem.