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Discussion Forum

Topic: Troubleshooting: buttercream has air pockets
cakenewb 07/21/2010 7:58 PM
Hi all,

I am new to cake decorating and am making so many mistakes! I've made the Wilton recipe stiff consistency buttercream icing and added lemon emulsion for flavor. I'm making ribbon roses from the Basic course for a birthday cake. But, my icing has air pockets in it and does not flow smoothly. Also, the tops of the roses crack and come out jagged. I've added extra crisco to make it creamier and smoother, it has helped somewhat, but still isn't very smooth. Any ideas?

cakedujour 07/21/2010 8:42 PM
Airholes: Use the paddle beater, not the whisk. The whisk beats in too much air. Also try to cover the paddle with icing to prevent air from being incorporated. Lastly, if all else fails, use a shortening with transfats. Zero transfats leaves holes in my buttercream.

Rose edges: Oftentimes the narrow end of the rose tip is too narrow. Use a sharp knife to open it a little. The icing will flow through better and the jagged edges will be gone.

Keep working at it; it really does get easier!
cakenewb 07/21/2010 9:44 PM
Thanks for your help, cakedujour! After looking for accessories for my mixer, I found that it does not have an option for a paddle beater. I don't want to replace it just yet. Any suggestions? Would half-way wisking it, then stirring by hand prevent air holes?
mmumsie 07/21/2010 9:47 PM
A whisk is definitely the wrong attachment for making bc. Lemon emulsion is for baking and not icing too.

Roses, check the following:
* Icing might be too dry! Add shortening or water.
* Petal tip may have metal burrs inside. Simply use a metal nail file to remove.
* Could be turning the flower nail too slow.
* Not enough pressure on the decorating bag.