Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › I can't get my icing thick enough to make roses!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I can't get my icing thick enough to make roses!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I thought I knew how to make thick icing for roses, but lately, every time I've tried, they just droop over!! I can't get the rose base to stay put. And the one time I got the icing thick enough, the petals split on the edges.

I've been using the wilton buttercream recipe with half butter and half shortening, with flavorings that I love, but could the butter be messing it up? I hate the idea of all-shortening frosting, but it seems to hold up better.

Any magic tricks? I'm so frustrated!!
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
post #2 of 26
Try adding more sugar or use all shortening recipe for the flowers.
post #3 of 26
Hi: Why not try putting the base in the fridge for a little before completing the rose? That might help. You can also add a little more sugar to improve the consistency.

Let me know. icon_wink.gif
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good ideas! I'll try both of those - it's okay I guess to use all shortening just for the roses, and I'll add a little more sugar and put the bases in the fridge! I'm sure those will work.

Now that I think of it, I think I've heard that you can add some ingredient that will help make the petals more pliable - is it the wilton gel?
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
post #5 of 26
APCakes,
Yes some folks add piping gel, others add corn syrup. A lot of folks make a batch of the all shortening class recipe for their roses and leaves and use the half butter, half shortening recipe for everything else. Many people cannot make roses from the half shortening, half butter recipe.
Hugs Squirrelly
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh good! I thought I was turning into a failure! I swore I used to be able to do them, but that was with the class recipe. Any idea how much corn syrup/piping gel to use for a single batch of wilton class icing? Maybe it's in the course books. I'll go take a look.
Thanks for your help!

And if you have any other tricks on how to make great roses, please let me know! icon_smile.gif
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
post #7 of 26
I believe it is 1-3 tsp. of either.
Lots of folks use a Hershey's Kiss as the centre bud.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #8 of 26
Do you have your AC on? icon_smile.gif

It's been so hot and humid lately! With the humidity it can take considerably less water. Start with 1/2 the recipe amount and add from there...
Na Zdrowie! To Your Health!
Reply
Na Zdrowie! To Your Health!
Reply
post #9 of 26
Heehee, good point PolishMommy, the butter would start to melt at 83F, even lower with a high humidex reading. Shortening, at between 89 and 99F.
It has been so awfully hot and humid here, I forget that not everyone has air-conditioning and not everyone sets it at 70F because they can't stand the heat, haha!
But you are so right, the heat and humidity make, making icing a real challenge!
Hugs Squirrelly
post #10 of 26
The corn syrup/piping gel idea will THIN your icing, not thicken it.
If you stick to all shortening and add some butter flavoring, that will make them taste more like the 50/50 recipe. Also, if you are coloring your icing and don't mind the yellow tint, you might try the butter flavor shortening by Crisco.
Your problem is most likely the fact that you are using part butter. A rule of thumb: If you lay a stick of butter and a block of Crisco out on the kitchen counter for a while, the shortening will hold its shape and the stick of butter will soften/melt, even at room temp. Even the heat of your hand holding a decorator bag for a while will make it softer if you use butter. Chilling your base will only help while you pipe your petals. It will eventually flatten out as the base warms up again unless you keep the whole cake refrigerated right away.
If you are using any dairy in your frosting, you will need to keep it refrigerated anyway.
Another rule of thumb: Icing made with dairy products should only be left at room temp as long as you would normally leave that dairy product out by itself: ie if you use milk instead of water, how long would you leave a glass of milk out before you wouldn't drink it anymore; how long would you leave a stick of butter out before you wouldn't want to eat it anymore.
Hope this helps: I recommend using shortening and butter flavor, at least for the roses.
post #11 of 26
Cake Wizard,
The piping gel or corn syrup used in icing are to make it hold its shape better specifically for petals and roses. The piping gel or corn syrup make leaves that tend to have better pointier tips and tends to give the icing a more elastic quality. It wasn't being suggested to make the icing less thin, it was being suggested to make the petals of roses not have cracked edges and such. It is fairly common for folks to have problems specifically with roses and leaves when using the half butter half shortening icing.
Regarding the refridgeration of icings using dairy products, when the icings contain butter or milk or cream, when the milk or cream is used in small amounts, as in buttercream icings with only a few tablespoons of milk or cream added, they can indeed be kept on the counter at a room temperature below 75F for 2-3 days. In fact Wilton recommends the same timeframe for both the all-shortening and water icings as they do for the half butter and cream or milk icing. Only in the commercial industry where kitchens can have much more intense heat, is it recommended and indeed, law, to keep these icings refridgerated. This is because many commercial kitchens do not have air-conditioning and with the amount of baking going on, the temperatures are extremely high.
Sugar is a preservative and indeed using a salted butter, also contributes to the preservation of the icing.
This is a common misconception regarding icings using milk or cream and butter..
Regarding the use of the Crisco butter flavoured shortening, actually this is not recommended because it has a higher moisture content that regular Crisco and makes for an icing that is sloppier to work with particularly when using it for roses and items that require stiffer consistency of icing.
Butter has a melting temperature of 83F, shortening has a melting temperature of between 89 and 99F.
Salted butter can be kept at a room temperature of below 75F for a week to two weeks. The salt preserves the butter, whereas unsalted butter has a much shorter shelf life both at room temperature and refridgerated temperature.
It is true that the heat of your hands can cause melting of butter. To counter that, adding a bit more icing sugar and using a ratio of 4-5 cups of icing sugar for every combination of 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening helps.
Icings made with butter and cream and/or milk can be made up ahead, up to 2 weeks in advance and refridgerated. It is important to insure that the expiry dates of these products are within this 2 week period.
You cannot compare a glass of milk left on the counter to an icing with a dairy product in it, due to the other ingredients that act as preservatives. What you can compare it to is whipped cream icing. Actually that has the shortest life at room temperature because it is actually the nature of whipped, whipping cream to separate at room temperature. Where this will vary is in the case of a ganache which is equal amounts of scaleded cream and chocolate. Bear in mind that scalding the cream creates a condition where all bacteria is killed and this enables you to keep this icing at room temperature for a period of 2-3 days.
Generally the rule of thumb regarding the use of milk or cream in icing is, if it is a main ingredient, the icing or filling must be refridgerated, as in a pudding, a whipped cream topping, a mousse. If it is strictly a binding agent, one to add enough moisture to bind the mixture together, it does not require refridgeration as long as room temperature is below 75F and the period of counter time is below 3 days. Actually these icings hold up 4-5 days for most people but 2-3 days is used as extra precaution.
The way that shortening and butter react at room temperature has more to do with the moisture content of these two items than it does to the way the fats themselves react to the temperature. When the temperature rises above 83F, it comes into play. It also comes into play at oven temperatures as the effect on these two fats in baking is totally different.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #12 of 26
you could try adding more icing sugar to stiffen your icing, but this will result in "drier", less elastic icing, which, as SquirrellyCakes describes, will result in raggedy-torn edges on your petals (which i happen to like, but you may not).

one suggestion: i know that you believe the problem is just too-soft icing, but perhaps you may also want to try building a bigger base for your roses? i could never get the height and fullness i wanted using the Wilton directions for making roses. instead, i use the rose tip to pipe a kind of layered cone (squeeze and move the bag in a circular motion and up as you build). the result is a taller, fuller base onto which to pipe the petals. this is also the method i had to use when working in bakeries, since there was simply never time to pipe a kiss-shaped base with a round tip and then switch back to the rose tip to do the petals.
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you
Reply
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you
Reply
post #13 of 26
Just forget about the base of the rose & use a lolipop stick. Ntertayneme taught us those at the DOS. They are wonderful!
Use the stick as your base
Then start w/ the one part that goes over the base Then add your 3 petals
Then add 5 petals
Then add 7 petals

I like a rose w/ 5 petals better then 7 & I like the feathery rose look too. I would like to get the smooth perfect though!!

The base of the rose that Wilton taught isn't sturdy enough for me. I like the stick method!!

Thanks Ntertayneme for teaching it to me!!
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
Reply
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
Reply
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
WOW!! Thanks everyone. You are all amazing! Tcturtleshell, what kind of popsicle sticks are you referring to? I can't picture what you mean - the flat ones that look like tongue depressors?
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
"When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees." Kenneth Kaunda
i.e. Don't give up!
Reply
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

I believe it is 1-3 tsp. of either.
Lots of folks use a Hershey's Kiss as the centre bud.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes



Omg, What A Great Idea to use a Hershey's Kiss! you can even get them in the Mini's now too! Sounds Good To Me! Chocolate YUMMMMMMMM,, Omg, now I am starting to sound like a Furby,, YUMMMMMMMMM!
~Sweet~ icon_rolleyes.gif
I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
Reply
I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › I can't get my icing thick enough to make roses!