Originally Posted by heartsnsync
There are several variables that can cause bleed including refrigeration, the type of icing, the icing being too wet, if you smooth your cakes with a wet knife, humidity, etc. However, having a good crusting butter cream can go a long ways from keeping bleeds from happening. Just make sure not to have a filling that requires refrigeration so it can be left out at room temperature. Actually leaving a crusting butter cream cake out where air can get to it is the desired method. I do scenes with sky, grass, etc. all the time and don't have bleed problems. Make sure your base butter cream layer has sat out for a little bit and is dry and crusted before you decorate. If the weather is going to be humid then take that into account and decrease your butter and increase your shortening (Hi Ratio shortening is even better) and/or add some meringue powder to increase the crusting quality. HTH
These are great tips, thank you very much! My icing recipe doesn't include butter - the recipe is 2 lb sugar, 1/2 cup water, 3/4 cup shortening (I use Quick Blend brand), 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp almond or butter flavoring, 1 tsp creme bouquet. I always get tons of compliments on my icing, so I don't really want to change it, and it seems to come out to a perfect consistency and crusts nicely. But if I used a recipe with butter, would that help prevent bleeding?