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Too much crust on icing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
HI all. I need some help. I use this recipe for my buttercream:
2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened.
1-1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
2 tbsp. clear vanilla extract
1/3 cup water for icing cake

I feel like it might crust too much.... when put onto my cakes, it tends to crack, and when i pipe it as roses onto cupcakes, its just so darn stiff.

I know it has something to do w/ the fat sugar ratio (???) for crusting... But does adding more liquid help also? I just want to know what I can do to make it crust less...

Also, for cupcakes...do you like when the frosting on there is crusted? I know kids like to lick off the frosting, but is it just weird when it's all hard like that?

Thank you all who may have some insight on this!
post #2 of 6
A good crusting buttercream is not hard throughout just the thinest top layer. I use the same buttercream recipe for both cakes and cupcakes and they are always yummy and delicious. I don't use water to thin, try using heavy cream or liquid coffee creamer in lieu of water, also you might want to try adjusting the butter to shortening ratio, possibly 1/2 and 1/2 for a creamier texture.
Because cake is fun!
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Because cake is fun!
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post #3 of 6
My recipe is three cups of fat to two pounds of sugar. Maybe you need to add some more fat in there. I also use hot whipped cream but it's not the same measurement each time.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
okay great. i will try both of those suggestions!

If i already have the buttercream made as above? (w/ water)

If i wanted to go ahead and add more water, will that help make it crust less as its made now, or would it really not make a difference?

If it WILL make a diff...do i just use water since i already did, or can i add the cream?

Thanks !
post #5 of 6
It shouldn't hurt to switch to cream in the batch you already have!
Because cake is fun!
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Because cake is fun!
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post #6 of 6
If your icing is stiff when you are piping, it is TOO stiff. Needs more liquid which will also prevent the crusting problem. This may be due to the fact that you started with a recipe that calls for hi-ratio shortening which does contain some water.

Test a small amount when you mix, by putting it into a pastry bag. Add more liquid until you can pipe with only a small effort. You will see that the crusting is controlled to just the surface, when you are using a correct amount of water to your weighed amount of sugar.

And remember if you use this icing for covering cakes, you MUST add even more liquid for the crumb coat.
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