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Fruit Cake - Buttercream Icing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a lady that want's me to ice a fruit cake thats all, just ice it with a shell border or something really simple. It is 2 tiers. My understanding from her is she wants buttercream icing. I have never worked with a fruit cake before. What am I getting myself into. I did a search on fruit cake and all I found was info on marzipan and royal icing.
post #2 of 8
Traditional fruitcake, based on the English-style, is only ever covered with marzipan/royal icing or sugarpaste/rolled icing.

The taste, texture and sweetness of buttercream would not be compatible with fruitcake. It was created to cover light or delicate baked goods not rich boozy fruitcakes.

The taste and texture marzipan/royal icing or sugarpaste/rolled icing balances the intense taste and sweetness of fruitcake. That is one of the principal reasons that wedding fruitcake is cut into "fingers" [1" x 1"] not slices as with muds, poundcake, butter-cake etc. It is certainly never offered for dessert.

MMF, as a substitute for rolled fondant, works fine with fruitcake.
post #3 of 8
I agree buttercream does not go with fruit cake at all. I would cover the cake with marzipan and fondant. Then either mix a little water into the leftover fondant to get it a piping consistency or make a little royal icing and use this to pipe your borders ect.
post #4 of 8
Oh, great, just the topic I wanted to ask a question about!!!

First of all, I was asked to do the same thing this past weekend - cover a fruitcake with buttercream. Instead, I convinced them to let me do it with marzipan and fondant. It was great and they loved it.

So while we're on the topic of icing fruitcakes with marzipan and royal. . .
I know this is the way the English/British (?) do it.

Can anyone tell me how it is with the royal? Isn't that very hard to cut through?? Or does the marzipan soften it somehow??

MissBaritone?? You gave me some very helpful advice on last weekend's cake, could you shed some light on this for me???

Thanks! icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 8
If I'm not mistaken, their Royal Icing is the same as our "buttercream" icing in the way that's it's made. I read that in Cakes and Cake Decorating book. Am I saying it right MissBaritone?
Weirdly, Uniquely, Beautiful
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Weirdly, Uniquely, Beautiful
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post #6 of 8
Sorry but it's nothing like buttercream. The recipe I use for coating a cake is
1 oz meri white (the equivalent of meringue powder)
4 fl.oz water
700g-1kg icing sugar
mix the powder and water together until no lumps remain. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, mixing well between each addition until the correct consistency is reached.

If the cake is being tiered using pillars the icing has to set extremlely hard to take the weight of the pillars and the cake above it. However if such a hard icing isn't needed (e.g. if you're using a cake stand) you add 1 teaspoon of glycerine to every 1lb of icing sugar and this prevents the icing setting so hard. The outside of the cake will still look crisp but the underside will stay softer. This makes it much easier to cut and eat
post #7 of 8
Thanks MissBaritone for clearing that up. So is that rather hard to cut or is it just a hard crust and kind of soft in the middle. All of those cakes in that book I mentioned all look so great.
Weirdly, Uniquely, Beautiful
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Weirdly, Uniquely, Beautiful
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post #8 of 8
The royal icing made without glycerine is hard to cut. It tends to shatter more than cut. The version made with glycerine still crusts right the way through but the icing has more 'give' in it so tends to cut easier and isn't so hard to eat. Royal icing can be a difficult medium to work in when coating cakes. You have to put a few thin layers on to get that nice smooth coat. Once it's done nothing loks more spectacular than a well iced cake with a nice smooth sparkling white coat and ornate royal icing decorations so it is worth persevering and once you get the 'knack' you wonder how you ever had so much trouble with it.
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