Melting buttercream!


Lauren

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Hi
I recently made a unicorn cake with piped buttercream roses for the mane. It looked brilliant until I took it out of the fridge and the buttercream started sliding off the cake during the car journey. The whole back of the mane fell off the cake!!

I need to make the cake again in September but I'm terrified of this happening again as this time it is for a christening with 60 people attending! (Last time it was my nephews birthday with family so he didn't mind)

I found a recipe for swiss meringue buttercream that may work better but I really don't know

If anyone has any tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance :)
 

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Becky

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Welcome to the forum! :)

Wow, what a gorgeous cake! Sorry to hear it was so badly affected by the heat. Yup, buttercream is pretty bad in that respect. Could you freeze it before transporting it? That way it would defrost as you travel. I've never had any problems freezing buttercream on cake before, but to be fair it has always been individual slices not a whole cake. You could add the horn last of all to make things easier.

I don't live in a hot country though, so hopefully someone with experience will be able to chime in ;)
 

Lauren

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Hi Becky
Thanks :D my nephew loved it!

It was very frustrating as it wasn't even that hot :mad:
I've got my best friends wedding cake to do next June which I'm dreading! I love cake decorating but it can be so unpredictable sometimes
 

Norcalbaker59

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Hi Becky
Thanks :D my nephew loved it!

It was very frustrating as it wasn't even that hot :mad:
I've got my best friends wedding cake to do next June which I'm dreading! I love cake decorating but it can be so unpredictable sometimes
Sorry to hear about your cake mishap. It is very frustrating and disappointing to lose a cake to heat.

Unfortunately you cannot freeze a fully decorated cake as the minute you take it out of the freezer condensation will begin to form on the surface. As the moisture evaporates it will leave noticeable water spots.

It looks like you have a combination of fondant, gumpaste, and buttercream on this cake. Moisture is the kiss of death for fondant and gumpaste. Condensation can also cause colored fondant to bled.

It might be better to freeze your buttercream flowers, then apply them while frozen.

I would recommend using an Italian meringue buttercream as it is more stable than Swiss meringue buttercream.

Pipe your flowers on wax paper, then put uncovered in the freezer for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

To attach, pipe a blog of buttercream on the cake, then peel the flower off the wax paper and attach to the blob.

Keep in mind when you attach anything to the side of a cake the lighter the weight the better. Gravity is always going to be present, and when the buttercream gets warm, the weight will cause the flowers to fall.

So play with flower design and size, then mix up the flowers so you don’t have a bunch of big heavy ones on the side.

Less is better. As beautiful as a cascading mane looks, when the cake has to travel, less is better.

It’s important to keep the cake as cool as possible. The air may not feel very warm to you, but you need a thermometer to determine the actual ambient temperature. Once the temperature creeps to 80°F (26°C) you are in the danger zone.


Blast your air conditioner before you begin to decorate, the colder your kitchen the better. Even if you have to put a sweater on to decorate.


Keep everything chilled for as long as possible.

See Erica O’Brian’s blog on how to refrigerate a fondant cake to minimize condensation.


Before loading the cake in your car run the air conditioner to drop the temperature down to the mid-60s. You may have to drive around the neighborhood a few times to cool the car interior. But it’s important to load the cake in a cold car. And you will probably have to wear a sweater on the drive over.


If you have an insulated ice chest large enough to hold the cake box, fill it halfway full with ice the day before and seal it up. Empty out the ice and dry the interior before placing the cake box in it.


Alternatively you can construct your own insulated box. I just place the insulated box in the refrigerator then store the cake in it overnight.


If the cake forms a lot of condensation you can very delicately blot it with unscented undyed toilet tissue. See Alice Medrich’s blog post.



http://ericaobrien.com/blog/yes-you-can-and-sometimes-should-refrigerate-your-fondant-covered-cakes/



https://avaloncakesschool.com/delivery-box/


https://food52.com/blog/18823-the-cure-for-condensation-involves-paper-but-not-that-kind-of-paper
 

Becky

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Unfortunately you cannot freeze a fully decorated cake as the minute you take it out of the freezer condensation will begin to form on the surface. As the moisture evaporates it will leave noticeable water spots.
Ah that's a shame, I've never noticed it when I freeze individual slices - probably because I eat them as soon as they're defrosted :D :oops:
 
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Norcalbaker59

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Ah that's a shame, I've never noticed it when I freeze individual slices - probably because I eat them as soon as they're defrosted :D :oops:
Yes individual slices won’t show noticeable condensation damage. And it’s less noticeable on totally white buttercream. But even during the decorating phases when going back and forth between application and the freezer, condensation can be a major problem if the kitchen is warm.
 
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