Good Question. I wouldn’t use the butter-flavor Crisco. You need to control the amount of butter flavor, and other flavors, in the icing. The Butter Flavor Crisco is just TO STRONG. When it comes to icing you want delicate flavors, not “WOW this tastes like butter with sugar added in.”
Another problem that I have with the butter-flavor Crisco is that when I open the can, the first smell I get is a chemical smell that lingers in my nose. Not nice. I don’t want to think butter/chemical. I want to think Butter/Cow/Fresh Grass. I also do not care for the nearly electric yellow color. Your icing will take on a yellow tone. If you use food coloring you will always get an off color because you did not start with white icing.
Make 1/3 batch fire engine red, 1/3 bright orange, and 1/3 bright yellow.
Put each color into the piping bag, 1 teaspoon at a time, rotating the colors. It seems a nuisance but that will give you variations of color in the flames. Then just pipe away.
I tried making sunflowers with gumpaste and I was not pleased with the results. Part of the reason is because you will be working for days with the shaping, drying and coloring. Another reason is that the yellow color fades as the gumpaste dries. I had to use petal dust to try to liven up the color and make the flowers look healthy and happy.
Last thought is that they supplies that you need (cutters, rollers, colors and tools) are a bit expensive if you aren’t going to be using them again. But you can always resell most of the items on EBAY. There is quite a brisk business on Gumpaste tools.
Now, my results with buttercream was radically different. Sunflowers are fast to make, easy (actually a beginners lesson) and the colors can be vibrant and exciting. I suggest that you try the buttercream first as a trial and then try the gumpaste.
Here is a link to my sunflower lesson. Check the cake ideas at the bottom of the page: http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/SunFlower/SunflowerCupcakes.htm
feel that “Not smooth” means that as you spread
the icing and try to smooth it out, you get
little holes. Thousands of them. Well the holes
are caused by bubbles.
If you want an icing to be light and fluffy you have to whip the icing for a long time and that incorporates bubbles in to the icing for that fluffy texture. If an icing that has swirls and curls, this is great. For an icing that must have a smooth texture it is a killer in my opinion. I beat the icing ingredients in my mixer, long enough so that ingredients are well blended. I often store the icing in the refrigerator at this point.
I remove the icing and place it in a very large bowl and with a large spoon, rework the icing and knocking the bubbles out of the batch. I sort of use a smearing action with the back of the spoon against the side of the bowl. I work the icing until I get the texture that I’m looking for, for this project. If you need a lighter weight icing for piping some flowers and leaves, add a few drops of water and mix it in.
For wedding cake icing, I have only seen Fondant, Buttercream, Ganache, and in a few countries, Royal Icing.
I am having a problem with the cake. The middle always seems to sink. I have tried cupcakes, mini loafs and a 9x9 cake. It happened with all of them. Although they still taste wonderful. Am I doing something wrong? Also for the icing (Buttercream-classic recipe) how long can it be kept in the fridge and how long just on the counter? If I keep it in the fridge, do I need to rewhip it again when I take it out? Justin's birthday is the 11th and I was hoping I could get some of the cake done ahead of time so if I mess up I have time to make another batch. - Rob, Justin, Jayden and Janet (03/04/06)
Also for the icing (Buttercream-classic recipe)
how long can it be kept in the fridge and how
long just on the counter?
If I keep it in the fridge, do I need to rewhip
it again when I take it out?
My questions are:
I know that is a lot of questions, but thank you so much for any help you can give. and also thank you for all the really great advice on your website.
1. Will your buttercream
recipe be enough for my cake or do I need to
2. Will your fondant recipe
be enough for my cake or do I need to double
also wanted to make it a polka dot cake and add
fondant polka dots all over the cake. Will
there be extra fondant to do that, and also do a
border at the bottom of the cake?
4. Can you tell me how I
might go about getting the fondant polka dots to
stick to the fondant covered cake?
mention using corn starch when rolling out the
fondant. why use corn starch instead of just
using more powdered sugar?
6. Ijust have a wooden rolling pin, should I invest in a non stick one like you show in your how-to pictures, or will mine be fine?
When I roll the fondant out, on a clean counter, it sticks. When I use powdered sugar, the sugar is absorbed into icing and the fondant sticks to the counter. When I use cornstarch, that dries out the surface of the fondant enough so that for a few minutes the MMF can move, and shift on the surface of the counter.
Ifyou are just doing a few cakes, your wooden rolling pin will work. You will have a more difficult time than if you have a non stick pin though. Some wooden pins leave grain marks on the fondant so roll gently. You should be able to smooth the marks out when you apply the icing to the cake.
If you plan on also making cakes in the future, spend a few $ on yourself and pick up the nonstick version that is the shape of a dowel rod. Remember you can also use them on pie crusts and gumpaste projects so it is a multi use kitchen tool.
Buttercream - Classic Recipe
As the sugar nears the required temperature, place the egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they turn from opaque to white and begin to hold soft peaks. They should be at least double in volume in about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overbeat.
Turn the mixer on high and very carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture in a very thin stream near the edge of the bowl and into the stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat for 20 to 35 minutes on medium to high speed. The egg whites will lose some of their volume and the mixture should resemble a very thick meringue. The outside of the bowl should be moderately warm to touch.
At this point, reduce the speed to medium or low and add the room temperature butter pieces, one at a time. The mixture will break and begin to look like cottage cheese, but don't worry. Keep the mixer running, continue adding butter, and let the mixer whip the buttercream until it begins to get smooth once again; this could take up to 10 minutes. Once the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and beat for five minutes more.
The buttercream is now ready to be colored or chilled. (If the buttercream is too soft, chill for 10 minutes and then whip again. If this doesn't work, cream 4 tablespoons of chilled butter, and then gently whip the creamed butter into the buttercream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until the buttercream is smooth and there are no lumps.)
Use with Classic Yellow Cake.
Makes about 12 cups, more than enough to ice and decorate most cakes; Leftover buttercream can be frozen for up to three months.
The Volcano/ Dome cake will require ½ batch of batter. That would leave you with leftover batter. How about using the leftover icing and batter to make yourself a tiny cake. If you only have a 9” round layer pan, bake the cake, cut it in half like a half moon, stack them one on top of the other to make layers. You could put a bit of your favorite jam in between, the layers along with the buttercream. Ice your tiny cake and after the party is over, celebrate your child’s life, quietly, with your Honey.
P.S. The Dominos sugar will work fine.
I love the MM Fondant but I think for a Star cake I’d rather use a Buttercream or a poured White Chocolate Ganache that can be colored any shade you need. I think I could do the rolled fondant but I certainly wouldn’t be happy with the results and I’d really be struggling with the whole thing. If you use the Ganache, make sure that you use a powdered food coloring. The liquid food coloring can cause the chocolate to seize and you would have to start over.
One thought, you can make a cake board in the shape of a star if you want. It’s more of a hassle but it looks prettier than a square board with a star on it. Just a thought.
I have heard of folks putting tooth picks into the
fondant decoration before drying it and then pushing the
picked flower into the buttercream icing at the last
minute. Be aware that the fondant will absorb moisture
from the buttercream and it can do weird, drooping
things if decorated early.
Go to the link above. Look to
the left side of the page for the
category and scroll down to
and click. Look to the far right side of the page
and click on
airplane. I had to scroll down a few lines. It is
close to the bottom of the page.
I attached a picture. I didn’t
make this cake but I liked the idea and kept a copy of the
Following is a recipe that is a Classic Buttercream Recipe. Silvia Weinstock published the recipe in her book: Sweet Celebrations The Art of Decorating Beautiful Cakes by Sylvia Weinstock with Kate Manchester. (Simon & Schuster)
How is this used? I just made a batch and it seems too thick to spread with a knife and not thick enough to roll out like a fondant. If it is to be spread with a knife, how do I thin it out so that it doesn't rip a hole in the cake when spreading.
in the high desert and I usually end up adding quite a
bit of additional liquid to most of the recipes that I
prepare. I have a daughter that lives in Alabama and she
adds less water than the recipes call for. The icing
just needs to be the consistency that allows you to
spread it comfortably, and you are happy working with
QUESTION - Buttercream Recipe:
Also, I have an even bigger problem with icing smooth my cakes. I have been using the Wilton Class Buttercream for the last couple of years, and I still can not get a perfectly smooth surface. I am using it at a very thin consistency, with the icer tip and the wide large spatula dipped in hot water after every couple of strokes. I also tried the painters plastic masker thingy and the Viva paper towels and parchment paper.
None of these
things work (and on top of all the practice). What I like about
this particular icing is its convenience (being a non-dairy product)
and everybody enjoys the taste. However, I am at the point of
desperation! Could you please help me? Once again I will greatly
I’m afraid that one of the tricks is “Practice, Practice, and Practice." I personally avoid the hot knife trick. Once you melt the butter, you don’t get a second chance. For an old pro, this trick is not a problem. They do a great job on the first attempt. You and I need a few more passes to get the icing where we want it to be.
I have the best results with the parchment paper technique after the icing has crusted for at least 20 minutes, if the weather is DRY. High humidity makes icing much more difficult and there are definitely Bad Buttercream Days.
OK, I have honest and blunt questions here. Are you a perfectionist? It’s very good to want to put out a wonderfully decorated product but are you pushing yourself to a point that decorating is not fun? Remember that you are working in a medium that will be eaten. Most of the folks at a gathering will look at a cake, Ooh and Awe a little bit, then they want to know when you will be cutting a cake so they can get a slice or two.
Here is one
trick that I have. When you have a spot on the cake that you’re not
satisfied with, put a bit of decorating on it. That covers the area
that you consider a problem up nicely.
Peggy's Baking Corner Home Page
Check out some of Peggy Weaver's many Cake Decorating Articles, Tutorials, and Q&A pages below.
Buttercream Icing 101
(Recipe and Tutorial on making & using buttercream icing)
Assembling Cakes/Wedding Cakes (Lots of Q&A's on decoration a wedding cake)
Other Cake Baking and Decoration Topics:(The idea page has photos only and no detailed decorating instructions.)