Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

The other night I was in a pinch as I had stared a cake and was ready to ice it when I discovered I was out of powdered sugar. In my mind, I thought I still had several packages in my cupboard, but didn't after all. My husband had just called me when I discovered this out, so he offered to pick me up some powdered sugar. In the past, I have told him to never get anything that is a cheap brand or is beet sugar, that it needs to be cane sugar. Well....he forgot and came home with some off breed brand that was a store brand. I was dubious, but couldn't stop now. So, I went ahead and used it. That was the worst icing I have ever made! Number 1, it was not smooth and seemed more like wall plaster than smooth spreadable icing, and number 2, it dried out horribly. What a lesson! Whoever made that particular brand must have added a cups worth of corn starch. Has anyone else had such bad experience using the off or store brand powdered sugars? The best I have purchased so far, is Sam's Club.

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Linda - I had almost the same exact thing happen!  It was some brand called Baham or something like that? I don't normally sift my powdered sugar because the Bakers & Chef's from Sam's Club is usually really smooth, so I didn't sift this time either.  UGH! My tips kept clogging from chunks of powdered sugar!!  So, you're right - the brand DOES matter a lot of times. 

In my doctored cake mix recipes I ONLY use Duncan Hines - I just find the texture to be better and the cake to be more flavorful.

I loooove Duncan Hines too. But occasionally, when there is a whopper sale going on, especially around graduation, I'll nab whatever cakes that are in the ad. Duncan Hines is the only one that has the Red Velvet mix too, so I do tend to look there first. I have had the tips clog up too! It has to be the added corn starch, don't you think?

Eileen S said:

Linda - I had almost the same exact thing happen!  It was some brand called Baham or something like that? I don't normally sift my powdered sugar because the Bakers & Chef's from Sam's Club is usually really smooth, so I didn't sift this time either.  UGH! My tips kept clogging from chunks of powdered sugar!!  So, you're right - the brand DOES matter a lot of times. 

In my doctored cake mix recipes I ONLY use Duncan Hines - I just find the texture to be better and the cake to be more flavorful.

Beet sugar causes the tips to clog because it has small fibers from the beets ground up in it.  In icing, it will produce a grainy mouth feel and should never be used if you are going to pipe anything with a small tip.  I stick to Imperial or C&H Cane Sugar.  I watch the grocery fliers like a hawk for specials and look for coupons when I can find them.  Karo Syrup is another product you need to buy name brand.  The other brands are NOT primarily corn syrup and when you compare ingredient lists it will soon become clear why they do not produce the same results.  Hope this helps.  Oh..I almost forgot..buy Kraft marshmallows for MMF too.  Be sure you get the 16 oz. bag and not the 10oz one or your fondant won't come out right.  With that said, I put a couple of tablespoons of Karo in my MMF recipe for texture and stretch.  See, it all goes full circle!

I always buy the Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallows as well!  Tried the store brand once because they were out of the Kraft - not a good decision.  I can only get the 10.5 oz. bags, so I weigh and use a bag and a half to get 16 oz.

L Welch said:

Beet sugar causes the tips to clog because it has small fibers from the beets ground up in it.  In icing, it will produce a grainy mouth feel and should never be used if you are going to pipe anything with a small tip.  I stick to Imperial or C&H Cane Sugar.  I watch the grocery fliers like a hawk for specials and look for coupons when I can find them.  Karo Syrup is another product you need to buy name brand.  The other brands are NOT primarily corn syrup and when you compare ingredient lists it will soon become clear why they do not produce the same results.  Hope this helps.  Oh..I almost forgot..buy Kraft marshmallows for MMF too.  Be sure you get the 16 oz. bag and not the 10oz one or your fondant won't come out right.  With that said, I put a couple of tablespoons of Karo in my MMF recipe for texture and stretch.  See, it all goes full circle!

Yup, me too, Eileen. Linda, thanks for the tip on the Karo syrup. I buy that anyway, but now that I have the heads up on the off brands, I will be sure to not even bother with any other brand.

Eileen S said:

I always buy the Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallows as well!  Tried the store brand once because they were out of the Kraft - not a good decision.  I can only get the 10.5 oz. bags, so I weigh and use a bag and a half to get 16 oz.

L Welch said:

Beet sugar causes the tips to clog because it has small fibers from the beets ground up in it.  In icing, it will produce a grainy mouth feel and should never be used if you are going to pipe anything with a small tip.  I stick to Imperial or C&H Cane Sugar.  I watch the grocery fliers like a hawk for specials and look for coupons when I can find them.  Karo Syrup is another product you need to buy name brand.  The other brands are NOT primarily corn syrup and when you compare ingredient lists it will soon become clear why they do not produce the same results.  Hope this helps.  Oh..I almost forgot..buy Kraft marshmallows for MMF too.  Be sure you get the 16 oz. bag and not the 10oz one or your fondant won't come out right.  With that said, I put a couple of tablespoons of Karo in my MMF recipe for texture and stretch.  See, it all goes full circle!

I have had that experience, too.   I now use Bakers & Chef's brand from Sam's Club as well.  I've never had a problem with it.  I will use Domino brand in a pinch.  I have also found that all flours are not created equal as well.  I now only bake with Gold Medal brand.  It's what my grandmother used, so that's good enough for me.  And, I'm with Eileen, if I am making a doctored cake mix recipe, I too, use only Duncan Hines.

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