Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Does anyone have any suggestions on icing.. I love the baking, decorating but my icing seems to be my number one problem.. It is either, too thin and won't smooth well or it cracks from me  working on it to get it smooth...

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To help you out Jeanne, we need to know the recipe your using. Then perhaps we can trouble shoot.  :o) 

I use 1 cup crisco 4 cups powder sugar and tsp of clear vanilla, butter and 2 tsp water

not enough water.  Try 7-8 tsp, and mix the shortening, 1/2 tsp vanilla,1/2 tsp butter flavor and 7 tsp water together to blend before adding the sugar.  Also add a Tablespoon of meringue powder (dried egg whites).  If you find it really  stiff, add water a tsp at a time, mixing gently but well until you get the consistency you are looking for.

Mix gently and don't whip it--too many air bubbles will make it hard to smooth out.

Cyn's advice is bang on. In my recipe I use: 1 cup crisco, 1 cup butter, 4-5 tblsp milk, perhaps a bit more if needed, a couple tsps of butter & vanilla extract & a tsp or so of a primary flavor of choice. Plus 2-3 tblsps of meringue powder to help icing crust. 6-8 cups icing sugar. Again, more or less to reach consistency you want. Many instructions say to beat/ whip your icing, but like Cyn, I don't. As she said, creates air bubbles. I never go above #3 on my KA mixer.

Thanks guys.. I will try your receipe tomorrow... can't wait to try...

I should of said this is the icing I would be making for a customer if they request BC over fondant. Don't get that many $$ customers. Just made my b-day cake on the wknd & the icing I prefer for me & family is all butter. No shortening, no marg. But if you want your icing to" hold up", under fondant or in the heat, the crisco/butter combo is your best bet. If you want a smooth icing with pure butter, you do have to refrigerate between icing. But a pure butter icing to me does taste superior and has a much better mouth feel. And you don't use as much icing sugar to to cover the crisco taste. No butter flavoring needed either. I can tell you tho, most people can't tell the difference between the two. My family can cause I have used only butter for years. Crisco is bad for you, but after all, it's cake, and a treat. Something we don't indulge in every day. You should also check out the Winbeckler icing recipe posted here on CWB. Used it for a couple of slab cakes. Not bad. :o)

Jeanne, I have to say, being in the UK, I only ever use all butter in my icing.  The Crisco thing is just something that doesn't seem to be the tradition here, although we are getting more and more 'Americanised'!  I use a 2:1 ratio of icing sugar and butter, (so for example 250g butter to 500g icing sugar).  The longer you beat it, the smoother, lighter and fluffier it gets.  It's a popular taste with my lot, too.  Make sure your butter is soft, but not runny and add your sugar a little at a time, then just leave your beater to do it's job.  If you want an even smoother texture, add a little milk to ensure all the sugar granules dissolve.  Don't over do the liquid or your icing wont hold it's shape.

Thanks everyone.. It's so wonderful to have this tool to learn more..Its great!!!!!

Your welcome Jeanne
That's what were here for. :o )

Does all shortening in the BC icing hold up better under fondant and in heat than all butter or half butter half shortening?

Yes it does, but it's not the greatest tasting icing. I very, very rarely use this unless it's practice icing. My go to icing is cooked flour icing. You can do half and half shortening and butter and it still tastes great. Holds up well. I use all butter in my recipe, adding some icing sugar and meringue powder to help crust and pipe.

can you tell me a good tasting recipe for icing that works well with decorating?

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