Sorry, Karen, can’t help you with this one as I do not use buttercream to cover cakes (not even for crumbcoating) just because the weather in Malta is too hot!! But will be following this forum with interest!
Hi Karen!! Sorry I’m afraid I’m the same as Marlene. Will be very interesting to read what the expert ladies on buttercream say!! :-) x
Hi Karen… A while ago I watched a temperature test on fb for Queen of hearts buttercream – they iced a cake then left it in the sun for a while and it still looked fine (you can go to their page for details). While I can’t give out their recipe as it’s in their book/ online at pretty witty cakes I can tell you a few things in general I’ve learnt about bc and heat from other sources -
Use 1/3 or so trex in place of that part of the butter to make it firmer
Minimise the liquid in your recipe as much as possible if it’s going to be hot
Use only a thin coat of bc on the edges to minimise the chances of it melting and slopping about
Generally crusting bcs have a ridiculously high proportion of sugar to butter, 3 to 6x in volume, that’s what makes it crust. The winbecklers from Cakesuppliesplus.com have a YouTube video showing how they make their bc but it’s all shortening which imo doesn’t taste as nice, and they use a fair bit of water – lots of recipes for American buttercream out there you could try – I’ve tried one by Serious Cakes which is quite nice, you can Google it.
Other than that you can also chill the cake before delivery, take it in a car with AC which should help, and of course don’t put it in the sun lol… If possible try to get a fan or portable ac unit near it. Hope that helps xxx
Karen it gets blisteringly hot here in late June early July, and what works here is 100% all shortening ( Trex ) based buttercream. As Sawsen said, very little liquid added, and lots of icing sugar. I used Winbeckler’s all shortening recipe. What stopped icing from tasting “greasy” was a liberal amount of butter flavoured extract added. It really works. I also add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch (cornflower) to the icing, which helps absorb moisture. I had to make a couple of slab cakes a few years back, same situation….sitting in the heat. Was totally fine. I was worried about the taste, but everyone seemed to like it. My advice, is to make a small batch of Winbeckler’s, or similar and play with the flavours.
Yep in my tropical weather I use a higer ratio of shortening to butter. And in super hot weather 100% shortening….. in Australia our supermarket shortening is made of Hydrolysed Coconut Oil which has a much highet melting point than butter. I also find adding Meringue poweder can help stability too.
Hi, I agree with all the other comments – I live in Florida where we reach in excess of 95 degrees F during the summer months. Any buttercream covered cake that is left in the heat runs the risk of melting – however, to keep this from happening, you must replace the butter with vegetable shortening and add flavoring to your buttercream.
I would also make sure client is made aware of how the heat and humidity may affect buttercream so if anything happens, they won’t be surprised or upset. Recommend they try to display the cake in an area that is not so hot and away from direct sunlight. Hope this helps.
Hi everyone xx thank you so much for all your fantastic advise. I’m going to do some taste and recipe testers and leave them in a very warm room to see what happens. I’m also going to order some butter flavouring too. Thanks again xx I know I can always rely on you all to help xx :-)
Hi Karen — I would recommend replacing the butter with shortening then adding butter flavouring from Wilton along with vanilla or any other flavour — I have tried 1/2 shortening 1/2 butter that worked well and tasted good too but here in Netherland we don’t have too hot days!!
Thanks for your help Simmz xx
Hi Karen, You can also use royal icing sugar instead of normal icing sugar in the buttercream. It firms it up a bit more than normal buttercream but will still be soft when eaten :) I do this on my buttercream wedding cake and so far so good x
Good afternoon Karen, I live in Puerto Rico and for our hot and sometimes humid weather the recibe that we use most of the time is the shortening one. The recipe is: 8 cups powder sugar (sifted), 1/2 cup of milk (or you can use water), 1 cup vegetable shortening, 1 traspón clear vainilla, 1/2 teaspoon salt, & 1 teaspoon almond extra. Mix shortening, sugar, and half of the milk. Once they are well mix add the flavors and mix. If you want the frostin smooth add 2 tablespoon of milk at a time. Know you can add color. I hope this will help. This fronting es delicioso.
I live in Australia and had to do a two tier princess/pirate themed buttercream cake on a 44 degree summer day. It also had gumpaste decorations attached. I was having nightmares it would melt and the decorations would slide off but the recipe I used worked great. I used a Swiss meringue buttercream recipe using 50/50 butter and Crisco and added a cup of sifted pure icing sugar at the end of mixing. I used pasteurized egg whites. There is a free tutorial on Craftsy called Modern Buttercream which I used as a guide recipe adjusting butter/shortening as needed. The gumpaste decorations were premade and dried over foam dummy cakes. The whole cake was assembled the day before, decorated and kept in the fridge until delivery when it then travelled 2 hrs to the party in an air conditioned car. I was never so relieved as when I had delivered the cake and the feedback was so positive. I am no longer afraid of buttercream in summer though I am yet to bight the bullet and use it under fondant.
Thank you do much for your fantastic help and information Ceri, Bizcochos and Christeen. I’m overwhelmed with all the fantastic help I’ve received. I’m feeling much more confident about this now xxxx Thanks again everyone xxxxx
I live in Sri Lanka where it’s ever so hot and humid. I find that a simple buttercream made using a ratio of 1:2 butter
/confectioners sugar is a perfect blend that when left at room temperature after application on the cake can be smoothened easily using the paper towel method; which won’t melt in hot weather. I hope this works out for you!
Hi Shirdeezee xx I’ve been to Sri Lanka, it’s gorgeous and yes it does get hot. So thank you so much for sharing this xxx