buttercream stability problems

Joined Jun 9, 2001
i did a test run of the wedding cake i will be making next week. everything went well... however when i kept it outside for a while, the buttercream started to melt.

should i use shortening for stability? any tips?


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
1) Did you make your meringue properly isaac?

2) What do you mean by "outside?"

I don't know about using shortening, can you say criscocream? :) :D

Joined Jun 9, 2001
outside... meaning outside..away from the house. by no means do i want to use shorening but the cake will be outside in the heat... i dont want the buttercream to melt.
yes... i made the buttercream properly.
Joined Nov 27, 2001
Any real buttercream will melt relatively quickly outside. Not recommended. you could use rolled fondant or you could use a decorator frosting with shortening in it. I know of a decorator in texas who uses a shortening and cream cheese frosting that holds up well in that part of the country. You could try that. Real buttercream need to be kept at a cooler temp.
Joined Jan 15, 2001
I really dislike the idea of using shortening in a buttercream ----but with the heat here in L.A. I usually have to or I would just be a complete nervous wreck everytime my wedding cakes are set out. Try replacing a third of your butter with shortening, that usually works for me.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Well Isaac join the great debate among pastry chefs. We've discussed this several times and each of us have have slightly to vastly different opinions about buttercream.

I think I'm in the camp that compromises. I don't find either the perfect frosting for wedding cakes and I combine buttercreams to work best for me. I use 1/2 white chocolate buttercream and 1/2 decorators icing (which is 1/2 shortening & 1/2 butter). Combined I find the taste is very good and the handling and color are also good.

Straight buttercream is temp. sensitive, yellows quickly (hey it's all butter) and borders don't hold up under any real heat.

Straight decorators frosting is at least 50% shortening and all xxxsugar which is very stable but not gourmet. Most the chefs here don't seem to like it. Most ordinary people are only aware of this type from grocery stores, etc...

So my tip is to combine the two until you have something that fits your needs and pleases you.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Question about the shortning with cream cheese by the guy in Texas, does it oxidize?

Also, The idea of rolled fondant over the buttercream works great.

Just two weeks ago I had a cake made just that way, I could not put it in the fridge for a while because it was jammed packed with all my catering stuff, but it did eventually get chilled, then I pulled it out 45 minutes before I served it and it held up like a dream.

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