Tuesday, 28 June 2011

When good cakes go bad...

I learnt a lesson this weekend.  It's quite an obvious one.

Icing + hot day= runny icing that won't stay on your cake.

Not rocket science.

Cake Club was last night, I knew yesterday was going to be another scorcher so took my chances and baked on Sunday.

The cake itself was a triumph, I had a piece this evening and it was delicious.  It was just the icing that let me down...

I mixed the required amount of butter with the icing sugar.  This resulted in a runny mess.  I added more icing sugar.  Still a runny mess.  I repeated this about 4 times then tasted the icing.  So sweet it made my teeth want to drop out then and there... I decided to add some lemon juice.  This evened the flavour up, but still it wouldn't thicken.  In went more icing sugar, then more lemon, then more icing sugar.  Finally it went into a semi thickened state.

I took my chance and gingerly spread it on the bottom cake.  Immediately it started to run.  I started scraping it off the sides but in the end gave up.  I decided to go for a distraction technique and threw some strawberries on.

Still the icing ran, so I quickly spread the jam on the bottom side of the other cake and sandwiched it together. With lightening speed I added a small amount of icing to the top, some more strawberries and then my sugar pearls and silver balls, all the time battling with the ever running icing.

I got it straight into the fridge and uttered a small prayer to Saint Delia that it would set, and no more of it would run.

I took myself off to sit outside with a calming glass of wine.

Yesterday morning I opened the fridge with much trepidation.

Saint Delia did not answer my prayers, I'm actually thinking of defecting and joining the Saint Nigella school of domestic goddess worship...

Almost the entire of the buttercream from the middle and run out and had formed a lovely moat around my cake, some strawberries had deigned themselves to float merrily in the icing stream too.

This anguished me greatly, but alas I had to take myself off to earn a crust.  Upon telling my work colleagues of my latest baking woe I was encouraged to do six hours work and then go home to try and fix it, or bake another, whichever was most feasible given the time.

I took their advice...


  1. This happens to me a lot! Because I'm lazy and never measure my ingredients. My best trick is to put the icing in the fridge for a few hours before putting it on the cake. Not much use post-incident, but may be worth a go if it ever happens again!


  2. I should have done that Penny, that would have been a much better idea! x

  3. So buying one from the shop is a no-no? ;)


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