I was thinking about the heat and buttercream recently, and was contemplating doing something where I would leave a little cake out in the heat to see how it fared.
Of course, as soon as I thought it, someone else beat me to it. But I can see how some people would object to that video’s accuracy.
"That cake was in the Texas heat, and it isn't as bad here. Plus, it's out in the direct sun and mine will be under a tent. And my reception starts at 6pm, so it's cooler then. It looks like that video was shot right at noon. MY CAKE WILL BE DIFFERENT."
So I decided to go ahead and do my own melting buttercream experiment.
The heat today was in the 100 degree range, which has pretty much become “average” for the summers here. High 90’s at least, and a few 100+ days seems to have become the norm.
If a reception was scheduled to start at 6pm, I would deliver the cake around 4:30 or 5 if I could. So I put the little cake outside on my porch at 5pm to simulate the same conditions that it would have been in if it was outside during a reception. This was a 3" and a 4" tier. Teeny tiny. Not heavy at all, so there was no stress on the bottom tier.
|6:00 and starting to fall apart|
I checked on the cake at 6pm, which is when the reception would be starting. It was starting to look translucent and bubbly on the surface, and liquidy around the edges. A piece of the shell border had totally fallen off.
It was sad and saggy-looking.
|7:00 back collapsed|
|8pm top and bottom destruction|
I can't tell you how many stories I've heard about cake-cuttings that had to be moved up by HOURS because the cake was in the process of melting and falling over. Let this tiny little cake be an example of why fondant is the best way to go if you have an outdoor reception in the summer. Or better yet, keep the cake inside. It's the safest choice.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA