Sugarpaste guide – Hot and humid weather

Humid weather..

… has the ability to turn a simple cake job into a living nightmare if you’re unprepared. During the hot summer months we get a lot on queries on how to best handle the weather conditions. here’s a guide with do’s and don’ts when the temperatures reaches 25 degrees and higher.

Preparations

  • Plan ahead! Give your sugarpaste plenty of time to dry as it will take longer than in the cooler parts of the year.
  • Do your baking in the morning or in the evening when it’s the coolest, and make sure to cover the windows to avoid the sun!
  • If you bake in your kitchen make sure you haven’t been cooking before you start baking. The extra humidity will make it harder to keep the paste from sticking.
  • If you have a dehumidifier, make sure you put it on in advance to remove the humidity from the room.
  • Plan out what and how you will be things as the less you handle the sugarpaste the better.
  • Be mindful of what buttercream you’ll be using. Chocolate, custard, cream cheese and Bavarian are just a few examples of butter creams you’re best to avoid on hot days.
  • Dark colours have a tendency to bleed onto white sugarpaste when it gets hot so plan your colours accordingly to avoid this.
  • Place your sugarpaste in the fridge for 15 minutes before use if it’s very sticky so it comes more manageable.

The Sugarpaste

The most important part is to know your sugarpaste. Sticky pastes like the ready to roll range from Renshaws can be hard to work with in the summer but their new Extra range is made particularly for hot and humid climates! At the moment we only have this sugarpaste in white, but we will be taking in the whole range once it comes out!

Massa Ticino is also great for humid weather, but sadly we don’t stock this product. It’s well worth mentioning though as it’s a great product and very good in hot conditions.

As cheaper alternatives Renshaws premium covering paste and Culpitts ready to roll icing are also quite resistant to the heat. But for the absolute best results we would recommend getting the Extra or Massa!

Sugarpaste and Humid Weather

Do’s and dont’s when making a cake in humid weather.

Firstly, do NOT use icing sugar when kneading and rolling out your sugarpaste! Icing sugar will melt and make the sugarpaste even more sticky and unmanageable. Cornstarch is a very good alternative and your sugarpaste won’t get sticky from it.

You need to spend as little time possible handling the sugarpaste and the buttercream. They will both become runny and sticky if exposed to too much heat. When kneading the sugarpaste, be aware the kneading time is greatly reduced when it’s hot. For the buttercream, put less in the piping bag at the time so that it’s exposed to the heat of your hands as little as possible.

If you get very warm hands you can let cold water run over your wrists. Or you can put sports wrist bands in the freezer and wear them. Both of these techniques are highly recommended by those who use them!

Once you have applied the sugarpaste on the cake, you need to leave it alone! Don’t mess with it as it can easily crack, crease or get bubbles when the conditions are very humid. If you get bubbles you can use a needle to poke a small hole and use a smoother to smooth it out properly.

In the case of your sugarpaste cracking after you have put it on the cake there is a way to salvage it. You can take a small piece of sugarpaste and add water to it. Stirr till you get a very thick gooey consistency.

You can paint this on the cracks with a brush. When left over night it will harden up and hide the cracks leaving your cake looking fabulous!

If you found this guide for using sugarpaste in humid weather useful, please check out our comprehensive guide to sugarpaste as well!

Have you used any of our techniques yourself? What tricks do you use to get your cakes perfect in the summer months? Let us know in the comments!

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