Tumor On The Side Of My Cake

Decorating By charman Updated 2 Aug 2008 , 11:56am by karensue

charman Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 7:12pm
post #1 of 28

Figured that might gets ones attention.... icon_biggrin.gif
But seriously...I have had this happen 3 times now...always with wedding cakes. I make the cakes, icing, stack and transport...when I get to the site, I notice a "bubble/tumor" on the side...no broken icing, and I can push it back down, smooth it out, and typically it goes away. Now the other day, I did this, and about 10 minutes later it was back...so this time I poked a whole in it, pushed it down, applied some more icing, and crossed my fingers...based on the pictures, it didn't come back best I can tell.

So, do anyone have any thoughts as to why this might be happening...and why only with stacked tiered cakes? I'm baffled!
Thanks!
Carrie

27 replies
aswartzw Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 8:29pm
post #2 of 28

Weird. I was going to suggest your tiers are shifting creating the "tumor" but I wouldn't think you'd be able to smooth back into place. Maybe your creating an air bubble and stacking it is releasing it. Ok, that's just really bizarre reasoning.

When you stack, what are you using? Dowels, etc. Are you cutting flush with the cake or slightly higher?

When doing a standard cake, do you fill the layers and squish the top layer of cake down before doing the next filling layer? That might get rid of possible air bubbles?

Do you refrigerate before traveling?

jmt1714 Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 8:50pm
post #3 of 28

it is an air bubble. level and cut your layers as normal. when stacking:
- put a dam of very stiff icing around the edge, fill per whatever you want.
- add next layer, put a fat pan or cake board or whatever on top, push down firmly and evenly. continue with dam, filling, layer, pressing etc etc until you have completed your stacking
- use a bag of stiff icing to "fill" slong the areas where the icing may show gaps between layers.
- crumb coat lightly
- if possible, wrap and let sit overnight, or put int he fridge overnight or at least a few hours, to let the cake settle.
- do final coat the next day and smooth icing

you will see far fewer of these bulges.

charman Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 2:21am
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmt1714

it is an air bubble. level and cut your layers as normal. when stacking:
- put a dam of very stiff icing around the edge, fill per whatever you want.
- add next layer, put a fat pan or cake board or whatever on top, push down firmly and evenly. continue with dam, filling, layer, pressing etc etc until you have completed your stacking
- use a bag of stiff icing to "fill" slong the areas where the icing may show gaps between layers.
- crumb coat lightly
- if possible, wrap and let sit overnight, or put int he fridge overnight or at least a few hours, to let the cake settle.
- do final coat the next day and smooth icing

you will see far fewer of these bulges.


I do all of what was just said to do, and they are not bulges around the middle...these are random air pockets that will pop up in the most bizarre places...so far never in the middle between the 2 layers.

None of them have been when I have filling between the layers.

I swear if I were to remove the icing from that spot...there would be a bare spot, or at least the crumb coat there, but the icing "bubble" could be lifted off cleanly/smoothly!

I'm telling you...it's weird!

LoriMc Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 2:54am
post #5 of 28

I had it happen once on top of a sheet cake. It really freaked me out, but it has never happened again. I would also like to know what it was all about!

CakesByJen2 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:02am
post #6 of 28

This happens sometimes to me, usually as a refrigerated cake comes to temperature in warm and/or humid conditions. It causes the air in the cake to expand and sometimes works it way out between the cake and icing. I don't know why it only happens sometimes, but it's easily fixed. I just prick the bubble with a toothpick and gently press it back down.

Mandica12182 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:11am
post #7 of 28

It happened to me once too...I finally found out its because I was using too thick of an icing to ice my cakes...it becomes a thick shell like fondant and there is no way for the air to escape...I guess. Evnthough after typing it it doesn't make sense, lol. That really may be your problem...try icing your cakes with a little thinner icing..like add more liquid or cornsyrup to it. HTH

leannsloan Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:20am
post #8 of 28

Wow thats funny I am begining to wonder if it is a full moon or something the last four cakes I have done get this weird bubble on the side I just did one tonight and guess what theres that bubble I am wondering does the weather have something to do with it. It is hot and humid and I am also getting the bulge jmt1714 thanks for the tip and charman thanks for asking that question that was what I was going to do tonight I have had it with the tumor also.

sugarshack Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:25am
post #9 of 28

that's the dreaded blow out! ( evil suckers)

I think moisture is the culprit.

causes:

cake too wet
icing too wet
cake experiening temp changes causing condensation under the icing.

pinklesley1 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:49am
post #10 of 28

i had it happen once... and i priked a hole with a wire, and pushed it down... and it was gone... now i am having problems with my baking, hope someone can help...

i just moved and i swear ths oven is out to get me...
when i bake a cake the side grow but as they cool, the sides start to angle away from the pan, kinda like the angle of a pyramid....

i even went and got the bake even strips from wilton, and it helps on smaller cakes but not anything bigger than an 8 and it doesnt help at all on the square ones.

im baffled bc i havent chaned anything i do, just changed my oven... i check the temp and it was 10 degrees hotter so i bake at 340, (which is actually 350).... now i am really stummped... can anyone help with my pyramid-ing cakes?

gateaux Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:50am
post #11 of 28

I use cake mortar when I torte or stack to make sure that the filling is not pushed out. the mortar is 1 part BC icing 1 part cake crumbs from the leveling. (this is stronger than BC alone)

This works great and no more bulging since I learned this in my tiered cake class.

Good Luck.

pinklesley1 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:54am
post #12 of 28

you use the mortar to make the dam?

jolmk Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 4:06am
post #13 of 28

I got one on my cake this past weekend. I'm betting on the humdity. I had refrigerated my cakes so they would make the hour long ride. I only got one on the side of my top tier,( go figure) the rest were fine.

Jo

jamhays Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 4:36am
post #14 of 28

Oh my gosh! This same thing happened to me last weekend. I had NEVER had it happen before and I poked that thing out FOUR TIMES. I thought it was finally gone, but while I was transporting the cake to the venue (30min. from my house), the bubble came back! ARG!

Oh & each time I poked it out, when it came back, it would be moved over a little more than the last one. I ended up doing a repair IN MY CAR, before I took the cake inside.

The cakes had been refrigerated overnight before I iced them, but I had them sitting out most of the day, so they should have had time to reach room temperature.

CRAZY.

charman Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 1:01pm
post #15 of 28

Well glad to see others have experienced the same thing! I do not refrigerate my cakes, so I know that isn't it. I am guessing that it does have something to do with the humidity, heat, etc. Figure you take from an A/C'd house outside to really warm temps, into a car that is warm, but then cools due to A/C...probably too much temp changes.

It is frustrating, and weird how it only randomly does it.

amysue99 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 1:16pm
post #16 of 28

Yeah, I've had this happen too. Very frustrating. It's definitely a pocket of air though. I don't have any answers either. I don't refrigerate and we don't have ac, so dramatic temp change isn't the culprit.

For me, it usually happens when I've used an icer tip. I think that maybe the icing is not getting well adhered to the cake when I run the bench scraper around the sides.

Sandralee903 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 1:28pm
post #17 of 28

I agree with Sugarshack. I've had this happen so many times I've lost count. It wasn't until I started wrapping my cakes while still warm that this happening. They were so moist (which is what I wanted) but I didn't realize that the moisture on the OUTSIDE of the cake was causing the bulging / separation of the icing from the cake.

Thanks to Sugarshack's DVD, I finally learned what the problem was. Yeay! Thanks Sharon!!

charman Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 1:55pm
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandralee903

I agree with Sugarshack. I've had this happen so many times I've lost count. It wasn't until I started wrapping my cakes while still warm that this happening. They were so moist (which is what I wanted) but I didn't realize that the moisture on the OUTSIDE of the cake was causing the bulging / separation of the icing from the cake.

Thanks to Sugarshack's DVD, I finally learned what the problem was. Yeay! Thanks Sharon!!


So what did you do to remedy the situation? Let them cool completely before wrapping, because I already do that too...sounds like we all have the same problem, but different reasons it happens.

Sandralee903 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 2:25pm
post #19 of 28

Charman, after cooling to room temp or thawing to room temp, I unwrap the layers and let them sit on the counter until dry to the touch. It doesn't compromise the moistness of the cake and it sure does help in getting the icing to adhere to the cake and stay there w/o bulges!

charman Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 2:27pm
post #20 of 28

k...cause I too wrap my cakes in plastic wrap once they are completely cool...do not refrigerate though. When I start icing the next day I just unwrap and icing, but I do this with all of them, and have only had this problem with a few stacked tiered cakes...so weird! Thanks for the advise!

jamhays Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:02pm
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by amysue99

For me, it usually happens when I've used an icer tip. I think that maybe the icing is not getting well adhered to the cake when I run the bench scraper around the sides.





I very rarely use the icer tip, but I DID use it on this cake. That could have been part of it.

charman Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:04pm
post #22 of 28

I never use the icer tip, so wasn't the reason for me.

loriemoms Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:01am
post #23 of 28

THis happens every so often to me...I always have a pin in my emergency kit...I just prick and smooth down the icing again.

This happened to some one in my cake decorating classes way back when....the top of the cake looked like it was gonna blow it got to so big..she had the cake sitting in her car all afternoon (it was just practice buttercream) Our instruction said it was from temp changes and moisture getting trapped. Happens A LOT in the summer time. There isnt anything you can really do, just watch for them.

I think it happens more with crusting buttercream then IMBC or non crusting.

Speaking of fridge, I did a dumb thing and stuck some gum paste leaves on a cake for tomorrow...it has to be refrigerated. I forgot that gumpaste and fridge don't mix...will I be redoing my leaves tomorrow?

karensue Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:49am
post #24 of 28

I've had this happen to me too frequently with both buttercream and fondant -- it drives me crazy. I never know when they will appear and if I'll catch them early enough to fix them before they actually "blow out." Do any of you have some "prevention tips?"

Chef_Stef Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:43am
post #25 of 28

Glad to know it's not just me getting these! And I get them anywhere, including the top, but not usually along the filling lines--I've never had a problem with those...but it freaks me OUT. I use an icing tip, and I get them so often when I use standard or crusting BC that I almost dread using it anymore. I've never had it happen with IMBC, so it's just another reason why I hate working with crusting BC.

Oh...and wait til it does it under fondant. You haven't lived until you've seen a perfectly painted fondant cake start to bubble and crack out. icon_surprised.gif Fortunately I've only had THAT happen on non-wedding cakes (knock wood).

Seems like it's air trapped and has to do with temp changes when bringing the cake from cold to warm (at least for me, that's when it happens). Wish there was a foolproof way to avoid it.

loriemoms Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 10:35am
post #26 of 28

I dont use an icing tip, but I do put my buttercream on in layers...I wonder if air is getting trapped between the layers and I need to push harder or something?

I have never had it happen with fondant before (I guess because I just do a thin crumb coat under fondant)

This humidity is killing me though...I wish I could get brides to forget buttercream exists in the summer! Even with the A/C blowing full blast, it still seems to linger in the air. This has been a bad summer for it!
Is fall here yet?

jenbenjr Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 10:56am
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

This happens sometimes to me, usually as a refrigerated cake comes to temperature in warm and/or humid conditions. It causes the air in the cake to expand and sometimes works it way out between the cake and icing. I don't know why it only happens sometimes, but it's easily fixed. I just prick the bubble with a toothpick and gently press it back down.



Same here....it happens after I take a decorated cake out of the fridge. I like to refridgerate my cakes, especailly stacked cakes before transfer. I think it makes them more stable, but I hate the air bubbles. Usually, I am there to pop the bubble but once, I dropped the wedding cake off and it formed after I left ( the brides mother emailed me after the wedding and told me!) I wish I knew a way to stop this!

karensue Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 11:56am
post #28 of 28

I don't usually refrigerate my cakes -- mainly for this reason. I know I can count on a big air bubble on those cakes. I don't use perishable fillings and believe there's enough icing covering the cake and enough sugar in the icing to preserve anything for a few days.

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