How do some of you guys get your cakes so smooth and perfect on the sides? I have tried many techniques that I've read on here and in books, but every single cake that I make eventually bulges where the filling is.
Here is what I do right now -
-I only use buttercream as filling
-I put a ring of buttercream around the bottom layer, then fill, stack, and crumb coat
-I let the cake rest overnight before decorating (I have tried resting in the fridge and resting at room temp with the same results)
-I then cover with fondant. If there is already an evident bulge, I try to smooth it before covering.
I put a VERY generous amount of BC in between layers - could that be my problem? Should I not fill as far out on the cake (I almost go to the edge)?
My cake decorating is getting better, but I just can't be happy about them until that bulge-y ring is gone!!!
Thank you so much for your advice!!!
I use to have the same problem, but I quit put the ring around edge unless I am using filling. Dont put a real thick layer of bc between and dont frost all the way to edge. I do about 1/4" inside. Havent had a bulge since. I would much rather have a little frosting between the layers then have a bulge.
Sugarshack recommends putting the cake in a food-safe bag, pressing all of the air out with your hands, then letting the natural pressure of the bag 'pull' the cake downward for some period of time...a few hours or overnight. When you remove the bag, the cake has settled sufficiently which eliminates any bulging. She has an excellent DVD with those instructions and more: 'Perfecting the Art of Buttercream'. HTH
You can also try using a stiffer consistency of icing for the ring around the edge. Maybe that can help to hold it up better. I also read about somebody who mixes cake crumbs with her icing and uses this for the ring/dam around the filling. I haven't tried it myself but it sounds like a great idea. I would pipe it with the coupler only (no tip) to make sure it doesn't get plugged.
Don't give up. Just keep trying and you will find a technique that works for you. And when you do, let us know!!
Putting too much filling in the middle has always been the culprit with buldging for me. Especially if you out fondant on, the weight pushes the filling to the sides. Try cutting down on the filling amount.
I found this chart somewhere and try to go with it for my cakes:
How much filling to use
5" 1/4 cup
6" 1/3 cup
7" 2/3 cup
8" 3/4 cup
9" 1 cup
10" 1 1/4 cup
11" 1 1/2 cup
12" 1 3/4 cup
14" 2 1/3 cup
16" 3 2/3 cups
18" 5 2/3 cups
9 x 13 1/2 cup
10 x 15 2 cups
12 x 18 3 1/3 cu
I agree with Shelly on this one. Not alot of icing in the middle and if you must do a ring - make sure it's at least 1/4 inch IN from the edge of the cake.
Thank you all for your quick responses. I have been getting so frustrated with this! I have been working hard at smoothing my fondant and getting that just right and it kills me when that ring appears! I think I have probably been putting too much filling and spreading it out too far. I'm going to have to try that chart - I have a feeling that I have been using waaaay more than that!! It just tastes sooooo good!
thats great advice about not putting the filling all the way to the sides, i suppose the weight of the fondant then pushes the filling to fill to the outside rather than bulging - wil try it asap!
I'm new to cake decorating too and had the same problem. I was just trying to be generous with the filling too. So, I used less and then followed the advise of someone who said to put weight on the cake to get the air out of it. I now do that before I crumbcoat and it seems to work.
Somebody on this site recommended "spackling" a cake to fill in missing parts of the cake, make it smooth and level, etc. She said to take some of the cake and make it into fine crumbs. Then take some of the buttercream and/or filling (it needs to be a thick consistency) and mix it all together. Spread it over the area.
add PS to your BC to make a super stiff stuff to pipe your dam. that will fix it along with allowing it to settle!
I usually give the cake a good press to get all that air out, before crumb coat, and never have bulging issues...And of course the customer always wants the thinnest filling (like Bavarian Creme or Raspberry) on the sculpted cakes! Sheesh!
I don't do a lot of fondant work, but one thought I had was that may be your fondant is too thick. That would make it even heavier on the cake underneath.