Unsightly Bulge On Cake

Decorating By krohrs Updated 13 Mar 2011 , 6:18pm by yellowtulips11

krohrs Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 8:37pm
post #1 of 28

Please help! I'm new to cake decorating, but I seem to be making the same mistake over and over again!!! Why do my fondant covered layers have a bulge between the layers? I've made 6 cakes and it's the same on every cake. I've moved my frosting dam in from the edge, but I still have this problem. Is there some trick I am missing?????

27 replies
Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 8:41pm
post #2 of 28

how long are you letting gravity have it's way with your cakes -- aka let them settle before covering with fondant?

many here let that happen overnight -- a good 8--12 hours.

others hurry the issue by adding a weight on top (ceramic tile or similar) so it happens in 4 or so hours

still others (including me) have no patience to wait and make it happen NOW by pushing down on the cake using a large cookie sheet or similar until the icing bulges out all the way around the cake. After a short recovery time (about the time it takes to fill the icing bag to do the crumb coat) we just work the bulge into the crumb coat and continue on.

luvmysmoother Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 8:46pm
post #3 of 28

Yes I totally agree - I kept having the battle of the bulge many times (always filled, frosted, fondanted all at once in the past) but it seriously makes a huge difference if you wait it out and if you put a weight on it - it helps tooicon_smile.gif

krohrs Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 8:49pm
post #4 of 28

So, I should frost with buttercream and let them set overnight before I cover and decorate with fondant???

Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 8:51pm
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by krohrs

So, I should frost with buttercream and let them set overnight before I cover and decorate with fondant???




yep unless you prefer to hurry it along as mentioned.

tracey1970 Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 1:00am
post #6 of 28

Also, make sure your filling/icing dam is quite thick. I got that tip from Sharon Zambito (aka Sugarshack). She pipes a buttercream dam around the outer rim of her cake (before filling the cake with either a filling or more buttercream). The buttercream she uses for that dam is thick enough to be kneaded like a dough. That goes a long way to holding up the cake and keeping the filling from bulging out.

rooch Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 2:32am
post #7 of 28

i don't get it! i let the cake sit overnight filled and with the crumb coat and still i got more bulges than ever! to the point that the fondant cracked! why did this happen? was the crumb coat too dry?

cakenutz Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 2:54am
post #8 of 28

I used to have the bulging problem I was just using to much filling. I don't like the thick dam idea personally I don't like eating it I just use a dam of my reg. buttercream set about a 1/2" in from edge making sure my filling isn't to thick crumb coat and refridge usually overnight then fondant after doing the viva towel method HTH icon_smile.gif

rooch Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 2:59am
post #9 of 28

Yeah, I definitely didn't put on a lot of filling....maybe not enough frosting on the outside? it's like the fondant didn't stick to the outside and air got into it....

krohrs Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:40am
post #10 of 28

Rooch---YES, this is exactly what is happening to me. I don't know if the bulge is actually frosting or air......I was so disappointed with my last fondant cake that I gave it to the birthday girl because I felt I couldn't take any money for the cake due to its belly buldge!

rooch Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:52am
post #11 of 28

i think it is air. i almost had to give the cake as a freebie but i ripped off the fondant, added more frosting and then restuck fondant on. then i covered with decorations!!!! nightmare but i saved it...this time.

krohrs Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:59am
post #12 of 28

Someone told me to put a thin coating of piping gel on the icing to help the fondant stick...Have you heard of this?? Seriously, this has me so freaked out that I am not going to take any more cake orders until I figure this mess out!!

rooch Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:02am
post #13 of 28

yeah. i said the same thing but i have 2 orders due in november and december and i am pretty freaked out myself. the piping gel sounds like it would really make sense. i'm going to look into that!!!!!

CakeDiosa Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 7:28am
post #14 of 28

If you guys are that freaked out do yourselves a favor and order Sharon Zambito's Flawless Fondant DVD. I was terrified of fondant until I got her DVD. It is money WELL spent and will solve all of your fondant woes.

Here's another tip I learned from her: In addition to allowing your crumb coated cake to sit overnight and prior to icing it and covering it take a sharp, smooth knife and cut that bulge right off of your cake BEFORE you ice and cover it. That should solve your problem. If you've allowed your cake to settle and your using the thick dam it is most likely that you are icing over the bulge - rather than eliminating it prior to icing - and that is why it is still showing when you cover and smooth your cakes. As you press and smooth your fondant, that raised filling area is going to standout. So before icing and covering with fondant hold your knife on the side of your cake (tip down against your cake board - handle straight up - blade facing you) using the top edge of the top layer as your guide and cut the bulging areas off. Ice and cover and be happy.

rooch Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 10:55am
post #15 of 28

thanks for the tip. i definitely did use a knife to rid myself of the bulge, however, i didn't see any bulge at all! I feel like leaving it out overnight, which i did for the first time, made it too dry...does that make sense? like there was nowhere for the fondant to adhere to...

Jeff_Arnett Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 11:21am
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by krohrs

Please help! I'm new to cake decorating, but I seem to be making the same mistake over and over again!!! Why do my fondant covered layers have a bulge between the layers? I've made 6 cakes and it's the same on every cake. I've moved my frosting dam in from the edge, but I still have this problem. Is there some trick I am missing?????


I will proably get fussed at here, but I get that bulge on a fondant cake when I don't keep it in the cooler. I know people claim you can't refrigerate fondant, but you can....many of the top names do so....I read an article from Ron Ben-Israel that said he keeps his cakes chilled at 35 F until delivery. Once buttercream softens, especially if you don't roll your fondant extremely thin, say 1/16 inch thick, will join forces with gravity pushing downward....that icing then has to go somewhere!

CakeDiosa Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 5:02pm
post #17 of 28

Eh - no fussing from me, Jeff. I intern with a baker who does mostly cakes for celebrities and she refrigerates all of her cakes. Including fondant. At home, I don't have the luxury of refrigerator space and I worry about the bulge appearing when the cake comes to room temp as I have seen happen with my "mentor's" cakes when they come to room temp (ie: guests arrive and photos being taken). I, personally, have had nothing but success with Sharon's method.

Rooch if you feel you're cake is drying out over night wrap it completely in plastic wrap without the crumb coat. After unwrapping it let it sit until it is no longer tacky to the touch (allow condensation time to dry off - don't skip this step. I did and paid dearly for it with massive condensation bubbles under my fondant) then crumb or ice and cover. This is another tip from Sharon's DVD. Everyone does everything differently and based on what has proven successful for them. I say experiment with a small practice cake to find what works so you don't have to be stressed for an actual order.

hth!

MissCakeCrazy Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 12:49pm
post #18 of 28

I am always reading about american cake makers doing a 'crumb coat' around the sides of the cake. What exactly is this? Does it contain cake crumbs? Someone told me to mix my british buttercream (made with icing sugar and butter) with remaining cake crumbs (from trimming off the dome) , this will help straighten the sides. Has anyone tried this?

-Tubbs Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 2:13pm
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissCakeCrazy

I am always reading about american cake makers doing a 'crumb coat' around the sides of the cake. What exactly is this? Does it contain cake crumbs? Someone told me to mix my british buttercream (made with icing sugar and butter) with remaining cake crumbs (from trimming off the dome) , this will help straighten the sides. Has anyone tried this?



No, that cake crumb/icing mixture is referred to as 'cake spackle' (spackle is like Polyfilla). I've seen the method you refer to done in books, but doesn't seem to be very practical in real life.

The crumb coat is a thin coat of buttercream (any kind) which binds the crumbs to the cake so the top coat of buttercream won't have any crumbs in it. HTH.

sugarshack Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 12:39am
post #20 of 28

Here is a low down of my process: ( and thank you Cake Diosa)

1) need a really firm cake recipe and do not underbake (I tend to do this, lol)
2) stiffened buttercream dam
3) bag or wrap in plasctic overnight or several hours
4) take out bag and ket all wetness dry off surface ( mucho importante)
5) trim cake sides to be exact 90 degree to baord
6) crumbcoat
7) flash freeze 5-10 minutes till outer icing is very firm to touch. do not over chill (reaks havoc on fondant)
icon_cool.gif mist cake with water
9) apply fondant

This is what works for me. I never fridge my cakes because I do not have space for it.

HTH some!

krohrs Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 1:40am
post #21 of 28

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sharon, THE SUGAR SHACK SHARON, replied to my post..... icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you so much! I'm making a practice cake this weekend and will let you know how it goes....

Many thanks!!!!!

krohrs Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 1:45am
post #22 of 28

I do have one other question related to my belly bulge problem... How much buttercream should you actually use under fondant? A thin crumbcoat or a thicker layer???

sugarshack Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 2:25am
post #23 of 28

that is personal preference, i get the best results with a crumbcoat only and fondant 3/16 inch thick

good luck and do not give up!

cakesweetiecake Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 6:29pm
post #24 of 28

Great thread! Lots of great information. I havent covered a cake with fondant yet, but that buldge is something I am hoping to never encounter! LOL!

rooch Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:55pm
post #25 of 28

thanks to all of you who replied to this on going issue of the bulge that i have! i am about to do another cake for sunday. Have all of my cakes baked. 2 are in the freezer, 2 are cooling from the oven. Made the first 2 the other day to give myself enough time. I am planning on torting the ones cooling, later today and then defrosting the others overnight. Tomorrow, Friday, I plan on filling all of them and carving them. I plan on leaving them overnight to settle and let gravity set in. Then, Saturday, I planned on covering with fondant and then decorating. My question is, should I fill them tonight, let them sit overnight, cover with buttercream and cover with fondant tomorrow? And then stack and decorate on Saturday? That would mean the cakes would be out tonight, friday and saturday before delivery on sunday. help!!!

khoudek Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 12:29am
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Arnett

Quote:
Originally Posted by krohrs

Please help! I'm new to cake decorating, but I seem to be making the same mistake over and over again!!! Why do my fondant covered layers have a bulge between the layers? I've made 6 cakes and it's the same on every cake. I've moved my frosting dam in from the edge, but I still have this problem. Is there some trick I am missing?????

I will proably get fussed at here, but I get that bulge on a fondant cake when I don't keep it in the cooler. I know people claim you can't refrigerate fondant, but you can....many of the top names do so....I read an article from Ron Ben-Israel that said he keeps his cakes chilled at 35 F until delivery. Once buttercream softens, especially if you don't roll your fondant extremely thin, say 1/16 inch thick, will join forces with gravity pushing downward....that icing then has to go somewhere!




I've learned the fridge trick the hard way. It really does work. I can always tell which cakes I didn't cool.

Cakepro Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 1:55am
post #27 of 28

I learned the hard way some time ago to keep the cakes in the fridge...no bulges, no bubbles, no blowouts.

yellowtulips11 Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 6:18pm
post #28 of 28

I'm having the same problem. I'm hoping these tips and tricks will take care of it. Thanks everyone!

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