Why Do I Keep Getting The Icing "bulge"?

Decorating By dmo4ab Updated 24 Jun 2010 , 3:45pm by 4realLaLa

dmo4ab Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:38pm
post #1 of 16

I love this site and I need to call my peers with more knowledge than I to help me out. Most of my smooth iced cake (usually CBC or CCC) end up with a "bulge" in the middle between the layers. I always ice and stack the layers, allow to set up for 10-20 minutes and then crumb ice, let it dry, and then smooth ice and let it crust. So why does it end up bulging like the middle is squishing out? I know it's minor, but it doesn't look clean and professional.

You can see what is happening pretty good on the top layer of the following pic. (it was an 80's cake, so warning..it's bright and tacky!)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1603323.html

15 replies
bashini Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:22pm
post #2 of 16

Hi, I put a stiff icing dam around the edge of each layer before putting the filling. Take a bit of your normal bc and add powdered sugar to make it stiff. You should be able to roll it in your hand without sticking. Then take your icing bag with couplers (no piping tips) and fill it with stiffened bc and pipe a dam around the edge of your first layer. Then put the filling and make sure not to put the filing right up to the top of the dam. Your filling should be just below. Then put the next layer. Ones I done that I wrap it with saran wrap and leave it over night to settle. Then next morning check whether there is any bulging and if there is, take a sharp knife and remove it. Then do the crumbcoating.

I learnt this from sugarshack and highly recommend her videos. Also I found this preview if you want to have a look.




HTH. icon_smile.gif

PDXSweetTreats Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:26pm
post #3 of 16

Hi! Use an extra thick BC icing as a dam before placing the filling in your cake. After you place the top layer on, use a cake board to press down lightly but firmly on top of your cake. Then go around the edge where the torte is and "seal" it on the outside by piping the extra thick icing perpendicularly along the seam.

This is the "Zambito" method, and I've found it very useful. If you can, get Sharon' Zambito's "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" (www.sugaredproductions.com). It's WELL worth the money and has a LOT of tips for newbies like us! icon_smile.gif

Good luck!

TexasSugar Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:30pm
post #4 of 16

You want to let your cake settle more than 10-20 mins. I fill and stack, crumb coat them let sit atleast a few hours if not over night.

Cgekko22 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:48pm
post #5 of 16

I used to have the same problem with "bulging" sides. I now stack all my cakes the night before I plan to ice/decorate and I haven't had the problem again. It takes a little advanced planning, but give it a try and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

zdebssweetsj Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:50pm
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXSweetTreats

Hi! Use an extra thick BC icing as a dam before placing the filling in your cake. After you place the top layer on, use a cake board to press down lightly but firmly on top of your cake. Then go around the edge where the torte is and "seal" it on the outside by piping the extra thick icing perpendicularly along the seam.

This is the "Zambito" method, and I've found it very useful. If you can, get Sharon' Zambito's "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" (www.sugaredproductions.com). It's WELL worth the money and has a LOT of tips for newbies like us! icon_smile.gif

Good luck!


I use Sharon Zamboito's methood and love it, you will love her DVD's.

dmo4ab Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 12:05pm
post #7 of 16

Icing Dam - I should have known. A Wilton course one technique that I forgot. Thanks a lot all of you. I'll defenitely be using the ising dam along with a longer set up time. I'll also check out those dvd's. Sounds like I would benefit from them!

Thanks!

makeminepink Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 12:29pm
post #8 of 16

I even tried the Sharon Zambito method when I did my last layer cake. For me, I think my problem is that my cakes are domed. They're flat on top, but they still have a curved edge, do you know what I mean? I think that little curve is the problem. I'm going to have to get some bake-even strips to see if that fixes it or possibly lower the baking temp.

leah_s Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 12:43pm
post #9 of 16

1. Cakes have to be leveled. With an Agbay or a knife. You can not leave the dome on.

2. You really need that stiff bc dam.

3. You must allow time for settling. After torting and filling, wrap your cake in plastic film and allow to settle at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight. I weight the cake with one ceramic tile roughly the same size as the cake. That speeds up the settling time to roughly 3 hours.

nadia0411 Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 2:49pm
post #10 of 16

i dont intend to hijack this post but a very related question, i know damming is good but i prefer ganache to cover my cake, white or dark, if i have some filling e.g cream cheese, fresh cream then buttercream dam wont go with it, wont it be tooo many flavors? what do you recommend, ganache dam?

Chippi Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 3:03pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

1. Cakes have to be leveled. With an Agbay or a knife. You can not leave the dome on.

2. You really need that stiff bc dam.

3. You must allow time for settling. After torting and filling, wrap your cake in plastic film and allow to settle at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight. I weight the cake with one ceramic tile roughly the same size as the cake. That speeds up the settling time to roughly 3 hours.




Leah I so agree with all of these steps, it took me a while to figure out how important the #1 leveling part is. I use to not level because some of my cakes would come out pretty even out of the pan so I didn't think this was important as it really is. One time I would have a cake without bulge next time a bulge and I was doing everything corret #2 & #3. The answer: #1 Level! lol
Thanks Leah icon_smile.gif
Chippi

dailey Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 3:08pm
post #12 of 16

all very good advice (especially leveling the layers). however, i used smbc and must say, i've never used a dam and have never bulged. i've read before that smbc is less prone to doing so...

FrostedFantasies Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 3:13pm
post #13 of 16

Another option to leveling is to use paper towels....I fold (into a quarter of the size of a towel) about two paper towels and as soon as the cake comes out I very gently press down on the center and anywhere else I see a bulge. When I'm done pressing I open the paper towel and lay t over the cake while it cools....it seems to help keep some of the moisture in. icon_smile.gif
I have the bake even strips too, but I found this method works just as well, plus no wasted cake!
HTH!

tx_cupcake Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 3:16pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadia0411

i dont intend to hijack this post but a very related question, i know damming is good but i prefer ganache to cover my cake, white or dark, if i have some filling e.g cream cheese, fresh cream then buttercream dam wont go with it, wont it be tooo many flavors? what do you recommend, ganache dam?




If you ice with ganache, you don't need a dam.

PDXSweetTreats Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 7:19pm
post #15 of 16

Leah_s, thanks for the tip about using a tile to weight the cake down during settling. Great idea -- I'm going to use it next time. Thanks!

Also, dmo4ab, Sharon is known as "sugarshack" here on Cake Central. Check out her cakes -- they're terrific! icon_smile.gif

4realLaLa Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 3:45pm
post #16 of 16

very helpful. thanks guys.

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