Cake Bulges

Decorating By k_mun Updated 17 Jul 2010 , 3:03am by Apti

k_mun Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 4:16pm
post #1 of 11

Hi,
My cakes have always been plagued by the bulge.



  • 1. How do I avoid this?
    2. What are the best practices?
    3. Exactly how thick should the dam for the filling be?
    4. How much filling is too much?



Thanks.

10 replies
CWR41 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 4:32pm
post #2 of 11

Allow your cake to settle before icing and decorating it.

(there are lots of threads about bulging cakes and great information available for solutions.)

VNatividad Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:56pm
post #3 of 11

1. The damn I use is buttercream in the same consistency as I use to ice the cake. You can thicken it by adding more PS if its American buttercream recipe.
2. I use a coupler that does not have the slits like Wilton does. I start about 1/4 inch in from the edge.
3. I fill up to the top of the damn and level.
4. Once you fill and add your second cake layer I squish down this will cause some of the damn to spread and come out over the edge. I add buttercream all around the seam and remove any excess.
5. Minimum time to settle is 3 hours, more is a plus, overnight covered in clear plastic is ideal.

Once it settles remove any of the bulging icing and ice. Make sure your filling is not too runny, the firmer the type of filling the better. Hope this helps, again this is what I've done in short amount of time I've been caking.

Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 6:20pm
post #4 of 11

Well, I've found that sit-ups are really the most effective for me to... what? Oh, the OTHER type of bulge. Sorry! icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif

Make sure if you're using the dam method that the icing you use for the dam is thicker. You want about the same consistency you'd use to make roses. Let it crust for a few minutes before you fill and stack, and then be careful about how much you press down after adding the next layer. A little press is good, but a firm press can actually CAUSE the blow out. Try using a little less filling, and try to avoid thin fillings. I have found that torting the cake and using very thin layers of filling works better than having one layer of filling that is thick. As for how much is too much... is it bulging? Then it's too much! icon_rolleyes.gif SO helpful, I know! I honestly don't let my cake settle overnight simply because I'd rather have them be fresher than less-bulgy. Does that make sense? I rarely have problems with bulging even only letting it settle for half an hour or less. Piping a line of BC around the outside of the dam after you stack the cake, then using a spatula to smooth that out also helps. I do that quite often.

Yum2010 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 6:35pm
post #5 of 11

My cakes always had the dreaded bulge until I discovered Sharon Z's DVD!!! (I think its in her Buttercream DVD). Anyway, I think the key is having your dam icing very thick. I get it to a dough-like consistancy. I also let my cakes settle for a few hours after crumb coating. Then, I trim off any bulge with my palate knife and ice. Never had a bulge since I've been doing this! THANKS SHARON!!! You can buy her DVD's at www.sugaredproductions.com. They are FANTASTIC!!

langranny Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 6:47pm
post #6 of 11

I read or heard about this somewhere (here?) and it works great. When you put down the "dam", put it about 1/4" inside the edge of the cake. Then fill and stack. Once the layers are stacked, cover the top with waxed or parchment paper and put a ceramic tile (12" or larger) on the top. The tile needs to be as big or bigger than the top of the cake. I do this at least a day ahead and leave it overnight. Makes the top of the cake really flat and if any filling oozes out, you just scrape it off before crumb coating and frosting. Home Depot sells 16" files for around $2 each and 12" for less than $1. Put the top side of the tile down on the cake.

Yum2010 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 7:22pm
post #7 of 11

Ohhh, langranny, that sounds like a good idea if your kinda in a rush. Probably speeds up the settling a bit. Gonna have to try that one!

LuluSweetArt Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 7:42pm
post #8 of 11

I agree! Letting your cakes settle, preferably overnight is the best way to go. Then you just scrape off the bulges and ice. it works amazing. I've also heard of people using cake "Spackle". I've never tried it, but essentially it's just butter cream and the crumbled up leftovers from leveling your cakes (think cake pops) spread real thin on the cake and allowed to crust. You butter cream on top of that and then cover with fondant. Like I said, I've never tried it, but I know people who swear by it! Good luck finding a method that works for you!

k_mun Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 8:09pm
post #9 of 11

Thanks, all. All replies very helpful.
Now that I think about it, my cakes in the past that bulged were filled with custard. Red flag, right there.
And I did check out Sharon's video on youtube. Excellent!

I now see where I used to make mistakes. I used custards as fillings which do not provide very much support and squish easily. I also filled and frosted cakes in quick succession, so cakes settled when refrigerated and showed through the frosting.

This time hopefully I am sucessful. Thanks again.

dm321 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 11:20pm
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by langranny

I read or heard about this somewhere (here?) and it works great. When you put down the "dam", put it about 1/4" inside the edge of the cake. Then fill and stack. Once the layers are stacked, cover the top with waxed or parchment paper and put a ceramic tile (12" or larger) on the top. The tile needs to be as big or bigger than the top of the cake. I do this at least a day ahead and leave it overnight. Makes the top of the cake really flat and if any filling oozes out, you just scrape it off before crumb coating and frosting. Home Depot sells 16" files for around $2 each and 12" for less than $1. Put the top side of the tile down on the cake.




Love that idea! Thanks for sharing!

~diem

Apti Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:03am
post #11 of 11

[quote="Melvira"]Well, I've found that sit-ups are really the most effective for me to... what? Oh, the OTHER type of bulge. Sorry! icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif "

I very carefully went to Home Depot the other day and bought two ceramic tiles and thought, gee, these sure are heavy. After reading this forum I measured them, and, yup, they are not 12" they are 16". I'd probably crush my little 10" cakey-wakey. Back to Home Depot....

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