Question For The Fruit Cake Bakers Out There

Decorating By sweet_honesty Updated 6 Jun 2011 , 12:42pm by Chellescakes

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 2:28pm
post #1 of 18

I was wondering if anybody who makes traditional heavy fruit wedding cake has ever has the problem of the cake bleeding.

I recently did a wedding cake with fruit cake as the bottom two tiers and you can see where the cake bled into the ribbon. ( look closely on the left hand side). This is the first time it has ever bled on me and I was wondering why it happened and what I could do to prevent it in the future.

Any help would be appreciated.

17 replies
Caths_Cakes Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 2:50pm
post #2 of 18

Sweet honesty, What a strange thing to happen! your cake must have been very moist icon_biggrin.gif yummy!

Im curious though, Did you cover it with just fondant, Or with marzipan as well?

Tradtionally, when a fruit cake was made, it was left to mature for a few month, Then covered with marzipan and left for a few days for that to dry out, Before covering with fondant. The marzipan acts as a barrier, to any bleeding you might get from a dark fruit cake, and also to create a smooth canvas to work upon icon_smile.gif

Another thing i noticed, You piped your border on top of the ribbon, What was it? it looks like royal but i cant be sure ?

I make dozens of fruit cakes for christmas and have never had one bleed like that :/

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 3:03pm
post #3 of 18

I usually bake about three weeks in advance. I don't use marzipan because it is just too expensive to buy almond flour.

I usually cover with a double layer of fondant so that the first layer acts as my marzipan. I cover with the first layer about a week in advance.

We have been having stormy weather for the past few days so I was wondering if the humidity had anything to do with it.

To answer your question, the piped border was royal.

I am at a loss.

Caths_Cakes Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 3:20pm
post #4 of 18

It very well could be, Can you not buy marzipan premade where you are? Its much denser than fondant, but then again, if youve always used fondant and never had the issue before , It could just be the humidity :/

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 3:26pm
post #5 of 18

I'm in the Caribbean. To get premade marzipan I would have to order it through the local hotel supply places and have it imported.

One of the local supermarkets ( You can think of them as the Waitrose of Barbados) stocks the small packets of Dr. Oetker. I'd have to buy a million of those to get a large cake done.

I might have to reconsider it though.. I would rather my cake not bleed. I was so proud of it before that happened icon_sad.gif

Caths_Cakes Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 3:52pm
post #6 of 18

Oh right i see, Marzipan is rather cheap here in the uk, and i can buy big slabs of it !

I know, Some people do make a cheats marzipan, out of potatoes, powdered sugar and almond essence . .Ive never done it, and i dont know what it tastes like , but thats what my gran used to use years ago when she couldnt afford to buy marzipan.

Joyfull4444 Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 5:32pm
post #7 of 18

I honestly could not see much bleeding. Maybe the teeniest smidge, but so easy to overlook. I bet no one at the wedding noticed the bleeding at all, I'd think they were too busy enjoying how lovely your cake looked!

Just a random thought.. Did you use buttercream under your fondant layers? If so, that may have contributed to the bleeding. Moisture on moisture type of thing.

I don't make wedding size fruitcakes but do make a a batch of small individual fruit cakes for Xmas giving. I have believe it or not, family and friends that actually love fruitcake! icon_lol.gif

I simply coat my cakes with apricot jam thats been heated with a bit of water, then strained. I let that dry up good on the fruitcake, then cover with a layer of almond paste. Not marzipan, whatever they do to almond paste to turn it into marzipan makes it taste awful. Plain almond paste on the other hand, I could eat by the handful!

I don't always add a layer of fondant to my cakes, sometimes I'll just decorate the almond paste itself and leave it at that, but when I do, I make sure the almond paste has set up a bit before adding the fondant.

Heres a link to assorted homemade almond paste & marzipan recipes.
Hope I've been of some help. icon_smile.gif

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 7:01pm
post #8 of 18

Thanks for the links. Buttercream and fruitcake are the ickiest combination I have ever come across. I tried it one day with some scraps and leftovers just to see how it would taste. Blech!

I use a thin coat of light corn syrup to stick the first layer of fondant onto the cake. The second goes on with water.

Anything other than fruitcake gets buttercreamed. But they don't bleed. The top tier of that one was chocolate and it was perfectly fine.

rainbow_kisses Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 7:26pm
post #9 of 18

Are you covering the whole cake, underside included with your first covering of fondant? It will help seal in all of the cake and help prevent bleeding. The hot weather might be to blame, as the cake won't be drying out as fast.

Almond paste is marzipan, exactly the same product although most people call it almond paste when it is home made and marzipan as a mass manufactured product purely because home made tends to be 50% almond 50% sugar and mass produced is 30% almond and 70% sugar.

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 7:49pm
post #10 of 18

Nah I'm not covering the know that never occurred to me.

How would I get that done though?...

rainbow_kisses Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 7:55pm
post #11 of 18

To cover the whole cake I put a circle or square of fondant on what is going to be the bottom, turn it upside down and then cover as normal. Smooth the join at the bottom and it will create and airtight covering. Leave to dry and then place on your second covering just on the top. This helps to hold in all of the moisture and helps to stop bleeding around the base.

sweet_honesty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:14pm
post #12 of 18

Thanks a million. I will have to give that a try.

Majie Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:54pm
post #13 of 18

In Zimbabwe we basically ever make English type of dark rich fruit cakes for weddings and hope i can help. Normally when you cover your cake with marzipan you should leave it to dry for at least 4 days, up to a week in damp weather. Then sugarpaste is applied and cake decorated. What you should note is that when your cake is to be placed on a sugarpaste covered board it should be sitting on a thin cake board (this will ensure that the moisture from the cake is all sealed in) and then a boarder can be applied, if the cake is not sitting on a thin board then the alcohol will sip through. This will eliminate the need of covering the cake at the bottom (have never heard of it), i have never had any incidents like that and some of my cakes can be very moist, as per clients requests in order to keep the cake for the first anniversary. Hope this helps

Joyfull4444 Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 9:35pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by sweet_honesty

I use a thin coat of light corn syrup to stick the first layer of fondant onto the cake. The second goes on with water.

I wonder if it could have been the water between the two layers of fondant that caused the bleeding? The water, even if its a small amount can sometimes cause fondant to soften too much, which in turn could cause the fondant to dissolve or melt enough to cause bleeding.

Maybe try using your corn syrup to adhere the second layer of fondant as well. Or, try a few dabs of piping gel between the fondant and see how that works.
You could try it on a small practice piece to be sure.

sweet_honesty Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 5:16pm
post #15 of 18

Well I got an update. The bride loved her cake. Nobody seemed to notice the bleeding.

I'll still try some of your tips for a fix though. I won't be satisfied until I get this fixed.

Joyfull4444 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 6:03pm
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by sweet_honesty

Well I got an update. The bride loved her cake. Nobody seemed to notice the bleeding.

I'll still try some of your tips for a fix though. I won't be satisfied until I get this fixed.

You see! Not a soul noticed! I wouldn't have noticed except for you pointing out where to look & even then one needed binoculars with a giant zoom!
You produced a beautiful cake that was loved by the bride. Thats all that counts in the end! Congratulations! thumbs_up.gif

Millyscakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 12:18pm
post #17 of 18

Hie sweet_hinesty, I tend to make black cake too and once in a while they bleed even with marzipan covering them. I tend to blame it on the rum content!

Chellescakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 12:42pm
post #18 of 18

I always run a line of royal around the base of the cake , then wipe most of it off just to seal the cake to the board. I fine that it fills in any gaps that the cake may bleed through. It also gives a lovely smooth and even surface to pipe your border on.
also if I am placing the cake on an iced board, I make sure the cake is on a cardboard board the same size as the cake.

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