I have never had ANY problems with my icing in the past. I made three cakes last week and prepared the icing all at the same time. I followed the same recipe I have always used. I iced the cakes and when I was done, I was actually pretty proud because they were smoother than I have ever gotten them.
Then, I woke up the next morning and looked at them and ALL three had bulged where the layers come together. When I tried to fix it, of course the icing started cracking everywhere, which I have also never had a problem with.
I used a dam and then put in my filling, crumb coated the cakes, and waited the appropriate amount of time before icing. The only thing that is different is I purchased a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but I have made icing in that several other times and never had a problem.
Obviously I did something wrong and I CANNOT figure it out, so I thought I would go to the experts. Was my icing too thick (I didn't think it was), was it too thin, did I let air in somehwo??? I cannot figure it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have 5 cakes this week and need to get his figured out.
Do you have pictures? That might help with the diagnosis. I thought of a few more questions to ask. Was it hotter than normal? Did you use a different filling? Was it more humid than normal?
I don't know where you live but here in Texas the humity right now feels like 115%.. it is horrible.... I have to adjust my icing because of that. I don't know if that is the reason.
Another thing... I usually "try" to fill and crumb coat one night and let them sit overnight and "settle" before I ice them. I don't always get to do that but I try. That has really helped me a lot.
You might want to make sure you dam is a little farther in than the outside of your cake.. that also helps.
If your icing cracks, it sounds like it might be too dry??
Mcdonald, it has been humid here and I was wondering if that could be part of it, BUT I live in Louisville in the Ohio Valley and it's pretty much ALWAYS super humid here. We haven't had rain in a long time though and it rained a lot finally last week. I would think that would be a better thing though???? How do you adjust your icing?
Tastyart, here are pictures of two of the cakes. One of them I don't have a picture of. For the necklace cake, I only have pics from the front b/c I honestly didn't want to remember the cake. From the front, you notice there are bulges where the layers are. In the back however, it had a big bluge all over the whole back.
The second cake, the owl cake, has some cracks in the icing that I was able to fix somewhat. I picked it up under the cake board and cracks just went everywhere.
Fortunately no one who recieved these cakes cared.
Ugh, so frustrating... I sat here for 30 mintues adding two attachments and it appeared they went through and obviously they didn't. I will try again later.
Another thing to look at after the icing, is the cakes themselves. If the texture is too soft and not firm, that may be the culprit. Also, how fresh were the cakes? Often times, when a cake is iced the day it's baked, disaster will strike. Mcdonald has good advice: crumb ice and let the cake do it's thing overnight so it's settled for when you decorate. And lastly, did you get even a tiny bit carried away with the amount of filling? Even with a generous dam, too much filling has a way of getting revenge! What ever you do, don't be too hard on yourself. All of us nutty decorators are perfectionists and we are harder on ourselves than anybody. Just chalk this up to yet another learning opportunity (I have at least three a day, lol!)
I picked it up under the cake board and cracks just went everywhere.
This happens when the cake board is not stiff/sturdy enough. When you move a cake that's on a too thin board it causes those tiny hair-line cracks to appear in the icing. Fortunately, it's a very easy problem to correct!
You're getting lots of advice on the bulging, so hopefully this will be one of the few times that these things happen! And as has been said, we are our own worst critics.
Hi Cargen ::waves:: I'm in Louisville also. Where are you exactly?
All good advice above.
I am actually in Sellersburg Leah_s. Grew up in Louisville and stil consider it my home. Not like it's any different. Where are you in Louisville?
MadameRaz, I didn't know to let it sit overnight after baking. I don't think I iced them the same day, but maybe. Just finished another cake. We will see what happens. I took pics of the progression this time so if it happens again, maybe that will help.
I'm very near downtown. DH teaches at IvyTech in Sellersburg!