Stacking/fondant Slouching Problem! Please Help

Decorating By LeahMarieT Updated 8 Jun 2011 , 5:20pm by Jenn1013

LeahMarieT Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:15am
post #1 of 14

Ok so I'm still kind of new at this, but in the past couple of cakes I've made the fondant seems to slouch in between the filling of the bottom layer. For instance I made (2) 10" and then (2) 8" stacked on top... Used BC for filling and crumb coating, then fondant over.

I noticed the fondant started to slouch and you could kind of see like a ripple between the 2 bottom layers. As if it was too heavy or something. Am I making sense?

I used 4 plastic dowels in the bottom layer and a cake board for the (2) 8" layers, any advice or tips on what I can do differently to not get this effect?

Thanks so much!!

13 replies
Coral3 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:23am
post #2 of 14

Did you allow the cake time to 'settle' after filling but before frosting all over? That would probably help. A lot of people pop a ceramic(?) tile on top of the cake to help the settling along. Otherwise it could be that the buttercream between layers was just too thick (or too soft maybe?)

If the support dowels were cut shorter than the total height of the decorated bottom tier, this would also cause problems. They would need to be the exact height so the weight of the top cake is not pressing down on the lower tier at all.

Texas_Rose Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:43am
post #3 of 14

It's probably not the weight of the upper tier, if your dowels are long enough.

I chill my cakes after I put the buttercream on and before the fondant goes on, and I don't get that line on the cakes anymore, even when I don't let them settle for a few hours.

BeesKnees578 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 2:34am
post #4 of 14

I keep my cakes chilled at all times...baked and into freezer still hot/warm. Then out just enough so I cut and level. Filled and crumb coated and back into the fridge til firm crumb coat. Ice and back into the fridge til firm. Decorate and put back in fridge as needed. It takes longer to get the basics done BUT it gives me time to clean up counters, tools, etc between tasks. I don't put too much buttercream in as a filling if it's plain. But ganache, which is pretty firm or cookiesncream buttercream and fillings with "stuff" in it doesn't seep out as much.

Cakepro Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:29am
post #5 of 14

You may be using too much buttercream. I've seen many students slather on very thick layers of buttercream, which then slowly sllllllliiiiiiiiiiddddddddddde down the sides of the cake under the weight of the fondant. Compounding this problem is that your fondant may be rolled too thickly, another common problem with novices.

LeahMarieT Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:33am
post #6 of 14

I typically freeze all my cakes after baking then when Im ready to frost I take out and frost in BC then pop back in the fridge for a while before i lay the fondant down.

It could possibly be that my dowels were too short. Because its only happened a couple time, but its sooo frustrating. When you just dowel the bottom layer for a 2 layer cake? or do you dowel the bottom layer and then one long one through both layers?

...maybe my bc was too soft too. Does it typically need to be a stiff consistency?

thanks again for wonderful advice!

Cakepro Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:38am
post #7 of 14

No, your buttercream does not need to be stiff. I prefer a softer buttercream personally.

Any cakes that are supporting a cake on top of it must be doweled. Whether or not you secure the two cakes together with one central dowel is based on whether the cake has to travel, whether you chill them before delivery, and the size of the top tier.

For just two stacked cakes, I generally don't use a central dowel, but my cakes are chilled in the cooler for many hours before delivery, which creates a very firm, stable cake.

Are you saying that you frost frozen cakes? That's not a good idea. You WILL have settling issues if that is what you've been doing.

Also, a LAYER is a slab of cake. Generally, most cakes have two to four layers each, separated by buttercream or filling. A TIER is a cake. Two stacked cakes is a two-tiered cake. icon_smile.gif

Sorelle Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:59am
post #8 of 14

I used to have the same problem I didn't know about settling. I do now, and haven't had a slouching cake since.

cakemamaof3 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 4:05am
post #9 of 14

I had this problem once, I did some research at the book store and came across a book(can't remember the name) that talked about cake spackle. Basically she took cake crumbs, buttercream and curd or filling, mixed it all together and spackled the cake in between the layers and at the bottom just above the cake board and then crumb coated it. She then put it in the fridge for several hours. When she was ready for the fondant she brushed warmed jam, spririts or plain water over the cake to make the fondant stick. I've made 4 cakes since with no slouching, I'm thrilled!!

Cakepro Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 4:13am
post #10 of 14

Wow, that sounds like a bunch of extra time-consuming trouble.

I'm not sure why so many people here have so much trouble with cakes settling. I just give each layer a good smash, fill, add layer, smash, fill, add layer, smash, etc. I don't crumb coat, just apply buttercream. Pop in the fridge for an hour, spritz with a fine-misting water bottle, and apply fondant. I think if you dam your cakes well and give 'em a good push as you add each subsequent layer, you just don't have bulging problems.

I can't imagine having to add tiles or allow cakes to settle overnight or any of that other stuff. I don't have time for that and my cakes don't bulge.

BeesKnees578 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 11:45am
post #11 of 14

I believe it is Toba Garrett that does the cake spackle, which I have used when I need to smooth out a rounded shape like the Wilton Half Ball pan...not all balls are soccer balls, so I filled in the ridges with that and it does work great.

LeahMarieT Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 2:49pm
post #12 of 14

LOL Whoops I knew that looked wrong when I typed it (layer vs. tier) thanks for the clarification

I should say that I don't frost them frozen, I do let them defrost then BC then fridge, then take out to apply fondant.

Hmmmm....maybe I'm not smashing enough, I can't remember if I do that or not. So next time I will remember to dowel correctly and also smash layers enough into eachother.

Thanks so much!

kakeladi Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:42pm
post #13 of 14 you dowel the bottom layer and then one long one through both layers? ........
.......I'm not sure why so many people here have so much trouble with cakes settling...........

I agree not understanding why so many people have so much trouble. In over 30 yrs of decorating I almost never let a cake 'settle'. When you have a busy bakery that wastes time amd money!
Many times the bulge is due to your layers not being level. This brings up a whole new 'thread' of discussion - of which there are many on this site. Do some research - read, read, read! There is soooooooo much info on here to be gleaned.

As for the 'one long one through...layers': as was mentioned that is only used when a cake is transported - usually a long distance. It also can give one a false sense of comfort. The long dowel will not completely stop/prohibit a cake from falling that is not supported/put together properly. It helps some but is not a total/complete safety net.

Jenn1013 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 5:20pm
post #14 of 14

As a new and learning cake person that doesn't own a bakery....I let my cakes settle. My cakes are for fun and family so no time ir money wasted. Just reading this has giving me new ideas to try. Thanks to all th pros that have helped me so far. And good luck in the future leah.

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