Okay - this is a 2 fold question.
1 - bulge #1: sometime we have a bulge around the perimeter of a cake where the layers are stacked. Am i putting too much icing between the layers or too thin of icing on the outside? Everyone says we have enough icing on the outside - sometimes I think it is too much.
2 - bulge #2: sometimes the cake itself will actually bulge out on the sides. This is very noticible when we cover a cake with fondant.
Any ideas on either? Suggestions?
For bulge #1, you can try weighting your cake down with something like a floor tile (unused, of course!) that will be heavy but will spread the weight around evenly. You do this after you fill your cake but before you crumbcoat it or put the fondant on. That way, any filling that will squeeze out will already have done so by the time you cover it. As for bulge #2, that's probably happening because your fondant is stretching down the side of your cake. I have two suggestions there. One is to add a little CMC (about a teaspoon or so per pound - you'll need to experiment a little with this) to your fondant. This will make it a little stiffer and will help with the stretching. The other is to use as little crumbcoat as possible under the fondant, because the crumbcoat is adding too much moisture to your fondant. If you use buttercream or jam, make it as thin a layer as possible - just enough to help the fondant stick. Or you could try using ganache as your crumbcoat, which is a lot less humid than jam or buttercream. That's what I do in this hot, humid climate where I live!
For #1: Are you leveling your cakes? Some people don't, and simply flip the top layer over so that its dome touches the top of the bottom layer. (I hope that makes sense! ) In that case, the dome from the top layer can push out the filling and cause a bulge.