What Is Happening To My Cake When I Drop It Off??

Decorating By BakerzJoy Updated 26 Jul 2011 , 12:28am by jhay

BakerzJoy Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 6:48pm
post #1 of 16

Okay CC pro's.....I am stumped. I have been doing cakes for over 10 years with no outside experience. I have kinda taught myself and learned along the way from my own mistakes.
Okay so here's what's happening....I make a cake, covered it in buttercream crumb coat, lay fondant over it and decorate it. Then I take photos and send it off to the client. While the cake is with me, it's perfect. Once the clients get it and bring it to the party and photogragh it, it's sagging and bulging on the bottom and where my layers are.
My first thought is the heat because it has been boiling here in GA. Then I'm thinking, maybe it's my work. Is my fondant to thick, is my frosting between the layers to much, is my cake WAY to soft?! HELP!!

I am up for constructive critisism so please guide me. Why does this happen and could it be me? How can I correct this so my cakes look good even in the clients pics too.

15 replies
JSKConfections Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:03pm
post #2 of 16

I have had this happen at home this last weekend...we are thinking its the heat. I can't wait to read replys on this one too! Thanks for your question.

leah_s Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:25pm
post #3 of 16

tell us more, step by step what you're doing. Cakes in the fridge at any point? How thick is the bc layer? How thick is the fondant?

cai0311 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 16

If you are just now having problems with sagging fondant, and you haven't changed a thing, then the heat is your most likely reason.

Have you ever tried using ganache instead of buttercream under your fondant. That is what I use and have yet to have a probem with sagging.

I also refrigerate all my cakes, including fondant ones. I use Fondarific brand without any problems with refrigeration.

TexasSugar Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:29pm
post #5 of 16

How long is it in your hands after you decorate it and before you send it off with the customer?

Do you let your cakes settle before you ice/fondant them?

BakerzJoy Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:50pm
post #6 of 16

Here is what I do....I usually do a 4 layer on all my cakes. After baking and cooling, I fill them with buttercream and stack them. They get wrapped in plastic wrap and refridgerated until the next day which is when I decorate. On this day, I take them out, cover them in the crumb coat which is a light amount and then cover in my MMF. Sometimes my fondant is a lil thicker because I hate to see through my cakes and feel this the only way to avoid that.
I have been doing this forever and it works for me but I would really love to know how some people use a thin piece of fondant and the cake is so clean with no bulges underneath. I do not put my cakes in the fridge once they are covered in fondant unless it's super humid outside and it's doing funny things to the cake. This particular cake was actually refridgerated because of the heat yesterday and the client didn't do the same once she got it home.
I really like the idea of ganache underneath but what if it's a fruit type cake? Do i just use white chcolate? Will it crack when it hardens once the fondant goes over this?? This would be a new thing for me to try. Thanks for that great idea cai 0311

BakerzJoy Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:53pm
post #7 of 16

Oh and also...the cake is always done the day before delivery so I can watch and make sure it's perfect. So I know what my cake looks like the next day after being decorated and settled and this is before the client even gets it in their hands.

tiptop57 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 7:57pm
post #8 of 16

What type of cake are you covering. A denser cake has a tighter crumb and with fondant holds up better. A light sponge cake has more air and can settle especially in the heat with heavy fondant. Need to let your cake settle overnight before frosting, wrap in plastic and refridgerate. Need to use a really thick BC dam. BC should be thich enough to mold for the dam. Are you using a fruit layer, that can contibute to settling in heat, I'd use BC only in the heat. What type of buttercream are you using, a delicate recipe could cause settling also. Your fondant should be 1/8 to 1/4 thick. More to the 1/8. HTH

artgal Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 8:20pm
post #9 of 16

I agree with tiptop57. Thicker layer of a firm BC and a very thin layer of the fondant. I freeze iced cake for a few hours then decorate. when done, it gets boxed and wrapped with Saran wrap so that there is no moisture coming in from fridge. Also, it could be the layers of filling are too thick causing it to settle in the heat and bulge. This heat has been horrible for fondant use!! Hope you get this straightened out. Good luck!

cai0311 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 8:25pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Quote:

I really like the idea of ganache underneath but what if it's a fruit type cake? Do i just use white chcolate? Will it crack when it hardens once the fondant goes over this?? This would be a new thing for me to try. Thanks for that great idea cai 0311




If the cake has a fruit filling I still put a dam of buttercream to prevent any bleeding.
I always use white chocolate ganache because in my opinion it is like buttercream and doesn't add a lot of flavor or mess with the flavor of cake and filling.
My fondant has never cracked.

There was a thread going about ganache that included 3 vidoes from a woman in australia about chocolate and what chocolate ganache. I found them extremely helpful. I will look for that thread now.

cs_confections Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 8:43pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

... I fill them with buttercream and stack them. They get wrapped in plastic wrap and refridgerated until the next day which is when I decorate. On this day, I take them out, cover them in the crumb coat which is a light amount and then cover in my MMF. ...




It looks like you aren't giving them any real time to settle outside of the fridge. Since the cold fridge firms up the icing and cake, it can't really settle when cold. Since you are just filling with buttercream, there is no reason to put them in the fridge. Just wrap them up and leave them on the counter overnight.

I bet once they're at your client's events, the cakes are warming up and really just starting to settle, now with heavy fondant on top, so the bottom get squished. The excess fondant has no where to go and won't shrink, so it gets bulgy. Hope that helps!

Alexsmommee Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 9:10pm
post #13 of 16

I think cs_confections has hit the nail on the head. As silly as it sounds, I add weight to the top of the cake. After filling and wrapping in plastic, I lay a couple of magazines on a cake board on top of the cake and leave it on the counter. The weight helps settle the cake and icing. Sometimes it will also cause the lower layer to deform slightly. I trim that away with a sharp knife. Most of this practice came from SugarEd's videos and seems to work for me.

BakerzJoy Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 9:34pm
post #14 of 16

Wow, I'm so glad you guys gave me all these super tricks. I will try them here soon.
I use a shortening based buttercream, infact I use Indydebi's crisco based buttercream. Should I just make this thicker too for in between the layers? For those who said to use a thicker buttercream, I'm thinking I should add more PS to thicken it more. What do you guys think?
It seems thick enough to me, but maybe this will help by adding more PS.

cakestyles Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 12:03am
post #15 of 16

I use mmf too and I absolutely cannot refrigerate the cake once it's covered because when it comes to room temperature, especially when it's hot and humid, the condensation does horrible things to the mmf. That happened to me last summer with a 3 tier present cake...it was a nightmare. It was the only time I refrigerated a mmf covered cake and the last.

I agree that if you're not using perishable fillings or icing than don't refrigerate the cake at all.

jhay Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 12:28am
post #16 of 16

When I dam a cake with buttercream, I take a bit of buttercream aside and add enough powedered sugar to make the buttercream so stiff that I can roll it into a snake. I then wrap that around the outer edge and fill. This is especially helpful when I'm using preserves or other loose fillings.

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