Battle Of The Bulge

Baking By waggs Updated 5 Mar 2012 , 1:07pm by waggs

waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 12:07am
post #1 of 20

I have tried everything I can think of to not get a bulge in the cake after it is covered with fondant. I have put a heavy weight on it as someone suggested, put in fridge, not in fridge, etc. still get the bulge, please help!

19 replies
waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 12:56am
post #2 of 20


waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 2:04am
post #3 of 20


Goreti Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 2:31am
post #4 of 20

Could you be putting too much filling? Are you piping a good dam around the cake? I actually like to use a very stiff abc even when I use smbc to frost the cakes. I make sure the abc is very stiff. I have found that this seems to work the best for me.

HootersAlicia Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 2:37am
post #5 of 20

I haven't tried it myself yet, but I've also heard of people hollowing out a small indentation in the cake so that the filling will stay in. Of course you still need a dam.

waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 4:07am
post #6 of 20

So if I make a smbc I should still make a regular bc too? To put a dam around?

Apti Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 4:50am
post #7 of 20

The ONLY way I have succeeded (2 year hobby baker) is to make a SUPER-STIFF buttercream dam. It is about the consistency of Play-Doh. I just put about a cup in a bowl, add a lot of powdered sugar, mix with a fork or spoon until it's stiff.

I haven't made SMBC so I don't know if adding powdered sugar would wreck the amount you'd need for your dam.

scp1127 Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 8:07am
post #8 of 20

I don't have problems with SMBC/IMBC. Maybe you need a sturdier recipe.

FromScratch has beautiful cakes and posted her SMBC recipe.

I use IMBC except for a few recipes. I use the ratios from Warren Brown.

Are your fillings just too soupy? You can't just put anything in with a dam and you can't put in any amount. Could this be the problem?

AnnieCahill Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 12:02pm
post #9 of 20

What kind of BC are you using? I only got bulging issues when I was using American style buttercreams (which I still have to use sometimes, unfortunately).

Here is what I do:

To make your dam, add in as much powdered sugar as you need to make it a mold-able icing. This is gross, but necessary to make it strong enough. You can put it in a bag with a coupler or round tip and pipe the dam. It will be hard to pipe but you can do it if you squeeze hard enough. Then fill the cake, but don't overfill. Repeat for any other layers within the cake.

I don't typically let my cakes settle if I'm using a dam that stiff, and I've never had a problem. BUT, you can leave it for a few hours at room temperature and then scrape the excess icing if any has oozed out. I don't ever weigh the cake down with anything.


waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 4:42pm
post #10 of 20

I use smbc.

Vkylyn Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 6:31pm
post #11 of 20

Hello, I believe your putting your dam to much to the edge you need to put it a little inward like a 1/4 of an inch from the edge. This way when your cake settles it gives it room to give that space between the layers. I don't make fondant cakes, but this is what was happening to me with my buttercream cakes. I was getting that bulge on the side and didn't understand why this was happening. I've learned to put the dam inward and place pressure on top so when I crumb coat it, then frost it, it comes out perfect. I haven't had any bulging for a while! I hope this helps, and good luck!

dawnybird Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 7:06pm
post #12 of 20

I'm eagerly reading all these tips, too, because this past weekend, I had worse than a bulge! The dam broke and came through the buttercream and the filling ran down the side of the cake. I was mortified! It looked disgusting. The filling was raspberry (so pink) and the buttercream was green for a garden theme cake, so you can imagine how gross that looked running together! Yuck!

waggs Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 7:06pm
post #13 of 20

I'm going to try that. Thanks!

lorieleann Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 1:54am
post #14 of 20

i use ganache as my outer frosting/covering when using fondant (white or regular chocolate). I'll even use a dam of ganache on layers. Sometimes it takes a few layers to get the sides filled in and smooth, but once it is and the cake is chilled, it is a lovely surface to put fondant on (I brush it with shortening before applying fondant). If I can keep my kitchen cold enough (ie, not in the summer), I also will use IMBC under fondant because it can be chilled to the same hard surface. I won't put fondant over ABC.

are you putting enough frosting on the side of the cake? I think that fillings and bulges are more apparent when you have less than a good 1/4 inch of buttercream on the cake. (another reason I like to use ganache: i don't have to overload the sides with too much buttercream because a much thinner layer of ganache does the trick).

mom2twogrlz Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:20am
post #15 of 20

Many of the suggestions above have helped me. Use a stiff buttercream dam, placed at least a 1/4 inch in from the side of the cake. Fill with the desired filling slightly below the height of your dam, stack your cake and let it rest for a little bit. I don't let mine rest for a super long time, but I do press it down a few times to make sure I get rid of any air bubbles. Then I now refuse to use fondant over buttercream, I will only use ganache. I can get a super firm surface to apply the fondant to. Like the other poster said, rub or brush some shortening on your cake to help it stick. The only time I have had problem is when I don't do any one of those steps, mainly the thick dam at least 1/4 inch in. You fill in this 1/4 inch with your crumb coat. HTH

waggs Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:34am
post #16 of 20

I have thought that if I use a smbc I fill my layers with it and then weigh it down, that I would not have a problem, apparently that is not enough. I guess I will have to make another buttercream to put around the sides. I just thought that why would I make more cost wise just to fill the sides of the cake.

ReneeFLL Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:58am
post #17 of 20

I am confused by your post. Can you please explain a little bit better? I am assuming that English is a second language for you. Maybe you can recheck what you are trying to say.

waggs Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 4:23am
post #18 of 20

Excuse me. I thought I was clear. No, English is not a second language . I use smbc . I don't put another bc

AnnieCahill Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 11:34am
post #19 of 20


I have never had a bulging issue using a meringue buttercream, but I use IMBC. I pipe the dam, put the cake in the fridge for the dam to harden, then fill. I also pipe my dam slightly inward on the cake, not right at the edge. I have never had a bulging filling issue with IMBC. If you refrigerate the cake after you fill it, it really can't settle. You also have to make sure you don't over-fill the layers. That is a biggie.


waggs Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 1:07pm
post #20 of 20

Thanks Annie.

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