I am having a problem with my buttercream severely cracking just a few hours after icing. I also see to always have that budge in the middle of the cake despite letting the cakes settle for hours. Am I using a bad buttercream recipe? I can't figure out why else I am having such problems.
Can you post your recipe?
If you move your cake on a weak board it will tend to crack...especially those hair line cracks. I highly recommend the Perfecting the Art of Buttercream DVD by Sharon Z at www.sugaredproductions.com . It will fix your bulge issues and make a world of difference in how smooth and professional your cakes look.
I use SugarShack's BC recipe here on CC and have also used Indydebi's both seem to hold up well and not crack given they are on a good solid cake board.
Leah_s here gave nice instructions on how to prevent bulging of cakes. From what I remember and what I do, level and torte cakes, fill, sandwich cakes and cling wrap all at room temperature. I put a heavy book like a phone directory or one of my hard cover baking books on top of the wrapped cake and leave to settle at room temperature.This pushes out all the air. I leave the cake to settle with the book on top for at least 3 hours. All my problems with bulging have ended since I read Leah_s post on this! Must be done at room temperature and not in the fridge or freezer.
I use wilton's buttercream recipe 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup shortening 4 cups PS 1 tbsp essence 2 tbsp whole milk. I only had a problem once with cracking BC when I put my cake on a weak cake board. Shifting it cause a hairline crack. Be sure to use a sturdy and thick cake board.