Nervous Newbie And Leaning/bulging Cakes!

Baking By SummerBakes88 Updated 8 Apr 2015 , 1:45am by SummerBakes88

SummerBakes88 Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 4:32pm
post #1 of 14

First time poster, long time lover of this forum!

I am a NEWBIE! I have only done a couple of cakes for family and friends but I keep having issues with leaning and bulging cakes! Most of the time I can semi-conceal it with the buttercream but I am getting so frustrated! I feel like I am a stickler for rules and proper technique but it keeps happening. 

I always:

- freeze/refrigerate my cakes to let them 'settle'

-level my cakes with a leveler 

-put even amounts of filling in between layers

-refrigerate/freeze before frosting so layers are secure

The cakes aren't tall enough to be leaning so much...the only problem I can think of is my cake is too soft or I am torting the cakes too thin? Also it seems to lean quite a lot which would be due to uneven layers only I make sure they are even before I stack them!

I read an awful lot and watch a lot of videos and all the cakes I see are rather thick layers compared to mine and the cakes seem very firm.

ANY help would be helpful..I posted my pictures in the gallery:

I really want to get better at layer cakes so I can move on to more advanced styles! 

Thank you all in advance -- I love CC!!!

13 replies
-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 5:53pm
post #2 of 14

welcome to cc 

answer for you -- it's ok to use a couple skewers or tall toothpicks in your cake to keep the layers from sliding

question for you -- why do you think refrigerating/freezing helps the cake to settle?

SummerBakes88 Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 6:00pm
post #3 of 14

Thanks K8memphis! 

I am just going off of what I heard that it's easier to stack cold cakes ;) Also I noticed the dome does go down a little bit after I've let them cool...that's all!

SummerBakes88 Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 6:00pm
post #4 of 14

Thanks K8memphis! 

I am just going off of what I heard that it's easier to stack cold cakes ;) Also I noticed the dome does go down a little bit after I've let them cool...that's all!

cakeemewithyou Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 6:27pm
post #5 of 14

Hey Summer, I don't have an answer for you, unfortunately. I have had structural issues myself and only JUST had my first "non-leaning" cake this weekend! I know this might seem random, but where are you? Is it humid where you are?

Thanks...also...GET IN MY BELLY! Those cakes look DIVINE!

melbakescakes Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 6:32pm
post #6 of 14

hi - cake needs to be at room temperature to settle. If it is cold, that firms the icing and no settling will be done! I use a firm cake when stacking and make sure there is no dome on either layer. I bake, freeze for the week, stack and level when cold, fill with buttercream then let sit at room temp for 3-4 hours with a plate or something of weight on it so that any filling can ooze out if it needs to. scrape off any bulging filling then do your icing coat around the cake. Works for me! I do everything in steps - especially filling and icing on different days or hours apart. hope that helps - those cakes look delish!

Naivohw Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 6:36pm
post #7 of 14

Those cakes do look delicious! Here's a few hints that might help:

I like to always use a frosting dam on my cakes before I fill them. It prevents any filling from oozing out and causing structure issues. Also, be sure you aren't using too much filling.

To let a cake settle: Torte it, place your frosting dam, add filling and stack all the layers together. Run a bench scraper/spatula around the edge to smooth out the dam frosting that has squished out. Place something a little weighty on top of the cake (some people use a 12" square tile, I usually just use a few magazines). I usually let my cake sit weighted down for about 30-60 minutes, a lot of people seem to all have different times. The dam frosting will probably start to bulge again. This is good, it means air is being forced out, which is what you want. Scrape the bulges down again and then frost and decorate.

As mentioned above, you can use something like bamboo skewers to go through all the layers and hold them together, but the cakes you posted don't look tall enough to really need them. Hope that helped some!

SummerBakes88 Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 8:06pm
post #8 of 14

Thank you so much cakeemewith you! The battle of the bulge -- GRRR! I live in it's freezing, actually! lol God forbid I have to actually get any of these somewhere in the heat! Gahh!

Melbakescakes -- thank you!!! I never would have thought of weighing it down..that makes sense! Thank you for the advice I will try that!

Naivohw -- thank you so much! I did not make a a frosting dam and the mousse fillings are quite soft. I will try all those suggestions -- thank you!

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 11:51pm
post #9 of 14

Personally I think the cake is top heavy with all of that candy, etc on there.  You could try using less filling or not spreading it all the way to the edge.  

SummerBakes88 Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 11:53pm
post #10 of 14

Thanks sweetconfectionschef. I did think of that however the cakes were like that before ! I'm sure it doesn't help but there's probably a lot I did wrong. 

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 7 Apr 2015 , 11:57pm
post #11 of 14

Ok,  the icing you are covering with might be too thin.

SummerBakes88 Posted 8 Apr 2015 , 12:00am
post #12 of 14

Maybe ! I didn't know that would cause that! Lol I will just have to follow all this advice and keep on practicing. I also just read threads on how to settle a cake properly. Lots to consider ! Good grief. 

Naivohw Posted 8 Apr 2015 , 1:37am
post #13 of 14

A lot of this stuff is just trial and error. My feeling is that as long as you learn and grow from a mistake it's not the end of the world. And especially if you are just baking for yourself or family/friends, take advantage and do some experimenting.  Then if you do have a time when you are making a special cake that needs to be perfect, you'll have confidence.

SummerBakes88 Posted 8 Apr 2015 , 1:45am
post #14 of 14

Thank you Naivohw. That's very comforting to hear! I'm just  I am sure so many people are on here. It can be hard not to dwell on the errors and let that overshadow it all especially when I come on the forum and I feel like everyone knows so much. Makes my head feel like exploding! lol! But yes. More experimenting needs to be done -- hopefully I will learn eventually!

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