100% Frustrated!!!!!!

Baking By Juli2527 Updated 21 Aug 2015 , 1:55am by cupcakemama3

Juli2527 Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 7:22pm
post #1 of 18

Hi, maybe there is someone who can tell me what the hell i am doing wrong, i wanna cryyyyy, i can not get rid of that freaking bulge around my cakes! I let them settle crumbcoated on the counter overnight,14 completed hours! Then I trim the excess bulge, but 20 minutes later i place the final coat of icing it starts again to get that bulge, it looks terrible!


plus bonus this time my buttercream cracked, it broke and formed some lines, this have never happened to me before with the butteercream, why was that?as you can see i am having a wonderful day!!!! Aghh!

Thank you for reading i guess you are the only ones who can understand how frustrating it is to try and try and not get any good results at all .

17 replies
ropalma Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 7:33pm
post #2 of 18

 What type of filling are you using?  Are you  putting a dam between the layers if the filling is soft.

Juli2527 Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 7:39pm
post #3 of 18

Hi, yes i am putting a very thick dam, my filling is regular medium consistency buttercream.

jgifford Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 7:44pm
post #4 of 18

A lot of bakers swear by using a dam.  I could never get it to work - - I just had a thicker bulge.  What I finally started doing . . .

After you level and cool your layers, cut a small well about 1/4 inch in from the edge and about 1/8 inch deep on both layers.  Fill with frosting or filling and level with the top of the cake layer.  When you put them together, there's no frosting showing between the layers.  When it's cut, there's plenty of frosting in the middle, you haven't lost enough of the cake to speak of and there's no bulge.

Jinkies Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 9:33pm
post #5 of 18

Sounds like maybe you're using too much filling.

Shockolata Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 9:35pm
post #6 of 18

Ι cannot understand what you mean by bulge. Have you got a photo to share with us?


Are you saying the cake is not levelled and it bulges in the middle? Are you saying the cake is sort of spreading itself and instead of the sides being vertical they end up slightly rounded? If I could understand, perhaps I could help.

Juli2527 Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 10:26pm
post #7 of 18

Sorry my english sucks, this is what i mean see that bulge in the middle, hate it my cake looks awful55d3b1301edf7.jpeg

bubs1stbirthday Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 11:03pm
post #8 of 18

Maybe it is time to switch to a different filling if you cannot get the one you are using to work for you? I use SMBC to fill and Ganache to ice and although I only do a small amount of cakes I have never had one bulge on me. I go a bit against the grain and don't refrigerate my SMBC overnight unless it is hot, I just keep it on a shut off room of the house so it is cool and even then it doesn't bulge.

P.S Before anyone starts bagging me out for that I only bake things for my family and close friends to eat so they are all aware of that and have no problems with it. I have only said that I leave it out overnight to show that it is not the fridge keeping it stable and stopping the bulge.

maybenot Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 11:14pm
post #9 of 18

Your filling and dam are too thick/too much.  They may also be too airy.  A more dense/solid filling usually won't bulge.


One way to minimize/stop the bulge is to divide the same amount of filling over more layers.  If the photo is of a 4" tier with one layer of filling, you need to cut each 2" layer and then have 3 layers of filling.  You have the same amount of filling and cake, but with the filling spread out over 3 places, you don't get bulges.  Obviously, the dam should be done with a smaller tip, too.

costumeczar Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 12:27am
post #10 of 18

I agree, to much filling that's too soft. I've done the cutting-a-ditch method that @jgifford  described for really soft fillings and it works really well. That sounds like something that could work for you because it sounds like you're putting way too much filling between the layers if the same thing happens every single time.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 1:34am
post #11 of 18

What type buttercream is that?  Does it contain a lot of liquid....say about 1/2 cup per 2 pounds of sugar?  THat can be the issue.  Icings that have a lot of liquid "wet" the sugar and it becomes a very thick, slow flowing liquid that, when smoothed on the sides of a cake, slowly starts to sag due to gravity.  Notice it doesn't happen immediately...it takes a while.

Chilling your cakes once iced may also help.  Also, when you have time, try an icing that doesn't use liquid.  Mines is simply 3 sticks butter, 1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening, 2 pounds powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla.  If you must thin, a couple table spoons max of whipping cream can be used....usually just mixing it longer will soften it.

Dzrt-Bkr Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 1:48am
post #12 of 18

What I learned was to make sure the dam was at least a 1/4 inch in from the outside of the cake and not a big one, I use a #8 tip and didn't make the icing much firmer but some. I use to over fill as I wanted it to be a generous filling, and that will do it too.

Juli2527 Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 2:17am
post #13 of 18

Thanks to all for you advices, the recipe i use is 1 cup butter, 1 pound sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp milk, i put a very thin amount of filling, the dam is maybe 1/4 thick. This is driving me crazy :(

julia1812 Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 6:07am
post #14 of 18

I always place a heavy book or something similar on my filled cake - of course with parchment or sth under the book - BEFORE I cool and frost/ fondant it. If there is too much filling, it will squish out and I can remove it. Never had a problem since with bulging.

Shockolata Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 7:49am
post #15 of 18

Good morning @Juli2527    I do not see a bulge in the middle (top) but I do see a spread of your cake in the sides. This happens when the cake is too soft and the weight of the other cakes on top or the frosting pushes it to open up a bit. You may need to reconsider your cake recipe to use something a little bit firmer.

It is also important how you tort your cakes. Are you using a cake leveller? The way to do it is first cut off any ugly bits from the top. Then you get a perfectly straight surface that should be level. Check the top with a spirit level using it first horizontally and then vertically (because it may be level right to left but not level top to bottom). Then measure your cake, and divide it by how many layers you want in order to determine how tall each cut should be. Adjust your cake leveller accordingly and off you go! Then you can do the filling. Most professionals use the cake pan to fill their cakes. It supports it from moving (but needs to be a loose bottomed one or a ring one without a bottom!) Then you chill the frosted cake till it's hard and finally proceed to decorate it. Maybe if you try these steps you will not get the bulging effect. I don't see a problem with your buttercream.

In any case, your cake is not as bad as you think! But for future cakes, you will find a levelling tool and a spirit level to be indispensable as each time you fill the cake, you can check whether it is level and press it gently to level with your hand.

Shockolata Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 7:49am
post #16 of 18

Good morning @Juli2527    I do not see a bulge in the middle (top) but I do see a spread of your cake in the sides. This happens when the cake is too soft and the weight of the other cakes on top or the frosting pushes it to open up a bit. You may need to reconsider your cake recipe to use something a little bit firmer.

It is also important how you tort your cakes. Are you using a cake leveller? The way to do it is first cut off any ugly bits from the top. Then you get a perfectly straight surface that should be level. Check the top with a spirit level using it first horizontally and then vertically (because it may be level right to left but not level top to bottom). Then measure your cake, and divide it by how many layers you want in order to determine how tall each cut should be. Adjust your cake leveller accordingly and off you go! Then you can do the filling. Most professionals use the cake pan to fill their cakes. It supports it from moving (but needs to be a loose bottomed one or a ring one without a bottom!) Then you chill the frosted cake till it's hard and finally proceed to decorate it. Maybe if you try these steps you will not get the bulging effect. I don't see a problem with your buttercream.

In any case, your cake is not as bad as you think! But for future cakes, you will find a levelling tool and a spirit level to be indispensable as each time you fill the cake, you can check whether it is level and press it gently to level with your hand.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 12:49pm
post #17 of 18

@Shockolata  'bulge' refers to the ring of icing that you can see in the middle of the cake. It is 'bulging' past the confines of the edge of the actual cake.

cupcakemama3 Posted 21 Aug 2015 , 1:55am
post #18 of 18

I used to have this problem but I finally fixed it. First I bake all of my layers and after cool I wrap and stack them on top of each other in the refrigerator for at least a day. The next day I unwrap them and make sure they are all level. When I go to fill them I use a very thick buttercream and go in about a quarter of an inch from the edge and make my dam  then fill no more than a quarter of an inch deep. Then I finish stacking and feeling then a crumb coat. I can't remember where I saw this helpful hint. I wish I could give credit where credit is due. But once you crumb coat stick a dowel into the middle of your cake and bring it out. This releases air out of the top of your cake. Let your crumb coat sit at least 30 minutes I like to let it sit longer. Here was the real big life changer for me.  High ratio shortening! It's like gold! Totally changed my buttercream. No more bulging problems, no more icing air bubbles, no more cracking! I'm serious. It's a game changer!

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