Cake Structure

Baking By audrey101 Updated 14 Sep 2015 , 6:32am by audrey101

audrey101 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 6:35pm
post #1 of 13


I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice re a wedding cake I'm doing for a friend this week. I'm going to do a two tiered genoise sponge, with three layers each (so 6 layers of sponge in total). I want to use a SMBC to sandwich and decorate the whole thing but I'm worried the SMBC will 'squish' out and not hold up under the weight of the sponges. I'm happy with the sponges and the SMBC separately and have good recipes / technique for both.

I'd be super grateful if anyone can offer me any pearls of wisdom re: 1. Will a SMBC be ok under the weight? I will be using dowels and card bases for the top tier. 2. Would it make a difference if I were to use a standard crust buttercream as the sandwich filling and the SMBC for the external icing?

Thanks in advance!

12 replies
annakat444 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 6:55pm
post #2 of 13

I'm not sure why what type of icing you use for filling would matter. Any icing will "squish" out of you use too much. The best thing to do is put a THIN filling if whatever icing you choose in between each layer and you won't get any bulges even if the cake settles a bit. Also, make sure to properly dowel the bottom tier as well as have a central dowel going from the top tier into the drum so the whole cake is secured to the drum. 

audrey101 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:37pm
post #3 of 13

Hi Annakat444,

Sorry, I tried to reply earlier but CC ate my post!  

I've always found that my traditional buttercream has been much firmer and more able to maintain its structure under layers of cake.  Perhaps I'm doing something wrong with my SMBC but it doesn't ever feel 'solid' like my traditional frosting and I definitely can't sandwich the same amount of SMBC as traditional frosting.

I always see amazing pictures of cakes that have equal layers of sponge and frosting, which I'd like to replicate but I doubt my SMBC will allow it.  Am I missing a trick with my recipe?

Thanks for your dowel-ing tips :)

annakat444 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:42pm
post #4 of 13

I have no idea how to get a nice thick amount of filling in between layers without getting a bulge. I know some people fill their cakes and let them settle for several hours to get the bulge out but I never have that kind of time so I just do a thin layer of filling. Maybe someone else can weigh in!

also, what recipe are you using for smbc? That doesn't seem like the right consistency. I'm no smbc expert but have worked with it several times and it's always been a dream! I follow sweetapolita's recipe and guide to making smbc and it has never failed me. Maybe give it a shot and see if it makes a difference. Will find the link and post!

annakat444 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:43pm
post #5 of 13
audrey101 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:47pm
post #6 of 13

Oooo, yes please!  I used this:

It was definitely firm and I could pipe it / work with it with ease/  I left the cake out overnight and in the morning it tasted great, but didn't firm up at all.

I tried another recipe before this one and it didn't work at all!

annakat444 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 9:11pm
post #7 of 13

Leaving it out overnight might have been a problem too. SMBC is basically pure butter so it needs to be refrigerated (for stability purposes). It would be fine obviously to sit out several hours for a wedding but overnight it should stay refrigerated. Hope this helps!

himatetali Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 9:44pm
post #8 of 13

I use smbc and Imbc with my cakes and never had issues with filling squishing out. I usually make the buttercream and refrigerate it until I am ready to use it. Whip it up again before you use it and it should be firm enough to spread and layer your cake without squishing. Crumb coat and refrigerate again until its firm before you start decorating.

audrey101 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 10:06pm
post #9 of 13

Amazing, thank you both for the advice.  I'm going to make the sponges this week, frost and on Thurs, store in the fridge overnight and drive to the venue on Friday (around an hour away).  Do you think I should ask the venue to refrigerate for the day?  I'm going to get to them for around 1030/11am, and don't think they'll be serving it until 8pm or later.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 10:26pm
post #10 of 13

If you refrigerate the SMBC after you make it (which you will have to do if you make it in advance) you will not just be able to take it straight from the fridge and whip it without it looking like it has curdled.

The trick to getting it back to smooth buttercream straight from the fridge is to take a small amount of your SMBC and melt it until it is liquid but still barely warm, add that to the rest of your buttercream and beat it in, if it is still looking curdled after a few minutes then repeat with a bit more SMBC.

You are meant to keep SMBC in the fridge by the way before serving, I think it has something like 4 hours (You will have to check that yourself though for the exact time) shelf life when serving it to customers. I have only served it to family/friends so I prefer not to refrigerate it overnight myself and have never had it bulge out. My recipe is 4 egg whites (I use the eggs from a 700gm egg packet), 1 cup of caster sugar and 360gm of butter (I usually cut down on the butter a little depending on what flavour I am making as this is right at the top end of the butter ratios for SMBC and is very buttery I find.

Personally I also think that having the same amount of icing and cake is just going to end up with alot of wasted icing as most people that I know would simply scrape it off or eat around it so maybe you should also reconsider the amount of icing that you will be putting into the cake layers and this should also help to stop the 'dreaded bulge'.

Pastrybaglady Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 12:56am
post #11 of 13

I agree with bubs, equal cake and icing sounds gross to me!  I like to eat cake with some frosting not the other way around.

himatetali Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 1:30am
post #12 of 13

Yup agree with bubs too, a thin later of icing will work better for. If I were you I would refrigerate the cake and not leave it out for that long. 

audrey101 Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 6:32am
post #13 of 13


I agree with you all re equal parts frosting and cake, I was hoping to be able to do a thicker layer of icing- I doubt I'd be able to reach equal depth of frosting and cake anyway!  They always looks good in equal parts and I'm always curious to find out how they manage it!

Thanks again for all the advice - it's much appreciated :)

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