The Reasons Your Cake Is Bulging:
Cakes develope bulges when they have been iced BEFORE they have a chance to settle. Gravity says outer edges ARE going to settle down some….even when you DO have the layers perfectly level. If there is a bulge, the outer edges of the cake won’t stand up in mid air. It is going to settle down some. So give time for this to happen before you ice the cakes. Even push tiny cake scraps in between if there are large gaps.
I don’t usually have gaps because I bake at 325 deg. and so my cakes don’t puff up so much in the center. Then to get rid of the hump, I lay a kitchen towel on top just as soon as I remove it from the oven and gently press the layers flat. (This needs to be done within the first minute upon removing from oven). Oh – the towel thing won’t work if you over bake the cake…it will just spring back up, besides it is going to be dry and tasteless…so DON’T over bake. Test the cake by pressing your finger gently in the center. If it <barely> springs back up – its done…Take it out.
At times you may still have a slight hump on the outer edge that can cause a bulge. Then I shave that part off with a serated-edged knife.
Procedure to follow:
Bake layers, cool well.
Fill or put icing between…PLENTY of icing too. (medium consistency is fine).
- Let the cakes set several hours or overnight before icing them.
- Oh yes – always bottoms UP on those layers will help with this problem too. There are always going to be bulge problems if you insist on putting bottoms together. There is no ‘breathing’ room with this procedure. Besides, it is a lot easier to ice the flat bottom of a cake than one you have had to shave flat.
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH A FROZEN CAKE:
Do not try to put the layers together while frozen. You should bake, cool, fill between layers and put them together THEN freeze so this won’t happen. Your cake should again be at room temperature before unwrapping it.
When you remove cakes to thaw, you should leave them wrapped untill they are back to room temperature. For a simple 8-10″ cake, 12 hours to overnight will be sufficient thawing time. (I have hurried this with small cakes by defrosting them in the microwave too).
But if you were to freeze a large wedding cake it may take longer. I found that a 16 inch 2-layer wedding cake needed almost 2 days with using the 2-plate system for a wedding cake.
WARNING: NEVER unwrap a frozen cake until after it has returned to room temperature or it may sweat. This is moisture leaving the cake.
Also, freezing tends to dry out the icing. It is far better to freeze a bare or crumb-coated cake than a fully iced and decorated one. Sometimes the icing may fall from the cake once thawed, even a crumb-coating. It will be crusty and dry if this happens.