What? No Filling In The Middle??? Please Help!!

Decorating By dallers4 Updated 25 Jan 2011 , 11:20pm by notjustcakes

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dallers4 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 8:56pm
post #1 of 16

Hello all icon_smile.gif I have been asked to do my first wedding cake...and I'm frightened!! Only because the bride does not want filling :-/ I actually think this may help the appearance of the cake, ridding the chance of a bulge in the center where the filling goes, however, I am worried about what this will do to the taste. I like to explain the filling as frosting but in the in middle of the cake, and I worry that without it, it will be too plain.

Has anyone done this? Any tips? Or any great cake recipes that would be wonderful without the assistance of a filling (one choc, one vanilla)? There will be fondant on the cake, and a very minimal amount of butter-cream to crumb coat. Thanks in advance for any help! i think even a great chocolate and a great vanilla cake recipe would do the trick, as long as they are firm enough to support fondant.

15 replies
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icer101 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 9:11pm
post #2 of 16

Hi, lots of decorators use only their buttercream .EVeryone doesn,t like fillings. I always torte my layers and put the buttercream. I think this makes any cake better. there are lots of great cake recipes on this site and buttercream recipes.

I also torte layers for the fillings. Some decorators do not torte these layers (only putting the b/c and or filling between 2 layers. But again, everyone to his or hers own preference.

Look at some of the scratch recipes and then the enhanced box mixes (wasc) and try some to see which you like best. the double layer chocolate recipe from epicurious is great. Then lots use silvia winestock yellow cake, etc, etc. So, i encourage you to try some of these to help make your decision. Many on here use indydebi's b/c recipe, some sugarshack"s(sharonzambito) and then some use buttecream dream . all of these recipes are on this site. hth

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3GCakes Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 9:14pm
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I would not do a cake without atleast a buttercream filling between the layers. It works as the glue that holds the layers together and is there for taste and appearance when the cake is sliced.

The bulge you are talking about is the exception, and not the rule. It happens when a cake is filled improperly, much of the time because of either too much filling or a filling that is too runny....or even a cake that was not allowed to settle properly.

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dallers4 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 9:21pm
post #4 of 16

Thank you both sooo much! I think what I have to do is explain some of this to the bride, and get her on board for at least a buttercream filling to match the cake.

Icer101: Thanks a bunch and I will be sure to check out those recipes!

3G Cakes: Any specific tips on avoiding that filling stripe that can appear? I know that a dam is required, and the filling should be thick enough to hold the weight of another cake...but it seems that one out of every few cakes I do has "the bulge". Im just wondering if you have any advice to eliminate that chance...thanks again!

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imagenthatnj Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 9:52pm
post #5 of 16

dallers4, if the bride comes from another country, just know that there are a few places in the world where cake is eaten without a filling at all. A block of cake, just cake, no torting. Puerto Rico is one of those places. 3 inches of cake, nothing in between? I've heard of that.

Read MariaBakesCakes comment here. A friend from New Zealand also told me that fillings were not used there. She did it because people have started to do it. But maybe you should really ask that bride what she means./wants.


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imagenthatnj Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 4:43am
post #6 of 16

Another thread. No fillings are more common in other places than we think.


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Evoir Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 4:58am
post #7 of 16

Its common in Australia for wedding cakes to be a solid mud cake with no filling. The cake ends up 3 inches high, plus ganache and fondant. Mud cake is one style of cake for which buttercream doesn't really improve the taste. I would use a whipped ganache in place of buttercream for a mudcake.

Mudcake usage in Australia evolved from the original 'fruit cakes' size and style (also no filling) to give brides a non-fruit cake option for their wedding cake, making it more versatile too - as a lot of brides serve it up as the dessert course, not just as a small piece with coffee or to take home (which was what was done with the original fruit cakes).


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soledad Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 4:59am
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by dallers4

3G Cakes: Any specific tips on avoiding that filling stripe that can appear? I know that a dam is required, and the filling should be thick enough to hold the weight of another cake...!

dallers4... as I understand the filling is not for supporting ...the use of dowels is what is going to support the cake on top.

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jackmo Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 5:31am
post #9 of 16

hi. a lady who did a video of a cake she made used 3 inch high cake pans. she did not tort them just iced them. also you can buy 4 inch hi cake pans too. with these pans, 3 inch or 4 inch you wont have to worry about any bulge. just make sure there is plenty supports. hope hth

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TexasSugar Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 2:46pm
post #10 of 16

If you baked in a 3in pan and didn't torte like other said, then a filling isn't needed.

BUT if you bake two layers and are stacking them together you need something, even just a thin layer of buttercream, to hold the two layers together, and to keep the two pieces together when serving.

I wouldn't, personally, put two layers together with out something in the middle. And if someone pushed for that I would suggest someone else to do the cake. Because I would be afraid of opening myself up to problems while making it.

Does she think the filling, even buttercream, costs extra and is trying to save money?

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ycknits Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 3:09pm
post #11 of 16

I wouldn't be afraid to not use a filling, but I'd certainly torte the layers and then weight them for a couple of hours. Then I'd trim the sides to ensure that there is no join line. If she doesn't want a filling (including buttercream), how about a layer of ganache? I frequently use ganache, even with fillings and buttercream because I feel that it helps solidify/stabilize the tier. And it adds a little bit of interesting texture to the layered cake. People frequently pick out a little ganache and ask me what it is because they love it and haven't seen it used before.

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solascakes Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 3:16pm
post #12 of 16

I dont fill cakes unless its specified,that how we roll around my end,lol. Most of my clients are just happy with the frosting on top,no more.

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dallers4 Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 5:24pm
post #13 of 16

Thank you all sooo very much! I think the bride was under the impression that a filling was basically a custard or fruit filling. I am going to talk to her tonight and recommend a thin layer of chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream for the chocolate and white cake. That way, it is still the simple chocolate and vanilla flavors she wants. I am interested in trying a 3 or 4 inch pan in the future though, sounds neat!

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sandeeb Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 9:03pm
post #14 of 16

Hi dallers4,
Some people do like just the buttercream in place of a filling. About the bulge. This is how I stopped that from happening. I use a tip 1A to make my dam to hold in the filling. It's bigger so the dam is wider but it stops the bulge in the center of the cake. The first piece of cake from the edge usually is 1/2 icing and 1/2 filling but there is no bulge. Works for me.

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pattycakesnj Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 9:31pm
post #15 of 16

anything between layers is a filling, whether it be fruit, ganache or BC. BC between layers is a filling just so everybody is on the same page as I see some are making a distinction that doesn't need to be made. However, I agree with Texassugar, if you have more than 1 layer to a tier you need something between them to help them stick together.

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notjustcakes Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 11:20pm
post #16 of 16

One thing I do to not get the "bulge" is to make the icing dam out of seriously stiff buttercream. I just take some of my regular buttercream and add a heap of powdered sugar. I make sure the dam is not at the very edge of the cake, putting it about a 1/4 of an inch inside the edge. I do the dam with the 1A tip and go around the perimeter twice, so that the dam is about an inch high. Then fill, stack, and very important!...Allow it to settle before continuing to decorate. No bulge!

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