Air Bubbles Under Buttercream

Baking By Cindy121 Updated 3 Jun 2021 , 4:27pm by kakeladi

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Cindy121 Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 8:44pm
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I'm going to be making a wedding cake-three tiers-with all buttercream. I've been having the problem of a large air bubble forming randomly under the buttercream after i'm all through decorating. Mostly happens on the side of the cake. What causes this and how can I prevent it from happening. I usually fill and crumb coat, then refrigerate for about an hour. Then I ice with room temp buttercream, smooth and refrigerate again for an hour. then I will decorate. It seems that after about an hour, the dreaded bubble starts puffing out. Help! This cake is probably going to sit on display for about 2 hours before being cut. Thanks for your input in advance!

9 replies
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shanter Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 9:11pm
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You can get some good ideas/causes/fixes from these threads:

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TinkerCakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 9:49pm
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Most people will probably say your problem is your not letting it settle long enough. However, I fill and crumb coat and let the cake settle over night and the last cake I made got an air bubble!! I really wish I knew what the problem was. I have only had 2 cakes do that but I didn't do anything differently with them....???
BTW, I don't refrigerate mine at all. Maybe if you skip putting it in fridge it will happen less...who knows. Sorry I couldn't help!! icon_smile.gif

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shanter Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 10:37pm
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Read the first post by Leah_s about getting a cake to settle before icing.

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leah_s Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 11:11pm
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Thanks. That thread refers to a fix for the dreaded bulge. To fix the airbubbles, you need to "break the seal" of the icing to the bottom board. After finish icing, run a thin bladed knife between the board and the cake. This was one of the FNCC tips back when I was dong them. Yes, it messes up the bottom edge, so hopefully you've got a border or ribbon for finishing. But I swear it works. I only get bubbles when I forget to "break the seal" and let the cake "breathe."

Someone else suggested using a skewer and poking a whole in the center of the cake which would be covered up by the next tier. That should also work.

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sweetcakes Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:08am
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i agree with Leah, your cake is so well sealed with buttercream that the expanding air is trapped and forms a cake boil/bubble/blister, what everyou want to call it. I find it is worse if you chill the cake after icing. What i have started doing is taking a drinking straw and remove a plug of icing from the center top, where it will be covered with another cake or even a dowel for transporting. it just gives somewhere for the air to escape. Same as Leahs method, just on the top instead.

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LoriMc Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 1:33pm
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I have had have the worst time lately with air bubbles popping up in my buttercream. I've begun to cringe every morning when I go look at the cake I finished the night before. I came on here yesterday to ask if anyone knew how to prevent them and happened upon this thread.  Just to cover all my bases, I broke the seal of icing at the bottom and poked a hole in both tiers with a skewer.  Looks great this morning! 



I think the only thing I probably should have done is break the bottom icing seal before I inserted the SPS plate.  That seems to be one of the crucial times bubble pop up, I guess because of the air that's displaced by the columns.  Next time I'll be sure to do it in that order. 


Thanks again!

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MerMadeBakedGoods Posted 2 Jun 2021 , 5:06pm
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Well- this saved my cake-baking tush today!

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Jun 2021 , 3:08pm
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kakeladi Posted 3 Jun 2021 , 4:27pm
post #10 of 10

There is SUCH a wealth of information on this site that one can almost overlook the problems :)    So glad it is still available 

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