What Happened To This Cake?

Decorating By laura4795 Updated 20 Feb 2013 , 6:11am by laura4795

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laura4795 Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 4:01pm
post #1 of 19

This cake bulged in the back and looked horrible! I use a good crusting butter cream icing to fill and crumb coat before I apply the fondant.  I do Jessicakes upside down frosting tutorial when I crumb coat.  Is it possible that I didn't put enough support on the topper (a fondant bow)? 





18 replies
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audairymaid Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 4:16pm
post #2 of 19

First let me say that I am no fondant expert. I don't cover many cakes. But without knowing first hand how the buttercream set or how delicate the cake was, my only other guess would be an air bubble. The fondant looks a bit dry and so an air bubble may have caused the cracking. But it is really just a guess.

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laura4795 Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 4:18pm
post #3 of 19

The fondant was definitely dry and I did have trouble with an air bubble.  I kept popping it with a needle and smoothing it over.  I got the impression the air bubble was caused by the bulge.  It was such a frustrating experience!

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kblickster Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 4:52pm
post #4 of 19

Looking forward to a professional responses to your question.  I did a large cake this weekend.  3 of the tiers did fine but a 12" tier that I used Satin Ice colored with Wilton Cornflower blue did exactly what your cake did.  The fondant was dry and got a large air bubble under it.  I wasn't sure what to do. 

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Margaret393 Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 5:05pm
post #5 of 19

Hi laura475


Did you use icing sugar or cornstarch (cornflour) to roll out the fondant? Cornflour CAN cause the fondant to split or crack - I got this tip from an instructor - during on the PME Sugarpaste module course. Cornflour we were  advised can also cause bulging - due to a chemical reaction in the cornstarch!. If fondant is too soft add SMALL amounts of icing (powered) sugar at a time. If too dry work in a little Crisco - taking care not to over work it.


Hope this helps!


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laura4795 Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 7:53pm
post #6 of 19

I don't remember for sure, but I very possibly did use Cornstarch here.  I had no idea that it would cause a reaction!  Should I just roll my fondant on powdered sugar from now on?

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Annabakescakes Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 8:02pm
post #7 of 19

I use cornstarch EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. and get bulges only when my dam isn't thick enough. That's it. It is a myth that it causes bulges or air bubbles.

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scrumdiddlycakes Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 8:58pm
post #8 of 19

I also use cornstarch when I work with fondant, it's never given me trouble.


I don't work with crusting buttercream, so I may be WAY off, but perhaps the fondant didn't have enough moisture to stick to the cake? If your fondant was dry to begin with, and the buttercream had already crusted, the air bubbles would make sense. The cracking could be as simple as overworked or dry fondant.

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Vista Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 8:59pm
post #9 of 19

I also only use cornstarch and don't have problems with bubbles or bulges.  I do, however, have problems with Satin Ice.  I used it once on a large wedding cake, because I didn't have time to make my own, I will never do it again!  The problem wasn't bulging or bubbling, but just so dry, elephant skinned badly.

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laura4795 Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 4:35am
post #10 of 19

Can you help me out with some terminology?  What do you mean when you say your "dam isn't thick enough"?  I'm a total novice at this, and only know what I've learned from Cake Central! :)

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wildflowercakes Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 5:17am
post #11 of 19

Before putting  the two cake layers together use a decorators bag to pipe a thick ring (a dam) around the top edge of the bottom layer then add your filling or frosting and put your second layer on. Everybody does it different, this was just the easiest way for me to explain what a dam is.

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jimmyonweb Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 6:57am
post #12 of 19

Its fine to use decorative bag between layers of cake thanks for information. 

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AlphaSierra Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 7:05am
post #13 of 19

Did you let the cake settle before covering with fondant? (the weight of the fondant could have squashed something out there, maybe?)

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Ducky316 Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 9:32am
post #14 of 19

Personally, I think the fondant you used was old. This happened to me once and made my cake a nightmare. I bought it on sale.....after I was done decorating my sad cake I dug the box out of the trash (I usually make my own MMF) but like I said, this was on sale..and sure enough it had expired a month ago! I did not notice anything wrong with it when I kneaded it or rolled it out ( I use the mat so no air could get to it) but when I transfered it onto the cake, it got hard almost instantly! I couldn't work it, smooth it or even get it to stick on wet buttercream! When I finally managed to get it down decently, I walked away from it, came back an hour later and it was hard enough to make a sound when you tapped on it..I had to throw it out...


I'm sorry this happened to your cake...it was really pretty.

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NJsugarmama Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 4:53pm
post #15 of 19

AI always make my own fondant and get air bubbles when I cover it over buttercream. My last cake I did a white chocolate ganache instead of the buttercream. Guess what happened?! No air bubbles!! Try using crisco instead of cornstarch...not sure what "reaction" that happens when you use cornstarch. 10x has cornstarch in it already.

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ChefKetra Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 5:16pm
post #16 of 19

ADid you refrigerate the cake after applying the fondant?

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littlemrslarge Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 6:06pm
post #17 of 19

I've had this happen too - mine was because I rolled my fondant too thick, and I didn't have a stiff dam in the center to prevent the filling from bulging under the weight.  I would have been better off to (a) let the filled cake rest, slightly weighted, before applying fondant, and (b) rolling the fondant much thinner before draping.  It was my first time and for a competition too... oops!  Good luck!

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handymama Posted 18 Feb 2013 , 6:36pm
post #18 of 19

I'm told the CS "spoils" under fondant, creating gas. Meanwhile, I see two things going on. First, it appears that you didn't fill and wrap your cake and let it rest overnight. I like to also set one of the cake pans on top for a little insurance. Second, your fondant looks like it wasn't kneaded well enough before rolling out -- it has quite a rough texture. Old fondant will do this, too, as will fondant that has had too much shortening incorporated into it.

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laura4795 Posted 20 Feb 2013 , 6:11am
post #19 of 19

Thank you for all the helpful responses to this!  I'm hoping this one time was a combination of several fondant mistakes that led up to a disaster that won't happen again!

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