Mysterious Bulging Fondant

by Yvette
(Chicago, IL )

Any Ideas?

Any Ideas?

Question


I torte my cake and w/a dam of icing. I use a recipe that calls for corn syrup and it's a dream to spread on my cakes...however, for one reason or another half way through decorating I see that unsightly bulge and it's driving me nuts. It only happens with fondant. My buttercream cakes are just fine. Any ideas?

Lorelie's Response:

Hi Yvette

Here are a couple of ideas...

The bulging could be from the surface underneath not being smooth enough. Fondant takes on the shape of every bump and bulge on the cake. By looking at your photo it looks like it is happening at the point where your two layers are meeting.

It is possible that your corn syrup buttercream icing is the culprit. (although I doubt it) Try a different buttercream recipe and see if that helps.

I assume that you are frosting the entire cake before putting your cake decorating fondant on the cake. The surface that you place the sugarpaste onto needs to be moist for it to hold.

Possibly you are rolling your fondant too thin or it is too soft when you are working with it.

Another thought is that it could be air trapped under the fondant. Although I don't believe that is what it is in your case. Usually if it is air it will be more like a bubble in which case you can prick it with a pin and then smooth it out.

Hope this helps.
Lorelie

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May 04, 2010
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Fondant Bulging
by: Yvette Romero

I have had my nose in a zillion books lol. To Torte is to split the layers and put filling inside. The Dam is the ring of icing that goes near the edge to keep the fillings from oozing out. I am going to try a different buttercream icing that's a lil more stiff in consistency to Dam the cake.

Here's a ? some sites say a 1/4 inch thick in buttercream under your fondant, others say just a crumb coat to seal the cake. This particular cake had a thick layer. Maybe thats my issue??

Thanks so much for responding!

May 04, 2010
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Thanks
by: Lorelie

Hi Yvette,

Thanks for that bit of research too. I can tell you what I do. I crumb coat and then frost probably 1/4 inch thick. Thick enough so that the cake doesn't show through the buttercream.

Let me know how it turns out ok?

May 19, 2010
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Bulging fondant
by: joyzlu

I have not had my fondant bulge, but my buttercream does! I'm wondering if I'm using too much icing between my layers (which once cut, the amount between the layers seemed minimal) or could my cakes be too frozen and once they come to room temp, do they settle so much that it bulges the buttercream out the sides? Any suggestions???

May 20, 2010
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Buttercream buubles a mystery too!
by: Lorelie

Hi Joyzlu,

Check out this post.
Bubbling Buttercream It may help you to figure out what is happening with your buttercream frosting.

May 21, 2010
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Bulging buttercream
by: joyzlu

Thank you for your quick response! I read your informative comments; however, my icing doesn't get little bubbles, it bulges where the cakes are torted/stacked. It's almost as if the cakes settle and it's squeezing the icing out between the layers, except, there's not much icing between the layers. The cakes looked as if someone had tied a twine or small rope around the cake and I icing'd over it.

May 21, 2010
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Solution
by: Lorelie

Ok I see.

If you are talking about one cake with two or more layers then it is possible that your filling is too soft and your cake is too heavy (possibly it is too frozen when you put them together) Temperature makes a difference when filling and frosting a cake. Are you working in a warm kitchen? Try a firmer buttercream frosting.

Is it a stacked cake? in other words a two tier or more? If so then good support for each tier is important so that the cakes on top do not put pressure on the cakes below. Use dowel rods cut to the height of each cake which the tier above sets on.

I hope this helps.

May 21, 2010
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Bulging buttercream
by: joyzlu

Thanks for the tips! I'll try them all. Maybe I'm mixing my buttercream too much and it's too fluffy. Also, my last two cakes were decorated while they were still 3/4 frozen, so I'll let my next one come to room temp first as you suggested. Thanks again and happy decorating!!!

May 21, 2010
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Keep us updated
by: Lorelie

Hi Joyzlu,

Good luck and please update us on how those ideas worked for you. Others can benefit from your post. Thanks a bunch and feel free to ask me anything. I will do my best to help out!

Lorelie

May 23, 2010
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I got it!!
by: Yvette Romero

It is the buttercream... trial and error! The icing I was using was the wrong consistency. I like a softer icing for crumb coating and stuff.... but its not good for the dam. And I was placing the dam way too close to the edge. So when I would add my filling it was pushing everything out. I am going to try and play with some fondant this week. Hey, this is like a sport if you ask me... practice, practice, practice! :D

May 24, 2010
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Bulging buttercream
by: joyzlu

Thanks for everyone's help. I'm going to try the same with my buttercream dam and not put it so close to the edges of the cake. Makes sense to me. Best wishes everyone and happy decorating. Btw, you're right, it is like a sport. ;)

Jun 27, 2011
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Bulging fondant
by: shelly

Had the same problem this past weekend. What's the best frosting to use under fondant? I need to make a Vanilla with Raspberry filling wedding cake and need this settled.

Thanks!

Jun 27, 2011
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bulging buttercream
by: joyzlu

Shelly-
I've learned a few tips that have solved my bulging problem. 1) Use a thick buttercream dam between your layers; 2) Press firmly on the layers; and 3) allow the cake to rest. I've even started vacuum-sealing my cakes once they are layered and leave them overnight. If there's any bulge, I smooth it out before I crumb coat/apply fondant. Vacuum sealing is not necessary as long as you press firmly on each layer and allow the cake to rest for several hours. Best of luck. Hope this helps.

Jun 27, 2011
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Re: Bulging fondant
by: Shelly

so joyzlu when you say thick buttercream are you referring to consistency or the amount placed on the cake? Also do you refrigerate at all?

Jun 28, 2011
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bulging buttercream
by: joyzlu

Shelly-

I mean thicken your buttercream with more powdered sugar. Each person might say different consistencies, but for me, I make it thick/stiff so that it just barely pipes through a bag w/a coupler only - no tip. Be sure that your filling/icing does not go above the dam. Place your other layer of cake on top of that and press firmly. Refrigeration varies. I only refrigerate 1) if my filling needs refrigeration; and 2) if I crumb coat. I'm not sure if it's absolutely necessary and I'd be curious to hear from others. To the other forum members - if my technique is off, please, please advise me. I'd be curious to hear your added tips. I love to learn.

Dec 30, 2011
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me too
by: Anonymous

I just made a piano cake that was two layers with a lemon curd filling and buttercream crumb coat under the fondant and it did the same thing. I didn't notice it until the fondant was on. but then I couldn't take the fondant off with out having to start over completely.

Dec 31, 2011
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Bulging piano
by: joyzlu

Did you layer the cake & cover it with fondant on the same day? If so, try letting your cake rest (covered or refrigerated) for several hours - overnight if you have time. This way the weight of the cake will settle on it's own before you cover it. If you did wait and it still bulged, try thickening your dam next time. Hope this helps and I'd love to see pics of your piano cake. Sounds fun.

Dec 31, 2011
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piano cake
by: Debbee

Not really, I baked the cake on Friday night. I filled and buttercreamed it and left it over night. I put the fondant on it the next morning, but after I reviewed the pictures I had taken, I noticed the bulge was already there. I had run the knife around the edges thinking I had it smooth enough, guess not. I could see it very well after I applied the fondant and tried to remove it, but it pulled the cake apart. The longer it sat the more it showed.


Dec 31, 2011
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bulging fondant
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble. I've started making my dam super thick. To the point that it will not pipe through a bag. I actually roll it into snakes using my hands, then place it around the top edge of the bottom layer. It sounds like you gave the cake enough time. That blasted bulge drove me CRAZY until I started 1) making my bulge thicker; and, 2) let the cake sit (stacked) overnight. There are videos out there about stacking cakes that address the bulge issue. Best of luck next time.

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