How can I get straight sides on a filled sponge?

I was hoping that you could help with a problem that I keep having when I ice my cakes with sugar paste.

When I cover a fruit or sponge cake with sugarpaste I can get perfectly straight sides UNLESS I split the sponge and introduce a filling – normally jam or buttercream but then I get a tell tale line around the middle of the cake that is still visible as either a bulge or an indentation – no matter how careful I try to be.

Am I filling the cakes too much? Is my buttercream too soft. Should I be using something else instead of normal buttercream? After I’ve filled the middle should I be doing something else to the cake before the thin layer of buttercream and then sugarpaste?

I’d love to say scrap the filling but most people request a filling these days and although on most cakes I can hide it with decoration some I just need a lovely straight side!

Please help me to solve this problem because I have a number of Wedding Cakes later this year that simply can’t have that horrible bulge.

Many many thanks in hopeful appreciation.
Kind Regards
Sue Le Marquand

Hi Sue, There are a couple of things you can do to make your cakes smoother.

  • Trim the cakes a bit after filling with a super sharp knife. The cakes should be cold when doing this.

  • Do a preliminary coat of buttercream (crumb coat), chill the cakes and then do a thicker coat of buttercream over that, making sure that the cakes are smooth.

  • Roll the fondant slightly thicker than you normally do, this will give you better coverage.

  • Or cover your cakes first with marzipan and then the fondant or sugar paste to get a super smooth surface.

  • A great book with instructions on the marzipan method is in Cake Decorating: A step by step guide to making traditional and fantasy cakes. My review is on the Baking And Cake Decorating Books review page.
    Hope that helps :-)

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