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Canter bulge on cake

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
When I make two layered cakes and put buttercream in the center, after I ice it, I get a bulge in the center of the cake. I create a dam with the buttercream first. What am I doing wrong???
post #2 of 12
Is it safe to assume you level your cakes to start with? Ok, good! One thing I found that helps is before I start to smooth the icing, I run an exta row of icing (using the icing tip) on the top outer edge..to build it up. I found that the reason for the appearance of the hump is actually due to not enough icing around the top edge. It's the same reason some people can't get the top edges of a sheet cake smooth...you know...where you see those lines running along the top edges. Hope that helps!
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, I always level my cakes. So are you saying that when I fill the center, that I should run frosting along the center of the cake to fill it in so to speak??
post #4 of 12
Nope! I guess I didn't do a good job of 'splainin! How about this...when you use buttercream as you filling on top the first layer, make sure it isn't any higher than the dam you made. After the layers are on top of each other and covered with icing...then add another row of icing right around the top edge of the top layer to sorta counter balance the hump in the middle. Does that make sense?
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes it does. Thanks!!!
post #6 of 12
I've found that if I level, fill, and ice my cakes approximately 24 hours after baking, that I do not get that center bulge. I read somewhere that the bulge has a lot to do with the cakes not being firm enough because they were iced too soon. Waiting a day has never hurt the integrity of the moistness and freshness of my cakes.
post #7 of 12
I almost always bake the day before I decorate... and then I also usually decorate at least 1 day before deliver (making the cake two days old by delivery time). The cakes don't have to be "baked fresh daily" to taste and feel fresh.
post #8 of 12
I don't think I've ever delivered a cake that I baked and decorated on the same day. I don't see how it can be done unless it's a simple cake. I too am usually within the 2 day time frame. I was watching the Food TV birthday cake competition the other day, and one of the pastry chefs from Colette's Cakes (a NYC high-end cake bakery that practically invented the whimsical cake) was one of the competitors. He mentioned that it sometimes took them a week to fully decorate a cake.
I think with proper storage, cake--and especially cookies--can last much longer than people believe.
post #9 of 12
I've done it a week in advance a couple of times, but not often. Not because I'm fearful, I just have the time to do it closer. But I think nothing of baking and decorating several days in advance if I need to. I take a cake to church the first Sunday of every month. That cake always gets decorated on the previous Thursday afternoon. It sits on my counter in a box until Sunday.

I have noticed the cakes with milk in the batter (rather than water) tend to last longer sitting on the counter. I keep a cold kitchen, btw. Unless I'm baking, it rarely gets over 65- and that's considered a heat wave in my kitchen. More typically it's around 60. It not heated at all at night. So it gets very cold then. Whatever it is outside, that's pretty much what it is in my kitchen.

Another advantage to being able to shut the kitchen door.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mine for the wedding are frozen and will be iced on Friday, and decorated on Saturday, before the wedding.
post #11 of 12
There you go!!
post #12 of 12
To add to the discussion, I often bake, fill and ice a cake the same day and I don't get this bulge. Here is my theory on it.
I found out one way to get a bulge, quite by accident. Only once did I let a cake cool completely while it was lying with the unlevelled crown face down on a cooling rack. Now generally I level my cakes as soon as they come out of the pan, I don't wait until they are cool because I find this easier. Well it is easier with from scratch, not with cake mix cakes which I find generally are more delicate and this cake I had the problem with was a cake mix. Of course what happened was that the cake tried to level itself while cooling and this is where the bulge came from. So I won't be doing that one again. It was just because I had used all of my cooling racks and didn't have extras to flip the cake over so the crown was on top.
But I don't get a bulge even with filling and frosting a just baked and cooled cake. So my theory is this. Most people when levelling a cake, only level off the top bump. To truly level a cake, you want to bring the cake down level so that where the top meets the side is exactly the same height. And you want to use a really stiff buttercream damn and have your filling slightly below this height. If your filling is really of a wet unstable nature, well for one thing, it can absorb into your cake. Now to me this would be a special issue with a freshly baked cake that hasn't had time to seal itself by sitting on the counter covered for a day or so. Maybe the reason this isn't an issue for me is because I use a thinned apricot glaze to seal my cakes.
Anyway, it is an interesting problem. I tend to also fill in with icing at the seam as I am crumbcoating or frosting the sides of the cake. I guess this amounts to the same thing as putting an extra row of icing there.
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