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First (I hope!) bubble!!!

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Did a fondant cake for a bridal shower today, it was a freebie/gift. Did everything like I usually do.

After I served the bigger tier (I did two separated tiers) I sat down and noticed the smaller tier had a HUGE bulge!!!! I poked it to flatten it back out and of course it cracked. I sliced it up to remove it from the plate when we were cleaning up and found sure enough, a HUGE air bubble where the icing separated from the cake.

I wasn't necessarily upset about this particular cake because nobody noticed, and it was fine for most of the shower. What I WAS upset about is the thought/fear that this had happened to other cakes too and I just was never told?????

I did it the same as always...filled and crumb coated/fridge/ice the cake/fridge/fondant (actually it sat overnight in the fridge before the fondant was applied). The bubble did not occur (or rather, become painfully obvious) until it sat at room temp for several hours.

So...how do I know that this will not happen in the future? Yikes.
post #2 of 35
I think it's a crap-shoot. Several have speculated to the cause of it, but no one seems to be very sure as to why it happens. I've had it happen a time or two with bc, but I rarely cover a cake with fondant.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well I know we can rule out stacking, because they were single tiers, placed on ceramic plates.

I guess maybe somehow there was an air bubble trapped in the buttercream??????

I'm so gun-shy now, worried that this will happen in the future. Because of the timing of it, it would NOT be obvious until well after a delivery, and around serving-time.
post #4 of 35
I would love to know why this happens too! I had that happen to me when I put my cake in and out of the fridge while decorating. I assumed it was a condensation bead under the icing. Since then I've not refrigerated my cakes (I don't use perishable filling). But now I'm having problems with my fondant not sticking well enough to the cake. You just can't win sometimes! I wish I had the answer, I'm still trying to find it!
post #5 of 35
By the way kitagrl, your cakes are awesome!
post #6 of 35
I am not completely sure about this, but I also had a slight problem with this yesterday in a fondant covered cake. I have found that when I bake my cakes and let them set overnight I don't have this problem. But if I bake a cake and then use it on the same day I will occasionally see this. ??could gas from the cooling cake or ?? some type of reaction be happening inside the cake?
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Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you....
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post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

I would love to know why this happens too! I had that happen to me when I put my cake in and out of the fridge while decorating. I assumed it was a condensation bead under the icing. Since then I've not refrigerated my cakes (I don't use perishable filling). But now I'm having problems with my fondant not sticking well enough to the cake. You just can't win sometimes! I wish I had the answer, I'm still trying to find it!



I don't refrigerate my cakes and this is one of the reasons. Sugar_Fairy..I brush my crusted buttercream with simple syrup using a pastry brush to help my fondant "glue" to the cake. I've watched many tutorials on youtube such as PLANET CAKE on "how to cover a cake with fondant" and this is how they show to do it. I don't have any trouble with my fondant not sticking to my cake. To make simple syrup I mix 1 cup of hot water to 1 cup of sugar. It takes very little brushed on your cake and there is absolutely no problem with condensation like when using water.
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post #8 of 35
Huh. I don't think I've ever seen this - of course, most of my cakes don't have a full fondant covering - I usually use fondant just for decorations. I"d love to see a picture of this though - and find out what the issue is just so I can avoid it in the future!
post #9 of 35
Thank you mamawrobin! I'll try this next time! What type of brush do you use though?
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

Thank you mamawrobin! I'll try this next time! What type of brush do you use though?



A pastry brush thumbs_up.gif You can get one at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby or Michael's for under $5.00.
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
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everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
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post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
As far as I know its never happened to me before....I'm used to working with firm cakes so I'm not sure I'd be able to work with them room temp, plus I use the fridge to keep the cakes safely stored as often I will work on several in one week.

I guess I will just have to work harder on making sure everything is settled and smooth. I *will* say that on that particular cake, I had messed up the fondant and tore a hole in it. I decided not to redo the cake and instead just to put a flower where the hole was (it was a large hole) so I'm wondering if somehow that left an area for icing to sink into or compromised the stability somehow, and then allowed the bubble to form.

It so happened that I've never allowed that large of a hole to stay in fondant, but since this was a freebie and I wasn't planning to let it show, I just let it stay. And so happened this is the cake that allowed the big air bubble....just above the wrecked portion, too, actually.

Hm.
post #12 of 35
From what I understand you have a higher chance of gas bubbles with fondant if you apply the fondant while the cake is cold. I crumbcoat while the cake is cold but then allow two hours for the cake to settle and come to room temp before covering with fondant. The only time I've had gas bubble issues is when I pushed that time schedule and cover too soon. So you may want to wait longer before covering after you take the cakes out of the fridge. I think the gas bubble appeared on your cake as it came up to room temp. HTH. Cat
post #13 of 35
I too have to deal with the air bubble situation. I always thought it was the fondant pulling away from the icing, but now I am thinking maybe it's the buttercream pulling away from the cake. It's a pain as you can't carry on with decorating until you have airbubbles fixed. Nightmare. Sometimes if I roll my fondant a bit thicker and it's not too soft, it helps. But like others have said, it's a crap shoot, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Its hard to cover a cake with fondant when its not firm though. icon_sad.gif

Yes it did happen when it came to room temp, and it was the icing pulled away from the cake...not the fondant from the icing.

I'm wondering if its ever happened to a delivered cake...I wonder if they'd tell me if it did? To my knowledge it has not, but....I guess one never knows. If it has not, then my odds are pretty good...but if it has...hmm.
post #15 of 35
I always apply my fondant to a completely chilled cake. In fact, I won't let it sit out a minute before fondanting it. Just long enough to run my clean hands under cold water, shake them off and run them over the surface of the buttercream. This gives it a nice final smoothing and a tacky surface for the fondant to adhere to.

The buttercream needs to be firm and smooth with sharp firm edges to get the same result in the fondant. Applying fondant to a room temp cake will give you rounded edges and no real solid surface for the fondant to adhere to.

Once it's fondanted, I leave it at room temp for 12 hours before decorating. This gives any and all problems a chance to surface before decorating, and while it's still in my possession. I think I've only had two bubbles in all the years I've been doing it this way.

I also use cornstarch when I roll out my fondant. So I think the cornstarch/fermenting theory is just a myth. I think that most bubbles are just random occurrences that just happen occasionally, no matter what you do. Think about it. A cake, by its nature is filled with air pockets. So it's inevitable that you'll occasionally get the perfect little storm of circumstances that pull some of this air together to form a bubble.

There are precautions I take that I think help prevent it though.

- LET THE FILLED, UNFROSTED CAKE SETTLE! Probably the most important thing you can do.
- I also will push a dowel down into the center of a fondant covered cake, and then pull it out, before leaving it overnight before decorating. This gives any air that's trying to work itself out a place to go, and a way out besides under your fondant sides. This only works if you'll be stacking later to cover the hole...or placing a decoration over it.
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