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how to avoid buttercream blowouts?!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Lately I've been experiencing a lot of 'cake farts' in my buttercream iced cakes!!! 2 out of 3 I made this weekend had blowouts in the icing. Fortunately I was able to fix and hide them but I'd rather not have to deal with them at all. Any advice on how to avoid this problem would be greatly appreciated icon_cry.gif
post #2 of 34
I used to have issues with a 'stripe' around the cake where the filling had ballooned out.
I'm going to guess that you leveled, filled and iced the cake 1..2..3. in succession.
Once I began to fill the cakes and rough ice them and THEN let them sit for several hours to settle. This issue disappeared.
Some on CC have suggested putting weight on the cake while is sits. A cake pan or a cookie sheet that helps rid the cake of air bubbles which force out the filling later.
Hope this helps.

mommachris

wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

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wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

Reply
post #3 of 34
Are you icing them while frozen or still partially frozen? Normally, blow outs happen as the cake thaws because the air has nowhere to escape through. If you poke a hole somewhere in the icing, it helps to prevent the blowout.
post #4 of 34
Thanks CWR41, for the advice. I'll have to try poking a hole in my next cake.

Also, I weigh my torted & filled cakes down with a large cake pan filled about 1/2 way with water. This helps them settle before covering. I think others have used tiles to weigh them down (I just don't happen to have any extra tiles laying around).

Sometimes, on especially problematic cakes, I use Toba Garrett's cake spackle. It's like creating a thin strong shell around your cake that you can ice over. You can use buttercream or ganache in your spackle. Here are a couple links, if you want to learn more about the technique:

http://ericaobrien.com/blog/2009/09/tricks-of-trade-toba-garretts-cake.html

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-665482.html

icon_biggrin.gif
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
I don't freeze my cakes, I do bake them a few days before and stack them on my counter and let them rest for at least 24 hrs. Then I level and fill, let it hang in the fridge for a little and then dirty ice. I let that first coat get super hard and then ice with the colored icing twice, with time in between to let the icing set and firm up of course. I use a spatula dipped in hot water to smooth the final coat and then the Viva method. It's only happening to my tiered cakes, usually the base tier at the very bottoms. I never poked holes in my cakes before.. I should give this a try!! Also I've never weighted them with anything besides other cakes, could that be a problem? I used to have issues with the filling bulge not blowouts, it's opposite nowicon_sad.gif
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemeech201

Also I've never weighted them with anything besides other cakes, could that be a problem?



No. It's actually the perfect amount of weight, if you're helping them to settle with the cake sizes that are being used for that cake.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks Prima!! I might try the spackle on a fondant covered wedding cake this weekend. I'm traveling over an hour in the car with it and SCARED TO DEATH of getting bulges or bubbles from blowouts. It's a super plain design so no little trinkets to hide any imperfections icon_redface.gif
post #8 of 34
poking a hole in the cake works really well for me. I read that on here awhile back. So whenever I notice an air bubble forming anywhere, I just run a wooden dowel down the top of my tier all the way to the bottom. It gives the air a place to escape. I cover most of my cakes with fondant and it works well for that too. A lot of times I make the hole before right after icing before I cover with fondant just to prevent bubbles. You can cover the hole with a decoration, or icing or whatever if it happens to be the top tier.
post #9 of 34
I avoid blowouts by filling, stacking, and then letting the uniced cake settle over night, or at least for a few hours. I do put a thin layer of icing around the outside of the cake where the filling is (between layers), just to seal any exposed cake well. No blowouts since doing it this way!
post #10 of 34
Is this pretty much an American style buttercream problem because it's heavier than say, a meringue BC? I really don't know, it's been so long since I made ABC. I would imagine the same volume of both on scales would show one to be heavier.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #11 of 34
I let my cakes settle for hours with some weight on it..
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscreativity

I let my cakes settle for hours with some weight on it..

But talk to just about every person who uses a meringue BC, and we don't have to do that.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #13 of 34
Correct. I have never had a bulging or blow out issue with meringue buttercreams, and I never weigh my cakes down with anything. I switch between IMBC and a lightly crusting powdered sugar based recipe. Now I don't settle my cakes with my non meringue recipe because my dam is stiff enough to withstand the weight of the cake. I also don't ice my cakes cold when I use that recipe. The one time I experienced an air amoeba I had iced a cake cold (with the powdered sugar recipe). It's crazy how different the two types of BC are. Overall I prefer IMBC and I love not having to mess with powdered sugar when I make it. icon_smile.gif
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscreativity

I let my cakes settle for hours with some weight on it..

But talk to just about every person who uses a meringue BC, and we don't have to do that.



I always use SMBC on my cakes, and I've always weighed my cakes prior to crumbcoating. I guess I always thought since meringue BC's are lighter, that they were more delicate, & more susceptible to squishing under the weight of the fondant. I suppose, too, that I always weigh my cakes to settle them because I've been too afraid not too. After all, we don't want to skip a step, work so hard on our cake, & end up with the nasty bulges.

Have I been doing this step unnecessarily? What about when you use fruit fillings (these always seem especially susceptible to leakage)?

Thanks!
post #15 of 34
Not even with fruit! I don't ever use anything that is super runny or slippery anyways, but any fillings other than plain ole BC gets dammed in with a ring of SMBC to contain it anyways.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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