Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me solve the mystery of my buckling cakes. I've done several cakes over the past couple of years with no problem, now all of a sudden my cakes are buckling around the bottom. See the flaring blue and green layers? Those are not supposed to be that way. I don't know why the red layer didn't do it. Maybe because that was the last cake I covered and it was out of the freezer longer than the others? Maybe because the fondant was Duff's red and not marshmallow like the other 2 layers? Who knows?
Here's some basic info: double layer cakes, filled and covered with buttercream, then marshmallow fondant (Duff's on middle layer). Bottom and middle layer has several wood downs, all at or a little above level of cake. Cakeboards between each level.
After a short while the nice straight sides of the cake begins to bulge out and the fondant begins to buckle at the bottom. Yes, I am using a dam of icing in between the layers. Here are my thoughts on what could be wrong:
1) My buttercream is too soft, needs to be stiffer to use under fondant
2) My buttercream layer is too thick (1/4-1/2 inch)
3) I recently started adding shortening and another tbsp of water to marshmallow fondant recipe to make it stretchier (don't know why that would affect it but hey, I'm grasping at straws here)
4) I've recently started baking all my cakes and freezing them (not iced) as soon as I get them out of the oven to save time when I need to decorate later.
If I had to guess, I'd say it's #4.
I let them rest about 10 minutes out of the oven, turn them out of the pan, level them, then double wrap them with saran wrap and stick them in the freezer. They are still very hot when I freeze them. I thought that might help keep them moist. My guess is maybe that's the problem. They are too moist.
I'm taking them out of the freezer, crumb coating them (sometimes while they are frozen), sticking them in the fridge for a little while, taking them out and covering them with buttercream, then sticking them in the fridge again for about 30 minutes, before taking them out and covering them with my fondant.
I think what may be happening is my cakes are so moist (due to freezing when they are hot and not waiting until they've cooled?) that they are compressing under the weight of the fondant, which leads to the bulging and buckling around the bottom. The fondant has no where to go but out. But this is just my best guess as to what the problem is. Can anyone else offer some insight on what may be wrong?