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K8memphis

A question please about Cake Farts

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Maybe you didn't know but iced cakes can develop air tumors aka cake farts under the icing that push the icing up and can even make an ugly blow hole where it might break through the icing in rare cases.

I have not personally seen it with Swiss meringue buttercream or French buttercream iced cakes, but with American buttercream and fondant this is a sad but not smelly possibility.

Oh, you scientific ones, what causes this?? Is there any way to prevent it beyond a tiny pin prick in each layer through the icing into the cake to create a blow hole clevery hidden within the delicate decor (ie. cakapuncture like acupuncture)

Thar she blows... :laugh:

:smile: No, no but I'm serious about getting answers to my questions.

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It's a function of density and structural integrity of the cake.

If the cake is so dense and weak that it can't hold its structure, then it will fall, and as it falls, it pushes the gas that leavened it out of the way. The gas then has to go somewhere, so it goes up. But, as the cake falls away, the icing doesn't have anything holding it up anymore, so it falls to, and the gas has to get out of the icing's way.

But, icing is generally airtight, so the icing either holds, or blows out.

The best way to prevent is either a stronger cake or stronger icing.

I prefer my cakapuncture with a fork and a freshly cut piece...

Oh, wait, that's eating. :hmmm:


Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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The best way to prevent is either a stronger cake or stronger icing.

I prefer my cakapuncture with a fork and a freshly cut piece...

Oh, wait, that's eating.  :hmmm:

Well yeah, for sure the fork is plan A--but as caker's we get to travel with our cakes, stress abundantly, feel every pebble under the tires, and carry our little high maintenance treasures around, gently up stairs, more gently down stairs, across vahhhst lobbies, past the masses, into alleys, up to rooftops, by the lake --give them better treatment than we ever got at the nicest of resorts. And then...they fart on you!

Great explanation--thanks so much!!!

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It helps if you fill and assemble your cake and let it set for several hours or overnight before icing. It gives the cake time to settle and there will be less air bubbles.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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You can always road your cakes on regular throw pillows. Cover the pillows with cling film and make sure that they are arranged so your cake doesn't do an "endo" off, and you'll find the pillows shock-absorbing power should be sufficient to reduce the premature "tummy music".

You may want to shop around for the pillows, though. Nothing gaudy or super hard. Tastefully refined and downy-soft are going to be your friends... and then you can nap where ever you deliver your cakes!

Also, you may find that carrying a few needles (I would recommend 1.5 inch 22 ga intravenous catheters, but use what you have access to) will help. Those you can use to vent the bubbles, and they will leave teeny holes.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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We do actually cushion our cakes in transport. :rolleyes: Not quite the lady and the pea type of thing you describe but...it ain't easy, man!!! Yeah I wield a wicked hat pin. Shades of Zorro.

>>>Well I have some bad news. While I love Jsolomon's (initial) reply, it seems that there are some amongst us who've gotten a blow out when icing a dummy (cake). That is a styrofoam cake, used for display etc. So I guess you can trap enough air into your spatula stroke to cause you troubles down the line??

I mean you can get a cake fart/blow out while icing a cake too. I mean in the process of icing like in real time. Blphhfffffttttt. Actually they are silent, just a little poetic license there. :raz:

Unfortunatley, crumb coating & allowing the cakes to settle are not fixes by any means. Some people let them sit just to give the cake time enough to fart or blowout if it is going to so they can fix it. Pin pricks are the only 'cure' I know of and I can remember at least one time that didn't work either.

While it's not as pressing a dilema as world peace & stuff or the price of foie gras in Chicago it is a big deal. What say you foodies and scientists???

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It helps if you fill and assemble your cake and let it set  for several hours or overnight before icing.  It gives the cake time to settle and there will be less air bubbles.

I've found that since I started doing this - no more blow outs. I just assemble with filling, crumb coat and let sit overnight. So even if there are a few bulges or bubbles, I can prick them with a pin and smooth out the crumb coated icing without any problems.

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I've never had it happen to me with Swiss meringue buttercream or French buttercream. Anyone else??? But why?????

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It helps if you fill and assemble your cake and let it set  for several hours or overnight before icing.  It gives the cake time to settle and there will be less air bubbles.

I've found that since I started doing this - no more blow outs. I just assemble with filling, crumb coat and let sit overnight. So even if there are a few bulges or bubbles, I can prick them with a pin and smooth out the crumb coated icing without any problems.

Yeah, cool, but you're still getting them, you've just built a better mouse trap. You have a great way to get rid of any that will still come.

I've never had it happen to me with Swiss meringue buttercream or French buttercream. Anyone else??? But why?????

Because I keep those (cakes) chilled and the cold butter is a stronger icing???

But it doesn't blow out later either at room temp but by then it's probably been sliced.

See there's two me's, there's the me that has worked in many bakeries. And there's the me that works from home.

So, the wfh me, has had maybe two or three blow outs in my whole life maybe. The wmb me has seen lots of them.

Ok--working from home, I chill everything. And I bake to order and store my cakes filled and uniced in the freezer. So umm, methinks the chilling helps stabilize the structure and the no icing helps cake farts to dissipate before they can cause damage.

How does that sound?

But why when they defrost do they not blow the big one through the icing. I usually ice them frozen, I just do it quickly before the icing chills itself out from the frozen cake. Sometimes I have to stop & wait 15 minutes or so until it all defrosts enough so I can continue smoothing. Have I just chillily numbed them into submission???

What do you think?

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whats american buttercream.....?

Well honestly I hate to tackle this uber sensitive subject of buttercreams (Who's on 1st & all that) but put it this way, TO ME American buttercream is butter, cream or milk, confectioner's sugar, salt and umm flavoring--just combine--whip if you want.

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The only times I ever get any kind of blowout or visible filling bulges are the days I have no choice but to bake, cool...ice and decorate all in the same short time frame. Cakes settle as they sit, by doing the baking and cooling, then fill and crumb coat the night before needed, my cakes will settle before I decorate them. So the gas has pretty much done its deed by the time I ice the next am. I don't freeze wedding cakes so I schedule the baking time to allow for this, typical schedule for a Sat wedding would be bake Thursday pm, crumb coat, then all decorating is done Friday. Most of my cakes take an all day decorating marathon so this works for me.

See if letting the cake sit out overnight crumb coated and loosely covered helps. Not in the cooler though unless ingredients require it. HTH

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