Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked September 4th 2019

Please Help – Ongoing Issue with Cake Bulge


I am in the process of getting cakes baked for a wedding cake I'm making for my boyfriend's brother this weekend. They did request buttercream but want the cake barely frosted - 'naked' style. On the one tiered cake, they requested a raspberry filling and the other is ganache. That being said, what are your recommendations when filling a cake with something like raspberry filling? I typically make that buttercream a bit thicker and pipe a pretty thick dam around the edges.

My issues have been that even when I make the buttercream thicker with some extra powdered sugar, it seems to settle and eventually bulge. I don't typically use any white fat, and maybe that's one reason why I seem to get a slight bulge once the cake settles.

Do you have any tips for either damming a cake for filling and/or preventing the bulge as the two layers settle?

Any help is appreciated!

Thank you!


Hi Marissa

I find making a ganache dam holds up better than a buttercream one. Another thing to do to prevent an overflow is, not to overfill each layer. When you say a raspberry filling, do you mean jams or conserves? if so, is the filling homemade or shop-bought? If making homemade fillings, it's best to cook the fruit down to half its weight with sweetener of your choice. Thicken it with some cornflour or arrowroot powder so it sets when cooled and becomes less likely to overflow and bulge.

Adding white chocolate ganache to buttercream will help crust it over as will a tablespoon or two of meringue powder. Alternatively, you can swap half of your regular icing sugar with royal icing sugar. Royal icing sugar contains egg white powder/meringue powder and will crust over. For quantities of ganache to add to the buttercream, please take a peek at my buttercream chart blog here:

Buttercream covering and filling guide

Please let me know if suggestions help or if you need any more information.

Other similar posts:

cake bulging

Covering cake with fondant after ganache causing bulging sides HELP please

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Thank you! Thank you! I really appreciate the advice! Quick question on the ganache - and I'll peek at your chart here in a minute too - but what is the ratio of cream to butter that you use when it's for a filling and/or damming a cake? I have not used it as a filling before and the batch I made yesterday seems a bit too soft. I saw some recipes that added butter, could I still soften the ganache and add butter or would you add more chocolate? Please let me know if you have any suggestions there. I'm not quite sure what consistency I'm going for, just know that at room temp, it's still a bit squishy. 🙂 Thank you!


In the buttercream blog, I’ve suggested 6% of the buttercream weight. That’s the amount I used when hubby made the chart. I played around with the ratios and that was the most acceptable.

For filling, I make white chocolate buttercream. I have a simple recipe in the blog section if you search ‘eggless cake’. I can post the link when I get home.


Awesome. Thank you very much!!!


Hi Marissa

See the recipe here:

How to Make an Egg Free Cake + Vanilla Extract

Scroll down from the egg free recipe .

It can be doubled, tripled to your needs. It’s good only for filling.


Awesome! Thank you. Last question if you don't mind... so my dark chocolate ganache at room temp seems pretty soft. I did the 1 lb per 1 pt cream. Is that okay for a cake filling or do you think it might be good to add a bit more chocolate since it's pretty warm where I am (will be in the high 80's, low 90's Fahrenheit). What are your thoughts on consistence for filling between layers on a tiered cake? Thanks again. You're saving my life. 😉


I work in centigrade so, that would be in the 30s and over in C. For filling I suggest you use 2:1 ratio. That means 2 x chocolate to 1 part heavy cream. Once melted, the emulsion can be gently whisked with a stick blender for a couple of minutes. The ganache will become lighter in colour and density. The fluffy mixture can be used as a light filling between cake layers. Choose your own flavours, add at the ganache making stage. This is still quite a thick consistency but it is very light in mouth feel.


Perfect! Thank you again very, very much for all your help! I'm new to using ganache, so I'm very grateful for your insight. 🙂 Thanks so much!