Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dam the Filling, Full Speed Ahead

Many cakes that I make have only the buttercream in between the layers. For special occasions or for a change of pace it is nice to add a filling. There are unlimited flavor options for filling a cake. Once you choose the flavor that you think will compliment the cake itself, it's time to build the cake. The danger in a filling is that it can cause the frosting to bulge on the finished cake. This makes the layers very obvious and the cake looks frumpy. There is a great solution! Dam the filling.

Take some of your frosting and mix it with some more powdered sugar until it is thick enough to form by hand but still thin enough to pipe through a large round tip or coupler.

As you assemble the layers, pipe around the edge with the thickened frosting.

This will create a dam to hold your filling in.

Spread the filling to be level with the top of the dam. In this picture I am filling with a cream cheese filling.  The thickened dam is helpful if you put a very thick layer of buttercream between the layers as well.

Now you are ready to stack the next layer on top.

Here is a cake filled with truffle filling that is easier to see.

I have used this technique with jam and mousse fillings with beautiful results.  I make one change with jam fillings.  They tend to seep into the cake and make it soggy.  I spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cake, then pipe the dam and fill.  Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top layer and flip it onto the filled layer.  The buttercream creates a moisture barrier to protect the cake.

Have fun with this one.  The sky is the limit on flavor possibilities!



  1. Love your title of your blog really Cool , Your doing exactly what i am trying to do with our site, with the detail pics, although you have 10 years on us, LOL, Ive only been makeing cakes for 2 1/2 months almost 3 and i ave only made 5 cakes but next on e will be for this fathers day, thanks for sharing , Im following you Now, Congrads you can check out our site here
    Thanks for sharing Really cool

  2. I have a question.... I am making a three,(maybe four) tier cake soon, and was wondering if i need to make the dam if im only coating the cake with buttercream. I was asked to do a thick layer of buttercream between each layer of cake. I have only made one other tiered cake but the buttercream on it wasnt as thick... thanks for any tips :)

  3. I would definitely make a dam, particularly in the hot and humid summer. I always figure that I'd rather be safe than sorry.

  4. hi there .. i have a question.. i started covering cakes with fondant a couple of months back.. i also have the same bulging problem .. i usualy freeze my cake before hand so that it gets a little stiff and is easy to handle with leveling and frosting.. after filling the cake i cover the cake with either chocolate ganache or buttercream.. after that i put it in the fridge so that the frosting gets a little stiff. when the frosting gets stiff i put fondant on it.. the cake remains in perfect shape when i let it stay in the fridge but if i allow it to stay at room temp bulges appear on the sides.. i just need to ask that where do i get wrong.. my frosting in the centre of the cake is usualy stiff..

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