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Discussion Forum

Topic: Icing Tip 789 and air bubbles
susychpstk 10/05/2012 4:03 PM
Does anyone else ever have problems using that large Wilton Icing tip to apply your buttercream to the tier?

I do like using it, but the drawback is that I seem to get a bubble or air pocket here and there around the tiers where the seams join. Somehow, an air pocket develops as I'm smoothing, and it's always where the seams adjoin from one strip of buttercream to the next above it, but it doesn't occur around the entire cake...just maybe 2-3 of them. Just enough for me to fuss over them, tacking on another 1/2 hour of icing time.

So frustrating...what am I doing that's causing this? I've tried pressing the tip onto the cake a little more, I've tried overlapping the strips as I go around, but I seem to be destined to get them!
preetscake 10/05/2012 6:01 PM
Yessss!Susna, I am so happy to see your this post...I was thinking I am the only one with this problem!!!
I have exact same thing going on at this very moment!! But I concluded that no matter what you do you ARE destined to get those minor bubbles...just prick them,smooth them and go on!!!
I hope someone has a solution for this..I will stay tuned!
preetscake 10/05/2012 6:02 PM
I'm so sorry Susan ,I spelled your name wrong!
susychpstk 10/05/2012 6:08 PM
Ha ha...I'm here right now icing my fourth tier, and every single tier had at least 2 of them! I dig them out, but many times I'm not noticing the air pocket until after I've gone over it with my Viva and computer paper and almost have it perfect....frustrating!!!

I'm actually wondering if it has to do with the computer paper sticking a little to the buttercream, and as I gently pull it, it lifts the buttercream up a little, causing the pocket. I'll have to pay attention with this last tier to see if I notice them just after going over the tier with Viva, because I can't seem to remember seeing them at that point...and they keep seeming to pop up out of the blue just when I think the tier is smooth to my satisfaction after the paper. Grrrrrr!!!
susychpstk 10/05/2012 6:09 PM
OH gosh, that's okay Preeti!

I sometimes push using the paper a little too long, and it gets saturated so quickly with grease. This tier I'm going to try switching it out before it starts sticking. I'll keep ya posted!!

....back to the drawing board ;)
susychpstk 10/05/2012 6:39 PM
Preeti....I don't know if I was just lucky this time around, or if I'm on to something, but try overlapping each layer by 1/4 inch. I don't have any air pockets this time. I was also careful to change out my computer paper each time it got grease-soaked...before it started sticking.... so maybe that was a help too.
preetscake 10/05/2012 7:21 PM
Thanks Susan...I do not use computer paper at all,only viva. I have stopped thinking about those bubbles since it's only a couple ...ok maybe a few! I do try and avoid any gap between bc layers created by the tip and that does help a lot! I have never had luck with computer paper, it always sticks on my bc,even when I do it on crusted icing....don't know how you guys do it!I know if I get hang of it,my icing would look a little more smoother:-(
Oh well...gotta finish these monsters...have 2 on hand, 4 tiers each!! My neck and back is aching like anything!Good luck with your cake,can't wait to see the picture!
susychpstk 10/05/2012 7:25 PM
Good luck to you Preeti, as well...I know they'll be beautiful!
IcingArtistry 10/08/2012 8:45 PM
Susy, I'm so glad you asked this question. I've had the icing lift off and stick to the knife while smoothing it, usually because it got too soft. I can't seem to get the hang of the computer paper yet so I stick with Viva. My bigger problem with the big tip is that I can't go around the whole layer with only one squeeze of the bag so I have to stop, readjust my hold, and continue, leaving a mark in the BC, and then sometimes it doesn't want to even stick to the crumb coat! I have to start smoothing it out to get it to stick. It's even fallen off before! Overlapping a little does seem to help. I'm hoping someone else will put in their two cents with how to make this tip really work well.
susychpstk 10/08/2012 9:10 PM
There definitely is an art to using that tip! Maybe Scott can offer some advice, since I believe he uses this same tip for icing application. I know you really need to have the tip lightly touching the cake as you go around, or else it will just slough off the sides, as in your case. Don't worry about having to break to re-squeeze and reposition your hand to go around the cake some more....I do this as well, and just overlap where I left off. You'll end up with some un-even thicker areas of frosting, but I go around lightly with my bench scraper to try to even everything off to the same level, before I start fine-tuning and perfecting the sides. Nothing is ever easy!
salsaman42 10/09/2012 4:35 AM
I get that also about 3/4 of the time. I take a sharp knife and run it through the bubble, sometimes all the way around. I do this as soon as I see it, while I still have icing to scrape off, if not, you have to add more icing. Sometimes I have to do it a couple times.
salsaman42 10/09/2012 4:37 AM
Overlapping the icing bands helps, but you have to squeeze the bag hard and push the top of the previous band up against the cake with the band you're piping to push out the air.
susychpstk 10/09/2012 7:51 AM
Thanks Scott. I thought I'd post my findings in here, since I never saw it addressed before, and knowing me, I would be the only one to have this issue! It's encouraging that others have the same thing happening to them. It still beats using a spatula to apply the icing...every time I use the spatula, I pop my sacroiliac joint out of whack from leaning way over to the side. I can deal with a little air pocket here and there
Konfections 10/09/2012 9:00 PM
I now ice my cakes using the #18 tip up and down, I did have a problem with the bigger icing tip before, but now doing this I have never had a problem, of course you don't get as much icing on the cake as using the tip but then you don't spend as much money on icing either and it smooths very nicely. Just my opinion.
susychpstk 10/09/2012 10:02 PM
Ohhhh...great idea Konfections!!!! I may retire my tip #789 sooner rather than later