The Trick To Preventing Cake Filling From Leaking

With the return of "The Great British Baking Show" this week on Netflix (per Decider), many home cooks may soon be feeling inspired to try their hands at baking their own show-stopping desserts. And nothing stops the show at a dinner party quite like an elaborate layer cake. Unfortunately, as many fans of the show and people who've attempted to make their own cakes at home know, achieving the perfect Instagram-worthy cake is much easier said than done. From lopsided layers to uneven icing, many issues can plague a cake — one of the most frustrating of these is when the filling leaks out.

Let's face it, most people who aren't professional bakers can bake a cake and frost it, but to really take your dessert up to the next level — literally and figuratively — fillings are always a good option. Whether it's filled with fresh fruit, jam, or pastry cream, a pleasant surprise between the layers of your cake will always delight diners. Still, it can be difficult to achieve, especially with the chance that a leaky filling could ruin other decorations. Luckily, Southern Living has a trick to help keep those delicious fillings in place, and the secret tool is simpler than you might think: extra frosting!

Just add more icing

As Southern Living explains, the best way to keep your runny or lumpy fillings in place is to create a dam to hold them in. Using the same icing you plan to coat the outside of the cake with, add an extra thick layer around the top edge of the cake — this essentially forms a little swimming pool to hold your cream or fruit. Wilton recommends using a piping bag with a size 12 tip for this purpose. Afterward, you can pour or spread your filling into the border, smooth it out before placing your next layer of cake on top, and repeat as necessary. The extra icing will stop the filling from running and provide a cushion from the next layer, so it doesn't get pushed out. Plus, it means more icing for everyone, and that's always a plus!

Other ways to make frosting your cake easier and mess-free and make sure your filling layers don't run into trouble is making them even and not piping your icing and fillings on too early. Southern Living notes that if you start this process while the cake is still warm, you can end up with a melty, runny mess instead of a cake that looks fresh from the bakery. Make sure you give your layers time to cool before assembling them.