How to Frost a Cake – Tips, Tools & Techniques

cake-frosting-how-toBaking beautiful layer cakes for birthdays and holiday parties is every hostess’ dream. But even if you bake a great cake, but are clumsy at frosting it, just like me, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not as hard as it looks! With just a few tips, the right tools, a few techniques, and diligent execution, you’ll be on your way to frosting and decorating a perfectly layered cake. Its really fun, once you get the hang of it, and once you master it, after wasting tonnes of frosting, by the way, you’ll never settle for anything but a Frosted Layered Cake ever in your life! [Image Source: Wikimedia]

Joy the Baker’s tutorial on how to frost a cake was extremely helpful to me when I was looking for some inspiration. I have made layered cakes before, but frosting had never been my forte. But after a few not-so-great trials, I think I am in a decent position to share these tips with you.

No matter if you’re making a simple sheet cake or a layer cake, icing is easy when you follow these tips from Test Kitchens professional Jan Moon. For the best results, use an offset spatula, which allows for even spreading and keeps your hand away from the cake.

Before frosting, cool cakes on a wire rack. Brush away loose crumbs with a pastry brush, then cover the cakes in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.

Step 1. Unwrap cakes, and place one layer on a cakestand. Slip strips of wax paper beneath the edges to keep the stand clean. (Place stand on a Lazy Susan to make frosting easier.)

Step 2. To frost between the layers, place about one cup of frosting onto center of layer, and sweep outward with the spatula. Leave a 1/2-inch border around the edges.

Step 3. Place unfrosted layer bottom-side up on frosted layer. Apply a thin layer of frosting to the entire cake to seal any loose crumbs. Allow to set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Step 4. To frost the top of the cake, place about one cup of frosting onto the center of the cake, and spread to the edge. Cover the top with an even layer of frosting.

Step 5. For the sides, load spatula with frosting, and lightly push it toward the cake as you turn the stand. Continue spreading until the cake is evenly coated; let set before decorating.

For a smooth finish, lightly mist the cake with water after applying the final coat, then use a spatula to smooth out bumps. If you are still not sure and need some more help, check out this really helpful video that explains how to frost a cake.

Don’t let a first experience with frosting make you nervous and prevent you from trying it yourself. Your best bet, try frosting a cupcake first, that’s how I got over my initial fear! Once you get the feel for it, try on a regular cake, and then move on to Layered Cakes. Hope this tutorial helps you decorate your own Cake, and be proud of it too!


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