There are some skills in the kitchen that I admire from afar.  And then there are other skills that I am not content just wondering how they are done, I actually have to try and master them for myself.  One skill that is important for me is how to frost a cake.  While I know that it does not require rocket science to successfully frost a multiple layer cake, there are certainly errors that I have made and lessons that I have learned in how to make the cake look a littler prettier.

My grandma used to make celebration cakes and would always make me a Barbie Doll cake for my birthday.  Do you remember the cakes where the actual cake is a dome shape that represents the doll’s dress and then the doll is actually stuck in the middle of the dome so that it really looks like she is wearing a giant ball gown made out of cake?  There was something magical about those cakes that my grandma made.  Unfortunately, I was too young to be interested in learning from my grandma back then, but I still think of her know anytime I get out a piping bag.

I have learned how to frost a layer cake by watching videos on YouTube and learning from masters like Rosie from Sweetapolita.  And while my cakes are not works of art like those cake artists that I idolize, I can show you the basics of how to achieve a smoothly frosted cake that is fun and festive.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

My favorite frosting to use is a traditional buttercream frosting.  Buttercream is so easy to work with and just seems to naturally smooth itself as you work.  It is important to work with buttercream that is the correct consistency, which in my opinion, is when the frosting is easy to spread without being so warm that it melts.  Typically room temperature to just slightly cooler buttercream will give you great results.

First off, to ensure even layers, I weigh out my batter and evenly distribute the batter into the number of pans that I am using so that I can be confident that each cake will be the same size.  When my cakes come out of the oven, I let them cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.  Then I place a piece of parchment paper onto my counter top and invert the cakes onto the counter while they are still warm so that the tops that have raised and domed a bit while baking flatten out.  This makes them easy to stack without having to cut the cakes.

To start frosting the cake, I place about one tablespoon of frosting in the center of the serving platter that I am using.  This will help the cake to stay in place while you work.  Next, I cut four pieces of parchment paper to line the edges of the platter.  The reason that I do this is that I will inevitably get some frosting on the edges of the plate and instead of having to wipe it off later, I can simply remove the pieces of parchment paper after I am done frosting the cake and I am left with a clean plate.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}
Place the first cake on top of the dollop of frosting on the plate.  Spread about half a cup of frosting evenly over the top of the cake using an offset spatula.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

If you are using any other type of filling, such as fruit, spread that over the frosting.  Place cake into the freezer for a few minutes so that the first layer can set.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Top with the next cake layer and place about 1 cup of the buttercream on top.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Use your offset spatula to evenly spread the frosting across the top of the cake allowing it to slump down the sides as you work.  Continue to work that frosting down the sides and switch to using a straight metal spatula.  Hold the spatula vertically and lightly drag one side of it around the cake to spread the frosting evenly.  At this point, you are just trying to cover the cakes with a very thin layer of frosting.  It’s fine to see cake through your frosting.  This first frosting layer is referred to as the “crumb coat” because if there are any loose crumbs that come off in your frosting during this first layer, they will be covered up later and will not be visible in your final product.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Place the cake into the freezer again for about 5 minutes, or until the frosting feels firm.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Place another cup of frosting on top of the cakes and use the offset spatula again to repeat the process of working the frosting around the top and down the sides of the cake.  When the top is covered, switch to your straight spatula again to spread the frosting around the sides.  Once your cake is smooth, place it into the freezer for another 5 minutes for the frosting to firm up again.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Finally, if you would like to use any decorative piping or sprinkles on your cake, now is the time to do so.  I like to place my cake into the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes to let the frosting set for a final time.  Then I will remove the cake and let it come to room temperature again before serving.

How to frost a cake {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

That is how to frost a cake according to me.  Did you find this helpful?

 

Print Friendly
Did you like this? Share it:

You may also like:

White Chocolate-Dipped Red Velvet Shortbread for the 2012 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
Almond Raspberry Holiday Macarons
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

3 Comments ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    So pretty, frosting a cake is probably something everyone should know, right?

    Reply

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    Your cake is so pretty, Mercedes!

    Reply

  3. Cassie | Bake Your Day
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

    Beautiful job, Mercedes! I don’t do this very often. And since I started making the Milk Bar cakes, I prefer to make any layer cakes with that method so haven’t actually frosted on in a long time. I love the looks of this one, though!

    Reply

 Leave a Reply