How to frost a cake easily! Learn the right technique to properly smooth your cakes. With a buttercream or chocolate ganache and your layer cakes will finally have a perfect finish!
How to frost a cake
Many of you are wondering how to get those pretty finishes on a layer cake? How to successfully smooth a cake? What tools and methods should you use to successfully ice a cake?
The frost process of a cake can seem endless and frustrating! Especially when you don't master the technique at all. But there's nothing magical about it, I've been there too and my first cakes were nothing like today's 😅.
The key to success is simply using the right technique, having the right equipment, perseverance and lots and lots of practice.
Which frostings to choose?
If your goal is to have a perfect, smooth finish on your cakes, then you'll need to use one of these top icings:
Using the right tools
Using the right tools will allow you to perform better and have more control over what you are doing. You don't have to have a lot of tools or get the most expensive ones.
Here is a list of the 3 tools you need to cover a cake perfectly:
A cake turntable
You should choose a cake turntable specifically designed for cake decorating, they are adjustable in height and you will be more comfortable smoothing your cake and you will see the difference.
Some cake turntables also have a non-slip strip on the top that will hold and stabilize the cake and it is essential that it does not move and stays well in the center.
An icing smoothener
Using a cake smoother to smooth out a cake I think is the best advice I can give you 😅. But which one to choose? Which material to choose? What size?
You can start with a first price plastic one, or choose from the better ones, the stainless steel ones or the acrylic ones.
What's important is that your cake smoother is big enough, if you are used to making tall cakes then get it a little bigger than the average height of your cakes.
An angled spatula
The angled spatula is a really handy tool, an easy grip, it is perfect for applying icing to your cakes and for retouching.
You may also like: Best 10 cake decorating tools to have to make great cakes!
How to frost a cake for a perfect smoothness
Crumbcoat your cake
An undercoat of icing is applied to the layer cake to seal in the crumbs. This way you can cover your cake without the risk of seeing imperfections on the final smoothing. And this technique is even more useful on chocolate cakes.
- Start by applying a very thin layer of icing over the whole cake with the angled spatula.
- Then quickly smooth the whole surface of the layer cake.
Tip: you can place the cake in the fridge for a few minutes to harden the frosting and make sure the crumbs are secure.
Cover the cake
The goal is to completely cover the layer cake with your frosting until the sponge layers are no longer visible.
- Spread a layer of icing on top with the angled spatula.
- Run the spatula several times to smooth the top.
- Finish by covering the whole cake with a good even layer of frosting.
Tip: You can use a pastry bag to apply an even layer over the entire layer cake.
Finishing with a icing smoother
Now comes the most crucial but most technical step. The goal here is to smooth the cake, fill in the hollows if needed and all without tipping into perfectionism 😅.
- Hold the icing smoother with one hand, placed on the turntable and on a very close angle almost stuck to the cake. (see picture)
- And with the other hand hold the turntable.
- Rotate the turntable with one hand and scrape with the icing smoother at the same time.
- Add frosting with the angled spatula where you have hollows.
- Repeat scraping with the frosting smoother until your cake is nice and smooth.
Tip: Clean your smoother under hot water from time to time to smooth out the icing.
Smoothing the corners
Last steps the corners (edges), choose one of the 2 methods below, the one that suits you best and be precise and concentrated.
Method 1: With a knife
Place your cake in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, the frosting will harden and you will then only have to run a knife over the top to cut the excess. As the icing is cold it will harden so you will have nice right angles.
Method 2: With an angled spatula
Immediately after smoothing the cake, hold the angled spatula at a 45° angle and remove the excess by smoothing the corners.
Tip: Clean your offset spatula well after each pass.
Decorate your cake
Let's get to decorating 🎉 !
Watch this 2 methods to easily frost your cake
How to frost a cake with cake board :
How to frost a cake with cake acrylique disc :