How to frost a layer cake

Discover the secret to a picture-perfect, crumb-free sheen.

How to frost a layer cake

Frosting a layer cake can seem intimidating, but with a little patience and a few tips on technique, you can frost like a pro.

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1 Level the Cake Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Often when you bake a cake, the layers turn out uneven, but leveling takes care of that. Simply slice lightly across the top of any high spots on each layer using a bread knife or other serrated knife.

2 Prep Your Cake Stand

How to frost a layer cake

Begin by cutting a round of cardboard to fit the size of your cake. Place the cardboard in the center of your cake stand — it will help you rotate the cake while you are frosting.

Then, with your homemade frosting, spread a few tablespoons in a thin layer on the cardboard. Center one cake layer on it, anchoring the cake with the frosting. Secondly, place four strips of parchment or wax paper on the platter around the cake, with the edges just barely tucked under. This will keep your serving platter clean.

3 Frost Between the Cake Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Start by placing about 3/4 cup of frosting in the center of the base layer and gently pushing the frosting toward the cake edges with the spatula. Be careful to keep the frosting level so you have a nice even layer when you cut into the cake.

4 Add Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Place the next cake layer on top of the frosting, aligning the edges. Very gently press the cake layer in place. If you’re making a three-layer cake, spread frosting on the second layer the same way and top with the third cake layer. Once the inside layers of frosting are finished, it’s time to get down to business.

5 Create a Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

Making a crumb coat is the No. 1 rule when frosting a layer cake. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that seals in crumbs and keeps them from ruining the final look of your cake. To create it, use your spatula to spread a small amount of frosting across the top of the cake. Then scoop about 2 tablespoons of frosting at a time onto the tip of the spatula and gently smear onto the side, working to cover the entire surface.

6 Frost Over the Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

Next, apply a thick layer of frosting over the crumb coat. Start by placing about 3/4 cup of frosting in the center of the cake. Use the spatula to gently pull the frosting toward the cake edges, working to keep the frosting layer even. Make sure to evenly frost the sides as well.

7 Create a Shiny Seal

How to frost a layer cake

To create a smooth surface, dip your spatula in warm water, shake off any excess water and glide the bottom of the spatula along the surface of the frosting. When the spatula begins to stick to the frosting, simply dip it in the warm water again and continue smoothing.

Continue dipping and gliding until the entire surface of the cake is smooth.

A Beautiful Layer Cake, Step-By-Step

How to frost a layer cake

Icing on the Cake

How to frost a layer cake

Coating a layer cake may seem like a simple task, but if not done correctly you can end up with torn cake and cake crumbs mixed with the frosting, as well as an unattractive final result. Following a few steps, from how to apply the filing to spreading on a crumb coat, will allow you to create gorgeous results.

What You Need

To get started, you’ll need at least 2 cake layers and a recipe for enough frosting (fluffy boiled frosting, basic buttercream frosting, or whatever you like) to cover however many layers of cake you’re using. If using a separate filling between the layers, you’ll need that too (here we just use more frosting). Make sure the frosting is room temperature; cold frosting will be difficult to spread.

Ideally, you’ll have baked the cake the day before you plan to frost it. In any case, let the cake layers cool completely before you start. You will also need a cake stand (one that spins is ideal) or other serving platter and an offset spatula or other long, thin implement with which to spread the frosting.

Secure the Cake

You want to make sure your cake will stay in place while you are frosting it. A good way to do this is to “glue” it down on the cake stand using some frosting. Dab a small blob of frosting (2 tablespoons is plenty) in the center of the cake plate and set one of the cake layers on top.

For a nice presentation when all is said and done, put strips of parchment paper or wax paper under the edges of the cake; slide them under the edges so they’ll be easy to pull away when you’re finished frosting.

Add the Filling

How to frost a layer cake

To the top of the cake layer, spoon on the filling or about 1 cup of the frosting. Spread evenly over top but not quite to the edges.

Set the second cake layer on top of the filling. Feel free to adjust to make sure it’s evenly placed. If you have more than 2 layers, repeat this step for as many layers as you’re using. If this second cake layer is the top of the cake, move on to the crumb coat.

Begin the Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

A crumb coat isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will yield the smoothest and prettiest results—plus, you get to practice spreading the frosting. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that will catch and trap any cake crumbs in it, letting you proceed with the final layer crumb-free. You add a crumb coat using the same method you will use to frost the cake.

You can, of course, skip straight to frosting the cake, in which case you really want to make sure you’ve given the cake plenty of time to cool (fully cooled cakes allowed to sit are a lot less likely to “crumb” as you frost them).

Add a generous cup of frosting on top of the cake and spread a very thin layer across the top, pushing as much of the frosting as you can to the edges.

Be sure to push the spatula through the icing. For the best results, always push the icing from the middle outwards, then lift the spatula and begin again in the middle, going out in each direction. Don’t backtrack. Keep the spatula on the frosting and don’t let it touch the unfrosted cake unless there’s plenty of icing on the spatula, or you risk the spatula picking up bits of cake.

Finish the Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

Spread the frosting at the edges of the top of the cake down and around the sides. Again, keep the frosting layer very thin at this point and always move the spatula through the frosting, pushing the frosting towards the unfrosted part of the cake.

Ideally, chill the crumb-coated cake for 30 minutes, although even 10 minutes will be fine.

Frost the Top of the Cake

How to frost a layer cake

Repeat frosting the top in the same manner, as you did with the crumb coat, but with a lot more frosting. Push the frosting from the center to the edges, always moving from the new bit of frosting outward.

Frost the Sides

How to frost a layer cake

Because you used plenty of frosting on the top and moved it toward the edges, ideally you just need to use the spatula to push it down the sides and around, continuing spreading it down and around until the cake is covered all the way around.

Add Swirls or Smooth It All Out

How to frost a layer cake

Once the cake is fully frosted, feel free to either add decorative swirls or to simply smooth the surface. Use confident, smooth strokes with the spatula.

Add any decorations or candles you like and serve with pride!

Setting up for success

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How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cakeIt’s a labor of love, and a chance to show your stuff. Make your layer cake gorgeous by assembling it with these simple steps.How to frost a layer cake

Patience makes perfect. Take the time to chill or freeze your baked layers before assembling the cake. The layers will be less fragile, and you’ll have more control and better results with frosting. While they’re chilling, line your serving plate with 2″ to 3″ wide strips of parchment paper.

Trim any dome from the top of the first layer so the cake is flat, then flip it over and place it on your serving plate cut side down.How to frost a layer cake

Pipe a rope of frosting around the outside edge of the cake layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes so it will become firm. This “dam” keeps frosting or filling from bulging out the side of the finished cake. After the dam sets, fill the top of the layer.How to frost a layer cakeHow to frost a layer cake

Trim the next layer and place it cut side down over the first. Chill the cake again, if it isn’t cool to the touch.

Smear a very thin coat of frosting on the sides and top of the cake.

How to frost a layer cake

This is called the crumb coat. It’s fine if it looks messy, and crumbs are showing through. Refrigerate the cake until you can touch the crumb coat without leaving a fingerprint, 20 to 30 minutes.How to frost a layer cake

Once the crumb coat is firm, cover the top and sides of the cake with a finish coat of frosting. Gently remove the parchment paper strips.

Decorate and embellish to your heart’s content.

This article appeared in the premier issue of Sift. If you’d like to catch up on stories you may have missed in Sift, check out back issues of the magazine.

Learn how to frost a layer cake at home like a pro!

How to frost a layer cake

I’ve put off writing this post for years because I’ve felt like I’m not the most qualified expert when it comes to frosting and decorating cakes, even though I make them all the time. There are literally thousands of other tutorials out there from bakers who seem to know more. I haven’t worked in bakery and I don’t have a cake decorating business.

And then I thought that perhaps that’s my strength. I’m just like you!

I’m a gal who likes to bake cakes and I’ve learned over the years from watching others— and, more importantly through trial and error— how to make cakes more lovely and impressive. Frosting a layer cake isn’t that difficult or complicated, and knowing a few simple tricks can take your home-baked cake from basic to beautiful.

Come follow along, I’ll teach you what I know!

How to frost a layer cake

What you’ll need

Truth be told, you don’t need any special equipment to frost a layer cake, but a few specific tools can go a long way to making the task easier. Here’s what you’ll need:

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.)

  • Prepared cake layers— For best results, they should be chilled. See my tutorial on how to make and store layer cakes ahead of time. They should also be flat on top, remove any domes as needed (or see my tutorial on how to bake flat cake layers).
  • Prepared frosting— For a standard 8 or 9-inch layer cake you’ll need 4-5 cups.
  • Prepared filling— If you’re filling your cake with something other than frosting, such as fruit, chocolate, or whipped cream.
  • A turntable— I love my beautiful Ateco turntable, but I used a much cheaper turntable for years with the same results. It makes frosting a cake so much easier!
  • Cardboard rounds— For transporting frosted cakes from the turntable to the fridge and cake stand, etc.
  • Offset spatula(s)— I use multiple offset spatulas of various sizes while assembling a cake, and highly recommend this set of 3 (S, M and L). If you’re going to invest in just one thing for cake decorating, let it be this! Also, straight spatulas are handy too.

How to frost a layer cake

Stack and fill

Step 1— Place one cake layer top side-down on a cardboard round on top of your turntable, if using. Alternatively, place one cake layer top side-down on your cake stand or a plate.

Step 2— Spread frosting or filling on top. If you are using a soft filling like fruit preserves or lemon curd, etc., first build a “frosting dam” around the edge of the cake layer to hold the filling in place and prevent it from squishing out the sides when you add subsequent layers. You can use a piping bag and tip to pipe the dam, or just build up a wall with some frosting and a spatula.

How to frost a layer cake

Step 3— Repeat with the rest of your layers. You can keep it simple with just 2 layers, or build a taller cake with as many layers as you’d like. You can easily get more layers by slicing your cakes in half horizontally.

Apply a crumb coat

The one simple thing that home bakers can do to take their cakes to the next level is to use a crumb coat. It’s a game changer! A crumb coat is a base coat of frosting applied to the whole cake to seal in crumbs and even out the surface of your cake. This way the finished cake is smooth, even, and crumb-free.

How to frost a layer cake

Step 4— Apply a thin coat of frosting over the whole cake. If your frosting is very thick, you may want to thin 1-2 cups of the frosting (depending on the size of your cake) with a little milk to use as your crumb coat.

I like to start at the top and then work my way down, filling in any gaps and evening out any uneven layers. Set an offset spatula perpendicular to your turntable or cake stand and glide it around your cake to create a smooth finish.

Note: If you’re a fan of the rustic “naked cake” look, then once you’ve applied the crumb coat you’re done! Simply chill, then serve.

How to frost a layer cake

Step 5— Chill the cake for at least 20 minutes to set the crumb coat.

Note: It can be hard to fit a whole frosted cake + cake stand in the fridge, which is why I recommend using cardboard cake rounds. They make transporting layer cakes so much easier.

How to frost a layer cake

Apply final coat of frosting

Step 6— Now you’re ready for your final coat of frosting! Again, I like to start at the top and work my way down. But unlike with the crumb coat, apply a generous amount of frosting.

How to frost a layer cake

Once the cake is completely covered, smooth out the frosting with your offset spatula. Set an offset spatula perpendicular to your turntable or cake stand and use long, steady strokes to get a clean, smooth finish. I’ve seen lots of bakers use a bench scraper to smooth out the sides of their cakes, which is awesome, I’ve just always used an offset spatula.

How to frost a layer cake

To smooth out the top of your cake, take the edge of your spatula and drag it from the outside edge inward to the center. Wipe your spatula clean, rotate the cake, and repeat until you’ve gone all the way around.

How to frost a layer cake

Decorate and serve

Step 7— You can decorate your frosted cake however you choose, with sprinkles, piped decorations, etc.

If you used a turntable, you can transfer the cake to a cake stand or plate now, or you can wait until you’re ready to serve.

Step 8— Chill for at least 30 minutes to set the frosting before slicing. If you are planning to transport your cake, chill for at least 1 hour to make sure it’s as firm as possible. Take it out of the fridge just before traveling.

I actually like to store all of my layer cakes in the fridge to ensure the frosting stays in place and to keep it safe and protected. Take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cutting so the frosting has some time to soften at room temperature.

How to frost a layer cake

And that’s it! You’ve done it!

Do you have any tried and true frosting tips you didn’t see here? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Discover the secret to a picture-perfect, crumb-free sheen.

How to frost a layer cake

Frosting a layer cake can seem intimidating, but with a little patience and a few tips on technique, you can frost like a pro.

To ensure success, wait to frost your cake until it’s completely cooled to room temperature — approximately 4 hours or more after baking.

Level the Cake Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Often when you bake a cake, the layers turn out uneven, but leveling takes care of that. Simply slice lightly across the top of any high spots on each layer using a bread knife or other serrated knife.

Prep Your Cake Stand

How to frost a layer cake

Begin by cutting a round of cardboard to fit the size of your cake. Place the cardboard in the center of your cake stand — it will help you rotate the cake while you are frosting.

Then, with your homemade frosting, spread a few tablespoons in a thin layer on the cardboard. Center one cake layer on it, anchoring the cake with the frosting. Secondly, place four strips of parchment or wax paper on the platter around the cake, with the edges just barely tucked under. This will keep your serving platter clean.

The best utensil to use for frosting a cake is an offset icing spatula. It gives you the most control while you work. If you don’t have one, try an icing spatula or a butter knife.

Frost Between the Cake Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Start by placing about 3/4 cup of frosting in the center of the base layer and gently pushing the frosting toward the cake edges with the spatula. Be careful to keep the frosting level so you have a nice even layer when you cut into the cake.

Add Layers

How to frost a layer cake

Place the next cake layer on top of the frosting, aligning the edges. Very gently press the cake layer in place. If you’re making a three-layer cake, spread frosting on the second layer the same way and top with the third cake layer. Once the inside layers of frosting are finished, it’s time to get down to business.

Create a Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

Making a crumb coat is the No. 1 rule when frosting a layer cake. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that seals in crumbs and keeps them from ruining the final look of your cake. To create it, use your spatula to spread a small amount of frosting across the top of the cake. Then scoop about 2 tablespoons of frosting at a time onto the tip of the spatula and gently smear onto the side, working to cover the entire surface.

After the crumb coat is in place, refrigerate the cake for 10 minutes to set the frosting. This keeps crumbs from getting into your final frosting layer.

Frost Over the Crumb Coat

How to frost a layer cake

Next, apply a thick layer of frosting over the crumb coat. Start by placing about 3/4 cup of frosting in the center of the cake. Use the spatula to gently pull the frosting toward the cake edges, working to keep the frosting layer even. Make sure to evenly frost the sides as well.

Create a Shiny Seal

How to frost a layer cake

To create a smooth surface, dip your spatula in warm water, shake off any excess water and glide the bottom of the spatula along the surface of the frosting. When the spatula begins to stick to the frosting, simply dip it in the warm water again and continue smoothing.

Continue dipping and gliding until the entire surface of the cake is smooth.

If a completely smooth cake isn’t your thing, use the back of a spoon to make swirls in the frosting.

Clean Up & Serve

How to frost a layer cake

Once your cake is complete, gently pull out the parchment or wax-paper strips, revealing your nice, clean serving plate. Now, cut a slice of that beautiful cake and enjoy.

Plain, frosted cakes are one of the easier desserts to take on, and they make a great first project for beginner bakers. Truly, an elegant, simply frosted cake doesn’t need a field of piped flowers or a bucket of technicolor sprinkles to garner admiration (though decorations are a great way to hide flaws in your frosting).

Achieving a perfectly frosted cake takes a bit of effort, but it will absolutely be worth it when you present your guests, family, or just yourself with the gorgeous confection. Use this handy guide on how to frost cake — which covers preliminary steps, necessary tools, and how to store your cake once you’ve finished frosting it — to help you through the entire process.

What You’ll Need

  • An offset spatula: The offset spatula, also known as an icing spatula or cake decorating knife, is an essential tool for any baker or cake decorator. The larger blade makes spreading frosting easy and puts less stress on the wrist. In a pinch, a butter knife will also work.
  • A long, serrated knife: A serrated knife is key for trimming domed peaks off cakes and dividing thicker layers.
  • Parchment paper: You’ll want to place strips of parchment paper under the bottom cake layer to protect the cake plate from frosting. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use aluminum foil or wax paper in this application.
  • A cake turntable: This is more of a luxury than a necessity, but if you plan on frosting lots of cakes, a cake turntable will save you a great deal of effort and make smooth frosting easier to achieve.
  • A pastry brush: The thin bristles of a pastry brush remove delicate loose crumbs on the cake’s crust before you frost it. The brush isn’t an absolute must-have — you can wipe the outsides with your fingers — but if you frost cakes regularly, it’s a tool that makes a big difference. Try one of these pastry brush substitutes if you don’t have one on hand this time.
  • A bench scraper: A bench scraper or bench knife is an excellent tool for getting the smoothest frosting possible. If you don’t have one, you can use the offset spatula for a similar result. We’ll explain this in more detail below.
  • A cake carrier: The last thing you want to do after frosting your cake is drop or ruin it. Stash cake in a secure container with a handle before transporting it to prevent the worst.

How to Frost a Cake

There’s one rule to know going in: Every baker will approach a cake slightly differently; the best way to frost a cake is the one that makes sense to you and results in a custom cake you can be proud of. That said, if you’re relatively new to frosting cakes or simply want a better method for frosting your next cake, we can help.

Before you dive into the steps of frosting, here are some tips experienced bakers want home cooks to know.

Before You Start.

Wait until the cake has completely cooled. Frosting a warm cake can result in sagging and dripping sides. Allow the layers to cool for at least 2 to 3 hours. If you have time, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring frosting to room temperature. Warm cake isn’t the only temperature-related factor that can compromise your cake-decorating process. Whether it’s canned or made from scratch, frosting needs to be at room temperature before it goes anywhere near a cake’s surface. Frosting that is too cold will not spread well, and it could easily tear the surface of your cake.

If you make your frosting ahead of time and refrigerate it for safe keeping, bring the frosting back to room temperature. After the frosting has been sitting out for 25 to 30 minutes (and before you attempt to spread it over your cake), pop it under the mixer blade for 20 to 30 seconds to add air back in and make the consistency as smooth as possible.

Trim your cake. A perfectly frosted cake, especially when we’re talking layer cake, is easiest to achieve when you’re working with a flat surface. Trim off any peaks or domes from the top of all cake layers using a long serrated knife. Enjoy the scraps of cake for yourself, or make a few cake truffles with the extra cake and frosting.

How to Cut Layers

If you have thick cake layers, you can split them before you frost the cake. Here’s how:

  • Press the teeth of the serrated knife into the side of the cake layer at the middle mark around the entire perimeter of the cake layer. These indentations will act as a guide for the knife as you move it through the layer.
  • Press down on the cake top with the hand that is not holding the knife. Guide the knife through the cake layer, following the scored horizontal line. Use a sawing motion, instead of pushing the knife through the cake layer. This will help prevent rips and tears.
  • Repeat the process with remaining layer(s).

Step 1: Prepare Your Base

Once your cake and frosting have reached their respective ideal temperatures, you can start the work of frosting the cake. Be sure to gather all of your utensils first so that you’re ready and set for every step. Start by readying the cake plate.

Tip: If you don’t have a cake plate large enough for your cake, cut out a cardboard circle that is 2 to 3 inches bigger than your cake layers, and wrap it in aluminum foil (as seen below). This makeshift cake plate also works great if you’re taking a cake somewhere and don’t want to risk losing your dish.

A beautifully decorated cake with smooth buttercream and intricate decorations will always stop us in our tracks. If you’ve never frosted a cake before, the process may seem intimidating. But the sweet result is well worth the effort, which is why we’re walking beginner bakers through the process of frosting a cake. Ahead, we explain what tools you need, how long to let a cake cool before decorating it, and the best way to apply the frosting and garnishes.

Essential Tools

Before you start whipping buttercream, there are a few essential tools that make frosting a cake so much easier. Our must-have products include a small offset spatula ($5.89, amazon.com) for frosting cupcakes or smoothing hard-to-reach areas and a large offset spatula ($9.99, amazon.com) for icing larger surface areas. Another handy tool for creating a super smooth layer of frosting is a bench scraper ($9.33, amazon.com), which prevents streaking.

No matter what type of cake you’re frosting, baking experts tout the benefits of using a rotating cake turntable ($16.99, amazon.com). Rather than trying to reach around the far side of a cake to frost it, the turntable allows you to quickly rotate the cake in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. However, you can always frost a cake directly on a decorative cake stand or tray.

Letting the Cake Cool

Before frosting or filling a cake, it’s incredibly important to let it cool once it’s fully baked. This is important because it will prevent the buttercream or icing from melting when applied to a warm cake. “The cake layers should be entirely cooled for several hours before filling and frosting—if not refrigerated until the next day if time allows. The layers are much easier to work with if properly cooled,” says Betsy Thorleifson, owner and chef of Nine Cakes.

Applying the Crumb Coat

Think of a crumb coat as a primer—it’s a thin layer of frosting that helps to seal the exterior layer of a cake and prevent any crumbs from getting mixed into a beautiful, decorative layer of buttercream or mousse. It also ensures a clean finish. To apply a crumb coat, simply smooth a thin layer of frosting over the entire top and sides of the cake and let it chill. “It is necessary, and worth the extra little bit of time it takes. This is important because you’ll set yourself up for an easier time when you’re frosting the final cake coating, and end up with a more professional result,” says Thorleifson.

Decorating the Cake

When frosting a cake, should you frost it directly on a decorative cake stand for serving? Thorleifson says it depends on the size and décor on the cake. “If it’s a larger cake, it’s easiest to ice the cake, and then let the cake chill. Once chilled, it will be easier to transfer to the cake stand or serving plate. However, a smaller cake can be transferred more easily to the cake stand without chilling,” she says. Either way, she recommends not adding any decorations such as edible flowers, gold leaf, or sprinkles until the cake has been transferred to the serving stand. Feel free to add strips of parchment paper around, and just under, the cake to protect the cake stand. Wipe any little bits of the cake stand with a damp, clean towel before serving.

Just like applying the crumb coat, you should use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth buttercream over the top and sides of a cake for a polished finish. Add the decorations soon after you have frosted the cake; the buttercream should still be soft to the touch and act as a glue for holding decorations in place. You can also use a piping bag with a fitted tip to create more intricate designs such as a basketweave, scallops, or flowers on the cake.

How to frost a layer cake

I have so many friends who are afraid to make cakes, and I don’t want any of them—or any of you— to be afraid of making a layer cake anymore. It’s super simple, and if you’re not afraid to get a little messy, you’re good to go.

How to frost a layer cake

I took cake decorating classes a long time ago and my teacher told me to use wax paper on the bottoms of your cake pans. I use a pen to draw an outline around the outside of the cake pan and then cut them out.

Spray the cake pan with nonstick baking spray and then place the wax paper in the pan before adding the cake batter.

How to frost a layer cake

Add the cake batter in your pan and tap the cake pan lightly on the counter to even out the batter and to remove any air bubbles.

How to frost a layer cake

First things first: it’s important to know that the top of the cake is actually the bottom of the cake, i.e. the bottom that was touching the bottom of the cake pan while it was baking. The top is the bottom. Stick with me here.

My cake had a little domed top, and since I want a straight cake, I’m leveling it off.

How to frost a layer cake

This step is completely optional. Not to worry, that cake cut off doesn’t have to go to waste. You can use it to make cake balls, cake pops, or just eat it (like I do).

How to frost a layer cake

The next step is completely optional too, but I wanted to show you this.

With that same layer, I’m creating two layers, which is called torting the cake. I’m going to make a 4-layer cake with the 2 layers that I baked.

Again, this is optional. You can stick with a 2-layer cake. If you like frosting, torting your cake and making 4 layers will give you more frosting per square inch of cake!

How to frost a layer cake

See that? Two layers out of one cake layer now!

How to frost a layer cake

Using an angled spatula, add some frosting to the cake plate. This is the glue that keeps the cake on the cake plate.

Add one layer of the cake to the cake plate, pressing down to make sure the cake is “glued” to the plate.

How to frost a layer cake

The first thing I do is add some pieces of parchment paper under the cake, so when I’m done frosting the cake, all I have to do is remove the parchment paper. No need to wipe off excess frosting!

Add some frosting and using a spatula, frost the cake. The key is to not lift the spatula, which might sound odd. If you lift your spatula, you’ll lift up cake and add crumbs to your frosting. For frosting in between layers, it won’t matter as much, but when you’re frosting the sides and top of the cake, it will. So here, practice will make a difference in the long run.

How to frost a layer cake

Angle the spatula and smooth out the frosting. Smooth all the way to the edge, and once the spatula is off the cake, then it can be lifted.

How to frost a layer cake

When adding the next layers, sometimes the cake might break apart. I want to show you that it’s okay. It will be fine.

How to frost a layer cake

Just place the cake layer in pieces on top.

How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cake How to frost a layer cake

Ingredients

  • Raspberry Filling

Tools

  • Turntable
  • Cake Circles
  • Decorating Bags
  • Tip #12
  • Angled Spatula

Instructions

Click To Mark Complete

After leveling and torting your cake, it’s time to put all the layers together. Before beginning, here are some points to consider:

Preparing Layers: When assembling layers, the baked bottom of the cake should be at the top. This side of the cake will already be perfectly level and will have little to no exposed crumbs.

Transferring: If using a turntable to assemble and decorate a cake, a Cake Circle is a must for support when transferring to a cake stand or plate. To attach the bottom of a cake to a Cake Circle, use a few generous dots of icing.

Serving: If you are not using a Cake Circle, you won’t be able to move your cake after it’s iced. Consider assembling and icing the cake layers directly on a cake stand or serving plate.

Filling a Cake: Adding filling between layers holds the layers together, giving your cake flavor as well as height.

Using a decorating bag filled with icing and fitted with tip 12, pipe a line of icing just inside the outer edge of the layer. This will create a dam that will prevent the filling from seeping out.

Buttercream is a classic filling choice, but you might also consider trying one of our other favorites to add extra flavor to your cake.

  • Chocolate Filling
  • Strawberry Cream Filling
  • Raspberry Filling
  • Apricot Filling
  • Cream Cheese Filling

Fill Center: After piping the dam, add your filling and spread using an Angled Spatula.

Place Next Layer: Place the next layer on top, making sure it is level. The weight of the layer will cause the circle of icing to expand just right. Place the top layer, leveled side down, so the top of the cake is perfectly smooth and level.

Rather than using your arm to move the bag, a turntable will allow you to keep your hand and pressure stable as the cake moves. Piping a dam is especially necessary for wet fillings like pudding, pastry cream, jellies, preserves and compotes. If using buttercream as your filling, piping a dam is optional. Fresh fruit can be used in between layers, but the juice of the fruit tends to seep out. If using, serve immediately after assembling.
Whatever filling you use, be sure to level it with the top of the dam to create an even layer between cakes.

Frosting is a mix of sugar, butter and milk that creates an airy frosting on the top. This layer cake will be one of your favorites!

The “how to frost a cake with buttercream without tools” is a technique that has been around for many years. It is a simple and easy way to frost your cakes with the perfect amount of buttercream.

Table of Contents

How much buttercream is needed to cover a cake?

A: The amount of buttercream needed to cover a cake depends on the size of the cake. For example, if you are making a small cake, you would need about 1/4 cup of buttercream for each layer. If you are making a large cake, you would need about 3/4 cup for each layer.

How do you frost a layer cake?

A: To frost a layer cake, you will need to use buttercream. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add in powdered sugar. Stir until it is smooth and then add in some milk or cream. Add this mixture to your cake while it is still warm so that it can soak into the cake.

How much buttercream do I need for an 8 inch cake?

A: This is a difficult question to answer. The amount of buttercream needed will depend on how many layers you are making, the size of your cake, and how much frosting you want on top. Its best to start with a small batch and then add more as needed.

How do you pipe buttercream on the side of a cake?

A: To pipe buttercream on the side of a cake, you will need to use a pastry bag. This can be purchased at most grocery stores and is usually found near the cake decorating supplies. You will also need to have some sort of frosting tip that fits into your pastry bag.

How do you store a frosted cake overnight?

A: The best way to store a frosted cake overnight is in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh and moist for up to 3 days. If you dont have access to a refrigerator, then wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil will also help preserve its flavor.

How do you frost a cake for beginners?

A: To frost a cake, you should take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then, you can spread a thin layer of buttercream or cream cheese frosting on top. Next, you can add sprinkles or other decorations to the top.

How do you decorate a cake with buttercream?

A: To decorate a cake with buttercream, you would need to first make the buttercream. You can either use a stand mixer or hand whisk it by hand. Once you have made the buttercream, you would want to add in your desired flavorings such as vanilla extract and sprinkles. You will then want to spread the buttercream on top of your cake until it is completely covered and smooth. Finally, you will want to frost the cake with an icing bag or pastry bag

A layer cake is a cake that has been baked in layers. To prepare the cake for frosting, it is important to cool the cake completely before slicing and filling. Reference: how to prepare a cake for frosting.

How to frost a layer cake

I am definitely an amateur when it comes to stacking cakes but I also love to test the limits of my creativity. So when I had the idea to stack a cake for my son’s birthday party, I knew research was necessary! What I realized while searching the Web for tips was that the advice coming from professionals seemed so complicated. Sometimes the best person to give a beginner advice is another beginner. So I’m here as an amateur cake stacker with simple and easy directions!

How to frost a layer cake

With some great advice from Melissa at Lil’ Miss Cakes and more tips from the Web, I was ready. You want to start with a good recipe. See my Rainbow Layer Cake recipe on Joy of Kosher . Since you will be stacking two cakes, just double the recipe. I chose to make my cake with red and yellow layers so after mixing the batter, I separated it in to two large bowls and whisked in red gel food coloring in one and yellow in the other (gel food coloring won’t change the texture of the batter).

A few tips: Bake the bottom cake in three 9-inch round pans and the top cake in three 6-inch round pans. Line each pan with parchment paper then spray with cooking spray to ensure the cakes come out of their pans easily. Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to slice off the rounded dome on top of the cakes to even them out. You don’t want uneven layers or the cake will be lopsided. Save that extra cake for cake pops!

How to frost a layer cake

When the cakes are completely cooled, you are ready to stack the layers. On a 9-inch round cake board, place the first layer of cake bottom side down. Use a cake revolving plate so you can turn the cake as you frost. Dollop a large amount of buttercream on top and spread with an offset spatula to the edges of the cake. Top with the second layer of cake, repeat the process then top with the third layer, this time bottom side up for an even top to the cake. Using another large dollop of buttercream, “crumb coat” the cake, which means you are coating the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to cover any imperfections and set any loose crumbs. This process does not need to be pretty! Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

How to frost a layer cake

How to frost a layer cake

Plain, frosted cakes are one of the easier desserts to take on, and they make a great first project for beginner bakers. Truly, an elegant, simply frosted cake doesn’t need a field of piped flowers or a bucket of technicolor sprinkles to garner admiration (though decorations are a great way to hide flaws in your frosting).

Achieving a perfectly frosted cake takes a bit of effort, but it will absolutely be worth it when you present your guests, family, or just yourself with the gorgeous confection. Use this handy guide on how to frost cake — which covers preliminary steps, necessary tools, and how to store your cake once you’ve finished frosting it — to help you through the entire process.

What You’ll Need

  • An offset spatula: The offset spatula, also known as an icing spatula or cake decorating knife, is an essential tool for any baker or cake decorator. The larger blade makes spreading frosting easy and puts less stress on the wrist. In a pinch, a butter knife will also work.
  • A long, serrated knife: A serrated knife is key for trimming domed peaks off cakes and dividing thicker layers.
  • Parchment paper: You’ll want to place strips of parchment paper under the bottom cake layer to protect the cake plate from frosting. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use aluminum foil or wax paper in this application.
  • A cake turntable: This is more of a luxury than a necessity, but if you plan on frosting lots of cakes, a cake turntable will save you a great deal of effort and make smooth frosting easier to achieve.
  • A pastry brush: The thin bristles of a pastry brush remove delicate loose crumbs on the cake’s crust before you frost it. The brush isn’t an absolute must-have — you can wipe the outsides with your fingers — but if you frost cakes regularly, it’s a tool that makes a big difference. Try one of these pastry brush substitutes if you don’t have one on hand this time.
  • A bench scraper: A bench scraper or bench knife is an excellent tool for getting the smoothest frosting possible. If you don’t have one, you can use the offset spatula for a similar result. We’ll explain this in more detail below.
  • A cake carrier: The last thing you want to do after frosting your cake is drop or ruin it. Stash cake in a secure container with a handle before transporting it to prevent the worst.

How to Frost a Cake

There’s one rule to know going in: Every baker will approach a cake slightly differently; the best way to frost a cake is the one that makes sense to you and results in a custom cake you can be proud of. That said, if you’re relatively new to frosting cakes or simply want a better method for frosting your next cake, we can help.

Before you dive into the steps of frosting, here are some tips experienced bakers want home cooks to know.

Before You Start.

Wait until the cake has completely cooled. Frosting a warm cake can result in sagging and dripping sides. Allow the layers to cool for at least 2 to 3 hours. If you have time, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring frosting to room temperature. Warm cake isn’t the only temperature-related factor that can compromise your cake-decorating process. Whether it’s canned or made from scratch, frosting needs to be at room temperature before it goes anywhere near a cake’s surface. Frosting that is too cold will not spread well, and it could easily tear the surface of your cake.

If you make your frosting ahead of time and refrigerate it for safe keeping, bring the frosting back to room temperature. After the frosting has been sitting out for 25 to 30 minutes (and before you attempt to spread it over your cake), pop it under the mixer blade for 20 to 30 seconds to add air back in and make the consistency as smooth as possible.

Trim your cake. A perfectly frosted cake, especially when we’re talking layer cake, is easiest to achieve when you’re working with a flat surface. Trim off any peaks or domes from the top of all cake layers using a long serrated knife. Enjoy the scraps of cake for yourself, or make a few cake truffles with the extra cake and frosting.

How to Cut Layers

If you have thick cake layers, you can split them before you frost the cake. Here’s how:

  • Press the teeth of the serrated knife into the side of the cake layer at the middle mark around the entire perimeter of the cake layer. These indentations will act as a guide for the knife as you move it through the layer.
  • Press down on the cake top with the hand that is not holding the knife. Guide the knife through the cake layer, following the scored horizontal line. Use a sawing motion, instead of pushing the knife through the cake layer. This will help prevent rips and tears.
  • Repeat the process with remaining layer(s).

How to frost a layer cake

Step 1: Prepare Your Base

Once your cake and frosting have reached their respective ideal temperatures, you can start the work of frosting the cake. Be sure to gather all of your utensils first so that you’re ready and set for every step. Start by readying the cake plate.

Tip: If you don’t have a cake plate large enough for your cake, cut out a cardboard circle that is 2 to 3 inches bigger than your cake layers, and wrap it in aluminum foil (as seen below). This makeshift cake plate also works great if you’re taking a cake somewhere and don’t want to risk losing your dish.

Get our tips and tricks for stacking and frosting a beautiful, professional-looking cake every time.

What You Need

  • cake layers
  • cake stand
  • parchment paper
  • frosting
  • offset spatula

Follow These Steps

  1. Put a dab of frosting on the cake stand
    Dab a couple tablespoons of frosting on the stand before putting down the first cake layer. This will prevent the cake from sliding.

Tip: If you don’t have a cake stand, turn a large, wide-bottomed mixing bowl upside down and place a plate on top of it. Frosting is easier when the cake is elevated and closer to eye level.
Place the first cake layer on the stand
Put the cake layer on top of the frosting right-side up so that the flat bottom sits on the stand.

Tip: Cool your cake layers upside down to help flatten them out, which will make your final cake much prettier and easier to assemble.

  • Put a few strips of parchment paper under your cake
    Tuck overlapping pieces of parchment paper under the edge of the cake; this will help keep your stand clean as you frost.
  • Start with 1 to 1½ cups of frosting
    Using an offset spatula, put a big dollop of frosting—about 1 to 1½ cups—on top of the bottom layer.
  • Spread the frosting just beyond the edge of your cake
    Using the spatula, start in the middle of the cake and spread the frosting evenly over the top and just past the edge of the top surface. The overhang of frosting will help you frost the sides of the cake.
  • Place the second layer top-side down
    Place the second cake layer on top and press gently to make sure it sticks. Take a step back and check that it is level and centered.
  • Use 1 to 1½ cups of frosting for the second layer
    Put a big dollop of frosting on the center of the cake and, using the offset spatula, spread it to the edges. If you get crumbs in the frosting, simply scrape the dirty frosting off your spatula into a separate bowl.

    Tip: Be generous when you start to frost. You can always scrape some off if you end up with too much, but if you start with too little, you risk pulling crumbs from the cake into the frosting.

  • Frost the sides in sections
    Think of the cake in quarters and tackle one quarter at a time, turning the cake stand as you go. Aim to get the cake covered with frosting first.
  • Smooth out the frosting or create any look you like
    Once the cake is frosted, you can go back and beautify. Smooth out the frosting or create swirls or other textures. Remove any excess frosting. Gently pull away the strips of parchment paper to reveal your beautifully frosted cake.
    1. How to Freeze Cakes Before Frosting
    2. Can You Frost a Cracked Cheesecake?
    3. How to Keep Frosting Moist
    4. Should You Frost a Frozen Cake or Wait Until It Is Thawed Completely?
    5. Storage for a Sheet Cake With Whipped Cream Icing

    How to frost a layer cake

    When baking instructions include cooling, that usually means letting your dish sit on a counter until it reaches room temperature. This is exactly what you need to do when a cake recipe reminds you to cool the layers thoroughly before frosting. No refrigeration is needed. Refrigerating cake layers can cause problems that make it hard to frost a cake. So cool it on the counter, and frost away.

    What Cooling Accomplishes

    With or without plans to frost, cooling lets the cake layers form a smooth outer crust, letting you handle the layers without fear of their crumbling or breaking. A cake straight out of the oven has a crumbly, soft crust that would mix with frosting and tear the cake. Cooling also lets steam dissipate from within the cake. This brings it to the desired moist but not damp consistency.

    Refrigeration Problems

    A cooling cake undergoes some compacting of surface crumbs, or crusting. Space constraints and the humidity in your refrigerator make crusting difficult. In an old-fashioned refrigerator with wire shelves, cold air could circulate under cake racks, but modern solid shelves make that impossible. Steam cannot rise easily in cold, refrigerated air, so cake layers may remain damp. Steam that does rise impacts on other items you are storing in the refrigerator.

    Frosting Too Fast

    A warm cake presents two additional problems if hastily frosted. A butter-based frosting will melt, running off or soaking into the cake, leaving a mess. A cooked glaze or frosting may be less runny but can trap steam inside the cooling cake, leaving a sunken middle or pasty-textured center.

    Cake Cooling Techniques

    To speed cooling, place the cake pans coming out of the oven on footed racks in a draft-free area. This lets air circulate under the pans and speeds cooling and crusting. If you don’t have racks, you can set pans on a cutting board covered with a dish towel, propping one edge up slightly with a spoon for a little air circulation. You can also improvise a rack by placing three shallow cans, like those for tuna or sardines, in an open triangle on the counter. Angel food, sponge and fluted cakes need to be cooled with their pans upside down. If your pan does not have cooling prongs, use the can triangle or slide the pan over the neck of a heatproof glass bottle to cool.

    Removal from Pans

    After 10 minutes, run a table knife around the edge of the pan. Place a dish towel over the cake layer and the rack on top. Invert the covered pan and remove it gently, leaving the cake layer to finish cooling for another 30 minutes on the towel-covered rack. Allow a full hour for angel food, sponge or fluted cakes to cool.

    Ready for Frosting

    Brush loose crumbs gently from the cake’s surface. To keep crumbing to a minimum, wrap cake layers individually in plastic wrap, then place each on in a resealable plastic bag. Put layers in the coldest part of your freezer for four to 24 hours, then frost.

    Uneven layers and messy frosting be gone. It’s easier (and more fun) than you think to whip up a professional-looking layer cake. You just need these tips and. an ice cream scoop.

    1. Get Your Cake Prepped

    How to frost a layer cake

    Set yourself up for success from the beginning by trimming the top of each cake layer with a long serrated knife—you want a flat, even surface for your frosting. Toss the cake trimmings into a 300°F oven and toast until crisp. Let the toasted cake cool slightly, then grind it into crumbs in a food processor and reserve for the final garnishing. Place one layer of cake onto a cardboard cake round, if you have one.

    2. Seal In The Moisture

    How to frost a layer cake

    Nobody likes dry cake. Avoid it, and extend the shelf life of the cake, by brushing the top of the layer with simple syrup. Want bonus points? Use herbs, spices, or other flavorings to create flavored syrups. We like to pair lemon-vanilla syrup with a lemon buttercream, for instance, or a coffee-bourbon syrup with molasses spiced buttercream.

    3. Pipe a Border

    How to frost a layer cake

    Make icing the layers easier by first piping a border of buttercream around the perimeter of the cake. This keeps the buttercream where you want it and prevents fillings, such as jam or custard, from oozing out.

    4. Frost the First Layer

    How to frost a layer cake

    Control how much icing you slather between each layer by measuring it out with a spring loaded ice cream scoop. 2 to 3 scoops of buttercream in the center of the layer (roughly 1/2 cup) is a good amount. Use an offset spatula to gently spread the buttercream to the border.

    5. Create a Crumb Coat

    How to frost a layer cake

    Add an extra scoop of buttercream to the top layer and carefully push it to the edges of the cake and then down the sides. Use a smaller offset spatula to spread the buttercream down the sides, making sure the entire cake is covered in a thin layer. (It’s okay if the crumbs mix into the frosting a little; this layer will be covered again.) Drag the edge of the long offset spatula across the top of the cake, spreading the buttercream into a flat layer. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator to set, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

    How to frost a layer cake How to frost a layer cake How to frost a layer cake How to frost a layer cake

    CARROT LAYER CAKE RECIPE: HOW TO MAKE IT – TASTE OF HOME

    How to frost a layer cake

    My sister gave me this recipe for what she calls “the ultimate carrot cake,” and it really lives up to the name. When people taste it, they’re bowled over by the tender, not-too-sweet cake and unexpected pecan filling. —Linda Van Holland, Innisfail, Alberta

    Provided by Taste of Home

    Total Time 01 hours 30 minutes

    Prep Time 55 minutes

    Cook Time 35 minutes

    Yield 20 servings.

    Number Of Ingredients 24

    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    CAKE:
    1-1/4 cups canola oil
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 large eggs, room temperature
    4 cups finely shredded carrots
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup chopped pecans
    FROSTING:
    3/4 cup butter, softened
    6 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in cream; add butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Cool and set aside. , In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts. , Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. , For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Spread filling between layers. Frost sides and top of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition Facts : Calories 641 calories, FatContent 41g fat (14g saturated fat), CholesterolContent 94mg cholesterol, SodiumContent 405mg sodium, CarbohydrateContent 68g carbohydrate (53g sugars, FiberContent 3g fiber), ProteinContent 5g protein.

    THREE-LAYER CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE RECIPE: HOW TO …

    How to frost a layer cake

    This decadent triple-layer beauty is pure chocolate indulgence. The cake layers can be frozen prior to final assembly; in fact, they’re easier to work with when frozen. —Kathleen Smith, Overland, Missouri

    Provided by Taste of Home

    Total Time 60 minutes

    Prep Time 30 minutes

    Cook Time 30 minutes

    Yield 16 servings.

    Number Of Ingredients 22

    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2-1/4 cups sugar
    3/4 cup baking cocoa
    4 teaspoons baking soda
    2-1/4 cups mayonnaise
    2-1/4 cups brewed coffee, cold
    1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    FILLING:
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 cup 2% milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
    GANACHE:
    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    GLAZE:
    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    1/4 cup butter, cubed
    • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of 3 greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda. Beat in mayonnaise, coffee and vanilla. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely., For filling, in a small heavy saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool completely. In a large bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in cooled mixture. Stir in chocolate chips., For ganache, place chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate, covered, until cold. Beat ganache just until soft peaks form, 15-30 seconds (do not overbeat)., Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with ganache. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate, cream and butter. Microwave at 50% power for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, stirring twice. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over cake, allowing some to flow over sides. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

    Nutrition Facts : Calories 970 calories, FatContent 65g fat (30g saturated fat), CholesterolContent 88mg cholesterol, SodiumContent 607mg sodium, CarbohydrateContent 81g carbohydrate (53g sugars, FiberContent 3g fiber), ProteinContent 8g protein.

    It’ll Help You Decorate Like a Pro

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to frost a layer cake

    Cake is one of the best foods to make ahead and freeze. Freezing your cake after you bake it—but before frosting and decorating it—can actually improve the final product.

    There are several reasons for freezing a cake before decorating it. One, it helps to spread out the labor. Trying to bake a cake, make the frosting, and decorate it all in one session is overwhelming. Not even professional bakers do this.

    Second, trimming and sculpting the cake is easier when it’s chilled, but not fully frozen. And lastly, frosting a chilled cake is much easier since a chilled (or frozen) cake won’t shed as many crumbs into the frosting as a room-temperature cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    What Cakes Can You Freeze?

    The best cakes for freezing are normal to high-fat cakes, which basically means any regular cake made with some amount of milk and/or oil. The exceptions are lean cakes like angel food and chiffon cakes. Their lack of fat makes them dry out in the freezer. You’re better off serving cakes like that right away.

    How to frost a layer cake

    When to Freeze Cakes

    The best time to freeze a cake layer is after it’s fully cooled, but before you level it. Leveling a cake is the process of trimming off the rounded part on top of the cake to make it flat. The reason it’s better to freeze it before leveling is that in case of freezer burn on the top, you’re just removing that part anyway. It’s also much easier to level a cake that’s still partially frozen (like after 20 to 30 minutes of thawing).

    Ideally, you’ll let the cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack before wrapping and freezing them.

    Whatever you do, don’t wrap a warm cake. It might seem like holding in the steam would preserve the cake’s moisture. But in fact, once it has turned to steam, that moisture cannot return to the cake. All it will do is form condensation underneath the plastic and cause the surface of the cake to turn soggy.

    If you do wrap and freeze a warm cake, the best thing to do is leave it, and then when you go to defrost it, take it out of the freezer, immediately unwrap it, and brush away any frost particles so that frost doesn’t wet the surface of the cake as it thaws.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to Wrap Cakes for Freezing

    We mentioned plastic a moment ago. And indeed, the best way to wrap a cake for freezing is to wrap it in plastic wrap. Plastic wrap produces a nice, tight seal that holds in moisture and protects the cake from freezer burn.

    If you’re freezing your cake for three days or less, a single layer of plastic wrap is plenty. If you’re planning to freeze it for longer, you’ll need another layer. And for this second layer, you have options:

    • One: Use a second layer of plastic wrap.
    • Two: Use a layer of foil.
    • Three: Seal the wrapped cake in a freezer bag.

    Either way, a double-wrapped cake will let you store it in the freezer for two to three months. Just be sure to label the cake with the date so you know how long it’s been in there. The advantage of the Ziploc method is that you can reuse the bags. Just be sure to press all the air out before you seal them.

    It’s also not a bad idea to place your wrapped cakes on cardboard cake rounds in the freezer. This helps keep the bottoms flat, which might be an issue in freezers with wire racks rather than flat shelves. Cardboard rounds also allow you to stack your cakes in the freezer to save space.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to Thaw Frozen Cake

    The challenge with thawing a frozen cake is dealing with the condensation that will form. When thawing a wrapped cake, condensation will form on the inside plastic. Removing the plastic without knocking this condensation back onto the surface of the cake takes a steady hand.

    Conversely, thawing an unwrapped cake means the condensation has nowhere to go but the surface of the cake.

    On balance, thawing it wrapped is probably the best method. At least there’s a chance that some of the condensation will end up on the plastic. If you see moisture on the cake, carefully blot it with a clean paper towel.

    You might hit on the idea of frosting the cake while it’s still frozen. The problem here is that leveling and trimming are very difficult to do when the cake is rock hard. And even so, your frosting will harden up when it comes into contact with the frozen cake, making spreading it difficult.

    After 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature, your cake is ready to level, stack and decorate.

    October 30, 2020

    You’ve decided to make a layered cake, and you’re a bit worried that it won’t turn out right. We totally understand—layered cakes are not that easy to tackle.

    From runny buttercream to uneven frostings, many things can go wrong when building your ideal, picture-perfect cake.

    We’ve rounded up 10 surefire tips that will help you nail your next layered cake . Whether you’re making one from scratch or trying out this gorgeous Red Velvet Cake , everyone’s going to fawn over your impressive work of art!

    How to frost a layer cake

    10 Beginner Cake Frosting Tips

    1. Don’t overbeat the frosting.

    How to frost a layer cake
    Beating your frosting for too long incorporates too much air and makes it grainy.

    A pale and fluffy appearance means that butter and sugar are well-mixed, and you can start adding any remaining ingredients. Once it’s all mixed together, stop beating.

    2. Adjust the frosting’s consistency.

    Although we’ve followed the recipe to a tee, sometimes the frosting doesn’t turn out right—it’s either too stiff or runny.

    Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this problem.

    If the frosting’s too runny, add some confectioners’ sugar. Too stiff? Just add some milk or cream.

    Add as much as needed until it reaches the right consistency, but only add small amounts at a time.

    3. Keep your frosting and frosted cakes cool.

    How to frost a layer cake
    Most types of frosting are best kept in the fridge before and after they’re applied.

    Although the classic American Buttercream is quite stable, frostings kept at room temperature will be too runny and won’t hold their shape well.

    Read More: 8 Types of Buttercreams and How to Use Them

    Frostings melt quite easily, and keeping a decorated cake at room temperature will probably undo all your hard work. It’s best to keep your frosted cake in the fridge until ready to serve.

    4. Refrigerate (or freeze) the cakes.

    Attempting to frost a warm cake will melt the frosting, making it runny and hard to work with.

    Room temperature cakes are fine, but cold cakes are firmer and hold their shape better. You won’t have to worry about the cake breaking or releasing an excessive amount of crumbs while you’re working on it.

    5. Trim and level the cake.

    How to frost a layer cake
    Trimming the sides of your cake gives it a smooth, clean appearance. Besides, the surface of your cakes must be completely flat. Otherwise, they might wobble or even fall after they’re stacked!

    Use a long serrated knife to saw off any “dome” on top, making the cakes perfectly flat. If you have a cake leveler on hand, that works as well.

    A post shared by Bakestarters | Singapore (@bakestarters) on Oct 25, 2020 at 9:25pm PDT

    6. Use a turntable and line it with parchment.

    How to frost a layer cake
    Placing your cake on a turntable and swivelling it around while frosting makes the whole process much easier. The swivelling motion allows you to get a smooth surface all around the cake, and making swirls on your frosting.

    Nowadays, most turntables are designed to look visually pleasing . This means that you can frost and serve your cake on the same turntable without having to shift your delicate frosted cake from one plate to another.

    However, frosting your cake can be a messy affair.

    Here’s a quick tip: Line any remaining space on your turntable before starting to frost. When you’re done, you can simply remove the paper, revealing a squeaky-clean stand that can be presented straight away, with little cleaning!

    Check out the Bakestarters’ range of dessert and cake turntables, made for functionality and design. Available in Matte Marble , Natural Marble , and Black Quartz .

    7. Keep your cake in place with some frosting.

    Turntables can be slippery at times. To keep your cake from moving around while you frost it, put a dollop of frosting between the turntable and the first layer. It’ll act like a glue that keeps your cake still.

    8. Smooth the sides.

    How to frost a layer cake
    If you want perfectly smooth sides, an offset spatula is essential for the best results.

    It’s much easier to control than a regular spatula. Just make sure not to accidentally scrape the cake with it; or else, you’ll end up mixing cake crumbs into the frosting.

    A large bench scraper also helps a lot. Choose one that’s at least the same height as your cake, so you don’t end up making unwanted slits.

    9. Give your cakes a crumb coat.

    A crumb coat is a thin layer that traps any crumbs.

    Before applying the outermost frosting layer for fully-frosted cakes, put a very thin layer of frosting around your cake and refrigerate it for about half an hour.

    This step ensures that your cake will look smooth without any tiny crumbs scattered!

    However, if you’re attempting a semi-naked cake like our Ondeh Ondeh cake and Red Velvet cake which only require a crumb coat, you can decorate your cakes immediately!

    10. Experiment with different buttercream flavours.

    How to frost a layer cake
    The classic vanilla or chocolate flavours are nice, but don’t limit yourself!

    Try replacing the vanilla extract with almond extract, or replacing some of the butter with peanut butter.

    In our Ondeh Ondeh Gula Melaka Coconut Cake , we’re adding in some salt and gula melaka for a salted gula melaka buttercream, for a delightful locally-inspired flavour combination. When it comes to experimenting with flavours, the sky’s the limit!

    Check out our Ondeh Ondeh Gula Melaka Coconut Cake Baking Kit here , an all-in-one DIY baking kit which contains the full recipe, all the ingredients pre-measured in the amounts you’ll need, along with piping bags and parchment required to build your first cake.

    Tips For Icing and Frosting Cakes

    How to frost a layer cake
    Frosting and icing your first cake might be a little tricky, but practice makes perfect! We hope these tips bring you closer to building the cake of your dreams.

    If you’re looking to try your hands on icing and frosting a cake from scratch, try our newly launched Christmas cake baking kits! Each kit comes with a recipe our pastry chefs have developed, along with all the ingredients you’ll need in their correct amounts, and extra items you’ll need to frost and bake your cakes such as piping tips, piping bags, parchment rounds, and more.

    The two cake baking kits available are:

    Vancouver-based pastry chef Rosie Daykin demonstrates in 5 easy steps

    How to frost a layer cake

    Start with well-whipped buttercream

    When properly whipped, buttercream is supremely fluffy—almost like whipped cream—and surprisingly un-greasy. “When it’s right, it’s a breeze to use,” says Rosie. “It’s like pushing air around.” Also, because it has a lot less sugar than most buttercreams, it won’t set your teeth on edge. “It’s still sweet—let’s not kid ourselves—but it’s more buttery than sweet. ”

    How to frost a layer cake

    Split your cakes

    Cover a rotating cake stand with a sheet of plastic wrap and set one of the cakes on top. With a large serrated knife, gently cut the cake horizontally and evenly in half, rotating the stand to move the knife deeper into the cake. Holding sides of plastic wrap, lift layers off stand and repeat with a second cake to make 4 layers total. Set aside 1 bottom layer to form top of cake later (it’ll be more even).

    How to frost a layer cake

    Layer with frosting

    First, anchor the cake: Set a cake board on the stand and dollop on some frosting—“that’s your glue.” Choose your most even-looking layer and center it on top. Using an offset spatula, smooth on a generous 1 ⁄2 cup of frosting. Set second layer on top. Repeat frosting, followed by third layer. Frost, then set the reserved layer in place, cut side down (“give it a little fliparoo”), and you’re done.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Crumb coat

    With the back of an offset spatula, smooth a thin layer of frosting across top and down sides of cake, using a back-and forth
    motion to massage frosting into gaps and crevices. Chill at least 15 minutes to harden the frosting. “This step locks down all the crumbs,” says Daykin, so they don’t migrate through your final top coat of frosting and make it look messy.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Top coat

    Dollop frosting on top, then smooth it across and down sides. Smooth more frosting up sides of cake to give it a castlelike rim. Holding a bench scraper, wrap your arm as far around the cake as it will go, then rotate stand toward you, pressing scraper against frosting to smooth it and reinforce the rim. Draw long edge of spatula across top of cake, keeping as much of rim as possible so cake looks tall and straight rather than slump-shouldered.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Finish option 1: Naked

    “Very popular with brides” for wedding cakes right now. At the crumb coat stage, rather than chilling the cake, build up a rim as described in the top coat stage. Then scrape off all but a veil of frosting over the layers: Holding a bench scraper, wrap your arm as far around the cake as it will go, then rotate the cake stand toward you, pressing scraper against the cake. Scrape across the top as well, doing your best to preserve the rim.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Finish option 2: Encrusted

    Once cake has its top coat, fill a bowl with 2 cups finely ground nuts, coconut shavings, or candy sprinkles. Slide offset spatula underneath cake board to loosen it from stand and scoot it, with cake, onto your hand. Hold cake over the bowl and lightly press a handful of nuts, shavings, or sprinkles up side of cake, moving from bottom to top; they will instantly stick to frosting. “This covers up every mistake—it’s fantastic.” Rotate the cake to finish encrusting.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Finish option 3: Rustic

    Once cake has its top coat, hold spatula vertically, wrap your arm as far around cake as you can, and press spatula tip against cake. Rotate stand toward you while lifting spatula up to rim, creating a ribbonlike effect. (Beginners may find it easier to hold spatula horizontally.) To swirl top, hold the back of spatula against cake just inside rim. Rotate as you pull spatula inward, lifting up at center. “If it doesn’t work out quite right, just scrape it clean and start again!”

    How to frost a layer cake

    Do you know what’s always welcome in the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen? Cake! The Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen cookbook, Favorite Cakes is brimming with fresh ideas for cakes that have that unmistakably delicious homemade flavor, but look like the handiwork of a professional decorator.

    One trend the Test Kitchen incorporated throughout the book was layer cakes—statuesque, show-stopping works of art that look like they could be made for a wedding, but are easy enough to make for a birthday party. From a carrot cake with a “naked cake” look, mini layer cakes with champagne and raspberry, or a gorgeous ombré layer cake, the book is all about making these over-the-top layer cakes completely do-able at home.

    In the process, they learned how to troubleshoot some of the most common layer cake issues. From a layer that’s stuck in the cake pan to a cake that’s starting to lean, they’ve seen it all. Here, our test kitchen cooks answer some common layer cake Qs.

    How to frost a layer cake

    What kind of cake pans are best?

    Nothing is worse than baking a batch of cakes only to find them all stuck to the pan, so choosing the right pan is essential. Our Test Kitchen loves Goldtouch cake pans. “These pans are super nonstick so you can line with parchment and lightly grease, then you’re good to go!” says Inken Chrisman, Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen cook. Choose 8 or 9-inch depending on the size cake you prefer. (Pro tip: 8-inch cakes are easier to stack and result in less droop if you’re doing more than two layers.)

    What’s your favorite way to level cakes to avoid the dreaded dome?

    A flat, even cake top is the sign of a pro-level cake and makes the ideal platform for an array of festive decorations. However, sometimes yoru layers come out of the oven with a come in the center. If that happens, there are two things you can do, says Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen cook Isabelle English. “Use a large serrated knife to level it out or, if the dome isn’t too dramatic, simply put the top layer dome-side-down.” Don’t get carried away when trimming your cake tops: Shave off a little at time so you can keep it nice and even.

    Ooops: My cakes are stuck in the pan! What now?

    It’s every baker’s worst nightmare but, despite the best of intentions, it does happen. “To fix it, run an offset spatula around the edges of the pan, then invert and forcefully tap against a surface to release the cake,” says Emily McFarren, a Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen cook. To reduce the odds of this happening to you, don’t forget to line your cake pan with parchment and grease and flour the pan according to the recipe instructions

    Any tips for spreading the frosting between each layer?

    The Test Kitchen swears by piping frosting, which is the easiest way to ensure even frosting application. First, using a wide round tip, pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the layer. Fill that in with a single layer of piped frosting, then use an offset spatula to smooth it out. “This will ensure an even layer of frosting without tearing apart the cake and provide a flat surface for stacking additional layers,” says Chrisman.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Help, my cake is crooked! What do I do?

    If you followed all the instructions above and your cake is still crooked, there’s a good chance your frosting is too soft, causing the cake to lean. To avoid the Leaning Tower of Layer Cake look, make sure to chill your cake in the refrigerator before adding another layer. Once it sets, you can gently push it back into alignment. “Otherwise, don’t stress too much—even crooked cake is still delicious!” says English.

    What is a crumb coat and why does it matter?

    A crumb coat is designed to help your cake look perfectly frosted without any crumbs mixed in with the frosting,” explains Chrisman. To do it, apply thin layer of frosting to your stacked cakes. “It will catch all of the crumbs from the surface of the cake,” says Chrisman. Then, refrigerate your cake before adding the final, pristine layer of frosting.

    How do I get the “naked cake” effect?

    It’s really simple, says McFarren: “Take off all your clothes, then frost the cake.” All jokes aside, you really have two options. “One is to simply pipe the frosting between layers and leave the outside of the cake bare,” says McFarren. That results in a neat stack of visible cake and frosting layers. “The other option is to generously fill between the layers, press down gently, and use the excess frosting that squeezes out to thinly coat the exterior of the cake,” says McFarren. Use this technique when you want a modern, rustic look with some of the cake showing through the frosting.

    What’s the easiest way to make a frosting job look profesh?

    With cake decorating, the secret is in the tool drawers: Here are the four tools our test kitchen recommends.
    1. A large offset spatula gives you the best angle to smooth frosting perfectly.
    2. A bench scraper is great for smoothing the sides and edges where the side and top of the cake meets. Fun piping tips help you make it beautiful.
    3. A spinning cake stand allows you to evenly frost in a fluid motion.
    4. Most of all, time is the ultimate tool, don’t rush it. Let your cakes cool completely and take your time while frosting.

    Any simple décor ideas that don’t involve a PhD in piping?

    The Favorite Cakes book is brimming with easy cake décor ideas in our book including how to add decorative patterns with everyday utensils like forks, making shapes out of marzipan (yes, you can do it!), and topping cakes with edible flowers. “If all else fails, cover it in sprinkles!” says English.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Icing a sponge cake with buttercream can fill even the most able of bakers with dread, but it’s really a piece of cake with a few tips from the experts.

    As you can imagine, we frost a lot of cakes in The Hummingbird Bakery kitchens. Three key ingredients that make a good cake decorator are a steady hand, confidence and plenty of attempts at getting it right!

    The good news for any aspiring baker wishing to brush up on their baking and decorating techniques is that anyone can have a go.

    Apart from a palette knife, you don’t need any special equipment to make a beautifully finished cake. Don’t feel disheartened if it takes a few cakes before you get a buttercream frosting you’re happy with.

    If you make a mistake, just gently scrape off the buttercream, wipe down your palette knife and try again.

    How to frost layer cakes:

    Step One:

    Once your sponges have fully cooled, take one layer and place it on a flat plate.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step Two:

    It’s time to sandwich your sponges with buttercream filling. Spread a generous layer of frosting on the top of your sponge – be sure to go right to the edges so your cake is evenly filled.

    Once you’ve done this, place the next sponge on top of the first and repeat so that you have created layers of frosting for the middle of your cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step Three:

    To get a really smooth finish and prevent crumbs from being caught up in the buttercream, it’s essential to apply a ‘crumb coat’.

    This is a thin base coat layer of buttercream spread all over the cake as a foundation for the decorative frosting. This will make spreading the final thick layer of buttercream much easier than if you were to frost directly onto the sponge.

    It’s perfectly normal for crumbs to get into the base layer. Ideally, allow the crumb coat to chill so that it firms up before adding the rest of the frosting.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step Four:

    Spread the remainder of the frosting generously across the sides and top of the cake. Try to make this layer as smooth and even as possible.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step Five:

    Take your palette knife (this can be angled or straight, whichever you find easier to hold) and using the tip, draw smooth lines up the sides of your cake.

    Aim to press evenly so that the lines are of equal width, but don’t worry if there is some variation – it will look beautiful once done!

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step Six:

    To create the swirl on top, drag the tip of the palette knife from the outside of your cake to the centre in gentle curves. These lines should be wider than the ones going up the sides of your cake.

    And there you have it – a spectacularly frosted sponge ready for decorative sprinkles, piping or to serve just as it is.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Want to learn how to frost a cupcake (Hummingbird Bakery style)? Hone your palette knife skills with our step-by-step guide here.

    For more decorating hints from our bakers, visit our Decorating Tips page.

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    How to frost a layer cake

    Epicurious shares its tips for frosting a cake like a pro. (iStock)

    Those tall and lofty layer cakes might seem like a mountain that you can never climb, an impossible challenge best left to pastry professionals. But frosting a layer cake with buttercream doesn’t have to be out of your reach. In fact, if you can frost a sheet cake, you’ll learn how to frost a cake like this one in a flash. All it takes is a bit more time and some tricks from the pros.

    1. Get Your Cake Prepped

    Set yourself up for success from the beginning by trimming the top of each cake layer with a long serrated knife — you want a flat, even surface for your frosting. If you want to decorate the finished cake with cake crumbs, reserve them. Place one layer of cake onto a cardboard cake round, if you have one.

    2. Seal In The Moisture

    Nobody likes dry cake. Avoid it, and extend the shelf life of the cake, by brushing the top of the layer with simple syrup. Want bonus points? Use herbs, spices, or other flavorings to create flavored syrups. We like to pair lemon-vanilla syrup with a lemon buttercream, for instance, or a coffee-bourbon syrup with maple buttercream.

    3. Pipe a Border

    Make icing the layers easier by first piping a border of buttercream around the perimeter of the cake. This keeps the buttercream where you want it and prevents fillings, such as jam or custard, from oozing out.

    More on this.

    • Our Very Best Chocolate Cakes
    • 11 Ingredients You Should NEVER Refrigerate
    • 16 Easy and Hearty Casseroles
    • 14 Main Course-Worthy Vegetarian Salads
    • The 10 Best Cakes for Alternative Diets

    4. Frost the First Layer

    Control how much icing you slather between each layer by measuring it out with a spring-loaded ice cream scoop. Two to three scoops of buttercream in the center of the layer (roughly 1/2 cup) is a good amount. Use an offset spatula to gently spread the buttercream to the border.

    5. Keep on Frosting the Remaining Layers

    Place a second layer on top of the first, and repeat the steps: brush it with syrup, pipe a buttercream border, and frost the layer. Repeat with the remaining layers.

    6. Create a Crumb Coat

    The “crumb coat” is a base layer of frosting that helps trap the crumbs that would otherwise make your finished cake look messy. Add an extra scoop of buttercream to the top layer and carefully push it to the edges of the cake and then down the sides. Use a smaller offset spatula to spread the buttercream down the sides, making sure the entire cake is covered in a thin layer. (It’s okay if the crumbs mix into the frosting a little; this layer will be covered again.) Drag the edge of the long offset spatula across the top of the cake, spreading the buttercream into a flat layer. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator to set, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

    7. Finish Frosting the Cake and Garnish

    When the crumb coat is set, remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the offset spatulas to spread another layer of buttercream over the entire cake, using up the remainder of the frosting. If you’d like to decorate the edges of the finished cake, slide strips of parchment underneath the edges of the cake, and use your hand to carefully press toasted cake crumbs*, toasted and ground nuts, chocolate shavings, or ground cookies along the edges. Or leave the cake plain and show off the fact that you know how to frost a cake — who’s going to argue?

    *To make toasted cake crumbs, place the reserved cake trimmings on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 300 degree F oven until crisp. Let the toasted cake cool slightly, then grind it into crumbs in a food processor and use to coat the cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to Frost Layer Cakes and Bundt Cakes

    When it comes to desserts, a presentation is everything.

    The presentation might not affect how a cake tastes, but it can certainly help get your mouth watering and your eyes excited for what’s to come. Bundt cakes and layer cakes are especially good opportunities for making a great first impression if they’re done right.

    Layer cakes and Bundt cakes can be as much of an art project as they are a baking project. To bake and frost to perfection requires time, patience, and a touch of TLC. When made properly, these cakes can look as good as they taste. After all, cakes aren’t just for birthdays. Every baked cake is a call for a celebration!

    That’s not to say that decorating a cake should be intimidating. Decorating bundt cakes and layer cakes is easier than you might expect, as long as you plan. We’ve outlined some cake tips and tricks that will help you put the icing on your cake.

    How to frost a Bundt cake

    We know frosting a Bundt cake can be tricky, but we have some handy tips and tricks to share with you! Let’s take a look:

    • Make sure your icing is drizzle-ready. It should be smooth enough to be easily poured on your cake. This may mean reheating the icing for a few seconds.
    • Evenly drizzle the icing over your bundt cake.
    • Continuously turn the plate as you pour the icing to coat evenly.
    • Gently tap and rock plate to encourage the icing to drip down the bundt cake.
    • Give icing a little time to set, then cut and enjoy!

    How to frost a layer cake

    Once your cake is fully baked, let it cool for 30 minutes. Next, wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a half hour so that it is cool and firm. Next, you’ll do the following:

    • Brush the loose crumbs from the cooked cake
    • Place four strips of waxed paper around the edges of the plate and place the first layer, round side down, onto the plate.
    • Depending on the size of your cake, spread one-third or one-half cup of frosting on top of the first layer, leaving about one-quarter inch of space off the edge.
    • Place the second cake layer, round size up, on top of the first frosted layer. Coat the side of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs (crumb-base!).

    Once you’ve completed this process and your layers, spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake, up to the rim.

    Tips for frosting a layer cake

    Layer cakes require a bit more work than Bundt cakes. As they should: they have layers! The last thing you want to do is put in all that work for a failed experiment. Consider these tips before starting your layer cake:

    • Be sure the cake is stable enough to sustain the assembly or risk the cake toppling over.
    • Another way to create a toppled cake is to stack uneven layers. Trim each layer of the cake to ensure all are even, with flat tops, before starting the assembly process.
    • Do not trim your cake when it’s still warm. A cool cake is firmer and less likely to tear as it’s being trimmed.
    • Don’t forget the crumb coat and the refrigeration process that comes with it, before moving to the next level. The crumb coat paves the way for a seamless final coat.
    • Wipe your spatula clean each time you lift it from the cake. Otherwise, remnants from one layer will cause your next layer to be less even and bumpier.

    It can be extremely satisfying to complete a well-designed and tasty cake after a frosting job well done. But with a demanding schedule, a family, and one too many errands, attempting to frost a cake perfectly might not fit into the schedule.

    Rather than stress out over creating the perfect cake, focus on gifting the perfect cake from cake makers like We Take The Cake.

    At We Take The Cake, we use 2-day delivery and pack our Layer Cakes in specially made boxes with dry ice to keep our cakes fresh and feeling like they arrived fresh out the oven. For Bundt Cakes , we shrink-wrap them to maintain their perfect shape and flavor. We’ve spent years perfecting our frosting techniques, so you don’t have to. Contact Us Today to let us know how we can help simplify your next gift or event.

    Plus, what to expect on season 3 of “Buddy vs. Duff.”

    How to frost a layer cake

    Whether it’s for a birthday, a baby shower or another occasion that demands a sweet, layered sponge with fluffy frosting — the Cake Boss has you covered.

    Buddy Valastro joined “Good Morning America” for the first time in Times Square after recovering from multiple hand surgeries last year and said he’s “feeling good.”

    How to frost a layer cake

    In the latest season of “Buddy Vs. Duff,” Valastro faces off for the third time against confection great Duff Goldman to see who will take the cake and break the tie from their previous season wins.

    “We made some of the best cakes I ever made on this new season,” Valastro said.

    Buddy’s Top Tier Cake Tips

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to layer a cake

    Keep one hand on top of the cake while sawing the cake “right through the middle,” Valastro said, while pushing down hard enough to simultaneously spin the rotating turntable.

    How to use a turntable

    In the event that you don’t have have this tool, Valastro said to use a microwave tray instead to get the same spin motion while slicing to make even layers.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to ice a cake

    Fill the layers in between the cake first by squeezing the piping bag with the frosting in rings from the outside inward.

    Use a pastry knife to smooth the icing and create level layers before stacking.

    “Always whip up your icing if it’s store-bought before you use it,” Valastro suggested.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to pipe perfect icing roses for decoration

    Using a rose nail and a flat tip in a piping bag, start at the bottom and create a cone-like shape in the middle. Then pipe in small layers on the outside of the cone to create small petals.

    Last updated on September 16, 2020

    For today’s Tip Tuesday, I’m sharing all my tips and tricks for how to properly stack a cake with a soft filling. No more wobbly cakes!

    How to frost a layer cake

    It’s All About Structure

    The key to stacking and decorating a cake with a soft filling, without the filling oozing out the sides or the cake sliding back and forth, is making sure you take the time to stack it properly. Using my Peach Crisp Cake, I’m showing you all the steps that will help you stack and fill this type of cake the right way.

    Step 1

    Evenly spread frosting across the cake layer. As show in the picture above, you want to add some frosting on top of each cake layer to act as a barrier between the cake and the filling. We want to make sure that filling doesn’t seep into the cake layers.

    Step 2

    Pipe a barrier around the edge of the cake layer. This step ensures your filling doesn’t spill over the edges of the cake – which will make it really hard for you to frost the cake if it does.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Don’t be shy with the piping. I’d rather you have a bigger rim of frosting than one that is not big enough and won’t hold in your filling.How to frost a layer cake

    This barrier also helps to support the cake layer you’ll be playing on top of the filling.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step 3

    Add the filling. It’s important during this step that you don’t overfill the cake with your filling. If you add too much of your soft filling, your cake will be come wobbly, no matter how big of a frosting barrier you added. You’ll also run the risk of filling coming out the sides of your cake.

    I recommend about ½ cup of filling for a 3-layer, 8-inch cake and about ¼ cup of filling for a 4-layer, 6-inch cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step 4

    Place the second cake layer carefully on top of the filling.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Step 5

    If you have openings around your cake (like the pictures below), pipe more frosting around the outside of the cake to secure the filling.

    How to frost a layer cakeHow to frost a layer cake

    Step 6

    Place your final cake layer, bottom side up, on top of your cake and apply a light coat of frosting around the entire cake. This thin coat of frosting is your crumb coat. You’ll then want to freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and the filling before you continue to decorate the cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    How to frost a layer cake

    Additional Tips

    A few more tips that might be helpful along the way:

    • If you’re stacking a cake taller than 3-layers, I suggest using dowels or straws to help support the cake so it doesn’t wobble as you frost the sides.
    • If you’re cake still feels wobbly after you’ve filled the cake, go ahead and freeze it for about 10 to 15 minutes BEFORE the crumb coat. This will help set the filling so your cake doesn’t slide around as you apply the crumb coat.
    • Because you’re not using all of your filling between the cake layers, save the remaining filling and serve a spoonful of the filling on the side with each slide of cake.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Courtney Rich

    I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

    I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

    1. Spread a first thin layer of icing to hold in the crumbs.

    2. Run a butter knife around the bottom of the cake to remove any excess icing.

    3. Add a thicker, second layer of frosting.

    4. Dip you palette knife in hot water to allow for easier spreading.

    5. Swirl the top of the cake using the back of a teaspoon.

    6. Sprinkle with decorations – we used crushed up sherbert lemon sweets but you could use anything!

    7. Slice and serve.

    How to frost a layer cake

    Recipe

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    How to frost a layer cake

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    NID 6 months
    __Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
    __Secure-3PSID 2 years
    __Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

    Marketing/Targeting

    These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

    Pinterest

    Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

    Cookie name Duration
    _pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
    _pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
    _pin_unauth 1 year

    Outbrain

    These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

    Cookie name Duration
    outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
    adrl 5 weeks
    apnxs 6 weeks
    criteo 2 months
    obuid 6 months

    Twitter

    Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.