The Smooth Frosted Cake TipTuesday
Updated: Mar 2, 2021
The smooth frosted cake is the start of many beautiful cakes. In the beginning, it is not easy to achieve. Today, I will show you how I frost a cake. There are lots of ways. One man's always is another man's always. You'll need to find what works best for you.
Just like there are lots of ways to frost a cake, there are many ways of learning. I like photos. Some people prefer video. I'm going to give you both. Please know that I have not yet invested in video equipment or editing software. In fact, I've been meaning to redo the video and just haven't. For those of you who prefer video, you can find it here
Frosting a cake is all about adding and scraping buttercream. That's it! Truly! Sounds easy doesn't it?
One trouble some people experience is scraping off too much or back to the crumb coat. To make sure I have enough buttercream to start, I use a 1D tip to apply the buttercream.
I start on the top and get it mostly level. Then, I apply buttercream to the side using the 1D tip. This way, I know I have at least enough.
This is my little guy making his own birthday cake
I use the offset spatula to press this onto the cake
Next, I use the bench scraper. I hold it as straight and even with the turntable as I can.
I usually go around the cake a few times. Soon you will be able to see the spots that need more frosting. Add a dab.
Then, we scrape some more, repeating until all those spots have buttercream.
When I feel like it is mostly smooth, I dip the scrapper in just a bit of water. The water is not hot (it can alter the color and texture of your buttercream). I smooth again.
If you look close, you'll see a few ridges. To fix this, add a bit of frosting in a line around the bottom. For that big one on the left, I add a tad straight up with it in a vertical line. We need to fill those valleys.
Up until this point, I frost my round and square cakes the same. Squares are challenging because they are cubes. When I frost the square, not only am I going to hold the scraper horizontally, I also need to hold it vertically.
We are scraping and filling and repeating.
For squares, I also leave those corners until the side is smooth. Then, I hold the scraper with the edge of the corner to see the gaps and fill them.
Then, I use the offset spatula to smooth it all in place.
Once I have the sides completed, I use the offset spatula to trim that top. I pull toward the center of the cake. For the square, I start on those corners then the sides.
The final steps of smoothing are using the scraper to smooth the top (adding buttercream to spots that need it) and final swipes of the side.
If you watch the video, you will see a trick I use for that final edge. Once the top and sides are smooth, I wet my finger and very gently run it just around the edge and the final step is to then use the offset spatula to pull the edge across the top.
Practice, practice, practice, and more practice!