So you’ve binge-watched more cake decorating videos than you care to admit, and now you’re ready to try your hand at frosting a cake like a pro? I’ve been there! I have to admit that sometimes the best way to unwind is to watch a few (dozen) cake decorating videos. Somehow they always end up with picture-perfect, and probably delicious, cakes in under a few minutes. Okay, okay, I know that’s a lot of editing and trial and error. But really, if you want to frost a cake like a pro, it’s not that hard. It just takes patience, practice, and the right tools.
Frost A Cake Like A Pro
Tip #01: Tools
This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. A few times. The tools really do make a difference. When it comes to frosting a cake, have a turntable that rotates, an offset spatula (grab both here), and a cake leveler are really necessities. Why? Because having a turntable allows you to create an even layer and a smooth finish. An offset spatula provides the correct angle for frosting the sides and top, and a leveler helps you cut a cake so it’s well…level. There’s nothing worse than finishing a frosting job and watching the cake slowly slide to the side. Trust me on that.
Tip #02: Frosting
Now you can’t talk about cake tools without talking about the actual frosting. Because let’s face it, if you have bad frosting, there’s no amount of Wilton products that will save you. If you have time, make your own buttercream frosting. If you don’t have the time, then there’s nothing wrong with store-bought frosting! I will say that the best you’ll find is Duncan Hines. It has a good creamy texture but it’s also more than just sugary sweet, which is what makes it a clear winner in my book.
Tip #03: Technique, Technique, Technique
Having a good frosting technique is what’s going to help you create that picture-perfect finish. As you assemble the cake, there are a few things you should do.
First, you should level your cake so that you have an even surface. Then you should pipe a relatively thick border around the outside. This serves as a barrier so that your filling doesn’t spill out the sides. Which brings me to the next thing: fillings. You should definitely have a filling in your cake. Not only will it help offset the sweetness from the icing, but it will also help seal in moisture. Whether you opt for simple syrup, compote, or even jam, a filling is important.
Next, as you place the frosting on the cake, turn the turntable and hold the offset spatula still rather than moving the spatula. This lets the turntable do the work for you and creates a more uniform look. Begin on the sides and don’t stress about cake crumbs coming through. There’s a reason why the first coat is called the crumb coat.
After you’ve put down the crumb coat, place your cake in the fridge for at least an hour to let the frosting chill. When the frosting is firm, you’re ready for your final show coat! If you’re not super steady with your offset spatula, then I’d suggest getting an icing smoother. It’ll make things a tad easier.
Once you have your final coat, you’re ready to decorate. Don’t be afraid to try piping icing onto your cake, it can create texture, add color, and really make your cake pop. Now all that’s left is for you to get out there and practice! I hope these tips help you frost a cake like a pro!