Would you imagine me if I advised you that when upon a time it took me hours to frost a clean buttercream cake? It was primarily attributable to my perfectionism, but additionally as a result of I didn’t know as a lot as I do now about frosting strategies. I bear in mind agonizing over each flaw and simply smoothing the cake again and again till I reached some extent the place I used to be okay with the end. Nowadays, I’ve obtained the frosting course of right down to about quarter-hour and I can’t wait to share my finest suggestions with you so you possibly can eradicate among the nervousness that appears to come back together with cake adorning.
I’ve obtained an older video on my YouTube channel that exhibits a few of these clean buttercream frosting strategies, however I’ve realized much more since then and wished to shoot a brand new video with voiceover and extra data. This manner, you’re extra on top of things on my present processes and have one thing extra detailed to reference as you frost your future desserts. Give it a watch earlier than you learn all about these frosting suggestions and strategies under!
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Need to see extra Cake Fundamentals movies like this one? Head to my YouTube Channel to see the rising assortment. You’ll additionally discover tons of cake recipes and adorning movies to encourage you and broaden your ability set – make sure to hit the subscribe button so that you by no means miss a brand new one!
What Sort of Buttercream Works Finest?
I exploit this American Buttercream recipe for all the pieces I do – filling, crumb coating, frosting desserts, piping cupcakes, and past. I’ve purposefully tweaked it to be the perfect consistency for frosting desserts and to make it much less candy than your common American Buttercream. That stated, there are a selection of different buttercreams on the market and I do know everybody has their preferences.
The excellent news is, it doesn’t matter what form of buttercream you’re used to utilizing, these strategies will work simply superb for frosting a cake. So whether or not you favor Swiss Meringue, Italian Meringue, German Buttercream, stabilized whipped cream, or anything that’s meant for frosting a cake, you possibly can observe the following tips and strategies for finest outcomes. They’ll work with all of my frosting recipes (that are all American) however be happy to make use of your personal private fave and observe together with this publish.
3 Instruments You Want
The strategies I’m about to share work splendidly so long as you may have the suitable instruments. Listed here are those I’ve come to swear by for each cake I make:
A Cake Turntable: I’ve an older mannequin of this Wilton turntable that I’ve been utilizing for over a decade. The one I exploit is at the moment unavailable on Amazon, however I’ve tried the newer model and I can attest it really works simply the identical. Each have a non-slip heart so your cake received’t budge as you’re smoothing buttercream, and each have the sleek rotation you want for attaining a clean end.
An Angled Spatula: This 9” Wilton spatula is right for making use of frosting to the cake and likewise attaining a clean, degree end on high. The angle in it offers you extra grace as you clean than a straight spatula would – aka it’s simply simpler to create these sharp edges across the high (for my part).
An Icing Smoother: I don’t know if this Norpro Bench Scraper that I exploit is technically an icing smoother, nevertheless it’s the perfect I’ve discovered for the duty. It’s straightforward to carry at a 90-degree angle for getting tremendous straight edges, plus it’s fabricated from chrome steel so it’s straightforward to wash and apply a small quantity of warmth if needed. I’ve tried loads of icing smoothers in my day, however I all the time return to this one.
Begin With a Chilled, Crumb Coated Cake
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Having a stable basis to your remaining layer of frosting is important, and there’s nothing extra stable than a crumb coated cake that’s been chilled for at the very least half-hour.
Crumb coating helps form the cake’s basis and reduces the probabilities that crumbs will find yourself in your remaining layer of buttercream. Chilling the crumb coated cake makes all that buttercream agency up in order that the layers and fillings don’t shift when you’re frosting on high of them.
Step 1: Frost the Prime of the Cake
Along with your chilled, crumb coated cake on the turntable, use your angled spatula so as to add a number of scoops of buttercream to the highest of the cake. Rotate the turntable as you clean the buttercream down flat.
Holding the angled spatula as parallel to the cake as you possibly can when you rotate the turntable will allow you to obtain a degree end. Hold smoothing and rotating till your buttercream reaches over the cake’s edge barely.
If it’s essential add extra buttercream to the highest as you go, be happy! However don’t fear an excessive amount of about getting the highest good at this level. We’ll be revisiting the highest of the cake throughout Step 3, so crucial purpose on this present step is to verify the frosting is degree and reaches over the sting.
Step 2: Frost the Sides of the Cake
Subsequent, use your angled spatula to use about ¼ inch layer of buttercream throughout the edges of the cake. I like to start out on the backside of the cake and work my technique to the highest.
When the edges are coated, maintain your icing smoother at a 90-degree angle parallel with the cake as you rotate the turntable. The tighter you possibly can angle the icing smoother with the edges of the cake, the better it is going to be to clean the cake.
It’s possible you’ll discover that it’s essential fill in some gaps within the buttercream after smoothing a number of instances. If that’s the case, simply apply extra buttercream in these areas and proceed smoothing together with your icing smoother.
At this level, it’s tremendous useful to carry your hand straight in entrance of the cake on the turntable and clean as you rotate a full 360 levels. This ensures that you simply start and finish your smoothing in the identical place, decreasing the modifications of a number of “seams” across the sides of the cake.
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One other useful tip with this step is to softly warmth your icing smoother (if it’s fabricated from chrome steel) by working it underneath sizzling water, drying fully, and letting it cool barely earlier than smoothing the cake. This works like an iron working over any wrinkles in your cake end, however you must watch out to not get the icing smoother sizzling sufficient to soften your buttercream.
Hold going till you’re pleased with the end. Should you simply can’t appear to get to a spot the place you’re pleased with the edges although, be happy to offer this step a relaxation and transfer onto Steps 3 and 4. Belief me, transferring by way of to Step 4 will allow you to get clean sides faster than spending an excessive amount of time agonizing over Step 2!
Step 3: Create Sharp Edges
You’ll discover that Step 2 left you with a buttercream crown across the high fringe of the cake. That is what you need, because it’s important for creating sharp edges.
Utilizing your angled spatula, swipe the outer edges of the buttercream crown towards the middle of the cake. You’ll wish to be sure you preserve your angled spatula as degree as attainable as you go across the total high.
When you’ve obtained all the perimeters wanting good and sharp, you’re prepared to maneuver on in your adorning course of except you’ve determined that you really want the edges of the cake to be smoother. In that case, transfer on to Step 4.
Step 4 (Non-compulsory): Chill and Repeat
Should you went by way of all of the earlier steps and nonetheless really feel like your cake might be smoother, the perfect factor you are able to do is pop the cake within the fridge for at the very least 20 minutes. That is a lot better than agonizing over your cake end and over-smoothing it. By inserting the cake within the fridge, you’re permitting the end to agency up and supply a very sturdy basis for a remaining (tremendous skinny, tremendous clean) coat of buttercream.
After refrigerating your cake, repeat Steps 1 by way of 3, however this time apply a really skinny coat of buttercream everywhere in the cake. This coat will fill in any wrinkles and gaps, and because the buttercream layer beneath is so stable, you’re in a position to apply extra strain and get a clean end in a extra failproof method.
When you’re pleased with the sleek cake end, you possibly can transfer on to the subsequent steps in your adorning course of. I’ll be making use of sprinkles to the edges of this cake in an upcoming Cake Fundamentals publish, so keep tuned for my strategies on that! And you probably have any questions, don’t hesitate to publish them under.
Need extra Cake Fundamentals? Head right here to see the entire posts and be taught the strategies of caking I’ve come to like through the years. I’m cheering you on each step of the best way!
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