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BAKING

How to perfectly frost your cake

The thought of frosting your cake can be scary.

In Summary

•If the cake is even slightly warm, it will melt the icing.

•If you leave your cake to cool on the counter, place a slice of regular bread on the cake.

Image: HANNIE PETRA

Baking is truly artistic and expressive.

Though time-consuming and a little hectic (especially for beginners), the learning process is fun, and seeing your artistic creation come to life is oddly satisfying.

However, the thought of frosting your cake can be scary, especially if you watch baking shows. But attaining that perfectly smooth frosting coat on your cake can be easy.

Here are a few tips to help ensure your frosting comes out looking as immaculate as you have envisioned in your mind.

Let your cake cool. If the cake is even slightly warm, it will melt the icing and have it run over the edges and soak into the top layer. 

If you use cold frosting, it won’t be smooth enough to spread, thus bringing up a lot of crumbs.

One should wait for both the cake and frosting to attain room temperature. It may take several hours of waiting but is necessary for a smooth cover of frosting.

Remember to place a slice of regular bread on the top of the cake if you leave it to cool on the counter. This will keep it moist.

A perfectly frosted cake with toppings
A perfectly frosted cake with toppings
Image: HANNIE PETRA

Make the cake flat. When you baking the cake, the centre most likely rose into a small dome. This is perfectly normal, however, it prevents the cake from having a completely smooth layer when frosting. The dome makes the frosting to slide towards the sides.

 To prevent this, use a serrated edge knife to slice a thin layer off the top of the cake so that the top and bottom run parallel.

It is advisable to cut the top layer of the cake off while it is still in the baking tin. This will help you get a more level surface.

Add a dollop of frosting. To make the icing easier to spread, warm it slightly or add a tablespoon of corn syrup, then mix generously. Using your offset spatula, add a large dollop to the top centre of the cake.

Spread the frosting outwards from the centre. Don’t worry about getting the frosting perfectly smooth yet. Just ensure the crumb coat is well covered.

Then add a bit of frosting to the centre of one of the sides, working in one direction to spread it outwards.

Ensure your spatula is parallel to the sides of the cake as your spread, adding more frosting when necessary.

Finally, take your spatula back to the top of the cake, and work slowly back and forth across the surface.

Refrigerate or freeze your cake. After frosting, without shifting the cake, transfer it into your fridge and allow the frosting to set. It could take half an hour to several hours depending on the temperature.

Wipe off any excess frosting on the sides when necessary.

And now you can showcase and enjoy your perfectly smooth cake.