Cake Decorating Tip #1 Easy Buttercream Frosting
Buttercream comes in many forms. When I first started cake decorating, all that existed to me was canned frosting. It wasnt until I went to pastry school in 2010 that I learned about alllll the other frostings like SMBC which is my favorite. Its made by whipping up sugar dissolved in heated egg whites to a stiff peak and then you whip in butter and vanilla until its light, fluffy and delicious.
As soon as I frosted my first cake with SMBC I knew I was hooked. The problem is, it takes forever to make. You have to heat the egg whites, whip them, let them cool, then whip in the butter and if youre making a lot of cakes then thats a huge amount of time.
Then one day, I read about this recipe called Lauren Kitchens Buttercream and everyone was raving about it. Same amazing flavor as SMBC with one BIG difference. She used pasteurized egg whites instead of heating her egg whites which significantly cuts down on the prep time. LIFE CHANGING!
Now I can literally make a batch of flawless buttercream in ten minutes. By the time I learned this recipe I was retired from baking. I tweaked the recipe to use a little less butter and named it Easy Buttercream and is my forever go-to recipe. Its great for stacked cakes, sculpted cakes, buttercream flowers and even cupcakes. Its not as sweet as regular ABC which is what most people use for buttercream in the USA. French Buttercream, cream cheese buttercream and Italian buttercream are all delicious as well.
First Bake Your Cake Into 3 Layers
Usually when people make layer cakes they are always made in 2 cake pans which equals 2 cake layers duh.
When I first started out, I couldnt understand why my cakes didnt look like the ones in the magazines, and it was because my cakes werent tall enough!
Depending on what cake recipe you are using, this may mean that you have to double up the recipe. A more professional looking cake = a tall cake, so double up!
I use a standard of 3 cake layers in my tiers. When combined with the buttercream they end up being 5-5.5 tall. So this one cake has 3 layers, and is one tier tall at a height of 5 total.
To be clear- a cake tier is combined of cake layers. No, layers and tiers are not the same thing.
A cake tier is compiled of cake layers.
I Want To Learn How To Bake
I want to learn how to bake. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, whatever. I got a new toaster oven and I’m not afraid to use it. Post the best recipes for beginners, or just tips
Go to the pier. Ask for craig. Hand him $40. Take the bag. Go home. Grab a lighter and some papers. Roll. Now bake.
Measure flour into a bowl, sift, then measure again. Unless you are using a kitchen scale where you weigh everything.
Easy yellow cake 1 cup butter room temp 1 1/2 cups cake flour 11/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tbs baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 3/4 cup sugar 4 large eggs room temp 2 tsp vanilla 1 1/4 cup whole milk room temp
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Cream butter and sugar till fluffy . Add eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients in bowl. Put mixer on low speed and add small amount of flour, then milk, then flour etc. Make sure you start and end with flour.
Pour in 2 9″ cake pans or will make 30 cupcakes.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for cakes and 25 to 30 for cupcakes.
Perfect homemade buttercream
1 cup crisco 1/2 tsp clear vanilla 1/2 tsp clear butter or almond 2 tbs water 1 lb powdered sugar 1 tbs meringue powder
Cream crisco, water, and flavorings until combined. Add powdered sugar and mix in medium speed till combined.
The icing will be very stiff to ice the cake smooth add 2 tbs of water and mix until combined. This will ice a 2 layer 9″ round cake.
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Who Is The Baking And Cake Decorating Course For
This course is designed for those who want to turn their passion into a profession. It will provide aspiring bakers with the essential skills and confidence to open their own cake decorating business. Professionals who are already working in this industry can also take this course and polish their skills.
Simple Techniques For Beautiful Cake Decorating
Do you want some fun, simple, and easy ideas for decorating your next cake? You can come to the right place!
You can see a video of me making this cake here.
I call this the Purple Shell Cake. I based it off of this simple design on my white cake recipe. It uses a small star tip and is a basic repeat pattern. Adding in a bit of fun contrast with the darker purple is super easy!
You can see a video of me making this cake here.
Want to know something fun? This Harlequin Cake uses the exact same tip as in the Purple Shell Cake!
This cake is all about the planning. Once you have your basic design, the actual piping only takes a few minutes!
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A Baking For Beginners Course
- You can learn all the basics of baking from the comfort of your home.
- You can learn how to bake a cake just like the one you get in a bakery.
- You get to know the exact steps needed for baking a perfect cake.
- You can ask all your baking related questions and get correct answers.
All this is possible now!
Delighted Baking presents the Ultimate Baking for Beginners Course for you.
This course will teach you everything you should know about baking. This course is not limited to simply teaching recipes but instead goes into the details of baking. This course will teach you the basic foundations of baking. Along with the basics, you will be taught easy to follow eggless recipes that you can bake as a beginner baker. As this is an online course, you can study it at your own pace using any device.
Crumb Coat Is Essential
Im embarrassed to admit I had no idea what a crumb coat was before I started cake decorating. Every time I went to frost a cake in the past, the cake crumbs would get mixed in with the frosting and ruin any chance of a decoration. Little did I know the pros have a solution for this & its actually quite genius: a crumb coat. The crumb coat is a light coating of frosting that goes on the cake first to hold the crumbs in so when you do your final cake decoration there are no messy crumbs to deal with. Who thought of this, really?
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How To Get Smooth Frosting On Your Cake
Now were going to apply the final coat of buttercream to our cake. Use your larger offset spatula to apply some frosting to the top of the cake and smooth it down flat the same way we smoothed out the layers of buttercream between the cakes. Now apply some frosting to the sides of the cakes. Make a nice thick coat.
Now comes the fun part. Use your bench scraper to slowly scrape away the excess frosting. Wipe the excess back into the bowl. Hold the scraper straight up and down with the base against the turn table. Once you get to the board, youre done! If you have any low spots just add some more buttercream and continue scraping until the sides are nice and smooth.
Use your small offset spatula to clean up the top edge by slowly dragging the buttercream from the outside edge towards the center in a smooth motion.
Cake Decorating Tip #2 Cake Goop
I am embarrassed to tell you how long I used the old vegetable shortening and dusted flour technique for prepping my cake pans. It was the only thing I could do that was fairly easy and dependable. The issue? Super messy. I always had flour remnants all over the trash can, the sink, the floor .
I WISH I could remember who told me about cake goop because it changed my world.
No more pan spray, no more shortening and flour, no more parchment paper. Just brush it in the pan and bake it up. Cakes will slide out of that pan so easy peezy, youll kick yourself for not making up a batch of cake goop sooner.
The ingredients are simple, mix up equal parts vegetable shortening vegetable oil and flour. Mix well until combined and then store in a container. You can keep it on the countertop or the fridge but it wont spoil. I use a pastry brush to brush it on the pans evenly. Dont worry, you dont need a lot. Just a nice even coating will do you.
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How To Crumbcoat Your Cake
You may or may not have heard about a crumbcoat but for the sake of learning, Im going to explain it. I told you I wasnt going to skip anything!
A crumbcoat is a thin layer of your buttercream all over the cake to seal in the crumbs. This is an important step so that you dont get any of those crumbs in your final layer of buttercream frosting.
Place a big dollop of buttercream on the top of your cake and use your small offset spatula to spread the buttercream into a thin layer all over your cake. You dont have to be neat and tidy, just a thin coat will do. You can see there are a lot of crumbs and chunks of strawberry in this layer of buttercream, thats totally ok.
Once your cake is fully covered, you can place it into the fridge or the freezer to firm up. Once the buttercream is firm to the touch you can put on your final coat of buttercream without the crumbs getting into it.
How To Frost A Layer Cake
Taste of Home
Frosting a layer cake might seem like a fussy process, but it doesnt need to be a struggle. All you need to get the job done is a cake plate or cake stand and an offset spatula. Level off your cakes and start stacking. Keep the plate clean by layering waxed paper around the edge. When youre done, pull it away for a clean plate ready for serving.
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Best Structured Course: The Butter Book
The Butter Book
The website offers a variety of formal courses with instruction on everything from bread baking and French pastry to chocolate candies. One of the courses offered includes Cake Decorating and Icing. Within that category, you can select from a variety of lessons that range from beginner to advanced, including the basic Building & Icing a Buttercream Cake, Rolled Fondant essentials, and a variety of royal icing classes with intricate detail.
The Butter Book also offers a course on fundamentals for those just getting into baking and pastry. Designed in the more traditional course format, the site provides tips and terminology definitions throughout lessons, guidance on how to evaluate final products on taste, presentation and textures, as well as quizzes to check your understanding of skills.
Membership is required for access to online courses, but The Butter Book offers a free 10-day trial. Beyond that, the monthly fee is about $25 per month or $200 per year.
How To Frost A Cake
Youre doing the same thing as the above crumb coat just with more frosting, and this time you want to completely cover up the cake layers. This is called your top coat.
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Best Free Class: Cakes By Lynz
Cakes by Lynz
Why We Chose It: Cakes by Lynz is a YouTube channel with over 419,000 followers and over 100 videos that explain everything from basic cake and frosting recipes to more advanced decorating techniques and projects.
ProsAll videos are free to watchLots of basic and advanced tutorialsEasy to find videos by categoryConsVideos have adsOnly one instructor
Though there are loads of YouTube videos on cake decorating, Cakes by Lynz is one of the most comprehensive dedicated cake decorating channels with over 100 videos broken down into categories like gumpaste flower tutorials, cupcake piping techniques, and cake decorating for beginners. A self-taught baker, Lynsey Jackson explains basic techniques as well as more advanced cake projects from her home in Kent, England.
Jackson’s video tutorials help you do simple things to improve your cake decorating skills, such as how to make truly white American buttercream, how to cover a cake in smooth buttercream, and how to dowel and stack a tiered cake. More advanced cake projects include a gravity-defying hand mixer cake, a birthday bear cake, and a moon landing space rocket cake. Jackson does break down each step on how to make the cakes, with clear instructions as well as a list of tools you need .
All videos and tutorials are free, though like many YouTube videos, there are ads at the beginning and middle of each one.
Next Level Off The Cake Tops
A flat cake is a heck of a lot easier to stack than a cake that has a dome top, so you need to level it off.
You can take a sharp, long, serrated knife and evenly, with the blade flat, start at the lowest part of the dome. Slice through in a push and pull motion .
Make sure to keep the blade at the same level throughout the whole cut or it will end up lop-sided.
A great trick is to leave the cake in the pan, and once its cooled, place the flat side of the blade of top of the pan and use it as a guide to hack off the top.
This method works well if the whole surface area of your cake baked higher than the pan.
Optional: stuff your face with the cake tops or pawn them off on someone else.
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How To Make A Box Cake Taste Like Scratch
Ill let you in on a little secret, there are plenty of professional cake decorators out there who dont bake from scratch, they use a box mix and add ingredients to it to make it taste more like a scratch cake. This is called a doctored box mix and is quite tasty!
The most popular doctored cake mix is WASC which stands for White Almond Sour Cream Cake. But you dont have to use a white box mix, you can make the same adjustments to a yellow or funfetti box mix and it will taste just as good. If you want to use a chocolate box mix then check out the Chocolate WASC.
If you want to make your WASC into funfetti then add in 1/4 cup of jimmy sprinkles or confetti sprinkles. Mix into the batter at the very end of making the cake batter.
Cake Decorating Tip #7 Chilling Your Cakes
Last but not least, I want to talk about chilling yours cakes. I remember hearing in the very beginning of my cake journey that you cant put your cakes in the fridge because if you did, the cakes would sweat and that would ruin the fondant. So when I covered in fondant, I would literally be trying to put it over soft buttercream. It was not pretty.
I distinctly remember making this cake for a friends wedding and the cake literally split in half while I was trying to frost it. How did people do this? How do you get your cakes to be so straight and pretty with sharp edges?
One of my first HUGE wedding cakes circa 2009. I delivered this cake fully stacked and was not refrigerated. The cake actually slid off the cake board during delivery because we where driving up a STEEP hill. I was so lucky the thing did not topple over. I now always deliver my cakes not stacked, all chilled and boxed individually.
The answer is you CAN put your cakes in the fridge. As Yolanda Gampp says, crumbcoat and chill! YES your cakes will sweat a bit coming out of the fridge but that small amount of condensation is not going to ruin your cake.
That beings said, if you live in an area that has HIGH humidity you might need to put a fan on your cake to get rid of that shine. For instance, you plan on painting on your cake, you take it out of the fridge and its shiny. Youll want to wait until it comes to room temp before you paint on it. The fan will speed up that process.
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