How to frost a layer cake like a profesh when you aren’t one
Wotcher folks, it’s your friendly neighbourhood cosplayer/baker extraordinaire back with another baking tutorial… because I’ve got a really good handle on my blog audience, as you can tell.
I made a birthday cake for one of my best friends this weekend - and despite it being one of the hottest weekends of the year, it turned out pretty well. It was actually really straight-forward, so I filmed a few gifs of the decorating process should any of you ever fancy making a simple celebration/birthday cake. So, grab a cup of tea or alcoholic beverage of your choice, and let’s do this.
Make your cakes
I followed Jessica’s proper legend chocolate cake recipe for the sponges in this cake. I used two packs of cake mix, baked them in two six-inch cake tins, wrapped them in cling film and left them in the fridge to chill over night. This is pretty important, because your cakes will be waaaay easier to handle if they are nice and cold.
Cut your cake layers
It’s not essential, but if you have a cake turntable then now is the time to use it. They’re those cool spinny things that profesh cake decorators always seem to use.
And because I’m a genius, I’ll put a chopping board on top of my turntable, which gives me a sturdier base and lets me have more control when I’m cutting the cake.
Another tool that is really useful is a wire cake cutter. This is for all those people who can’t slice a loaf of bread without ending up with three different-sized wedges *raises hand*. Essentially it allows you to cut nice straight layers, which is important if you don’t want your cake to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. If that’s what you were going for, continue as you were.
Get a helpful sibling to steady the cake for you, either by asking nicely or threatening them with a rolling pin. Cut the domed top of your cake off, so you have a flat top, and then cut that in half again. If you do that with both your cakes, you’ll have four layers, and some yummy cake scraps that you just have to… dispose of… somehow??
Make the buttercream
You can use lots of different types of frosting for a layer cake. Swiss meringue buttercream is a popular choice, but given it was a stupidly hot weekend, and swiss meringue does not hold up well in the heat, I went with regular old buttercream using this recipe.
Your first step is to beat your butter. It needs to be the unsalted type you get in blocks or sticks, and it needs to be really soft. So make sure you leave it out of the fringe for a few hours before using. Get a stand mixer or electric mixer or dem guns if you’re feeling really buff and beat the butter until it goes from this…
….to this. It will turn a much paler colour and get all big and fluffy.
Then you gotta add in your icing sugar. It’s a good idea to sift it first to get rid of any sneaky lumps. Most people will do this in their kitchens. I will do this in my garden due to the inevitable situation where I have an icing sugar explosion and I’ll be cleaning my kitchen for three weeks.
Then add any flavourings. Vanilla is always a good shout, but do me a favour and use extract instead of the tragedy that is vanilla essence. (I am a vanilla snob, shoot me.)
You can also colour your buttercream at this stage. A good tip is to use gel food colouring, as it’s easier to control how much you use and it wont change the consistency of your icing like liquid food colouring would. You want the consistency to be smooth and spreadable, but firm enough to hold it’s shape. If the icing is too stiff, add a couple of tablespoons of milk, if it’s too soft, add more icing sugar.
Assemble your cake
This is probably the trickiest part. Get one of those silver cake board things, or… y’know. A plate. Pop it on your turntable. And stick your first cake layer to the board with a bit of your icing.
Spread an even layer of the buttercream on the first layer. Then start stacking the cake, trying to place the layers as straight as you can.
Don’t worry if the icing comes out the sides, because the next stage is to smooth all of that down. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start frosting the entire thing.
Frost your cake
Another handy tool… the bench scraper. I like the cheap plastic ones best. They allow you to get really straight sides on your cake and will make this job a whoooole lot easier, promise.
Use a small pallet knife a spread a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake. Then, get your bench scraper and press it at a right angle to the cake. Without moving the scarper, spin the turntable and smooth out all the icing.
This first layer of frosting is called the crumb coat. Once you’ve done the crumb coat, you need to put the cake in the fridge for around 20 minutes to lock in all of the cake crumbs so that your next layer of icing will be nice and smooth.
Whilst you’re waiting for the cake to chill in the fridge, try and fight your weak British genetics and deal with the stupidly hot weather. Possibly grumble about it a lot. We’re good at that.
When the cake has chilled, you’re gonna do the exact same thing as before. And if any streaks of cake peek out from beneath the frosting, you’re gonna say fuck it and pass it off as “rustic”.
And that’s your basic layer cake! Decorate it how you like - a really easy way to make a cake look pretty is to take a ball of fondant, stick some flowers in it, and place it on top of the cake. You can see an actual professional explain this way better here. I also used a bit of edible gold leaf I had from a more adventurous project and placed it randomly down the front, which made it look super fancy with no effort required.
I hope this has been fairly easy to follow, I promise it isn’t as complicated or long-winded as I’ve managed to make it sound. So go make a cake for your grandma, because she probably deserves one. Grandma’s are great.
Happy 27th birthday to one of the most caring and genuine person I know and love! A person who I have loved ever since I first saw his videos 2 years ago! A Irish goofball who saved my life with his crazy personality and his loud voice! You have no idea how much you mean to me! I really don’t know what I would do without you! I hope you have an amazingly BOSS birthday! I hope you eat so much cake and cookies today! You deserve all the love and happiness in the world! Again happy birthday @therealjacksepticeye *gives you a giant cake* <3 <3 <3 *hugs*
Summary: For love, you foolishly lied to yourself. For money, you married a stranger.
Notes: Yes! After several months, this series have finally come to an end and I sincerely want to thank everyone who has read every single chapter and every single word of this story. It means a tremendous amount to me and wow…this series was no joke - HELLA long so if you read it all….you deserve a cookie or a cake or something. Thank you.
“Y/N.” Jin grasps your wrist with pleading eyes. His gentle touch pulsates your skin.
“Let go.” You command and he does, arm dropping to his side. “I’m not here to talk to you.”
“Y/N…” His voice cracks and you don’t spare him a second glance, making every effort not to.
Within a moment, Jin’s mother appears at the doorway, knees weak with sick paleness. “Mother…”
Congrats for finishing your exams for the week! As for the angst prompta.. they're all so good. Number 16 please!
I feel like I deserve cake for finishing this week’s exams… That’s on the to-do list now. Hope this is alright!!
16 - ‘No. Don’t you dare shut me out.’
been walking for over an hour now, Heiji just in front, dragging
Kazuha along the beach.
itches at the soles of her feet, her sandals rubbing the gaps between
her toes, leaving her sore. She wants to sit down, or at least stop
moving for long enough to take the stupid things off, but Heiji isn’t
showing any signs of slowing down, nor does he show any indication
that he wants to talk.
behaviour is… frankly, Kazuha doesn’t know what to call it. She’s
confused, sure, but she’s also angry that he’s not responding to his
name, no matter how many times she repeats it, regardless of the
worry that laces her tone.
trips over a rock embedded in the ground, barely has time to catch
herself as she’s dragged forwards and decides that enough is enough.