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Cake frosting perfection

Filed Under: food, in the kitchen, entertaining

Sadly, the traditional homemaking craft of baking does not come naturally to me. If I can get the goods out of the oven without setting fire to anything, I'm pretty happy. As for my last homemade cake, the rounded top and slightly too-soft frosting both contributed to an unenviable "cow pattie" look. Oops.

But friends, the time has come for me to aim a little higher than that. You see, I will be baking a cake for my daughter's first birthday in a couple of weeks. I feel it's my motherly duty to do better this time. I was surfing the web today, trying to educate myself, and I discovered a bunch of great tips.

With a little practice, even lost causes like myself can learn to frost a cake like a pro, according to the site SheKnows.

Here's the scoop: first, follow the site's suggestions to bake a cake that's "flatter than Kansas." (Flat is important if you don't want the frosting sliding off your creation.) Second, "glue" your well-chilled cake down with a little daub of frosting. Third, spread the frosting with a spatula, using outward sweeping motions. This prevents crumbs from messing up the icing.

Did you mess up anyway? Here's a first aid trick that I'm definitely going to try: make a crumb layer. Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and let it set in the fridge or freezer. Then apply the "real" layer on top of that foundation.


  • Shoaib

    Thanks for great tips... to decorate cakes for various occasions, different kinds of cake tops and cake motto is also available... for example

  • Dawn

    I was taught the crumb layer thing by my mother when I was a child and it's been working for me for over 40 years. And I used to do professional cakes, out of my home. Try it you will be happy with it.

  • Paul Harris

    I would like to think that my being a 74 year old gay man is the reason I'm a competent baker. But, it has nothing to do with it. I love to bake and cook, it's my way of relieving stress. Over the years I've learned a great deal by trial and error mostly. Baking and cooking also is a matter of common sense, for the most part. Following directions is another very important part. In my experience, a great many people have difficulty in that department. "I didn't have time to use 2 bowls!" "I was out of this ingredient, so I used this other one instead!" are all too typical excuses given when a particular dish turns out badly. For most frosted cakes, there really shouldn't be crumbs to worry about. Buy an oven thermometer and test your ovens accuracy. You'd be amazed at how "off" they can be. Adjusting the knob to agree with the internal temperature is simple and you can always just add or subtract from the knobs position to get the internal temperature correct. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the cake pans after putting the batter in, adjusting as required to get them close to equal, this will make the finished product look and function better for frosting. Place the first layer top down on your cake plate, that way the exposed bottom will be perfectly flat. And, a side note, use a dinner plate as a cake plate. Because the rims of dinner plates are rarely flat, your upside down layer will sit better. Put the second layer bottom down on the first. The top will be slightly rounded, but, if your frosting "slides" off, there's something wrong with your frosting. It isn't the rounded top on the cake. If your using a scratch frosting, the term "spreading consistancy" is a bit subjective, at best. I not only do cakes and pies, I bake my bread from scratch as well. That way I can promounce all the ingredients. Sugar, salt, shortening, milk, water, yeast and flour! No chemical that I can't say or recoginze. Besides being healthier, my bread keeps better than store bought, regardless of price! Remember, follow the directions, pay attention, and last but not least? Enjoy

  • Laura

    Hey Paul, you seem quite knowledgable! I was wondering if you can help me out, though. Please? I find that my homemade bread never keeps as long as bread I purchase. I have always assumed this was bc it lacked perservatives, and unavoidable, so I have just made a point to toast and share.... But, reading your post makes me wonder now! WHY doesn't mine last as long...? Is it supposed to? And do you have any bread cookbooks that you would recommend? Thank you so much!

  • Diane Rixon

    Thanks, all, for your comments. Paul: I'M IN AWE!! Wish me luck!

  • 5 Comments / 1 Pages

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