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Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Get Smooth Frosting

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

This is Part Two of Make Cakes Like a Pro. Check out Part 1: Baking, Leveling, and Filling.

Ever wondered how bakery cakes end up with such lovely, smooth frosting? Well, there’s a simple trick to it and I bet you already have the stuff. 

Are you ready for it? 

It’s paper towels (or computer paper). Oh, and a clean spatula. Really. 

But before you get to smoothing things down, it’s helpful to know how to properly frost a cake. This helps you get the nice shape and makes everything easier. So two things to cover today. How to frost a cake, and how to smooth things down so it looks good. 

Frosting a Cake – Step-by-Step!

Start by heaping a giant pile of frosting right in the center of the cake. I mean giant. You’re going to take a bunch off later.

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

Now you’re going to use a back and forth motion to spread it across the entire top. You’re trying to get it level, not smooth, so push from the center out until the top of the cake looks level. Just let the excess hang over the edge. 

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

That’s what you’re shooting for. Level top (don’t worry about smooth) and frosting hanging over the edges. 

Now, you’re going to push the frosting down the sides. You can add frosting as needed to cover the cake. You want a nice thick layer all over. I like to use an angled spatula for this, but a butterknife will work. 

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

Ah yes. A masterpiece. Or not. Anyway, now’s the part we take some of the frosting off. An angled spatula is really, really useful for this part, and I definitely recommend one if you think you’re going to be making a cake or three. 

Place the tip of your spatula on the plate and angle it outwards, then apply a little pressure, and turn the plate. You’re taking off a layer of frosting. 

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

You can do a couple rounds to try to get things as smooth and even as you can. You’ll end up with this:

How to Frost a Cake | Homan at Home

 

Pretty smooth already, right? The spatula method also gives you those nice, straight sides that make the cake look so good. 

The next step is super fun. You get to leave your cake alone for 15-20 minutes.  Frosting does something called crusting. It basically gets slightly hard, which is why the smoothing technique will work. So step aside, and let the frosting crust.

Now for the paper towel/computer paper trick. If you’re going to use paper towels, you want a brand that’s totally smooth. This is why I use computer paper, but the towels are better if you can find them. Either way, press the paper up against the side of the cake and use a completely clean spatula to press and smooth the frosting underneath. 

How to Frost a Cake | Homan at Home

 

You’ll need to change the paper occasionally when it starts to get wet. Once you’ve done the sides, lay the paper on the top and do the same thing. 

Here’s what it looks like when you finish!

Make Cakes Like a Pro: How to Frost a Smooth Cake | Homan at Home

 

Super smooth!

Did you try this tutorial? How’d it go? Let us know in the comments!

How to Frost a Cake | Homan at Home

 

7 Comments

grace

first things first, your frosting looks delicious! great tips, too–as a bit of a perfectionist, flawlessly frosting a cake is always a big deal for me! 🙂
grace recently posted…a lotta ricottaMy Profile

Aimee

Really good to know! I’m horrible at frosting cakes. 🙂

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

Thanks for all these tips, I really need to get myself a angled spatula pronto!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Happy Birthday Xanadu!My Profile

Homan at Home

[…] to take a boring old cake to the next level? If you’ve followed parts I and II of my Make Cakes like a Pro series, then you’ve already got a perfectly layered and smoothly […]

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We're the Homans - Diane, Dustin, Alex, and Faith (not pictured - she's really new!). We love blogging deliciously simple recipes and kid-friendly crafts. Thanks for stopping by!

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