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Hip Hip Hooray! You’ve made it! 🎉 It’s finally time to assemble your cake! 🎂

You’ve been training for this moment since the beginning. And I’m not sugar coat it (pun fully intended). Frosting a cake smooth is a real challenge. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past. And it’s something that I’m still working to improve. But, I’ve found that when I spend enough time working on a cake, I’ve surprised myself. I’ve managed to make some truly impressive cakes.

And to be honest, I don’t consider myself a very good cake decorator. Especially compared to a lot of other bakers out there. But with enough determination and frosting, I’ve figured it out. Or, at least parts of it.

And you can too!

I mean, yes. It will take a lot of patience and a host of frosting tools. But if you’re dedicated to figuring it out, I’m sure that you’ll master it soon enough. Because if you want something badly enough, you chase it. And I’m very serious: If you spend time figuring out how to frost, you will succeed. It might not be on the first cake. Or the second. Or even the third. But you will get better.

And eventually, you can frost cakes like this:

This is a homemade Vanilla Layer Cake that I sprayed with edible gold spray paint and finished with pearl sprinkles.
This spring time confection is just a white box cake. But the star of the Robin’s Egg Cake is the color. The robin’s egg blue elevates it to a whole new level. Plus, the toasted phyllo dough “nest” and the malt ball eggs are just too cute!
This Strawberry Lemon Cake is a true delight to the taste buds. And it’s not so bad on the eyes, either. 👀😍

Now, earlier I mentioned frosting gadgets.

So let’s talk about what tools you’ll need in order to frost like a pro. Or, an aspiring pro at least. You’ll need:

  • An offset spatula
  • A turn table
  • A cake icing smoother
  • Paper towels

You’ll also probably want piping bags and frosting tips to decorate the cake after-the-fact. But those aren’t necessary for frosting a cake smooth. Those are more for the creative aesthetics that come afterwards. And lastly, as an optional tool, I also sometimes use a cake icer tip and a piping bag to apply my frosting to my cake. It’s convenient, but you can do without it.

The choice is yours.

Oh, and you’ll also need a truck load of frosting! 🚚 Which is less of a tool, but still an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to decorating cakes well. 🧩

Once you’ve assembled your tools, 🛠 it’s time to assemble your cake.

Start by setting the first cake layer onto your lazy Susan. Top it with frosting and smooth the frosting level with an offset spatula or a knife. Repeat this process for every layer of cake you have- that is, if you’re making a multi-layered cake. Also, be aware of how much frosting you add between each layer. You’ll want to add the same amount in between every layer.

From here, it’s time for the crumb coat.

Personally, I have a hard time with crumb coats. I think I add too much frosting to the sides of my cake for it to be considered a true crumb coat. But at this stage, do your best to wrap the outside of your cake in a thin amount of frosting. The most important thing of all is that your cake layers line up. You don’t want the layers offset so that they are noticeably out of alinement. Imagine looking at your cake from a bird’s eye view. You want to see one circle of cake. And that’s it.

If your cake layers aren’t lining up right, gently push them back into place by hand.

Next, put your cake in the freezer. Yup, you heard right. Put it in the freezer to solidify and become one single, cold mass of cake. You can put it in the fridge if you’d prefer, but I’m a naturally impatient person. So I like the quick option.

After your cake has firmed up, it’s time to frost.

Remove your cake from the freezer or fridge and apply frosting to the side of the cake. You can either use the cake icer tip in a piping bag or you can apply it with an offset spatula. And you’re actually going to want to apply more frosting than you’re going to use.

Why?

So that you can smooth the frosting on the sides of your cake taller than the actual top of your cake. Obviously. 🧐 Which I know sounds weird. But I promise it makes all the difference in the world. 🌎 Seriously, when I learned this, it revolutionized the way I frost cakes.

But first, before I give all my secrets away, I have a confession.

The majority of your decorating time will be boring. You’ll just spin your lazy Susan, again and again, while you run your cake icing smooth along the sides of the cake. And don’t stop smoothing until the sides are clean and smooth. As needed, you can add more frosting to fill in any gaps in your frosting. Or you can wipe away any excess that you pull off. (Which, fun fact, you can reuse as long as there aren’t any crumbs in it.)

Then, once the sides are even, you go back and address the extra tall sides at the top. Here you drag your offset spatula over that excess frosting, pulling towards the center of the cake. This removes the bonus frosting from the cake and creates the most incredibly crisp edges.

No joke: This is the trick that separates those who can bake and people who are bakers.

And if you’re here, that means you want to be a baker. And I want that for you too!

What happens next? Well, after you use your offset spatula, wipe it clean with a paper towel. Grease left behind from the frosting is fine. But you don’t want there to be any frosting left on the spatula before you use it again. Then simply repeat this process until the entire cake has beautiful edges!

And then you’re D.O.N.E. done!

So, how about I stop gabbing about “how to frost a cake” and instead actually show you how to frost a cake! Does that sound good to you? Me too!

Click into the video below to see me in action!

Feel smarter now? Cause you sure look like a smarty pants!

Phew, now that I’ve frosted that cake, I’m ready to move on to something new and different. I want to talk about, well, it’s still frosting, so it’s not too different. But I want to talk about multicolored frosting!

Click the Next button to learn more about how you can taste the rainbow. (And, no. I don’t mean Skittles!)