Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Works-for-Me Wednesday (cake decorating tips)
It's time to post a WFMW tip. Earlier this month I posted a cake baking tip. This time I think I'll post some cake decorating tips!

Tip #1- Leveling a layered cake. When you want to created a layered cake, it's important that both cake layers are fairly level. Most cakes come out with a rounded cake top. You can take a knife and cut that round part right off. I actually use a cake leveler that I bought at Michael's. It looks like the picture shown off to the right. I love it because it's got a thin wire that cuts through the cake better than a knife, it has notches at each side that you can set higher or lower, depending on the thickness that you want to cut off, and it helps produce a more even cut.

Tip #2- Frosting with a crumb coat. Do you ever wonder how some cakes look so smooth and perfect? Well, the professionals accomplish that with what's called a crumb coat. All that means is that they frost the cake more than once. The first layer is a thin coat of frosting over the cake. It shows all the crumbs that get stuck in the frosting. Once you frost the cake with a crumb coat, let it set out for about 10 minutes so that the frosting has a chance to get a bit crusty, trapping in the crumbs. If it's not getting crusty by sitting out on your counter, then throw it into the freezer for a few minutes to let it harden a bit. After it's hardened, pull it out and frost your cake a second time. The second time make it a thick coat of frosting. You'll find that no crumbs appear in that second coat because they've been taken care of by the crumb coat!

Tip #3- Using a protective base while frosting. I don't know about you, but when I frost a cake, I like to put it on the plate that I'll be serving it on and then frost it, so that I can avoid having to move the cake after it's been frosted. But frosting can be a messy business, so I've started using a protective base on my serving plate while frosting. What I do is cut a few large triangles of wax paper and place them on the serving plate, edges either touching or overlapping slightly. Then I put my unfrosted cake on top of the wax paper and begin frosting. Right after I'm done frosting with my second and final layer, I gently pull the triangles of wax paper out from under my cake, one by one, and wipe away any minor frosting smudges or crumbs that may be lingering on my serving plate. I often pipe a shell boarder of some kind on the bottom too, just to make the cake look prettier.

Okay, I think that's all the cake decorating tips I have time for. These work for me. Maybe they'll work for you too!

If you'd like to share something that works for you, please leave me a comment. And be sure to link yourself over at Shannon's, the host of Works-For-Me Wednesday.


4:30 AM

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Trisha said...

You made me wanna bake a cake to try out all your tips. Too bad we only have a toaster oven!!

At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are so helpful! Cake decorating is so frustrating for me. When it is just our family, I don't mind, but any cake that is going to be seen by anyone else has to get decorated at the store! I often have to deal with crumbs getting into the icing -- I love the idea of a crumb coat!


At 9:56 PM, Blogger Susan @ Blessed Assurances said...

Girrrl! I am taking a cake decorating class at the local craft store and you know-you explained it so much better than the instructor. Thank you! I am going to keep this close by!

Have a great day

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Trisha said...

Thanks for visiting my WFMW. To answer your question, I added a link to my post. I didn't make these myself, but thought this link might help you.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it, I have always wanted to be able to decorate pretty cakes. I would like to learn to make flowers too.

At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the same as Trisha! I feel like baking a few cakes now and getting all creative!

The sound like very useful tips!

At 4:29 AM, Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

I needed that Crumb Coat tip! Thanks!

At 5:33 AM, Blogger Carol said...

I bet your cakes are gorgeous. I'd be as big as a barn if I lived at your house - I could totally survive on cake alone - nevermind that I'd be a walking health disaster.

At 5:38 AM, Blogger Lori said...

What awesome ideas!!!! I use to do this when my kids were little but it has been awhile. The crumb frosting is a new one for me though. I love it!!

At 5:38 AM, Blogger Lori said...

What awesome ideas!!!! I use to do this when my kids were little but it has been awhile. The crumb frosting is a new one for me though. I love it!!

At 5:41 AM, Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Crumb coat! so THAT'S how they do it!!!! Thanks!

At 7:31 AM, Blogger momof3busyboys said...

Thanks for the tip, next time I bake a cake I will use your advice.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Beck said...

Great tips! I decorate cakes by marrying a man who is very, very great at decorating cakes... then I just sit back and take all the credit.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Shalee said...

What's with the food today? First I wanted the chicken casserole, now I want to follow up with cake!

Oh, I didn't know that WFMW would be so fattening!

(Great advice, by the way. Forgive the drool, if you can.)

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I took that cake decorating class over at Michael's and loved it! I have that leveler too, but I always forget to break it out. After taking that class, I have taken a long break from making cakes. Making a couple every week kind of burnt me out ;)

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Well, Beck sure cracked me up. I cannot begin to even imagine Rob trying to decorate a cake. He thinks it's fine to just leave it in the pan and dump some frosting on top.

Great tips. I'd never thought of putting something under it so I could just slide it onto the plate. You'll always find me with a wet paper towel trying to erase the mess on the plate.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger boomama said...

I don't bake much at all, but I'll remember this post the next time I do...great tips!

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Very nicely done. Something you probably already know is to freeze your cakes after you level and split them. Somehow it seems to add to their moistness. It's also a great time saver.
You should post some of your finished cakes...if you already haven't. I'm new to WFMW.
P.S. I LOVE your Ireland photos. We went June of '05. *sigh*

At 7:03 PM, Blogger PastormacsAnn said...

I'm sending my daughters here next time they have the urge to bake.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing!

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Now I know the secret #2...thanks for sharing...


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