Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Frost a Cake

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I made this Peanut Butter Birthday Cake (adapted from Joy the Baker’s recipe – here) for my bestie Marie’s birthday last month. (Marie is one half of the awesome duo responsible for this surprise last year). 

Everyone agrees that the peanut butter frosting is the best part of this cake.  Here’s a guide to frosting your birthday cake (the easy way) in 7 easy steps.

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A few tips before we begin:

Tip 1: Make more frosting than you need.  Frosting will inevitably end up stuck on the spoon, and the sides of the bowl, and on your clothes and in your hair and mouth.  That excess icing adds up. I doubled the recipe.  That may seem extreme, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about too much frosting before.  “Oh dang, just what are we going to do with the leftover frosting?”  We’re going to lick it slowly off a cold spoon while staring dreamily into space, that’s what.

Tip 2: Once it’s made, chill your frosting for an hour or two, then take it out of the fridge precisely 15 minutes before you start the frosting process.  This is the only part of my step-by-step guide that must be followed exactly.  It ensures the frosting is still chilled, but malleable. (I just typed the word malleable on my blog – whaaaat?)

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Step 1:  Place the cake on the cake stand you intend to serve it on.  There’s no moving the cake post-frosting. 

Step 2:  Spoon a lot of the mixture on to the top of the cake.

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Step 3:  Start smoothing the frosting out over the cake with a metal spoon, pushing dollops over the edges.  Add more frosting as necessary.  The spoon should never touch the cake, only the frosting.  We don’t want crumby icing.

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Step 4:  Keep smoothing and dolloping until you can’t see any more cake.  Your cake will look like a messy blob at this stage, but don’t panic.  If you can only see frosting, you’ve done it right.

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Step 5:  Take a clean metal spoon and make a swirly pattern on the top of the cake.  Work from the outsides in, again not touching the cake.

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Step 6:  Now, take a flat (butter) knife and trace around the rim, roughly flattening the sides.  This will ‘trim’ a lot of excess frosting from the sides, which goes back in the bowl (for later).

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Step 7:  Take a dry, clean napkin and wipe the messy frosting from the edges of the serving plate.  Immediately follow with a clean, damp napkin to remove the sticky frosting residue. 

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And that’s it!  I kept the decoration pretty simple this time, but you can be as creative as you like!

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Happy Birthday Marie – I loved our mini celebration! xo

11 comments:

Camila Faria said...

Oh yeah! That's my kind of cake: pretty and with tons of frosting!

Emma Henderson said...

Oh my GOD that looks amazing. My birthday's in February - just sayin'.

HelloSweetcheeks said...

Dang, girl...you had me at peanut butter cake!! Also, you're TOTALLY a pro at frosting! Looks great!

Gloria said...

Thanks for this tutorial - I've never been very good at frosting cakes...I'm an expert at eating them though - ha!

LeeLee said...

Yum! This looks delish.

Shoko said...

what a beautiful beautiful cake!

Ashley said...

peanut butter...frosting?? Why did you introduce this concept to me? How genius!

lucia m said...

thanks for the tips!

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Audrey Allure said...

Looks delicious!

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Diana Mieczan said...

What a beautiful cake, sweetie and peanut butter frosting - yum! Kisses