Cakes with sharp edges are seen everywhere. Are sharp edges on buttercream cakes achievable? I have always wondered how cake decorators got such sharp edges using buttercream and I was not able to do so. Getting sharp edges on a cake can be quite difficult. However, with the right technique, it should be very easy.
I know a thing or two about the difficulty; because when I started decorating cakes, it took me HOURS. You might not believe that now but it is true. My frosting skills needed much help.
I wanted to save time and headache. Really, I wanted to get some sleep. Frosting cakes were chipping into my sleep time. Then add a baby to that equation, which equals NO sleep. Being self-taught, this meant either Youtube or Google. I wondered was it even possible to achieve this?
The first thing I discovered was that the buttercream consistency was important. There is one consistency for a filling, another for piping and another for frosting the outside of a cake. What… my head was spinning. When I started out, I used American buttercream (i.e. whatever was listed with the cake recipe plus another two-pound bag = very sweet). Then, I used a crusting buttercream (which still =very sweet) but works great. Finally, I discovered Italian Meringue buttercream, I was in heaven. It had a perfect consistency; it was smooth, creamy, light and delicious just like ice cream.
The technique I use is what I call the “G Method,” which does not involve flipping the cake. Seriously, once I tried to flip a 10-inch cake and it almost fell out of my hand, that was the last time I did that. Nothing against flipping the cake, but, it is quite scary. The “G” method is very easy and the best part, it does not require expensive tools or acrylics.
Step 1: Sharp edges on cake starts by having cake layers that are torted, filled and leveled.
Now that we have that out of the way lets begin. Trim the cakes and remove the dark edges. Don’t worry if your cake is not leveled at this point, you can level it out later or if the cakes are not trimmed evenly. Add the cake to the first board using some buttercream. Center the cake on the board. Chill the cake, the next step requires the filling to be set.
Step 2: Cut out a parchment circle the same size as your cake circle (optional)
This is optional because if you are going to discard the board then, it doesn’t matter.
Step 3: Place a small amount of buttercream in few places on one of the cake board, then add the parchment paper. Make sure you remove any excess parchment paper that is sticking out.
Step 4: Place the cake on the nonslip mat, then add A LOT of buttercream to the top of the cake.
Step 5: Place the second cake board on top and make sure the cake boards line up on the top and the bottom.
Hold your offset spatula at a 90-degree angle and make sure the cake boards are in line all around. Another method is to use your level on the side to make sure the board is leveled. Then, place your level on top of the board and add some pressure to level the top of the cake.
Step 6: Begin adding buttercream all around the cake. Continue to fill until there is enough buttercream around the cake.
Step 7: Place the bench scraper in one hand and use the other hand to turn the turntable. This removes the excess buttercream from the cake. If there are any spots that need to be filled in, fill and remove excess until the cake is smooth. I usually double check here to make sure my board is still in line.
Step 8: Once you are comfortable with the cake place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use your offset spatula to remove cake board. At this point, if there is any imperfection at the top you can fill it in and smooth to your liking.
That is it, simple right. What is your favorite method to frost cakes? Leave a comment below.
Just as promised, part II of the two-part series. Part II is how to…
It is not often that I get this excited about trying out something new cake…