Knowledge Builders

what tool is used to frost a cake

by Prof. Isadore Weissnat I Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago

Ask our Test Kitchen cooks and they'll tell you that a small offset spatula is one of their most used tools for decorating cookies, cupcakes and cakes. A small spatula like this ($8) makes spreading an even layer of frosting onto sheet cakes and fancy decorated cakes a breeze.Jun 24, 2019

What are the best frosting tools to buy?

When it comes to frosting tools, this one is a must-have. Purchase here. While a small spatula is great for almost everything, a large offset spatula ($28) really comes in handy when frosting large cakes and layer cakes. This long spatula helps to give cakes great even layers of frosting and can make smoothing sides a cinch.

What is the best tool to decorate a cake with?

Ask our Test Kitchen cooks and they’ll tell you that a small offset spatula is one of their most used tools for decorating cookies, cupcakes and cakes. A small spatula like this ($8) makes spreading an even layer of frosting onto sheet cakes and fancy decorated cakes a breeze.

How do you use an offset spatula to frost a cake?

Start by using an offset spatula to frost the top of the cake, starting from the center. For exceptionally smooth frosting, dip the spatula into hot water, then dry it. The warm spatula will really help smooth the frosting out by melting any butter or shortening in your recipe.

What tools do you need to be a baker?

It is often over looked in the required tools a baker should have but it is necessary. You will love this simple tool and appreciate it more with every cake you make. Whether you are cutting the top off of a cake or slicing a cake into layers, a long serrated knife will be useful for cutting cakes of all kinds.


What knife to use to cut a cake in half?

Serrated Knife. The best knife for cutting a cake in half or thirds horizontally is one with a serrated blade. It will help maintain a smooth, precise cut that's perfect for when you want to add a flavorful layer of fruit jam or fluffy buttercream to a birthday cake.

What is offset spatula?

Offset Spatula. This tool will help you smooth freshly whipped buttercream over a layer cake. It's just as handy for spreading a filling between two layers of cake as it is for perfecting the final layer on the top and sides of a cake. The angled spatula means it's more comfortable to grip and flexible enough to reach any area.

What Is the Best Way to Frost a Cake?

When it comes to frosting a cake, especially for beginners, it’s best to go with a simple yet pretty finish. You won’t need a lot of fancy tools to frost a cake, so save those pastry bags and piping tips for another day (or for these cupcakes). Instead, gather up a few kitchen basics.

How to frost a cake after crumb coat?

After your crumb coat is set, you can start giving your cake the finishing touch. Start by using an offset spatula to frost the top of the cake, starting from the center. For exceptionally smooth frosting, dip the spatula into hot water, then dry it.

What is a crumb coat?

A crumb coat is simply a very thin layer of frosting that you spread over the whole cake. This helps trap and contain crumbs and serves as a nice base for your showstopping finish.

How to make a cake stand?

Prep your serving dish or cake stand by lining it with strips of waxed paper. This will help give you a clean finish at the end. Then, put your first layer in place. If you’d like, spread a small dollop of frosting onto your cake plate before laying down your first layer—it’ll help keep your cake from moving.

How to crumb coat a cake?

To crumb coat a cake, just spread a very thin layer of icing over the cake using an offset spatula— here’s our favorite plus a few more essential cooking tools . Try to make this coat as thin and even as possible. Once it’s finished, give your cake a quick chill in the refrigerator to help this base layer set.

How to get a smooth finish on a cake?

To get a nice smooth finish, be sure to keep cleaning off the spatula as you go — a bench scraper also works well for the sides, too. With a little bit of effort, you’ll have a perfectly smooth, flat finish in no time. If you’re satisfied with the look of the cake, you can stop right here.

How to finish off a chocolate cake?

If you want to finish off your cake with a little bit of flair, you can go one step further and add swirls to your cake. Using a teaspoon—you can use the same hot water method as above—spread on swirls of frosting. Use the backside of the spoon. It’s what gives this chocolate cake such a pretty finish.

How long does it take to make a frosted cake?

This is done for at least 7 minutes to reach the right consistency.

What is fondant cake?

Fondant is a sugar paste that can give your cakes a clean, smooth finish. It is sweet and sugary, and can be easily coloured or flavoured. There are two types of fondants—Rolled Fondant and Poured Fondant.

What is a naked cake?

Naked cakes are essentially layers of cake with some filling in between, without any frosting on the exterior. It started as an alternative to heavily frosted cakes we are familiar with.

What is pastry cream?

Also known as crème pâtissière, pastry cream is a thick custard made by cooking together milk, eggs, and sugar. We use it a lot in our cream puffs, but it also tastes great between your cake layers.

What is chocolate ganache?

When made into a thicker consistency, chocolate ganache makes a great filling for your layered cakes. With a rich and intense chocolate taste, it’ll add extra decadence to your cake!

Can you use meringue as frosting?

Beating egg whites and sugar gives you a light, airy mixture known as meringue, which you can use as a frosting too! Note that it’s not the same as meringue buttercream, since this one doesn’t use butter.

Can you fill a cake with the same frosting?

Besides holding the layers together, adding some filling adds flavour and height to your cake. You may fill your cake with the same frosting, but these are equally great options if you’re looking to add extra flavour. Remember to level the filling with an offset spatula before stacking.

What is a cake leveler?

A cake leveler does exactly what the name implies – levels cakes. Each side has numbers on it so that you can line up the wire to create a perfectly leveled cake. I have THIS one by Wilton.

What kind of paper do you use to make cakes?

Parchment Paper. I think it’s also really nice to have parchment paper. Using a combination of cooking spray and parchment paper will help your cakes come out of the cake pans really nicely. You can get pre-cut parchment rounds like THESE or trace your pans on parchment paper and cut out each circle.

What tool can you use to get sharp edges?

Another tool that will change your world is the acrylic disk . You’ll use the disk to help you get sharp edges and straight sides. I’ve created a full tutorial on how to use the disks HERE.

Where can I find cake boards?

I’d also suggest getting cake boards, something you can find at your local craft store like Joann’s, Michaels or Hobby Lobby. They come pre-cut and having one under your cake will help you easily slide your cake lifter under the cake to move it.

Can you make a cake without tools?

Cake Without the Tools. While all these tools are fun to have and certainly will make decorating your cake a bit easier, not having them shouldn’t be the reason you don’t make a cake from scratch. You can make all the same delicious cakes in 9″x13″ pans. I recorded an IGTV that you can watch HERE.

Can you use a cake lifter to stack birthday cakes?

This cake lifter is actually quite heavy and will support your cakes nicely. Just make sure you don’t rely solely on the lifter. You’ll still need to place your hand under the lifter a bit to support the cake. Stacking birthday cakes will become a piece of cake 😉

What is the best tool to use for baking cakes?

Perfect for the bottom of cake pans and cookie sheet trays, parchment is the multi purpose, non stick tool that every baker should use. But a big pack of pre cut parchment sheets of a simple roll- using parchment will greatly help your cake baking skills.

Why do you put a cake on a cooling rack?

Pop your warm cakes out onto a cooling rack to ensure that they don’t stick in the pan forever or continue baking from carry over heat. A cooling rack is the perfect in between spot to put a cake after the oven and before the fridge.

What are offset spatulas used for?

Both sizes have their benefits and as you make more and more cakes, you will find more and more uses for this awesome tool! For example, offset spatulas are also great to make batter in a cake pan flat and evenly spread in the pan before baking. And speaking of cake pans….

What is a pastry brush?

From spreading butter on cake pans to soaking cakes in simple syrup, a pastry brush is a little tool that is very useful in cake baking. It is often over looked in the required tools a baker should have but it is necessary.

What kind of bowl should I use for cake mix?

Having a small, medium and large mixing bowl is very important and something you will use with almost every cake recipe. Plastic, stainless steel or glass, there are lots of bowls you can choose from. I especially like the bowls with matching lids so you can easily cover and store batters or ingredients.

How many different types of pastry tips are there?

There are a million different types of pastry tips that you can buy and each one makes its own cool little pattern. Luckily, there are convenient sets of pastry tips already picked out for you!

What is the best part about a stand mixer?

The best part about a stand mixer is that you can add the ingredients, turn it on, and walk away- the mixer will continue mixing while you are free to measure the next ingredients, do some dishes or consult your recipe for the next steps.

Can you use a metal grid for a drip tray?

A metal grid can work overtime as a drip tray. Mirror glaze cakes require you to pour a gelatin-based icing over the cake, letting it drip off the sides. You'll eliminate ugly pooling at the bottom and have an easier time transferring the finished product to a cake plate if you pour over a grid rack.

Can you smooth out cake batter with a rolling pin?

Cake batter doesn't require smoothing out with a rolling pin like cookie dough, but when you're decorating a finished cake with fondant, you'll need to get it flat. A classic wood one will do.

Can you decorate a vintage milk glass cake stand?

Not all cake stands are created equally, so don't start decorating on your vintage milk glass pedestal. Opt for a no-frills stand that revolves. That way, you move the cake while you're working on it instead of walking in circles around it.

What tool do you use to icing a cake?

The tool I like to use is my handy dandy butter knife. Flat, easy to handle, and it does the same thing as those fancy cake spatulas that are basically a glorified butter knife. Just keep easy strokes and make sure that it is uniform in the motions you use. So I like to start with placing icing on the top of the cake and working the icing out towards the edges and then to go alone the edges and down the sides. It is all about smooth strokes and not using too much icing or too little.

How to frost a cake?

I mean utensil of choice. The first layer is usually the "crumb coat" which acts as the glue that holds the cake together. Now this can be messy and not exactly the cleanest coating, just give the cake a little thin coat of love with the frosting. Once you apply a thin layer of frosting over the cake, pop it into the fridge to solidify and firm up and then you can add more frosting and even add fancy things like fondant and decorations. Now these tips and tricks are so easy anyone can use them whether you have years of culinary experience under your belt, or just love to bake for fun. These are all things you can find in your daily kitchen or grocery store so try out your newfound pastry level knowledge at your next party or special occasion! You could be the next cake boss! For a video on how to actually do these tips and give you a visual watch spoon's video tutorial on how to frost a cake

How to make a cake look better when frosting?

Put a dab of frosting on whatever source you will be serving the cake on to prevent it from sliding. If you don’t have a cake stand, turn a large, wide-bottomed mixing bowl upside down and place a plate on top of it. Frosting is easier when the cake is elevated and closer to eye level.

Can you use a butter knife for frosting?

Now you can always use the butter knife, or you could use a handy- dandy spatula. Rubber spatulas come in all different shapes and sizes which can be great for any size cake you make be frosting. From cupcakes to giant wedding cakes, you can choose the right size and the best part is they are easy to wash! They are all pretty much non-stick too so it helps to keep the frosting easily spread onto the cake.


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