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October 19, 2022 5 min read


Do you enjoy baking and are looking for simple ways to frost your cakes? Cake frosting is an art form and can be a great method to exhibit creativity, even for those who aren't big bakers. In this guide, we will show you how to make stunning frosted cakes and what tools are needed to do so.


The Tools You Need


Having the right tools can make cake decorating much simpler. Here are a few tools you need to frost a cake:


1) Offset Spatula

 A person using an offset spatula to ice a cake

Credit: Envato Element/ Rawpixel 


An offset spatula is one of the most crucial cake-decorating tools. These tools can be used to level out your cake batter, filling, and icing.

If you're trying to find the ideal icing spatula to fit your hand and make the job easier, search for a small, compact one. Cake decorating is less difficult and easier to control with smaller spatulas.


2) Bench Scraper

 A bench scraper made of wood and steel with flour on the bench

Credit: Envato Element/ lyulkamazur


A bench scraper is used to evenly spread the frosting along the sides of the cake. In addition to decorating cakes, you can use it to cut, slice, and knead the dough for other cooking tasks.


3) Cake Decorating Turntable

 A cake being frosted on a cake decorating turntable

Credit: BBC Good Food


To make frosting cakes much easier, consider getting a high-quality turntable. Spending money on a cheap plastic one is a waste since it will wobble and jerk as it turns, leaving your frosting uneven.


4) Cake Board

 Round cake boards that are golden in color

Credit: BIG BOX


Cake boards make it simple to move a cake from the turntable to the refrigerator. These boards are made of disposable cardboard and are available in several designs, such as white, silver, and gold.


5) Non-Slip Pad

 A non-slip pad on a cake turntable

Credit: Ateco


Placing a nonslip pad between the turntable and cake board can prevent the cake board from moving while you're icing the cake. When icing a cake, you want to ensure minimal movement for a perfect finish.


6) Serrated Knife

 A person using a serrated knife to cut a red velvet cake in half

Credit: Envato Element/ atercorv


A serrated knife can be used to cleanly cut the layers of your cake. Additionally, these knives can be used to cut delicately textured cakes to prevent squishing.


7) Cake Leveler

 A person using a cake leveler to cut a cake equally

Credit: iStock 


If you want your cake to have a neat and polished appearance, you need a cake leveler. Cake levelers consist of an extremely thin metal wire that is drawn tight from one side to the other and a long, curved rod that is comfortable to grasp in your palm. They frequently have flat legs that rest on your counter and can easily and flatly slice off the top of your cake.


8) Piping Bag and Tips

 Piping bags with frosting being prepared to be used on cup cakes

Credit: Envato Element/ viktoriian


Pastry bags and tips are one of the most essential tools for cake decorating. When choosing pastry bags and tips, make sure that they are made of silicone, are of high quality, and can endure frequent use.


How To Frost a Cake for Beginners


Follow this step-by-step guide to frost a cake using very basic techniques:


Step 1: Level Your Cake Layers

 A person cutting the cake in half on a mirror chopping board

Credit: Envato Element/ bilanol


Make sure your cake has cooled down before starting to level it. Warm cakes are more brittle and produce liquid frosting when decorated.

Once the cake layers have completely cooled to room temperature, use a serrated knife or cake leveler to precisely level it. Make sure there are no "domes" on top and that the sides are smooth. This makes it easier for your layers to stack.


Step 2: Stack the Cake Layers

 A person frosting a cake with a knife

Credit: Envato Element/ Shandor_gor


The next step is to stack your layers. Line your cake plate or cake stand with waxed paper or a cake board to prepare it. After that, center the first cake layer on the turntable/cake board and top it with a generous amount of frosting. Try to create an even surface to guarantee that your cake is neat.

Next, place the second cake layer on top, top-side down. Gently press down on it to make sure it sticks. If you want to make a two-layer cake, stop here; otherwise, keep layering until you are done with all of your layers.


Step 3: Give the Cake a Crumb Coat

 A person putting a thin layer of icing on the cake before frosting properly

Credit: Envato Element/ Unai82


Once the layers are piled and appear neat and even, it's time to quickly crumb coat the cake. The crumb coat is a very thin layer of icing that is spread over the entire cake's surface. Crumb coating helps to capture and contain crumbs.

To give the cake a crumb coat, spread a very thin layer of icing over it using an offset spatula. To make it easier, work with a quarter of the cake at a time while rotating the turntable. Make sure that this coat is as even and thin as possible.


Step 4: Chill the Cake

 A person putting their cake in the fridge to chill

Credit: Envato Element/ Rawpixel


Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to chill it and firm up the crumb layer. If your kitchen is warm or if you want to do extensive decorating, doing this can make a big difference.


Step 5: Apply the Last Layer of Frosting

 A person putting a final layer of frosting on their cake

Credit: Envato Element/ DegrooteStock


After the cake has chilled with the crumb coat, it is time to add the final layer of frosting. Spread a good amount of frosting over the top of the cake in a uniform layer before extending it toward the edges. Spread any excess frosting along the sides of the cake. Once the cake is thoroughly covered, use the cake scraper and an offset spatula to level the sides. 


Step 6: Decorate the Cake

 A person decorating the cake with a piping bag

Credit: Envato Element/ 9_fingers_


If you're going for a more homemade cake, you can skip this step and just stop with the frosting.

With the help of your piping bag and piping tips, you can create a wide range of gorgeous designs including stars, roses, and leaves. To begin, smoothen up the piping bag's edges by folding them in. Cut off the pointed end of the bag, then place your metal piping tip inside. Push it down until the metal tip just peeks out of the gap you created. After filling your bag with frosting, you are prepared to pipe whatever you feel like. Piping correctly requires time and practice, so don't be discouraged if you get it wrong.


What Type of Frosting Should You Use?

 A carrot cake with cream cheese and tiny carrots made of frosting

Credit: Envato Element/ Barbara Neveu


The icing will vary depending on the cake you intend to make. Below is a list of several common cakes and their icing types:


  • For chocolate cake and plain layer cakes, buttercream frosting works best.
  • For a layered red velvet cake, the typical frosting used is ermine.
  • Cream cheese frosting is perfect for two-layer carrot cakes.
  • Use whipped cream frosting for a sheet cake.




Follow the steps above to get a beautifully frosted cake. If you want to precisely frost your cake, you must keep practicing. After all, practice makes perfect. If your first attempts don't result in perfect results, don't give up.

By grasping the basics and arming yourself with the required tools, you can begin to improve. If you're looking for a complete cake decorating kit, check out Pepe Nero.


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