How to Frost a Cake
Always apply frosting to a cooled cake that's been removed from the pan – a very cold or frozen cake will be even easier to frost, with fewer crumbs.
- Frosting should be at room temperature.
- Place cake on a base such as a Lazy Susan or cake turntable for easier access to all sides.
- Use a tablespoon or two of frosting to secure cake to base and prevent cake from moving.
- Using a dry pastry brush, remove any crumbs from cake.
- Apply a "primer coat" – a thin base layer of frosting.
- To frost cake, start at the top, placing approximately 1/2 cup of frosting on center of cake. Using a narrow metal spatula with a back-and-forth motion, spread the frosting from the cake center out to the edges. Try not to lift the spatula.
- Spread the frosting down the sides. If cake is sitting on a Lazy Susan or turntable, smooth the cake sides by holding the spatula against the frosting and turning the cake, applying additional frosting as needed to fully cover.
- Freeze cake for 5 to 10 minutes. If a thicker layer is desired, frost cake with second layer of frosting.
Dip spatula in hot water to clean off any crumbs or accumulation of frosting. A warmed spatula can also smooth and even out frosting.