How to Frost a Cake

How to Frost a Cake

For best results, prepare frosting and frost cake on a cool, dry day.

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.

  1. Frosting should be at room temperature.
     
  2. Place cake on a base such as a Lazy Susan or cake turntable for easier access to all sides.
     
  3. Use a tablespoon or two of frosting to secure cake to base and prevent cake from moving.
     
  4. Using a dry pastry brush, remove any crumbs from cake.
     
  5. Apply a "primer coat" – a thin base layer of frosting.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. Freeze cake for 5 to 10 minutes. If a thicker layer is desired, frost cake with second layer of frosting.

Quick Tip

Dip spatula in hot water to clean off any crumbs or accumulation of frosting. A warmed spatula can also smooth and even out frosting.