I’ve had a few people ask me before about how I make cakes. While my process is pretty standard, I like to take photos while I bake so I thought I’d share them for anyone who is interested! Although I sell cakes, I am forever in support of people trying it out on their own! Baking is such a rewarding and fun experience for me that I hope everyone gets a chance to try it some day! So those are the motivations for this “tutorial” of sorts. Sorry for the crumby (ha) photography, but my paws are usually covered in icing and things so taking pictures isn’t the easiest of tasks. This was an order for a cookies n’ cream cake with sprinkles added in!
So, here’s step by step instructions on how to put together a basic layer cake. I am by no means a professional, and have gone through a lot of trial and error to figure out different methods and tips! But here we go.
You start by baking your cake:
I enjoy doing 9″ round 2-layer cakes, but this process is the same for any shape, size, or number of layers. You want to bake up a cake that is fairly sturdy yet retains a light, soft crumb. Too soft a cake and your frosting process becomes more difficult; too dense a cake and … well, its more like loaf-y than cake-y, I suppose! It’s really your preference; I just tend to bake cakes that are a medium denseness but still light and cakey. Once you have your two cakes (one for each layer), trim the tops of each cake to give you a nice level surface. This works best with a cake leveler, but it can be done by hand with a large serrated knife and a little bit of skill.
Next, you build your cake. Take one half of the cake and on the trimmed side, dollop a good amount of frosting right in the middle. The trimmed sides will be facing toward the inside of your cake, so this frosting constitutes the filling. I like to use 1-1.5 cups of frosting in the middle, but again, that’s preference. Since this was a cookies n’ cream cake, I spread about 3/4 cup frosting onto the cake, pressed in some crushed Oreo, and then spread another 3/4 cup frosting atop the cookies.
Ta-da! Flip the other half of the cake onto the filling, and there you have it! It looks like a giant cookie sandwich. This will be the base of your cake!
The next VERY IMPORTANT step (which makes frosting life SO much easier) is applying a crumb coat. The way one applies a crumb coat is to dollop frosting all over the cake (I start on the top and then move onto the sides), completely coating it. Then, with a pastry knife or offset spatula, you scrape off the excess frosting so only a thin layer remains, holing any loose crumbs in place. Now, at this point, I would recommend popping the baby in the freezer for a few minutes so the crumbs can really get sealed in, but you don’t HAVE to do this. It makes the frosting less sticky when applying the top coat of frosting, and the cake isn’t in danger of drying out in the freezer because of the nice little insulating crumb coat 🙂
The next step is pretty straight forward: FROST THE HECK OUT OF THAT BABY!
The thickness of the frosting is completely up to you. Frosting is an entirely cumbersome process without the proper tools and especially if you haven’t practiced. I would not by any means consider myself an expert at anything cake related, but, luckily for me I enjoy the rustic, slightly messy frosting style (because I can’t frost neatly to save my life). Tools that make your frosting life significantly easier are: large offset spatula, rotating cake stand, large ice cream scoop. Frosting amounts are easily measured and doled out with the ice cream scoop, the offset spatula helps create an even layer of frosting without dragging your hands through it by accident, and the rotating cake stand means you don’t have to A) walk in circles around the cake or B) fiddle with sliding the cake around on the counter, risking messing it up. Once you’ve got your frosting slapped on, it’s time to decorate!
Decoration can really go however suits you. I like to pipe little rosettes of frosting around the bottom of the cake and sometimes on the top, depending on what other things I’m putting on it! In this case I opted for Oreo halves around the sides of the cake and some sprinkles here and there. That’s about it!
Thanks for reading! I hope that this was helpful/interesting for some of you!