Buttercream Frosting: There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. She highly recommends it for decorating your cakes. Frosting is also available in grocery stores, but if you have the time you may wish to try making your own.

l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites

1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)

Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.


Frosting a CakeTools Needed:  Cake wheel and round board with doily or plate, baked cake, serrated knife, frosting, and spatula.
Cake wheel, spatula, round board and doily-purchase at crafts store.
Cake and frosting-make cake from scratch or use a box mix, use buttercream frosting recipe or purchase frosting at grocery store.
Serrated knife-use the one you have to cut bread1. Take your cooled, baked cake and place it on your round board w/doily. (Tip: if you are going to bring your cake to a party on a plate, frost your cake on the same plate you are going to travel with)
2. Take your serrated knife, and slice off the top of the cake so it’s level. (Tip: you’ll notice that when a cake is baked it forms a dome shape on the top, but when you purchase a cake the cake looks perfectly level. Cutting the dome top of the cake off is how to get your cake level).
3. With your serrated knife, slice the cake through the middle so that you create two layers of cake.
4. Remove the top  piece, and put frosting on the bottom piece. (Tip: we all love frosting, but you don’t want the frosting in the middle of the cake to be as thick as the cake so be generous, but not too generous).
5. It’s time to smooth the frosting out. Using your spatula, spin your cake wheel or plate and hold spatula at an angle to remove the excess frosting.
6. Place top of cake evenly on top and pat down.
7. You are now going to skim coat the cake by spinning your wheel and scraping down the sides of the cake and smoothing on top. (Tip:  As you remove frosting, clean off your spatula by wiping on the side of a bowl).
8. Clean down your board or plate by running your spatula around the bottom of the cake and spinning your wheel or plate.
9. Put your cake in the refrigerator to chill for 30-40 minutes to seal it before you frost the cake. (Tip: chilling the cake holds all the crumbs together before you apply your final coat of frosting).
10. Once your cake is chilled and set, it’s time to apply the final coat of frosting. Apply frosting right on top (2 scoops is generally good).
11. You want to coat your cake by pushing the frosting over the top of the cake. Spin your wheel to do the work and flatten the frosting over the top.
12. Look at your sides to see where you need to start frosting. Start with the spot that has the heaviest amount of frosting over the top and work around the sides.
13. When covered, stop to make sure all of the sides are covered and remove any excess frosting. Hold your spatula and spin the wheel or plate. Your wheel or plate does all the work! If there are any bare spots just reapply.
14. Your top edge does not look smooth so use your off set spatula to wipe down the edges. Start on the sides and work in. Make sure to clean your spatula in between each swipe.
15. Remove any excess frosting on the bottom to get a clean, finished look.
16. You are ready to decorate!

Courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2010.

The techniques shown here on how to frost a cake are very easy to follow but Kelly recommends that you have the right equipment on hand. See below for that list.

For the cake you can make cake from scratch or use a box mix, and for the frosting you can use the buttercream frosting recipe provided here or purchase frosting at a grocery store.

OK. So my cake has been sitting in the refrigerator for about a half an hour to get chilled. The reason you want to chill your cake before you put your final frosting on is that it actually holds all the crumbs together when you go to apply your last layer of frosting. This way, you'll be sure not to have those little freckled little marks of cake all over your frosting is because you took the time to chill it and have it ready for you.

So we're going to take our frosting and we're going to apply it right on top. Now, while you're decorating, you're going to want to put more on, and you're going to take it off. OK? So you're going to put as much on as you're comfortable with. That's two good scoops of frosting. This is going to cover the whole entire cake with some excess is going to be taken off.

Pushing the frosting over your cake, you're going to be using your wheel, and you're going to be twisting your wheel and turning it. You'll take the extra frosting and you're going to put it back into your bowl. You're covering your cake like a mushroom. This is the best way to ensure that you get the size, it comes down evenly, and that it's a nice, smooth-looking cake.

One thing you're going to want to watch out for is that you can get like an avalanche. You think there's too much frosting going on one side. Go with that gut reaction and remove that right away because you don't want it to cause a problem and just fall right over. So I take a little bird's eye view of my cake. I always spin it around, and I think where am I'm going to start?

So I see a good spot right here where the frosting is. I'm going to put it right down. I'm using my offset. I'm kind of looking over it rather than in front of you because you can't see yourself.

You need to look over almost step onto your tippy toes. I started here when I was frosting to get it on the sides, because my frosting was a little bit heavier, and I didn't want it to fall over. This is always a good place to start when you're looking at your cake. It's never going to be the same place each time too. So that's one of the fun things about decorating.

So as we, go I'm just taking my time doing short, little swipes of frosting. And I'm not trying to cover the whole thing at one time. I'm actually taking the time to make sure that I do an even amount of frosting. At one point, like now, I've run out of frosting up on the top. That's when I'm going to go back to bowl, and I'm just going to add a little bit more frosting to the sides. And as I go, I find other areas that have enough frosting or I have to reapply.

Now, once you actually get the whole thing covered, you just want to stop and take a quick peek to make sure that there's no bare spots. A bare spot will kill you when you're going to go decorate. Now, you're going to use your spatula, and my spatula is staying in one location. My wheel is doing all the work. I'm just holding this almost as a cutting edge to remove the excess frosting.

You want to watch about the amount of pressure that you're applying depending on how thick you want the coating to be. And I'm just holding my spatula, and my wheel is doing all the work. And as you go, you're gonna see the cake.

And I see some brown spots, so what I do when I see that brown spot, I'm going to stop, and I'm going to reapply. Just enough to cover it. And we spin just like that. Just like magic. And voila, your cake is frosted.

Now, we gotta deal with the edge up top. This is when you need your clean spatula. You're going to take your offset, you're going to wipe down the edges.

Envision the pie chart on top of your cake, and you're going to cut it into sections. Don't start in the middle and go out because then you're going to create a mushroom again. You're going to start on the sides, and you're going to go in.

So I start here. I like to start right in front because I have a good look at it. And I take it and I cut it right in and I stop. I clean in between each swipe, both on my bowl and then with my finger. Right across. Clean. Swipe. Remove. Clean, swipe, and then remove.

Depending on how big your cake is depends on how many times you have to do it. But remember, you can always add decorations to it. Now, before I'm done, I just want to remove the excess frosting on the bottom because that is definitely one difference between a home decorator and a professional decorator. You don't want your work area to look messy. You want to clean up.

So you're going to take your spatula and you're going to just remove the excess just like that. And there you have a perfectly based, finished, decorated cake that we can take this, and we do many, many different things with it.

Frosting a Cake
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