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.

This is one of the fun steps in the art of cake decorating, creating borders and scrolls around the sides and edges of the cake along with attractive borders on the upper and lower rims.

So now, we've frosted our cake. For many of you, it may or may not turn out exactly how you wanted it to. That's when you find yourself one of these great, nifty little combs. It's a decorating comb. It's a triangle that has three sides, and there are literally just different widths of comb-shaped edge to it. You want to decide which one that you want to use. If you don't have one of these at home, go back to your serrated knife that we talked about earlier, because this is basically the exact same thing. So you can always use this too if you're in a bind.

We've got our comb, and we're using this. I like to hold it right in front of me so I can actually look, and I can apply pressure, and I can turn the wheel as needed. But to show you at home, I'm going to move the comb right over the edge so you guys can see exactly what the results are of this comb.

So it sits onto the board or onto your plate. It goes into your cake just a little bit. You basically just want to just touch the edge of your cake.

Now, you're going to leave the comb, not applying pressure into the cake, but just spinning your wheel. So it goes here, and your just going to spin it just like that. And hopefully, it looks like a well-combed cake. That gives you that combed edge, but makes it look like it's done on purpose. So if you had any areas on your cake that you didn't like, you can use that trick.

Take your offset again, but this time, you have to go over it, and you have to clean the top again. Because what happened with that comb is it pushed that extra frosting right up top.

So we've got our combed cake. We're just going to finish it up by piping a border. We've got our pastry bag that I filled with our coupling, our white coupling.

And we're going to use a star tip. This is a number 17. Star tips range from 12 to 20. The 17 is a good size. A 16 is also another good size. It's basically the difference of the opening of the tips is what you want. And it's really also too what you like and what you're comfortable with as well.

So you're going to attach your tip, and you're going to twist it right on top. Now, this bag is full. A lot of people think OK, great. I'll fill my bag, and I'll start working. And your arms are so far away from your cake, you can't see, and you have no control on what you're doing.

So what I'm going to recommend is you do it half way. You're going to twist the frosting just like so. And you're going to use the bottom half, and you're going to use the top half holding it into your hand so the frosting doesn't come out to the side.

When you're piping your borders, one trick is that you're going to start the bottom border and then do your top order. Because it's natural to always start big when you're piping that it gives you some kind of guideline to work off of. Because you always want to have your top border smaller than your bottom border. It just looks more in proportion. It's doesn't look like that top heavy, kind of just tons-of-frosting-type cake.

You want to keep it so it's thicker on the bottom and then thinner on top. I'm going to do shells, and basically, I'm going to apply pressure, squeeze, and release. And what you're going to notice with this shell tip is that it's ridged just like your comb, so it actually all goes. It's all uniform.

It's a pattern. It's like an outfit. It all kind of goes together, so you're not using different tips for different things.

So you're applying pressure, releasing. Applying pressure, releasing. And I'm going to go right through, and you'll see that as you go, you get a little faster and faster. And now what I'm doing, each individual time, I'm stopping, and I'm breaking away.

So we finished the bottom border. Now, I'm going to start on the top. What I'm going to do is I'm actually going to go the opposite way. There's really no right or wrong reason, but I want to go the opposite way to show you at home how you can do this.

So applying pressure and at an angle, holding you bag, apply pressure, squeeze, and break. Apply pressure, squeeze, and break. And you want to go down. As your pipe, you can see your shell border transforming. You need to have a steady hand. Can't have hot hands either too, because you don't want to melt your frosting.

So if you find that your frosting is starting to get oozy, go run your hands into some cold water. It does the trick all the time. That's what I always have to do sometimes when it gets too hot. You can always add more to it, but you want to make sure that your cake does not look choppy, and too big, and just too over the top.

This is a shell border, piping a shell border. That gives it that nice edge to your cake. It actually gives it a nice finished touch. And as you can see, you can actually leave your cake just like this and people are going to be dying to have a slice of it. Or you can actually add any kind of decorations that you want.

Cake Decorating: Borders and Scroll
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