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Icing Cakes Using a Spatula

Preparing a perfectly smooth iced cake, while keeping crumbs out of the icing can seem like a tricky thing– but over the years we've developed some methods to make it easier.
Start by positioning the cake on its serving board on the turntable. Remember to thin the icing with 3-4 Tablespoons of corn syrup so it spreads easier.
The trick to keeping crumbs out of your icing is to glide your spatula over the icing, never allowing the spatula to touch the cake surface or to pull already spread icing from the cake surface.
Some decorators prefer to "crumb coat" layers by lightly icing the cake first, allowing a light crust to form, then adding a top icing cover.


Steps

Step 1

The trick to keeping crumbs out of your icing is gliding your spatula on the icing— never allow it to touch the surface of the cake. Place a large amount of thin consistency icing on the center of the cake.

Step 2

Spread icing across the top, pushing toward edges. Smooth the top using the edge of the spatula. Sweep the edge of the spatula from the rim of the cake to its center then lift it off and remove excess icing.

Step 3

Cover the sides with icing. Smooth sides by holding the spatula upright with the edge against the icing and slowly spinning the turntable without lifting the spatula from the icings’s surface. Return excess icing to the bowl and repeat until sides are smooth.

Step 4

Rotate the cake slightly and repeat the procedure, starting from a new point on the rim until you have covered the entire top surface. Smooth the center of the cake by leveling the icing with the edge of your spatula. For easier smoothing, it may help to dip the spatula into hot water, wipe dry and glide it across the entire surface. Set the cake aside and allow the icing to crust over for at least 15 minutes before decorating. At that point you may also lay Non-Stick Parchment Paper on the iced cake top and gently smooth with the palm of your hand.

Video Demonstration of this How-To: