When using a spatula, we recommend icing in at least two layers — a crumb coat and a final coat — for best results. Crumb coating a cake creates a perfectly level surface that seals in all the cracks and uneven surfaces of the cake. It also locks in loose crumbs so that they don’t get into the final layer of icing. A turntable is especially helpful for icing with a spatula. Use thin consistency icing for best results.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush off any loose crumbs.
Starting with the top of the cake, use an Angled Spatula to place a dollop of thin consistency icing, just enough to spread and cover the top of the cake. Crumb coat should be thin enough to see the cake underneath.
Add a dollop of icing to the side of the cake. Use a back-and-forth motion to spread the icing.
Chill crumb-coated cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to help create a more stable icing layer that won’t smear when you apply the final layer of icing.
Using an Angled Spatula, place a large dollop of icing on top of the crumb-coated cake. With a back-and-forth motion, spread icing to cover the top of the cake.
Add a large dollop of icing to the side of the cake. Smooth the sides by holding the spatula against the side of the cake, with a slight angle pointing away from the cake. As you spread your icing, the angle will give the excess buttercream space to accumulate, making it easier to remove. Remove excess icing and place it back in your bowl.
Keep adding icing to the sides until cake is covered.
After smoothing the sides, clean the top edges using the Angled Spatula. Lightly pull the icing inward, toward the center of the cake. Remove excess from spatula and repeat until top edges are smooth.
Hint: When icing, try not to lift the spatula up and away from the cake. This will lift crumbs and create an uneven texture. Instead, gradually pull away by using sweeping motion until the spatula has minimal to no icing underneath it, then lift.