Getting a Cake Ready for Decorating

When you are getting ready to decorate a cake, preparing the cake for decorating is very important.  It’s just like when an artist starts to prepare to create a piece of art and needs to assemble all the materials needed and pre-treat the canvass. There are some tips that professional cake decorators use to get their cakes ready for decorating that you can use to create your own very professional looking cakes.

Cooling The Cake

Everyone knows that letting a cake cool completely before frosting is crucial to having the frosting process go smoothly. One way that professionals get their cakes ready for decorating is to let them cool completely, and then put them in a refrigerator overnight to make sure they are chilled, but not frozen, before the decorating begins.

Properly chilling the cake before you start icing it can make a huge difference in the final product, so if you have the time to wait overnight and let the cake sit in the refrigerator to chill, you should take the time to do that.

Creating A Smooth Surface

Even though it would be nice if every cake popped out of the oven perfectly smooth and ready to be iced, that usually doesn’t happen. So to create that perfectly smooth and level overall surface that you need in order to create a cake work of art, use a wide serrated knife or a professional cake leveler to trim up the edges of the cake. 

Take a wide paintbrush or a horsehair sauce brush and brush away the crumbs from the sides and top of the take to make sure that the surface is level. You can also put the cake on a Lazy Susan so that you can rotate it without damaging the cake. Level the sides while you rotate the cake and you will get a perfectly trimmed smooth cake that is ready and waiting to become your latest work of Sugarcraft art.

Add a "Crumb Coat"

Still worried about crumbs getting into your icing or creating an uneven frosting surface? Mix up a clear glaze and apply the glaze to the entire cake.  Let that glaze dry, in the refrigerator if possible, to let the cake settle and become firm, and once the glaze is dry, you will have a perfectly level cake surface to work on with no stray crumbs to get into your frosting.

Once you have begun frosting the cake, remember, if you are not using fondant, to use plenty of frosting on the top of the cake so that the cake doesn’t show through.