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How to Frost a Cake

Learn how to frost a cake like a pro from professional pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse in this Howcast cake decorating video.


We've done our crumb coat. Now we're going to continue with some cake decorating basics.

What I'm going to start with is adding a nice layer of frosting on top of my crumb coat. What that crumb coat did was seal in any kind of miscellaneous crumbs that fell off of the cake and this way we'll get a nice clean, white surface with our butter cream.

Again, I'm putting a pretty large amount of frosting on top of my cake and using my offset spatula to just swirl it around and once I get to the point where it starts oozing down the edges, just like I did for my crumb coat, I'm going to angle my offset and just push the frosting down the sides really gently.

If you need more, you can always add more later. We're good to start with just the right amount. Take a little bit more off of the top here.

If you don't have a turntable at home, a lazy susan is great thing to use or you could really just take a plate and turn it yourself, I'm too lazy for that but you could do that if you want to.

You can see now my cake is completely covered with frosting. If you wanted to, if you want a really nice swirly thing you could just leave it like this and swirl your frosting around kind of nice and gently. Even add a little bit more to the sides and just give it that nice rustic birthday cake kind of a look.

If you want it really nice and clean, what I'm going to do is the same thing I did for my crumb coat, I'm taking my bench scraper and I'm just going to work my way around the sides and you can see that all I'm going is pulling it and angling it towards me just to make a nice, clean surface.

This way if you wanted to come in and pipe a border or pipe any designs, you're not working with a lot going on it's just very smooth, very clean and you can see already how clean that looks. If you see the cake through your frosting and you don't love that idea, just add more frosting.

Colorful frostings are much easier because you don't really notice as much as you do with white but I don't mind it.

You can see now that I'm just working off of the top and once I push the frosting around the sides you can see it starts to sort of build up just a little, so I'm using that and just pulling it towards me and that's making a really nice, clean surface all along the top.

So the same thing. Just pull towards you and I'm rotating the cake. You can see down at the bottom sometimes you just miss a couple of spots, just smush it right around really easy. Don't feel like you really have to fuss, remember it's cake. As long as it's covered in something sweet they're going to like it no matter what it looks like.

Then when this is nice and smooth I'm going to show you some piping designs that you can do with the same butter cream to just kind of make it a little prettier.

That's it. Just smooth it a little. Done and done. I could sit here and do this all day. I'm going to put it aside. At some point just cut yourself off, no more, it's smooth, don't touch it. It's done.

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