{VIDEO} How To Frost A Smooth Cake (The Easy Way!) | Tips & Tricks for a Perfectly Frosted Buttercream Cake

Frost perfectly smooth cakes, the easy way, with my best cake frosting tips and tricks!

Today we start with the basics, by learning how to frost a perfectly smooth cake so it has a perfect surface for decorating! 

Whether you use a box mix cake or do it all from scratch, this tutorial will help you create fun and professional looking, filled, frosted and decorated cakes right from home!  

First thing you need to do for this type of cake is make a batch of my perfect buttercream frosting. It only has a few ingredients and even if you use a box mix for the cake, the super duper simple homemade frosting will really take your cake to the next level. This is different than canned frosting you buy from the store because it holds its shape when you spread it instead of giving you a gloopy, sticky mess. I promise it is so easy to whip together and so worth it in the finished product and you can also use it for the filling by tossing in just about any ingredient to create a ton of flavor variations, from creamy coconut, to cookies & cream, whipped espresso, and more.

Here are my favorite frostings for cake decorating:

Classic Vanilla American Buttercream: http://www.lindsayannbakes.com/2016/07/video-best-vanilla-buttercream-frosting.html

Classic Chocolate American Buttercream

Also, be sure to check out my VIDEO on How To Bake Flat Cakes before you start!

A chocolate or vanilla buttercream is great to use for frosting the outside of the cake, but you can decide on any type of cake and filling you want to make. Get creative and come up with your favorite cake and filling combinations. 

SUPPLIES: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thelindsayann
  • Turntable, cake scraper, off-set spatula, piping tips: https://amzn.to/2AtiQuT
  • Classic Vanilla American Buttercream: http://www.lindsayannbakes.com/2016/07/video-best-vanilla-buttercream-frosting.html
  • Bake even strips: https://amzn.to/2OzBiF0
  • Bake Easy spray or Cake Release: https://amzn.to/3fzcgpe
  • Cake flour: https://amzn.to/2OQD7O2, weighed or spooned into cup and leveled
  • Pure vanilla extract: https://amzn.to/2LPUkc0 OR Vanilla bean paste: https://amzn.to/2M6Vcpq 
  • 6" pans: https://amzn.to/3g29M1Q
  • more supplies: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thelindsayann


My secret tip for baking flat cakes is to use bake even strips: https://amzn.to/2OzBiF0 for perfect, flat cake layers. The cool, wet fabric cake strips insulate the outside of the cake pan, so that the outside of the cake doesn't bake faster than the inside, and it all bakes flat and evenly with sides that are nice and light and soft. Without them, the hot sides of the pan, bake the edges of the batter first, so the sides of the cake come out dark and over-baked and the cake domes in the middle. Then, you have to cut off the domes top of the cake with a knife, which can be messy, and a total waste of time, and cake! To use the bake even strips, first fit them to the size of your pan. Then, soak the strips in cold water, until they are saturated. Wring out any excess water, wrap them around the outside of the pan and tighten them around the pan again.

You're going to start by greasing your pans so the cake doesn't stick. I like to use Bake Easy spray or Cake Release, which is a great alternative to greasing, flouring and lining your pans with parchment: https://amzn.to/2VCd0yK. For nice tall cakes, I like to use three 6-inch cake pans that are 3 inches deep: https://amzn.to/2v4yXKe

I like to chill my cakes in the freezer before frosting them. This makes it easier to frost and keeps the cake from getting too many crumbs in the frosting or sliding around.

For frosting, make sure you don't use the store bought cans. My go-to favorite is my Classic Vanilla American Buttercream: CLICK HERE FOR THE STEP BY STEP RECIPE. I also save about 2 cups of the frosting in a piping bag with a star tip, so I can pipe swirls on top at the end or for the border. 

Spread it on top of each of the center layers. Gently stack the next layer on top and repeat the filling process until all of your cake layers are used. Make sure the top layer of the cake is the bottom side of one of your baked cakes, to create a perfectly flat top. Adjust the cake so it is straight and even if needed.

It's also important to make sure you use a turntable for easy frosting! Start frosting by applying a crumb coat, which is a very thin layer of frosting over the entire cake, trapping in the crumbs and creating a smooth surface to apply the final layer of frosting over. 

It won't look pretty or perfect, but it an important part in frosting, to make sure there are no crumbs in your final layer of frosting. Pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes or the fridge for 30-60 minutes, to firm up before applying your final layer of frosting.

For the final layer of frosting, start by piling a mound of frosting on top and push the frosting across the top and down the sides with your metal spatula. Work your way from the top, down until you cover the entire cake. Smooth out the sides at a 90 degree angle, using your spatula. 

Then go in with a cake scraper/bench scraper and smooth the sides, until you are happy with the look of the cake. 

Lastly, pull in the excess crown on the top, working outward to inward around the whole top of the cake, with a small offset spatula.

Then transfer to a serving plate for decorating. 

Pipe on borders and decorate.

Serve and enjoy!