Steps To Decorating - Newbie Question

Decorating By cakecrazy09 Updated 30 Jan 2009 , 5:54am by cakecrazy09

cakecrazy09 Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:35pm
post #1 of 10

I'm new at decorating and have read hundreds of posts to figure out the steps of decorating cakes. I work full time so I have to decorate in steps over several days. I think I have a plan but want your opinions. TIA

Step 1. Bake, freeze in seran wrap and freezer bag for 24 hours.
Step 2. Thaw 30 mins. Then fill and stack refridgerate for 30 mins.( to prevent buldge).
Step 3. Crumb coat. Refridgerate for 30 mins (same day decorate) or freeze (next day decorate). Use seran wrap and freezer bag for freezing.
Step 4. Thaw 30 mins. Frost cake and refridgerate 30 mins
Step 5. Smooth and refridgerate 30 mins
Step 6. Stack using dowels. Refidgerate for 30 mins
Step 7. Decorate!

Did I mention I'm a freak about process? I seem to always break down my project into steps. Helps me keep from forgetting steps or getting ahead of myself. So What do you think?

9 replies
Rose_N_Crantz Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:48pm
post #2 of 10

You're going to run into problems if you refrigerate your cake before smoothing it. Honestly, I think steps 3-5 can be condensed into one step. after you fill and refrigerate, crumbcoat if you need to. I don't because I put my icing on using a speed icer which lays the frosting on thick enough already that a crumb coat is not needed. If you are going to use a crumb coat, it only needs to crust over about 15 minutes. then frost and smooth. I smooth while the frosting is still wet because of my method. I pipe the frosting on using a speed icer, maybe I'll spread the icing using an offset spatula, then I use a flat bench scraper to smooth the frosting out. Then (and I learned this from Serious Cakes) I let the frosting crust over and using a clean bench scraper and a Viva brand paper towel, I smooth the frosting once again. this process is best observed rather than explained:

Once you've smoothed, then you can refrigerate if you need to until you can decorate. If you can decorate right away then there's no need to refrigerate.

bashini Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:49pm
post #3 of 10

Hi, if your cake has been in the freezer, after crumbcoating it, you shouldn't put it back in the freezer.

What you can do is, if you have two or three cakes to do for a week, bake them the same day and freeze all of them. Then take one out, the night before the day you want to decorate. Put it in the fridge to thaw. Next day put the filling and then you can put it back in the fridge until you are ready to start decorating.

Hope this make sence. icon_smile.gif

shalderman Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:51pm
post #4 of 10

Well I don't know about others but I don't use nearly so many steps and all that freezing and chilling. I've been doing this for 2 yrs and no issues.

I bake 24 hrs in advance, cool and wrap in saran and let sit at room temp. I level, fill, stack. if I'm doing filling I sometimes let it sit to settle a bit. If its just a layer of icing I go at it. I don't crumb coat - just do thick layer of icing and ice away.

I normally base ice all the cakes first and then just start decorating.

I rarely refrigerate my cakes (except for perishable icings/fillings). I don't see the purpose especially of refrigerating after you smooth it before you decorate it. Seems like all this freezing, refrigerating and thawing would take forever to get a cake done.

That said I do know that many people will fill and crumbcoat and let that refrigerate 30 min or so then do the main icing. It really comes down to whatever works for you. So if your method works and you get good results that's the way to go thumbs_up.gif

**edited to clarify something**

__Jamie__ Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:53pm
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by cakecrazy09

Did I mention I'm a freak about process?

Lol...sounds like me! You'll find you don't have to be quite so rigid. I'm not so sure freezing is necessary for next day decorating. Refrigeration isn't even necessary in some instances, especially depending on which fillings/frostings you are using, and whether they need refrigeration for short periods of time. There are just so many variables to give good hard solid advice on whether or not your procedure is going to be correct for each and every time you do a cake.

You'll figure out though, maybe ask specific questions when a situation arises so that we can help you out better. Good luck with your cakes!

prterrell Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:02pm
post #6 of 10

Step 1. Bake, cool in pans 10 min, turn out onto racks, cool completely
Step 2. Level cakes, then fill and stack
Step 3. Crumb coat
Step 4. Frost cake and smooth
Step 6. Stack using dowels and cake boards
Step 7. Decorate!

Not sure where you got all that freezing and refrigerating from? icon_confused.gif
I'm exhausted just reading all your back-and-forth, in-and-out!

If you are baking today and icing tomorrow, just wrap your cooled (as in on the counter, not in the fridge) cakes in plastic (Saran) wrap and they'll be fine overnight on the counter.

If you are baking today and icing them the day after tomorrow or the next day, then they'll be fine in the fridge.

You only need to freeze them if you are baking today and icing them 3 or more days away.

Once the cake is filled and iced, unless you have a filling that requires refrigeration, the cake will be fine sitting out on the counter if you don't finish decorating on the day you ice, especially if you are using a crusting buttercream (or covering the cake in fondant).

If you are using IMBC or SMBC and you won't finish decorating the cake the day you ice it, you can stick it in the fridge, especially if your house is warm (warmer than 70-75 deg F), but it's not required, especially if your house is on the cool side (cooler than 70 deg F).

ginger6361 Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 4:30am
post #7 of 10

I AGREE WITH freezing..never tasted a good cake after freezing. doing cakes 20 years at room tempeture with no problems.

SpoonfulofSugar Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 4:53am
post #8 of 10

I work full time too so I also have to really plan each step and I do freeze my cakes....didn't at first and now I have to, I was killing myself staying up all night to do a's my 2 cents..hope it helps

1. Bake, let cool, place cake on cake board that has been wrapped in plastic wrap, add 2-3 layers of plastic wrap and then one layer of foil to cover cake. Can freeze up to 5 days...cake will be so moist. (I bake from scratch so I don't know if there is a difference with box mix.)

2. Another day...let cake thaw while making icing and filling; level, fill and stack layers; crumb coat and freeze about 15 mins

3. Then, ice and use the viva paper towel method


Usually it's about a 3 day process for me

although 2 nights ago I had a last min order and somehow did the baking and everything all in one night...don't know how I did it...maybe God someone gave me some extra time or some sugar angels icon_biggrin.gif

cvoges Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 4:59am
post #9 of 10

I understand where you're coming from. I like to have all of my ducks in a row before I start a baking project. However, I would back away from the freezer a bit. Sometimes, I freeze cakes before icing them, or refrigerate it after crumb coating for decorating later. Most of the time, it only takes a few minutes for the final icing to crust so that it can be smoothed, so refrigerating it really is overkill.

Good luck with your baking. Just relax and you'll find your rhythm.

cakecrazy09 Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 5:54am
post #10 of 10

Thanks you all for the feedback. It helps so much. I only have a couple of hours a night to work on the cakes so I'm going to try SpoonfulofSugar's 3 day method. It's great to know I don't have to do many steps.

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