How Do You Get Your Corners Nice And Sharp Looking?

Decorating By mommak Updated 1 Jun 2009 , 5:24pm by shell62995

mommak Posted 30 May 2009 , 11:24am
post #1 of 36

Mine are always rounded, how does everyone keep their corners on their cakes so nice looking??? I did 5 sheet cakes for this weekend and I struggled with each one. Any suggestions?

35 replies
Evoir Posted 30 May 2009 , 11:45am
post #2 of 36

Are you using BC or fondant?

I use fondant almost 100% of the time, and use a layer of ganache under the fondant which can be moulded using a hot knife to create very clean, sharp corners. Then the thinner fondant over that also becomes clean and sharp.

If its BC you are asking about, I am sure better-qualified folks will come by soon!

mommak Posted 30 May 2009 , 11:47am
post #3 of 36

Thanks for the info on the fondant Evoir, I struggle with that as well. Actually the 5 cakes I just finished were BC.

-K8memphis Posted 30 May 2009 , 12:19pm
post #4 of 36

Right before you smooth your icing take a coupler only size piping bag and pipe a big fat juicy stream of icing up each corner--this gives you more icing than you need -- and then you can smooth off the excess and reveal the pretty and sharp corner awaiting discovery.

I use a dough cutter to smooth it from there.

Smooth sharp thoughts for you.

Molly2 Posted 30 May 2009 , 12:31pm
post #5 of 36

I went to Lowe's and bought 2 painters paddles and use them to square off my corners works great they cost me about .75 cents a piece

Molly2

mommak Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:00pm
post #6 of 36

When I do try and square off, you can usually see the cake. I lose a ton of frosting....do you load the corners with extra bc?

txnonnie Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:12pm
post #7 of 36

I have no suggestions...when I first ask the questions to a well experienced artist I was told it takes practice. That is what I have done.

-K8memphis Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:15pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommak

When I do try and square off, you can usually see the cake. I lose a ton of frosting....do you load the corners with extra bc?




Please read my post upthread.

mbt4955 Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:17pm
post #9 of 36

I think my biggest problem is not having my buttercream the right consistency. I still have trouble with it - too soft, too thick - I need to take a lesson in making buttercream. My Wilton instructor (4 years ago) was really no help at all .... anyone live in Bryan/College Station who is willing to teach me? icon_biggrin.gif

I've read all the square corner tricks, but my bc is usually too soft to get the corners really sharp.

stampinron Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:25pm
post #10 of 36

[quote="k8memphis"]Right before you smooth your icing take a coupler only size piping bag and pipe a big fat juicy stream of icing up each corner--this gives you more icing than you need -- and then you can smooth off the excess and reveal the pretty and sharp corner awaiting discovery.
quote]

Do you have a pic of this?? are you piping the big fat juicy stream of icing on only the corners or all the way around??

mbt4955 Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:25pm
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommak

When I do try and square off, you can usually see the cake. I lose a ton of frosting....do you load the corners with extra bc?



Please read my post upthread.




I think this idea from k8 might solve my problems. There is also an article by B. Keith Ryder with another method. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping to be at Cake Camp this year and take at least one class from him. http://www.cakecentral.com/article51-How-To-Frost-a-Square-Cake.html

-K8memphis Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:32pm
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbt4955

I think my biggest problem is not having my buttercream the right consistency. I still have trouble with it - too soft, too thick - I need to take a lesson in making buttercream. My Wilton instructor (4 years ago) was really no help at all .... anyone live in Bryan/College Station who is willing to teach me? icon_biggrin.gif

I've read all the square corner tricks, but my bc is usually too soft to get the corners really sharp.




You're halfway there. A savy cake decorator fluctuates the consistency of their icing to conform to the task at hand. Keep a squirt bottle of water and a box of cornstarch handy at all times. Tag you're it!

klat7292 Posted 30 May 2009 , 1:51pm
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbt4955

I think my biggest problem is not having my buttercream the right consistency. I still have trouble with it - too soft, too thick - I need to take a lesson in making buttercream. My Wilton instructor (4 years ago) was really no help at all .... anyone live in Bryan/College Station who is willing to teach me? icon_biggrin.gif

I've read all the square corner tricks, but my bc is usually too soft to get the corners really sharp.




I agree with mbt! Let me tell you...it's the shortening that makes the difference in the consistency...not only in that but also in TASTE!! It took me six months to switch from Crisco to Sweetex, thinking it was way too expensive, but when I broke it down to the cup (I was using the 1 cup blocks of Crisco-too lazy to measure icon_rolleyes.gif ) It was actually cost effective!! It is like NIGHT AND DAY!! Now, I haven't iced my cake yet (I'm doing that this morning-it's a sheet cake) but I have a GREAT feeling it's gonna turn out AWESOME!! I use Sugarshack's recipe with Sweetex shortening and her method. ALL of her instructional DVDs are AWESOME!! I'm STILL blown away that I have not used it before!! Sorry that I'm rambling... but I've had all the same problems as everyone else with consistency and appearance issues - practice DOES make perfect! icon_lol.gif

I'll let you know how this first sheet cake comes out with my NEW AND IMPROVED buttercream!! icon_lol.gif

Here are the links to Sharon's website and The Baker's Kitchen:

http://www.sugaredproductions.com/buttercreamdvd.html

http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/index.asp?PageAction=PRODSEARCH&txtSearch=sweetex&btnSearch=GO&Page=1

Now, off to decorating!! icon_wink.gif



P.S. I ordered my Sweetex online from The Baker's Kitchen - 4lbs for $8.99... (it's like $2.25/cup) it does sound like a lot, but it's worth every penny. And if you order the 50 lb block, it's $109.00 and you could portion of the cups and freeze them till needed icon_smile.gif


If you need any help on 'tweaking' the recipe, then PM me and I'll be happy to give you any advice that I can offer!
thumbs_up.gif

HTH and Good Luck!!

mbt4955 Posted 30 May 2009 , 2:03pm
post #14 of 36

I'm in Texas with no place to buy Sweetex and I think it is already too hot to have it shipped, so I'm pretty much stuck with store brand trans-fat shortening. Unless it is an outside event (like the wedding last weekend - BAD icon_biggrin.gif), I use half butter and half shortening. I'm doing another square wedding cake in July, so I'll keep practicing until then.

mommak Posted 30 May 2009 , 9:39pm
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Right before you smooth your icing take a coupler only size piping bag and pipe a big fat juicy stream of icing up each corner--this gives you more icing than you need -- and then you can smooth off the excess and reveal the pretty and sharp corner awaiting discovery.

I use a dough cutter to smooth it from there.

Smooth sharp thoughts for you.




Thank you so much!!! I will def give it a try.

cherrycakes Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 4:22am
post #16 of 36

Also, make sure you have really square-edged pans like Magic Line. I recently bought a set of Magic Line pans and I was giddy the first time I baked with them. I have never seen cake edges so sharp!

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 4:48am
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrycakes

Also, make sure you have really square-edged pans like Magic Line. I recently bought a set of Magic Line pans and I was giddy the first time I baked with them. I have never seen cake edges so sharp!




DIIIIIIIITTO. Just got the last shipment of two of every size square pan from Magic Line. Look at the difference in the photo. Magic Line versus a regular "square" pan) Perfectly square corners right out of the pan means less work trying to get the icing sharp as well.

Ignore the Fod truck in the backround...lol.
LL

mbt4955 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:00pm
post #18 of 36

If you are covering a square cake with fondant, do you find that the really sharp corners (Magic Line) are harder to cover? I don't "do" fondant, but I am doing a square wedding cake in July that I will have to cover. I want to make this as easy as I can. icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks!

cherrycakes Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:22pm
post #19 of 36

If you look in my pictures at the Gerber Daisies cake you can see how the Magic Line looks under fondant. It was my first time doing a square cake in fondant and I found it really easy.

Great picture by the way, Jamie!

mbt4955 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:28pm
post #20 of 36

Thanks, cherrycakes. Great cake!

Yes, Jamie, thanks so much for posting that photo. It really shows the difference in the pans. I thought I was about through buying cake pans, but I guess I'd better start saving my money again! icon_smile.gif

Where do people buy their Magic Line pans? I have to get at least one size (maybe two) for this wedding, but I'm not sure I want to try tiers with Wilton and tiers with Magic Line. If I can't afford to get all of the ML, I may have to stick with my Wilton for this one.

Thanks!

tiggy2 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:32pm
post #21 of 36

I also recommend sugarshack's DVD "Perfecting The Art of Butter Cream" www.sugaredproductions.com She shows step by step how to get perfectly smooth cakes and very square corners. Her DVDs are inexpensive and are money well spent.

icer101 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:35pm
post #22 of 36

any cake you ice, whether fondant, buttercream, imbc, smbc,etc. is only as sharp as you know how to do them.. making corners , sharp.. or edge of cake sharp.. even on round cakes,etc.. practice and using the right tools define all this.. sharons dvd's and jennifer dontz dvd's prove this. if you don,t know how to sharpen the edges or corners with your icing.. then , they won,t be sharp .. no matter what pan you use.. hth

mbt4955 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:35pm
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I also recommend sugarshack's DVD "Perfecting The Art of Butter Cream" www.sugaredproductions.com She shows step by step how to get perfectly smooth cakes and very square corners. Her DVDs are inexpensive and are money well spent.




I have it - guess I'd better pull it out and watch it again. icon_smile.gif

mbt4955 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:38pm
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by icer101

sharons dvd's and jennifer dontz dvd's prove this.




Does Jennifer work on a square cake on her first DVD? I have Fondant Frills, but haven't ordered the first one yet. I do have Sharon's "Buttercream" DVD, so I'll try that. Thanks. icon_smile.gif

leahk Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:46pm
post #25 of 36

I recently did a square cake. I added extra icing on the corners as k8memphis suggested. I also did another tip that I picked up from CC (I think it's from indydebi) and used a bench scraper starting beyond the cake and bringing it forward to form the corner. This way I was far enough away from the cake to just make the corner out of icing.
HTH

txnonnie Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:53pm
post #26 of 36

I noticed you are in Texas. Cake Carousel in Richardson carries ML pans and they will ship them to you.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 1:58pm
post #27 of 36

Here's something real important--if you bake in a rounded edge pan there's no worries. Fill your cake as usual--then I mean I get mine nice & cold then I shave/trim the edges for all my cakes. It makes such a great difference when icing any shape cake.

Most easily icing conforms to the shape of the cake under it. More difficult it is to hide the imperfections of the cake underneath the icing and create a new smooth surface with the icing- independent of the true surface of the cake-- yes?

But nice sharp corners do need a carefully calculated amount of icing built up like I suggest here upthread. The biggest problem doing good edges or corners on any cake is not enough build up of icing. If there's not enough icing there in the first place --you cannot remoive it and smooth it away to reveal a pretty edge. Think like a sculptor.

So anyhow, just an icing/shaving thought for you.
This episode of how K8t Duzit is brought to you by Nair. icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 2:01pm
post #28 of 36

Another thing I really rely on, is foam core for a cake base. I mean, instead of cardboard, I cut a foam core slightly larger that the square cake, and gives a nice big edge for the bench scraper to guide along when icing....helps immensely. That and Magic Line....which are awesome.

mbt4955 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 2:04pm
post #29 of 36

k8, I hate to sound like a dummy here, but I'm going to ask anyway. icon_smile.gif When you shave/trim the edges, do you take off the whole side of the cake from corner to corner? Do you use a knife or is there a special tool to make sure it is straight up and down? This sounds great to me - I've tried the making it square with buttercream and it just hasn't worked.

Thanks.

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 2:09pm
post #30 of 36

K8 made a point I almost always forget to emphasize. You are building icing up, putting more on than is necessary (me anyhow), and "sculpting" the excess off to revel your final product.

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