Newbie Needing The Pro's Help????

Decorating By brunette88 Updated 22 Mar 2013 , 5:38pm by Spireite

brunette88 Posted 21 Mar 2013 , 10:08pm
post #1 of 10

AHi all,

New here & new to cake making / decorating. I have decided to make my daughters birthday cake after never baking a cake in my life!

Since this great brain fart (not wave) I have spent loads on cake tins, decorating tools, ingredients ect. I have now make 4 spong cakes which have all came out lovely to my suprisment.

Anyway I am ready to now start the actual cake in the next few days.

Just have one really silly question, what do I put on the cake before covering it with icing?

Like can I just fill the cake with say buttercream & them put icing directly onto the sponge? Or do I need to cover the whole cake in buttercream? Or something else?

My biggest fear is covering the cake! I have been reading & watching techniques but everyone makes it looks so easy!

I know I sound really stupid, attempting a birthday cake an not even knowing what I'm guessing you call the 'basics'

Any tips, recipes or info would be really appreciated :)

Kirsty x

9 replies
Cakesandstuff Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 7:29am
post #2 of 10

If by icing you mean fondant, then he's you will need to cover the whole cake in buttercream before you ice!

Embles Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 10:33am
post #3 of 10

AYep make ur buttercream and fill ur cake, make sure ur cake doesnt still have a domed top you can slice it off! Cover the whole cake in buttercream and make sure u smooth it as best you can then stick it in the fridge fir a while until the buttercream hardens up a bit (this should give you a smoith base to cover with fondant. Are you using whiycfondant and colouring it or pre coloured fondant? Im in the uk too by the wayx

Embles Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 10:34am
post #4 of 10

ASorry that was supposed to be white fondant ha

LizzieAylett Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 2:15pm
post #5 of 10

There's a free class on that I found really helpful for the basics of preparing your cake (torting, filling, crumbcoating).  It's called Modern Butttercream by Joshua John Russell.  It's completely free and goes into great detail on how to do all these things.

manddi Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 2:22pm
post #6 of 10


Original message sent by LizzieAylett

There's a free class on that I found really helpful for the basics of preparing your cake (torting, filling, crumbcoating).  It's called Modern Butttercream by Joshua John Russell.  It's completely free and goes into great detail on how to do all these things.


I concur :)

Margaret393 Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 2:45pm
post #7 of 10

Hi brunette88


Welcome to Cake Central - a fountain of knowledge for beginners!  No you don't sound stupid, its just a matter of the "unknown" There is always a first time for everything - so go for it! Making a birthday cake for your daughter is a great start!


We learn by doing, and through trial and error. I am a hobby cake decorator, but have no doubt that many other hobbyists (myself included) and professionals would have felt the same way starting out, as you do right now!


Working with fondant even for the first time can be daunting! There are so many brands on the market, in addition to the different recipes to hand - for those wishing to make their own. However you will get to know what suits you best in time. The key to a nice smooth finish is to knead the fondant before you roll it out - but not to work it too much as it will become soft and sticky. Let it rest for an hour or so before covering the cake kneading it again lightly before use. Use a sugarpaste smoother to get rid of any bulges.


Embles has given you some good advice to start with. Also try UTube for tutorials on basic cake making/decorating techniques. Search the CC website for recipes hints and tips on all aspects of cake making - you have come to the right place. CC members are so helpful and are willing to share their expertise with others.


Good luck with the birthday cake and do post a picture - look forward to seeing your first cake!

Happy baking!


Hope this helps!


brunette88 Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 3:37pm
post #8 of 10

AHi, thanks for all the advice. And yes I have brought some pre-coloured icing in packs.

What I am finding really difficult with this cake making is that people may use terms or expressions that I don't understand. An say on YouTube videos they say right you cake is iced and ready but when they say iced, iced with what?

I don't understand the difference between gum paste, fondants and icing. Also a lot of the paints & dusts don't give instructions so I'm like okay what do I mix you with an people have told me to use a clear alcohols like vodka or gin but it don't tell you that on the label.

I covered my first cake in buttercream but it didn't go very hard?

I dont know how to upload a photo to the site?

Thank you for all the help! I can't wait to get this going, I'm starting with the decorations so I can let them set an then paint ready to add to my cake. it's literally just covering the cake that is really worrying me!

I will keep you updated an hopefully I will figure out how to upload pics xoxo

brunette88 Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 3:41pm
post #9 of 10


This is the first cake I made, I was very suprise how east piping was :)

Spireite Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 5:38pm
post #10 of 10

Welcome Brunette88, the Americans use slightly different terms to us Brits...I think that the Americans have different meanings for frosting and icing.  I'm sure someone will clarify for us. Here are a few more translations

(US) Fondant =  (Brit) sugarpaste

Gumpaste = flowerpaste

Shortening = white veg fat such as 'Trex'

Powdered Sugar = icing sugar

A cup of measurement is about 6 ozs, but please do double check this!

US buttercream has a ratio of fat/butter : sugar 2:1, which is crusting buttercream

Brits tend to use butter only 1:1 butter : sugar. and it is non crusting.

 There is also a HUGE thread on here for UK bakers...that contains a LOT of UK relevant information

Happy baking  icon_biggrin.gif

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