Please Tell Me This Gets Easier!?!

Decorating By aapoll Updated 18 Dec 2014 , 12:19am by cazza1

aapoll Posted 12 Dec 2014 , 3:56pm
post #1 of 14

AIcing cakes.... I spent probably around 7 hours over the last couple days making a chocolate mud cake, filled with raspberry SMBC, covered with ganache. The cake itself did take 4 hours to bake, so I spent around 3 hours torteing, making buttercream, ganache, smoothing, ect and it still didn't turn out good! It was slightly lopsided and the ganache wasn't completely smooth. I would post a pic but I don't think I can from my cell.

I am trying to get this figured out so I can make some really cool cakes for my kids b-days, and nice ones for family get togethers (which happen practically monthly). Being a gluten free house hold prevents me from seeking out a pro.

Was it rough for everyone starting out? Or am I just insanely cockeyed? Any special tools you'd recommend? I have 2 angled spatulas, I bought a large drywall "trowel" for smoothing, lazy Susan....

Don't get me wrong, this cake came out smoother then any other I made ( I always iced with a wooden spoon haha) but you need to get the ganache smooth as glass for fondant right? I would like to try again for a couple xmas cakes, any tips, advice or moral support is greatly appreciate!

13 replies
dkltll Posted 12 Dec 2014 , 4:15pm
post #2 of 14

Practice, Practice, Practice. It used to take me a couple of hours just to ice and smooth and I thought there was something wrong with me! However, after a bit I got the hang of it and created my own short cuts (and borrowed a few from the forum). It does get easier Virginia! ;-D Don't give up!

petitecat Posted 12 Dec 2014 , 5:46pm
post #3 of 14

It takes time to get the hang of getting even buttercream/ganache, and techniques like upside down method, or board on top, work very well. Have you tried either of these two methods?

makeherabaker Posted 12 Dec 2014 , 9:01pm
post #4 of 14

 'How to Frost a Cake Upside Down For Sharp Edges'


This lady has a mighty scraper



I need to take a leaf out of your book and get going with this baking thing. I need a lazy Susan a rolling pin plus plenty more I'm sure.


Are you shaving your cake?

drea88 Posted 12 Dec 2014 , 11:30pm
post #5 of 14

AI've only been decorating cakes as a hobby for a couple of years, and I'm far from a pro, but I get better everytime I practice. There are many different methods out there, but I like to use SMBC because I think it's one of the easier frostings to smooth if you chill it. While you're getting the hang of it, a few strategically placed decorations can go a long ways to hide any flaws. :smile:

costumeczar Posted 13 Dec 2014 , 1:46am
post #6 of 14

AIt gets easier, just keep practicing!

aapoll Posted 13 Dec 2014 , 5:05pm
post #7 of 14

AI used a method describe on sweetness and bite blog. Kind of a combination of both upside down and board on top. I placed a board on top, iced the sides, iced the top, then flipped it, pressed on the cake and flipped it back over... Confusing, but the blog explains it better. I think after reading the upside down method, I might try it that way next time. Only issue would be me pressing too hard on the scraper instead if just smoothing...

I need to find more excuses to bake gf cakes though... I won't bring wheat flour in to the house because that stuff gets everywhere ( like any flour). And it's too much for me to have to scour everything top to bottom after baking, plus buy all new "wheat" equipment, and nobody wants gluten free cakes :(. My family only eats so much cake.

What do you mean shave my cake? I leveled the top of my cake and straightened my cake to best of my ability using my "eye", since i don't have a leveler or a small enough level...

This was my first time ever using ganache (I used enjoy life choc chips and bittersweet choc). It was delicious! Also Since I discovered SMBC a few weeks ago, I can no longer eat "regular" buttercream. I made cupcakes 4 days ago and there are still 6 sitting in the container. I used abc... 2 weeks ago I made cupcakes with SMBC and the 12 of them didn't even last 24 hours.

costumeczar Posted 13 Dec 2014 , 5:58pm
post #8 of 14

I don't do any of the upside down stuff, it's not necessary, really. If you use a right-angle tool (one of the plastic ones that looks like a triangle you can get in the drafting tools at art supply stores) you can use that to even up the sides of the cake and keep them perpendicular to the cake board. Then either measure off the top using the ribbon marking tool that Wilton makes or something like my super-sophisticated corn cob holder tool ( to mark a level top edge in the icing, use an offset spatula to ice the top edge using the marked line as a guide and it will be even all the way around.

sannalee Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 4:25am
post #9 of 14

It does get easier.

I use something similar to this except the ruler is adjustable.

cazza1 Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 11:08am
post #10 of 14

...and while you are improving the kids won't even notice that their cake isn't perfect and neither probably will the family.  And if they do and complain then they don't deserve your cakes.

costumeczar Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 11:09am
post #11 of 14


Originally Posted by cazza1 

...and while you are improving the kids won't even notice that their cake isn't perfect and neither probably will the family.  And if they do and complain then they don't deserve your cakes.

you got that right!

aapoll Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 5:40pm
post #12 of 14


Original message sent by cazza1

...and while you are improving the kids won't even notice that their cake isn't perfect and neither probably will the family.  And if they do and complain then they don't deserve your cakes.

Thanks for that! You're absolutely right, my kids wouldn't notice any imperfections and as long as they get to help me, they think the cakes are absolutely perfect. It's my OCD brain that tells if it isn't flawless then it's no good. It just gets frustrating to spend so much time trying to smooth a cake to still see marks and dents.

I'm gonna make another mudcake next week for xmas. This time I'm going to fill it with salted caramel swiss meringue butter cream. Sometimes I swear I make these cakes for myself! I keep reading about salted caramel frosting and I really want to try it haha.

ellavanilla Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 9:35pm
post #13 of 14

get a small level and use it as you torte and restack your cake layers to avoid that lopsided appearance

cazza1 Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 12:19am
post #14 of 14

...and if you cover the cake with ganache use a hot knife to smooth out any small dents once the ganache has hardened.

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