Square Cake Corners!

Decorating By Rheaadrienne Updated 25 Jul 2015 , 1:40am by sleaky77

Rheaadrienne Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 6:24pm
post #1 of 16

Hi there!

I have a 3 tier square fondant wedding cake coming up in a couple of weeks. I really hate square cakes :( I've managed to conquer getting  the top edges of the cake with sharp corners but struggle on the side edges and making the top corners nice and sharp. Any ideas or methods??

15 replies
Webake2gether Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 7:06pm
post #2 of 16

Here is tutorial on a Tiffany box cake and he shows his technique for getting nice sides and corners. I didn't have the exact tools he used so I used my fondant smoother and bench scraper and it worked great. Hope that helps :) I'm curious to see what others do to achieve the nice straight sides definitely harder than round cakes. 

Rheaadrienne Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 8:10pm
post #3 of 16

Thank you, I wonder if it makes any different that he uses ganache instead of buttercream, it looks really square even before he starts to smooth it all out! 

melmar02 Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 11:31pm
post #4 of 16

I rented Sharon Zambito's Perfecting the Art of Buttercream DVD a few years ago from my local library, and that probably helped the most with my square cakes (along with a lot of practice!)

Apti Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 1:03am
post #5 of 16

I agree about stressing over a 3 tier square cake!  Some bakers charge more for squares and I know why--they're a booger to finish.

After experimenting with getting square cakes, uh.... square (or at least mostly "square-ish"), I've found that using ganache or SMBC gives the best opportunity for in-your-face square/straight corners and top. 

The workability of either of those two allow you to work with a pliable surface (just like buttercream), but you can make them HARD by putting them in the refrigerator.  Then, you can scrape or cut until you get what you want without disfiguring the rest of the icing.  When you use buttercream, you have to be really careful not to disturb the bulk of the frosting when you are trying to get corners or a flat top.  The slightest bit of pressure and Whoopsie!  Dent (or hole) or scrape in buttercream which requires more fixing.

I still don't get in-your-face square/straight corners and tops, but I'm a heck of a lot closer using ganache!  I just finished a 3 tier with a 12x4 square ganache, 8"x4" round, and a 6" carved into a graduation cake.  It was my best effort on a square cake to date.  I was quite proud of it.

I did not use fondant on this cake, but it would have been waaaay easier to do with the mostly square, refrigerator-hard ganache underneath.

Webake2gether Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 2:30am
post #6 of 16

I've not tried ganache (just got buttercream down lol) yet but I'm eager to!! I covered a foam floral square (the soft kind) with fondant and used his technique and it really helped finish the "box" topper i made haven't used it on a cake yet. I'm sure the ganache makes a big difference can't wait to try it :) 

sleaky77 Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 2:43am
post #7 of 16

I saw a video where, instead of smoothing the corners you smooth the sides down and then pinch the fondant off the corners with two fondant smoothers. Not sure if that makes sense. I will have a quick look for it. It worked for me.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 2:52am
post #8 of 16

I prefer Ganache myself as I find it far easier to handle than SMBC for the outside of a cake. I tend to use my acrylic boards that I had specially made for icing cakes and it does make life easier but I don't have acrylic boards in all of the sizes so sometimes have to get the square edges without a guide and it does take a bit longer as you need to be a bit more careful.

If you don't mind using an extra board per cake you can do the double board method with a standard cake board too.

The trick to getting the sharp edge is to apply plenty of icing then scraping away the excess - always drawing your icing (I use a spatula to apply heaps of icing and a bench scraper to remove) AWAY from the corners and stopping before you reach the opposite corner.  Use the base board as a guide and keep your scraper at a 90 degree angle with the surface that the board is sitting on to stop you ending up with a cake that has angled sides.

sleaky77 Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 2:54am
post #9 of 16
Jeff_Arnett Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 3:23am
post #10 of 16

I have not problems doing this using my upside down icing method...but I've got a lot of experience.  If you are not really familiar with this, you might want to try the acrylic disc method.  There's a number of videos on YouTube on how to do this and where to get the discs as well.  Just give it a search....


Apti Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 4:19am
post #11 of 16

When I finally came close to "square", it was because I used both ganache AND cardboard cake boards and a metal cake scraper that doubled as a metal square.  Since the cake boards ended up being about 1/4" smaller than the cake, I put on LOTS of ganache and then scraped away the extra (over and over until I came close), then I refrigerated and then worked on the bumps. 

You need to finish with hot water immersion for the metal scraper (wiped off with a paper towel), to melt the final bits of bumps, etc.

Square corners are a P. I. T. A.

Round cakes are waaaaaaay easier.

Rheaddrianne~~Since we have no idea of your skill level/how long you've been doing cakes/if this is a paid customer you don't know or a family member who won't care if the cake isn't perfect...it's really hard (if not impossible) to provide meaningful advice on the question of "how to get square corners".

If the cake is due in less than a month and IF you have very basic skill levels (apologies if you've made lots of wedding cakes and have LOTS of cake decorating experience), you may wish to switch to round cakes in order to have a better chance at the best presentation. 

Claire138 Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 6:38am
post #12 of 16

@Sleaky, since I saw that last year it has changed my fear of square or rectangle cakes. Definitely the way to do it.

Apti Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 6:58am
post #13 of 16

@Sleaky -- that is brilliant for square fondant cakes.   Thanks for sharing the link.

Rheaadrienne Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 11:45am
post #14 of 16

@apti I am quite experienced, I work for a cake decorating company and this is a paying customer I just want to perfect my squares! They want buttercream under the fondant and just wanted to see if anyone has some new ideas that I would like to try! Thank you all for your advice I'm going to look at the tutorials! Xx

sleaky77 Posted 25 Jul 2015 , 1:40am
post #15 of 16

I used this just this weekend and it took me about half the time to cover a square cake than it would normally take to do a round one  :)

sleaky77 Posted 25 Jul 2015 , 1:40am
post #16 of 16

I used this just this weekend and it took me about half the time to cover a square cake than it would normally take to do a round one  :)

Quote by @%username% on %date%