How To: Frost a Cake

Follow these simple tips and you'll be frosting cakes like a pro.

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Frosting Essentials

Here's a tip: Spend a few bucks on an offset spatula. Its large surface area makes it easy to spread frosting easily. For a sturdy base, use cardboard rounds or an upside-down cake pan.

Steadying Trick

Start by putting a dab of frosting on your base to keep the bottom layer of cake from moving around.

Layer by Layer

Place the first layer of cake on the base and spread on the filling layer. It doesn't have to be pretty, just even. Then place the second layer on top and press down gently.

Crumb Coat

Cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting. This is called a crumb coat, and it ensures that final frosting looks spectacular. Put the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes until well-chilled and firm.

Frost Away

After removing the cake from the fridge, finish frosting. Don't be shy: Use a nice dollop and move the frosting along the side of the cake, removing the excess as you turn the pan with your hand.

Decorative Touch

To get those swirls like Grandma used to make, use the back of a spoon.


Use two offset spatulas for an easy transfer to a cake plate.