Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Layered Cakes

I love eating layered cakes. I love looking at layered cakes. I love how creative they can be. I love photographing layered cakes. I love the IDEA of making layered cakes.


I HATE the process of making layered cakes.

Something ALWAYS, ALWAYS has to go wrong whenever I attempt to create one of these lovely cakes. The problem is always almost with the icing. Or logistics. But today was, thankfully, one of my most successful attempts at making a layered cake. I converted my favourite cupcake recipe into a cake one and ended up with three separate cakes which I was then going to LAYER.

This, I find, is always the tough part. I made the same icing as I did for my red velvets in the last post. Then, I placed spread two of the cakes with the icing. After that, I layered them so there were three cakes all on top of one another. So far, so good. REALLY good actually.

Problems arose here:

I put 1/8th of a teaspoon of red food colouring to get a baby pink colour but apparently even that amount was too much.
Solution: I should add 1% of a drop at a time.

As I was icing the cake with a flat-bladed icing knife, crumbs from the cake were, well, crumbling off the cake and getting mixed with the icing. So it didn't look all that neat.
Solution: should I "sand" the cake with one of those fondant smoothener thingys?!

I find it VERY difficult to ice the sides of a cake. I try to cover the entire thing without making it look "transparent" but it just doesn't work! It took me a while to try and get it neat but it still wasn't perfect.
Solution: practice. Cliche, I know.

Also, I iced the entire cake on a baking sheet just because it was big enough to handle the mess. Transporting it to a cake stand was HELL. The upper two cake layers shifted and now it looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Solution: Try to neatly ice your cake on the stand itself.

I am determined to get this right. I will. I will. I will. SIGH.

ALSO, in retrospect, I realized that having white icing on the outside and pink icing work as filling in the middle of the layers would make for really good eye candy!


  1. This cake looks like birthday cake, I want a huge slice right now!

    I'll try to add my two cents here: I used to think layer cakes were the dessert from Hell, I really did. Until I started watching more baking shows, YouTube videos, and fellow bakers ice cakes.

    The trick to not getting crumbs all over your icing is to dollop a generous amount of icing onto the center of the cake before you start spreading it. This way, your spatula/palette knife will only touch the icing without touching the cake (which is obviously what is creating the crumbliness).

    When it comes to the sides of the cake: Also remember that a generous amount of icing is the most important thing to help you get that perfectly iced look. Some cake decorators like to start icing the top of the cake and then move the excess icing to the sides. Others like to start off with the sides first to make sure they're neat and then carry on with the top. So it's really what you're most comfortable with and YES practice is KEY :)

    When I'm icing a cake on a cake stand, I put two pieces of parchment paper overlapping one another and then put the cake on top of them. Once I'm done icing, I just pull them out from the bottom and viola! Neat cake stand!

    I hope this helped. Happy Icing! <3

  2. Amazing tips!! Thank you!! I'm going to try and make another one today!

  3. hi sid! this is great your kids must love to bits... i know my daughter will... oh to have a mum who bakes and decorates like this wow! i suck at stuff like this.


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