Ann Reardon

4 ways to cover cake in buttercream



Covering a cake in buttercream is trickier than ganache. Why? Because generally ganache is firmer and sets harder, so it is easier to get those straight edges and sharp corners. However you can still use buttercream to cover your cake. Today I will be looking at 4 different techniques to do just that. Watch the video to see which ones worked.

Buttercream Recipe:
360g (12.7 ounces) margarine or butter, I prefer margarine because it doesn’t have as strong a flavour
1kg (2.2 pounds) icing sugar
Whip together using an electric mixer until smooth and pale.

1. Traditional turntable and scraper with fondant smoother

how to buttercream a cake
This method uses a scraper to smooth and straighten the buttercream on the sides of the cake. Use a right angled fondant smoother to check the sides are straight. Then use and angled spatula to smooth off the top.

2. Two Pyrex Circles

cover a cake in buttercream
Use two pyrex circles to make the sides straight. You will need the right sized circles for your cake sizes. Usually with this method you would put parchment under the top pyrex circle so you can easily get it off. I did have trouble with this though, see the video.

3. Pyrex Ring and circle

buttercream a cake pyrex ring
This is an unusual one, according to the directions on the packet you use a pyrex ring to make a disc for the top of the cake Then use the circle to help with the traditional method. I actually think this could be more useful if used in a different manor. Perhaps do the sides first then add the frozen disc to the top. This would also be more effective if you were using ganache because it is firmer.

4. Container

buttercream a cake using container

This is a method I made up to see if I could find an easier method for kids to get perfectly straight sided cake. It actually worked pretty well, it just needs a little modification – see the video for explanation.

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8 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 4.5

    Hi there, I too use the pink tool in the above pboto. Worked perfectly 2nd time using it, you may get a small dent in the very middle of the top, but thats easy to fix. With the cakes i make, they can not go in the fridge, it just ruins the soft crumb so I had to find an alternate way of covering, the tool is the answer, takes about 5 to ten minutes tops.

  2. Rating: 5

    I like the traditional method the best

    Ann could you make mini pancakes plz

  3. Rating: 3.5

    I think the fastest and easiest way to buttercream a cake is to stack and fill it.
    Then, put the cake in the fridge or freezer to firm it up.
    After it’s out, you need to trim the sides.
    If you have one side of a layer bulging out you will need to glop on extra buttercream to the side that isn’t bulging to even it out.
    After it’s evened out, you need to crumb coat.
    Now comes the frosting bit.
    Use two cardboard rounds, just slightly bigger than your cake, one at the top, one at the bottom.
    Proceed to buttercream your cake, using a scraper to smooth it.
    As in the video, the rounds will determine how much buttercream goes on, and keeps your scraper from going where it isn’t supposed to.
    Place the cake in the fridge or freezer to firm it up.
    Take off the top round if your cake is only one tier.
    If it is a multi-tiered cake you needn’t bother removing it, just put the next tier on top when you’ve finished buttercreaming that one.
    This way seems like a lot of steps, but it goes fairly quickly, and the results are worth it.

  4. Rating: 4.5

    That is a very interesting video, thank you!
    Instead of an extra tool I used my children´s set square to make sure the cake is being covered in buttercream in an 90° angle. And for making sure that the top of the cake is being covered evenly, I still use a small mason´s level which can be put in the top after the cake has been out in the fridge for the first time.
    But I often struggled with the edges. If smoothing them from the top, I got leftovers on the sides and vice versa. I recently discovered an inexpensive tool to fix this problem, see photo. And it works!

    • Thanks for the idea Corinna.

    • I just bought one of those to try, it was very expensive though … by the time I paid shipping to Australia!! I haven’t tried it yet I’ll let you know how it goes.

      • Rating: 4.5

        Let me know next time, I´d be happy to send you one. It was a few Euros here.

  5. Rating: 5

    Looks like the traditional method works the best. I suppose I will just keep practicing as practice makes perfect. All the others seemed to busy to me. So my quest for an easy way to make a buttercream cake look perfect will just to be practice, practice, practice. Thank you for all the demonstrations I have thought a few of those might work as I had seen the upside down method and was going to try it. Love all your videos.

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