Secrets to Frosting a Layer Cake & 4 Ways a Good Cake Can Go Bad
4 WAYS A GOOD CAKE CAN GO BAD
Culprit: Hot Cake. It might be tempting to start frosting soon after the cake has come out of the oven. But even a slightly warm cake can cause the frosting to melt and slide off. It pays to wait until the cake is completely cooled.
Culprit: Cold Frosting. Most frostings can be made ahead and refrigerated until they are ready to use. But if they’re not left to soften at room temperature, the frosting will be stiff and difficult to spread, and their application may gouge a chunk out of a tender cake.
Culprit: Domed Cake. Cake layers can dome in the oven, making them hard to stack. If you don’t trim the dome, you’ll need extra frosting to fill the space between the layers—meaning you won’t have enough for the top and sides. Even if you make extra frosting, the finished cake will be overly rich.
Culprit: Reckless Slicing. Even a beautifully frosted cake can turn ugly after the first slice. That’s because the slicing knife drags frosting and crumbs as it cuts. For a prettier presentation, clean the knife after each cut by dipping it in hot water, then drying it off between slices.