I am a very impatient person. I just hate to do things that take too long. It still baffles me how I like to decorate cookies because of all the time spent waiting on the cookies to dry. Go figure. Somehow decorating cookies centers me I guess. Cakes, on the other hand, are a different story. On the few occasions when I make cakes I want them to be done quickly. Today I'm sharing with you how I like to ice a cake. Personally I don't think there is a right or wrong way to ice a cake (cake experts might gasp right now). I think it comes down to finding what works for you. Traditionally you should level your cake and then dam and fill it. Then you would crumb coat it and allow it to settle before doing your final coat.
This is how I like to do it. I level my cake and then I dam it and fill it. Next, I squish the cake down pretty firmly for quick settling. Then I take some icing with an offset spatula and firmly press it into the sides of the cake to prevent air pockets from forming.
Now I'm ready to get on with the show and ice away. I put a huge glob of icing on top of the cake and then using an offset spatula I spread it around & let it start falling over on the sides. Then I ice the sides and use my spatula to lightly remove excess icing.
Next, I'm ready to get this cake smooth. I use a bench scraper to gently start removing icing from the sides of the cake. I go around and around removing small amounts of icing until I'm satisfied with how the sides look. In case you accidentally take too much off then just add more icing and smooth again with the scraper.
As you can see a small lip formed on the top of the cake. I take my scraper and start smoothing it down. I'm not the best at this step but I do it well enough for my liking. I'm not trying to be a professional.
After I get the top where I want it I clean up my board and then leave the cake to sit for about 10 minutes so the icing crusts over. Oh yeah, I forget to mention that my icing is a crusting buttercream. After about ten minutes I gently touch the cake and if no icing is coming off on my finger then it's ready for the final smoothing. I use a Viva paper towel and a fondant smoother to smooth the tops and the sides of the cake. Smooth away until you're happy with it.
You may have noticed a crumb in the icing. You can gently remove it with a toothpick and then smooth over the spot. If you have several crumbs it's okay because you can do some creative decorating to cover them up. This is what the cake looks like after smoothing. Not bad for bypassing the crumb coat. This is what works for me.
Here's the final cake all dressed up. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be working on some interesting cookies next.