How to Build a Cake - FULL TUTORIAL- includes video.
Get your cake ready for decorating by learning how to level, torte, fill and crumb coat your cake. In this tutorial I will teach you how to use a cake leveler, cake lifter, and turntable.
First let's learn about these techniques and why us bakers use them.
We level cakes so they are flat on the top. It is better for stacking cakes, it makes them look cleaner and have a professional appearance.
Torting a cake is simply dividing the cake into layers so you can apply a filling or frosting in between the layers you have made. Torting is also great for naked style cakes.
We fill cakes to balance the amount of frosting in each bite, and to add different flavors and/or textures. Cake fillings can be custards, fruit preservatives, ganache, frosting, or whatever else your taste buds desire!
The secret to a crumb-free cake. A crumb coat is an initial thin-layer of frosting applied to a cake. It acts as a barrier between the final frosting to help prevent crumbs from getting in your final layer of frosting.
The amount of frosting you use in your crumb coat depends on how you will complete your cake. (Naked cakes are just a simple crumb coat, so you may want to add a little more than if you were applying a second layer of buttercream.)
Now that we know why we utilize these techniques, let's put them in action and Learn How to Build a Cake...
HOW'D SHE DO THAT?
~ When using a cake board (cardboard cake circle), be sure to apply some frosting before your first layer of cake - this acts like a glue, it will help keep it on the cake board and help prevent it from sliding around.
~ When using a turntable - use a piece of non-slip mat (normally used in the kitchen's cupboard for glass cups) to keep the cake board still.
HOW TO LEVEL A CAKE
Using a cake leveler, an object that resembles a band saw, balance the wire ends by having each side on the same notch. Compare the wire next to you cake, where the wire sits, is where it will cut. To level a cake, you are cutting off the crown, or the dome on top.
Once you have lined up where you want the wire to cut, using a sawing like motion, slowly move the leveler back and forth through the cake. While you are leveling the cake, make sure the rubber feet stay flat on your working surface.
HOW TO TORTE A CAKE
Torting a cake is just like leveling a cake. Using a cake leveler, adjust the wire so it rests where you want the levels to be separated. In this video I show dividing the cake in half, so I adjusted the wire to sit at the mid-point; in some cases, you may wish to torte a single layer into 3, 4 or even 5 layers, so be sure to compare the wire next to the cake before you cut into it. Complete the process, as we did in the leveling process.
Using a cake lifter - an amazing invention to easily and quickly separate layers, without having the layer fall apart (especially for thin tortes) - slide it where you just separated the cake to remove the top layer until needed again.
HOW TO FILL A CAKE
First pipe a border around the top of the bottom cake layer using a #12 decorating tip (looks like a circle) and the frosting that you plan to finish the outside of the cake with. This border helps keep the filling in and away from the sides, so if you fill with a fruit preservative, this will prevent it from leaking down the edge - which could ruin your final coat of frosting.
(If you are just filling your cake with frosting - don't pipe a border, just apply a thin layer of your frosting with your spatula.)
Once your border has been piped, apply some filling in the center and using a small angled spatula slowly work it toward the border. It doesn't matter if you pick up any crumbs in your filling because this is going to be covered with your top cake layer.
HOW TO CRUMB COAT A CAKE
When it comes to crumb coating and frosting a cake, turntables are a necessity! It's faster, easier, cleaner and JUST BETTER. Once you have assembled your layers, apply a thin layer of frosting that coats the top and sides of the cake using your angled spatula. This does not need to look perfect - this is a layer that will be covered with more frosting or fondant later. If you are finishing your cake in frosting, I recommend you use the same frosting for your crumb coat. Once the cake is coated let it chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until firm.
NOTE: do not let it your cake stay in the fridge too long, it will dry your cake out.
HELLO! I'm Julie. My favorite hobby is baking; it’s relaxing and brings out my creative side. < Here I share tutorials to teach you how to cake decorate like a pro! Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter below to get my newest recipes, tutorials, and more! ENJOY.
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