I want to blast you back through memory lane for a just a minute. Thirteen years ago, in fact. I had just met my now-husband RT. He was a tall, cool drink of vegan water. I was a short haired, glasses-wearing aspiring music writer/feminist. I was so nervous to eat anything meaty around him I think I only ate toast and tea. Then, his birthday came around and I wanted to make this cute boy a birthday cake (ha). I enlisted the help of a vegan cookbook and some plastic dollar-store toy cake toppers (probably not food safe! Oops). I really worked hard at this thing and I was all nervous how the cake would turn out. Let’s just say I made a crappy cake, guys. Brutally frosted with loose crumbs throughout and super ugly! Of course, RT was a polite happy chappy and we dug into the cake fine and well. But dang it, I was LOST at how to make a cake look like a sweet 10 out of 10, or even a 7 out of 10. So this is where this tutorial comes in. I’ll show you some nice tips on how to frost a cake that’s as cute as can be!
I just love me a beautiful simple birthday party cake! A sweet birthday doesn’t have to be slam jammed with every bell and whistle of decor on planet Earth. A few simple gestures, like a pretty cake, a thoughtful birthday card and a trio of balloons makes for a modern, low key party.
Ready to make your own birthday cake?
You Will Need:
- Your favourite two layer cake, baked and cooled. If you want pink cake layers, add a small drop of pink gel colouring to the batter!
- 4 cups of buttercream of your choice. Colour two thirds of it with pink, and one third in light green, using gel food colouring.
- An offset spatula
- A cake smoothing bench scraper
- A cake board or cake plate
- A piping bag fitted with an open star tip (I used a Wilton 4B tip)
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Washi tape
- A wooden BBQ stick
- A rotating cake stand is a great investment if you are really keen on baking and decorating! I got mine for 50% off at a certain craft superstore using their weekly handy dandy 50% off any item coupon. Score!
Run your offset spatula between the cake and cake pan to loosen your cake. Remove cooled cake from cake pan; flip over pan and set on top for a flat surface. Using a serrated knife, gently slice off the raised dome of your caked cake for even, level layers.
Put a dab of buttercream on your cake board. Place the cake layer level-side-up on your cake board or cake plate, right on top of the buttercream dab – this acts as a sort of glue to keep your cake layer from shifting. Add a generous amount of fluffy buttercream on to your cake layer – I use my offset spatula to frost. The trick is to only move around the frosting itself, never touch the cake – if you touch the cake with the offset spatula, you’re more likely to tear up the cake or gather crumbs as you go.
Remove the second layer from the cake pan, levelling it as you did the first; this time, place the layer level-side-down on top of the layer of buttercream. Do a visual 360 view around your whole cake, ensuring the layers are even, adjusting as needed – then, lightly press down into the buttercream to adhere.
Now, plop a big old amount of buttercream on the top of your cake! Frost the entire exterior of the cake using your offset spatula. If there’s any gap between the cake layers, you can fill it with frosting here.
Using your cake smoother, smooth the entire exterior of your cake. Don’t worry if it looks not-so-hot right now, this is called the crumb coat – we’re sealing in those crumby bad boys! Next, place the cake in the freezer for ten minutes until set. While the cake is chilling, take a moment to look at this card:
CUTE! I love this slice of birthday cake card! Anyone else out there wild about pictures or drawings of cake slices? I simply can’t get enough.
Remove your cake from the freezer. Now, we’ll frost it again! I love placing a big old comedic plop of buttercream on top.
Frost the cake with the second layer of buttercream.
Now, smooth this layer with the bench scraper! Now we’re talkin’!
Keep on smoothing until you get to where you want to go. This will do for me!
Fill your piping bag fitted with the open star tip with the light green buttercream. Border time! (sung to Hammer Time)
Let’s make a puffy shell border! Squeeze out your piping bag to form a ball like shape. Release pressure slightly and drag piping bag to the right about 3/4 inch, creating a ribbed line, then pull away – it will leave a pointy little tail. Start the next shell on top of the “tail” of the last shell. Continue piping the bottom border, going all around the cake!
Pipe shells on the top border of the cake! Pipe away, my friend!
You did it! You basically work at Dairy Queen now!
I love using little flags and toppers to give a cute finish to my cakes. Make a cute washi tape flag, one of my faves! Choose your favourite tape design. Pull off a long piece and wrap it around a wooden BBQ stick; fold over to adhere. Use a pair of scissors to snip a V-cut for a more flag-like look!
Dust your cake with a liberal amount of rainbow sprinkles! For better control, I tend to put them in my hand and sprinkle with my fingers instead of shaking a container right on top of the cake.
And you know what you do once you’ve baked and decorated the cutest birthday cake? SLICE IT UP! GET ALL UP IN THAT CAKE! SWAN DIVE INTO THAT THING! FACEWASH IT! SLAMJAM CAKE YOU MA’AM! Or… you could also daintily slice out a demure piece and eat it very lady-like style with a mini fork!
This cake kind of has an adorable watermelon feel to it, too, doesn’t it!
And there you have it! I hope this was a helpful post for you! What are your favourite/best cake decorating tips or tools? I’d love to hear! Happy decorating, cake pals! xo Lyndsay
This post was sponsored by Paper Generation, a curated paper boutique specializing in sweet, quirky and whimsical cards from Brooklyn, NY. I am loving on their mix of indie designers, letterpress, artful cards! Plus they ship internationally!