Smooth Frosting Finish on Cakes

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Smooth Frosting Finish on Cakes

Ingredients:

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (optional, for extra shine)

Instructions:

Buttercream Frosting

1. Prepare the Buttercream Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

2. Frost the Cake:

  • Place a dollop of frosting on your cake stand or serving plate to anchor the cake.
  • Place the first cake layer on the stand. Spread an even layer of frosting on top.
  • Add the next cake layer and repeat until all layers are stacked.
  • Apply a thin coat of frosting (crumb coat) over the entire cake to seal in crumbs. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Apply a thicker, smooth layer of frosting over the chilled cake using an offset spatula or a bench scraper for smooth edges.

3. Smooth the Frosting:

  • Use a bench scraper or an offset spatula to smooth the sides and top of the cake. Hold the scraper at a slight angle against the cake and rotate the cake stand to get an even surface.
  • Chill the cake again for about 15-20 minutes if needed for additional smoothing.

Chocolate Ganache

1. Prepare the Ganache:

  • Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to simmer (do not boil).
  • Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to soften the chocolate.
  • Stir the mixture gently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the softened butter if using, and stir until fully incorporated for extra shine.

2. Cool the Ganache:

  • Let the ganache cool slightly until it reaches a pourable but thick consistency. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

3. Ganache Finish:

  • Place the cake on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any drips.
  • Starting from the center, pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to flow down the sides. Use a spatula to help spread it evenly if necessary.
  • For a smooth finish, gently shake the cake to level out the ganache.

4. Final Touches:

  • Allow the ganache to set at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.
  • For an extra smooth look, you can gently reheat the ganache and pour a second layer over the cake.

Tips for a Smooth Finish:

  • Ensure the cake layers are level before frosting or applying ganache.
  • Use a turntable cake stand for easier and more even frosting application.
  • For buttercream, smooth it out by dipping your spatula or scraper in hot water and wiping it dry before smoothing the cake.
  • For ganache, make sure it is at the right consistency before pouring. Too warm and it will be too runny; too cool and it will be too thick.

Enjoy your perfectly smooth and professionally finished cake!