Hello, World! We here at 12 Oaks Desserts are SO excited to launch our new blog and share our thoughts, tips and tricks with all of you. With our first foray into the blogosphere, we thought we’d discuss our favorite component of cake – the frosting! Like John Legend and Chrissy Teagan, cake and frosting are a perfect team. There are many effects that you can achieve with frosting, but before we dive into the details, let us give you a little more background on working with it.
We’ll be honest, we love buttercream! Making it, taste-testing it, and then eating a little bit more of it! There are several types of frostings to choose from, but our favorite (hands down) is American buttercream. We whip together high-quality butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and voilà! Be patient with your mixer – the buttercream needs to be whipped for at least 4-5 minutes.
CLASSIC BUTTERCREAM TREATMENTS
If you’ve ever made a cake at home before, you’re probably most familiar with a smooth buttercream application. Here’s our little secret to getting a perfectly smooth application: We actually use a sewing tool to get our smooth finish. It’s lightweight and so easy to use. After many trials and tribulations, the two most important things we’ve learned are to ensure your buttercream is the right consistency and practice, practice, practice. Once you’ve mastered this skill you can start creating unique patterns on the sides of your cake including rosettes, ruffles, flowers and rustic finishes. Here’s a shot of one of our favorite wedding cakes with some simple diagonal lines.
TECHNIQUES TO TRY
For the burgeoning bakers out there, who want to try their hand at these frosting applications, here are a few tried and true tricks of the trade. We hope these help you in your cake-baking endeavors!
1) (Warm) Butter is Better: Make sure your butter is at room temperature. However, we know that sometimes cake emergencies arise and you’ll need to make frosting asap. Use your microwave to warm up the butter – just make sure not to let it get too soft or melt! One or two 10 second intervals should do the trick.
2) Level Your Layers: With any cake, be sure to slice the rounded top off the cake prior to assembling to ensure your cake will be structurally sound. You don’t want your layer cake to end up looking like the leaning tower of Pisa.
3) Keep Your Cool: Once you’ve stacked your cake, give it some time to rest in the refrigerator. The coldness will help keep the crumbs in before you start frosting.
4) Practice Your Spin Moves: A good turntable is key. Our lives changed forever when we upgraded to an Ateco turntable.