How to ice a cake with buttercream

Dan Lepard shows you how to ice a cake with buttercream for a professional finish.

The first layer of buttercream is called a ‘crumb coat’. This is applied to seal in any crumbs and to help smooth the surface of the cake. The second layer is then applied for a smooth finish.

-Dollop a large spoonful of buttercream onto the cake and then smooth it over the top of the cake to create a flat surface. Using a ruler, slowly scrape the surface to make sure it is smooth and flat.

-Spread the icing around the sides of the cake and use a cake scraper or palette knife to make sure it is smooth.

-Chill in the fridge for two hours; then repeat with another layer of icing. Chill in the fridge for another two hours.

See recipe in full

Girl’s birthday cake Girl’s birthday cake

By Dan Lepard

Skill level


Equipment you will need for this technique

  • Cake turntable (optional, but very useful)
  • Palette knife
  • Cake scraper

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