Icing a Cake with Step by Step Photos

Frosting cake
Alison Miksch / Getty Images
  • 01 of 09

    Step One - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Cover Your Cake Plate

    Cover Cake Stand. 2009 Cover Cake Stand Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    It doesn't matter whether it's called icing a cake or frosting a cake these step by step photos will help you make a great one.

    Once the cake is cool and the icing made, it's time to cover your cake plate. Use either wax or parchment paper around the edges of your cake plate. Once the cake is iced, just remove the paper and your cake plate edges will be clean.

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Step Two - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Bottom Layer

    Bottom Layer. Bottom Layer Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Place the bottom layer of your cake, top down, on your prepared plate. By placing the cake top down, you'll have a flatter surface to work with.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    StepThree - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Begin Frosting

    Begin Frosting. Begin Frosting Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Take one-third (or what the recipe dictates) of the frosting and put it in the middle of the bottom cake layer.

    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Step Four - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Add the Frosting

    Using a Spatula. 2009 Using a Spatula Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Use a spatula made especially for frosting cakes. Some people prefer the offset spatula and some the straight spatula.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Step Five - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Spread the Frosting

    Finish Spreading Frosting on First Layer. 2009 Finish Spreading Frosting Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Be sure to push the spatula through the icing. To avoid cake crumbs*, always push the icing from the middle outwards. Then lift the spatula and begin again in the middle, going out in each direction. When it's time to evenly spread the frosting, don't backtrack. Keep the spatula on the frosting. Don't let it touch the unfrosted cake unless there's plenty of icing on the spatula.

    *I rarely have problems with crumbs when icing a cake, because I let my cake sit for a couple of hours...MORE before I frost it. After a while, the crumbs are absorbed back into the cake.

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  • 06 of 09

    Step Six - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Add the Second Layer

    Second Cake Layer. 2009 Second Cake Layer Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Carefully, add the second cake layer top side up.

    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Step Seven - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Frost Top Layer

    Frost Top Layer of Cake. 2009 Frost Top Layer of Cake Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Place 1/2 of the frosting left in the bowl, and use the same techniques for frosting the cake as in step five to frost the top* of the cake.

    *I guess it's a personal preference thing, but I like to frost the top of my cake and then do the sides. There are other people who like to frost the sides and then the top. Do what is more comfortable for you.

    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Step Eight - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - Frost the Sides of the Cake

    Frost Sides of Cake. Frost Sides of Cake Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Use the last of the icing on the sides of the cake. Be careful, I've found that there may be more problems with crumbs while frosting the sides. Just remember, don't backtrack and keep plenty of icing on the front of the spatula.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Step Nine - Icing a Cake Step by Step with Photos - The Finished Product

    Totally Frosted Cake. 2009 Totally Frosted Cake Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    All I did to get the top of the cake to look like this was by placing the spatula on the top of the frosted cake. I tilted it slightly and lifted up to get an icing peak. I went another place on the cake and did it again.

    Of course, a smooth top is perfectly acceptable. If you let the cake sit iced for a couple of hours, it'll form a slight crust. Once it's got that crust, place a large piece of waxed or parchment paper loosely over the top of the cake. Gently, rub your hands over the top...MORE of the cake to smooth any ​rough areas. You can do the same thing on the sides.​​