This past Christmas, Santa left a couple of 9" round cake pans for me. A layered cake has never been my strong suit as you can see from this leaning tower of chocolate. But I'm no quitter and gave it another shot with Andy's Birthday Cake last week.
First and foremost, my technique is far from perfect. But the best way to learn is how??? All together now - from our mistakes. The first trick is to properly butter and dust the cake pans with flour. Then line the bottoms with parchment paper. This step will ensure the cake comes out in one piece and help avoid any unattractive kitchen meltdowns. Tip: trace the outside of the pan using a pencil and cut out with scissors. You'll have the perfect sized parchment paper circle every time.
Once the cakes have finished baking let them cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. If you're incredibly impatient like me, you'll want to frost the cake right away. Don't Do It! You'll have a heaping mess of crumbled cake and a gooey frosting mess. This was my downfall in my previous layered cake blunder. Let the cakes cool completely. Frosting a cake is much easier when it's cooled to room temp. Even consider allowing it to cool in the fridge over night. Your cake is sure to be super firm and sturdy... and still yummy.
Frosting the cake is pretty straight forward. I use an offset spatula to spread the frosting but a knife or rubber spatula will work just fine. For a 9" cake, put about 3/4 cup of frosting on top of the first layer. This will be the delicious layer of frosting in between each layer of the cake. Be sure to spread the frosting evenly so that the next layer of cake has a level surface to sit on. Repeat this step for as many layers as you want. Then put the rest of the frosting in the center of the top layer and begin spreading the frosting outward and down the sides of the cake.
For a smooth finished look, dip the spatula in warm water and lightly run it along all sides and the top of the cake.
Add sprinkles or write a little message on top and you're done! A homemade layered cake made with love.
What about you guys? Any major cake blunders in your past?