How to Frost & Glaze a Cake

Baking, Cook, Easter Cakes and Cupcakes, How-To, Learn

Spring baking is in full swing! This guide will help you finish off a delicious cake — like our Orange Chiffon Layer Cake above — with a beautiful coat of even frosting worthy of a bakery display case. Once you’ve mixed, baked and assembled your layer cake, follow the steps below for foolproof frosting and glazing.




Before you frost or glaze a cake, make a crumb coating (a thin layer of frosting that adheres crumbs to the cake so they do not mar the finish). Place the filled layer cake on a turntable or work surface. Put a small amount of frosting (no more than one-third of the frosting) on top of the cake. Using an icing spatula, smooth a thin layer of frosting over the cake.
The crumb coating should be a thin, even layer that covers the entire surface of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until firm, 15 to 30 minutes.




Place the cake, still on its cardboard, on a serving plate. Set the plate on a cake turntable or work surface. If some of the frosting will be used to decorate the finished cake, set that portion aside before you begin. Mound the remaining frosting in the center of the cake and smooth it gently and evenly over the top.
Using the cardboard as a guide to how thick the frosting should be, smooth the frosting down the sides of the cake with the icing spatula, employing broad strokes and holding the spatula nearly perpendicular to the top. Do not touch the spatula to the cake without frosting on the spatula, or you might pick up crumbs from the cake.
Dip the spatula in warm water and wipe with a damp, clean kitchen towel. Holding the spatula perpendicular to the top, smooth the frosting on the sides, wiping the spatula with the towel before each stroke. If you are using a turntable, rotate it as you work.
Holding the spatula parallel to the top, sweep it across the top to smooth the frosting. Continue to rotate the turntable, if using, wiping the spatula after each stroke. The top should be flat and the sides straight on the finished cake. If you are glazing the cake over the frosting, refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to firm up the frosting before glazing it. Otherwise, start decorating!




Place the cake on a cooling rack set on a half-sheet pan. Make sure that the glaze is the right temperature (about 92 degrees F) and consistency before you begin to pour it. If it’s too cool, warm it up slightly over hot water. If it is too thick, and warming does not thin it, gently stir in a few tablespoons of melted butter until the glaze flows from a spoon. Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake.
Immediately tilt the rack back and forth until the glaze covers the top and falls evenly over the sides.
Use an icing spatula to smooth the top and sides and to remove excess puddles. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes to set up the first coat of glaze completely. It is ready for the second coat when you can touch the glaze and it does not smear. Scrape up the drippings from the pan, return them to the bowl that held the glaze and rewarm the glaze. Pour the glaze on the cake and immediately tilt the rack back and forth once or twice to cover evenly. This time do not use the spatula. Let the cake sit until the glaze sets up, then transfer to a serving plate using a wide metal spatula.

2 comments about “How to Frost & Glaze a Cake

  1. job online

    Useful information. Lucky me I found your website accidentally, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.


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