There comes a time in every cake maker’s life where they’re faced with icing an unusually shaped cake. Maybe you’ve decided to make a number-shaped birthday cake, or perhaps a star or superhero shaped cake. Whatever the shape is you just know that applying ready to roll icing on something other than a nice round cake isn’t going to be easy. What to do?
The temptation might be to cover the cake in a butter cream frosting or something like that, just smooth it on and you’re done. But don’t give up. Applying ready to roll icing to different shaped cakes isn’t as hard as it might first appear. Here are some tips to help you get to grips with it.
When you’re rolling out your ready to roll icing make sure that it is substantially larger than the area of the cake. You’ll always leave a little excess when decorating a standard cake, but to make sure that you cover every part of a shaped cake you need to make sure you have plenty of room to manoeuvre. This means that when you begin to smooth the icing down to follow the contours it won’t stretch and tear.
Make sure that your icing isn’t too sticky. If it is then when you apply it to the cake it’s liable to snag and tear as you mould it. If the icing feels tacky then give it a light dusting of icing sugar to absorb some of the moisture.
Turning A Corner.If your cake has sharp corners, such as a square or star-shaped cake, always begin smoothing here first. Cup your hand gently around the corner and smooth the ready to roll icing down slowly. Take care here as these are areas that are most likely to rip.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race.Now that the icing is in place and you’ve tackled any corners you can begin to ease the icing into the nooks and crannies of the cake. Again, be sure to take this slowly and adjust the icing as necessary. If you’ve allowed yourself enough excess this shouldn’t be a problem, but it can be a painstaking process.
By The Numbers.
For some cakes, particularly numbers, it may be necessary to ice the cake in sections. First cut out the outline of the number so you can apply the icing to the face of the cake. Once this is in position measure around the cake with a tape measure, and also measure the depth of the cake. Then roll out some ready to roll icing into a long, flat shape that is long enough to cover the outline of the cake and wide enough to cover the depth with some spare. Gently roll the icing up and then unroll it around the edge of the cake, pressing it against the cake to secure it. Once the side is in place you can then cut away the excess on the top and smooth the join between the side and face icing.
Lots of people find smoothing down the surface of shaped cakes tricky. Traditional cake smoothers can’t follow all those little corners and nooks. So use your hands and then to get a great polish take a lump of ready to roll icing in your hand and use that to buff all over the surface. It will mould itself to the contours letting you get a perfect finish all over the cake.
Don’t be put off the idea of decorating an unusually shaped cake with ready to roll icing. It’s definitely trickier than a standard round cake but with a bit of practice you can make it a useful tool in your cake making arsenal.
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