z5By Elke Probkevitz

Baking a cake is pretty simple. As long as you follow the recipe and take care to get the measurements just right, your cake will be delicious. However, it doesn’t always come out looking perfect even when it tastes really good. A little lopsided, a little bumpy, but at least you tried, right? Frosting your cake correctly can fix all those little imperfections by smoothing on a sweet layer of sugary deliciousness that will cover up any flaws. Follow these simple steps and your cake will be a beauty in no time.

Keep it cool. Icing can be temperamental when it’s too warm. Make sure to keep the icing cool and let the cake cool completely before frosting it. Bake the cake earlier in the day, or on the day before, to give it time to really cool. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight to frost the next day.

Use the right tools. Using the right equipment for frosting will help you get the best results. A long metal spatula, an offset spatula, a serrated knife, and a pastry brush are the best tools for the job.

Prep the cake. The frosting will only look as smooth as the cake beneath it. The cake should look perfectly straight with 90-degree angled edges. Use the serrated knife to cut off any raised mounds that form at the top of the cake so that the height is even and straight. Gently brush off any excess crumbs with the pastry brush.

Assemble the cake. Place pieces of parchment paper under the cake to line the edges of the platter and keep it clean while you frost. Place a dollop of frosting under the first layer to secure it to the cake platter. Start with a generous amount of frosting and spread it evenly over the top of the first layer of cake. Top with second layer of cake and press gently to make sure the cake is straight all the way around. Repeat if using more layers.

Begin to frost. First, spread a thin layer of icing on the top of the cake to cover the cut side, then chill to set so the crumbs will be sealed in. Make sure not to get any crumbs in the unused frosting. Fill in the gap between the cakes as well to make the sides straight and flush.

Polish it off. Frost the cake well all the way around, then take the cake spatula and glide it along the cake to smooth out the sides, top, and edges. Use a tall measuring cup with hot water to clean your spatula as you go. Leave as is or top with decorative pearls, sprinkles, or flowers. Ï–

Chocolate Dump Cake


2 cups sugar

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 stick butter (or butter substitute for pareve)

1 cup water

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 cup milk (or almond milk for pareve)

1 tsp. cider vinegar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

1½ cups sour cream (or soy sour cream for pareve)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a baking sheet on lowest rack to catch any drips. Place sugar, chocolate, butter, and water in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until melted and blended. Let cool.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Stir milk and vinegar together in a separate bowl. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform or tube pan. (Line with parchment first to make removing the cake easier.) Whisk milk mixture and eggs into chocolate mixture. Mix in dry ingredients in batches until incorporated. Add vanilla, and blend. Pour batter into pan and bake on middle rack for 30—35 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. Let cool completely or icing will be lumpy. Add in sour cream, ¼ cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. When cake is completely cool, frost it as is or cut in half and frost between layers as well.

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here