How to Frost a Layer Cake
Get smooth cake results every time by following the tips from our Test Kitchen experts.
To frost a 3-layer cake, first place 4 strips of wax paper on the cake plate to form a square with an open space in the middle. This will prevent the frosting or icing from dropping or dripping onto the plate. Place the first layer of the cake on top of the wax paper strips, and brush away any loose crumbs. For the filling, use a spatula to spread a layer of frosting evenly over the top of the first cake layer. You’ll probably use about 1 cup of the frosting, depending on the recipe. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and, again, spread the frosting over the cake. Then top with the third cake layer. You may want to look down over the cake to make sure that the layers are stacked evenly. After you’ve placed the top cake layer, frost the sides of the cake, using an offset spatula for more control. We recommend frosting the sides of the cake before you frost the top. When you’ve finished frosting the cake, carefully pull out the wax paper strips. You’ll have a beautiful cake as well as a clean plate.