Mermaid Inspired Cake – Day One – Crumb Coating a Cake
I’ve been busy the last few weeks and when a friend asked me to make a mermaid inspired cake for her daughter’s birthday party, I decided to turn it into a tutorial blog post. At first, she showed me a bunch of Pinterest cakes with full mermaids on top and mega decorated hundred-dollar cakes. There was no way I could make something like those, so I told her what I could do. Simple and basic. At first I was thinking of another petal cake, but I decided to make a flavored fondant instead.
The first step to making a decorated cake, is to bake a cake. You can make one from scratch or a box. I won’t judge. This was just a basic white cake. I divided the cake batter into three parts and colored them for an ombre look.
Once the cake are baked and cooled, wrap them in plastic and freeze the cakes overnight. The next day, I cut the edges off the cake. They were browned and ugly because I forgot to use my bake even strips, so I wanted to get rid of those edges. Just make sure if you do cut off the edges, that they are still the same size. If you need to, level the cakes as well.
Make your buttercream frosting and get to work.
Add a small bit of frosting to you cake board and place your first layer of cake down. This will secure the cake to the board. Add a thick layer of frosting and smooth it over. I used a large piping bag and a cake icer tip to add the frosting. Add the second layer and repeat. Place the top cake layer on upside down so that the top of the cake is flat.
Add a thick layer of frosting to the top of the cake and push it over the edges. Press the frosting into the sides of the cake and then smooth out the top and sides. Having a turntable cake stand makes this task a lot easier.
Make it as smooth as you can. This buttercream will crust over a bit making it easy to use a paper towel to smooth out any edges later. I didn’t use any extra smoothing techniques once it was done. I simply placed it into the fridge for the night.
Crumb Coating a Cake
Making a crumb coat for your cake will catch any crumbs from getting in your pretty exterior frosting design.
- Bake and cool your cake. Wrap in plastic and freeze the cake overnight.
- Prepare your buttercream. Mix the butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and blended. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, meringue, and vanilla. Add the milk as needed to smooth the frosting and thin it your desired consistency.
- Frost your cake and smooth it out. This is just your first layer of frosting, it doesn't need to be perfect.
by Karyn Granrud