Cake Decorating Basics

Cake Decorating Basics


Hey guys! I just wanted to tell you about this awesome FREE craftsy class for all you beginner decorators. Click the link below to watch!

Joshua John Russell’s FREE Buttercream Craftsy Class

It is SO awesome and taught by one of my favorite cake decorators, Joshua John Russell. He breaks the whole process down for you on how to successfully buttercream your cakes. He shows you how to make the perfect buttercream, trim and prepare your cakes, ice them with different techniques, stack them and decorate them! This is SUCH a super helpful cake decorating class and I seriously wish I would have known about these modern methods when I was first starting out.

The video is super easy to understand and follow the directions. He starts out by showing you how to make a batch of perfect swiss meringue buttercream (my favorite!) Before I made SMBC, I was using a powdered sugar/shortening based buttercream and I could NOT get those sharp edges or smooth finish that other decorators would get and I always wondered how in the world people got that flawless buttercream finish! The secret is (wait for it) BUTTER! If you don’t have butter in your buttercream, your buttercream wont get firm in the fridge. I also did not know about the paddle step to get rid of bubbles. I ALWAYS have bubbles so I will definitely have to try this step out. Joshua also says you can use shortening. I do half shortening half butter for my cakes in the hot summer but wouldn’t recommend going all shortening as it tastes pretty greasy and has no flavor and does not firm up in the fridge.

Joshua shows us how to split and fill a cake and then trim down the edges but he doesn’t give us a recipe. I am guessing he is using a buttercake recipe because his cake is dense. Buttercake is super popular for wedding cakes because it is firm, refrigerates well and has a great mouth feel. When I first started out baking and decorating, I had no idea what kind of cake to bake. I started out with boxed mix and had horrible problems with how soft and fluffy they were. Great for eating, not so great for stacking a wedding cake. Here is my recipe for the perfect vanilla buttercake that I use for all my cakes. I have adapted it to make other flavors as well like lemon or spice but the basic recipe is the same. I also use simple syrup on my cakes as I stack for added moisture. Simple syrup is an old school technique so you can have the tight crumb of a buttercake and the moistness of a boxed cake.

This is what the inside of my cakes look like

As you can see, there are no huge holes or spongy texture. The crumb is tight and melts in your mouth. This is what you’re going for. If you have huge holes in your cake, you are over-mixing and this can cause uneven rising. Plus it doesn’t look very good when you cut into it.

My Perfect Scratch Cake Recipe. The single makes two 8″ rounds or two 9″ rounds depending on your elevation and how full you like your pans. Bake at 335

Ps. the method in this recipe is very very important. You must whip up the first portion of dry ingredients and liquid until your batter is light and fluffy or you will have a bad texture. I know it feels weird but you have to do it. This is what your batter should look like when you first add in the liquids, after you whip up the batter and then after you add the rest of the liquids. Watch this video on how to perfect the mixing method!

A single batch makes two 8″ rounds. Fill pans 3/4 of the way full for 2″ tall cakes or it can make two 9″ rounds that are shorter. It depends on how full you like your pans.

One thing I do that Joshua doesn’t do (and this is probably just a recipe difference) is I don’t trim down my cakes. When my cakes come out of the oven, I gently press the domed part of the cake down until it is flush with the cake pan. This does not damage the cake at all and creates a nice flat top so you don’t have to trim. I also bake my cakes at 335 degrees (low and slow) so that they don’t get as brown around the outsides and tops.

Here is a photo of what my cakes look like when they come out of the oven.

I also chill my cakes in the fridge overnight so they are easier to handle when stacking and filling with buttercream. Chilling your cake is HUGE. Trust me, once you discover how easy it is to cover a chilled cake, you’ll never go back

Some other tips that I got out of this cake decorating class that I wish I would have known as a beginner cake decorator is how to make my buttercream smooth. I always thought cake decorators somehow managed to get their buttercream cakes super smooth and straight with only a spatula! I never knew about using bench scrapers to smooth the surface. The heating of the bench scraper to make the final coat super smooth is genius!

I actually do a fast crumb coat after I fill and then do a really thick messy final coat and then do all the smoothing with my bench scraper after the cake has been chilled. This is the point that I cover my cakes in fondant as I am a fondant cake kind of gal but you can’t have smooth fondant without a perfectly smooth buttercream base. YES you need buttercream under your fondant :) Here is my recipe for my homemade marshmallow fondant that I use on every one of my cakes.

Next, Joshua shows us how to do some various buttercream finishes. I am partial to the rough buttercream technique. He also shows us how to make gumpaste butterflies for decoration that look super pretty. The tips about drying them on the cake dummy so they are formed to the shape of the cake is really genius.

After finishing each tier, Joshua shows us how to properly stack and support a cake using dowels or straws. This is super important info for anyone who wants to stack a cake. The process is simple but very important. Especially the final dowel down the center so the cake wont fall over during transport.

Overall I feel like this is a must watch for any beginner cake decorator. You can use the craftsy platform to ask questions if anything is unclear and Joshua or other bakers will jump in and help you out. You can rewind, fast forward and re-watch as many times as you want. There is a recipe included in the class for the swiss meringue buttercream as well as places you can purchase the tools Joshua uses during the lesson. This class is basically a compilation of all the best beginner tips for beginning decorating. For more cake decorating classes, check out craftsy’s other cake classes!

 

  • Sergio Rodrigues

    Hi liz, can you tell us please for how long do you mix the dry ingrediënts with the wet ingrediënts after incorporation by every stage?
    It seems that everybody is having problems with OVER Mixing….
    Help

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      What do you mean everyone? Over-mixing is very hard to do with this recipe. It’s more likely to under-mix. There is no set time to mix, you have to just look at the batter and see if it’s ready for the next step. Each mixer is different and if you’re using a bigger mixer it can really change the recipe.

  • Yoseli Granados Arredondo

    hi,,
    help i just made the recipe twice and it comes out watery,im afraid I’m not converting the oz to cups correctly :(

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      Use a scale

  • Yvette B

    What book is that pic of the recipes from

  • Ruwaida

    Hi there love the cake looks perfect. but would you mind please show me in cups. Thank you really appreciate

  • Danielle Steere

    Ive never done a whole lot of baking by weight so i was just curious. the Liquids, when it says 16 oz of milk, its that like 16 oz as in 2 cups, or is that by weight on a scale?

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      I do it all by weight in the same bowl because it’s easier but yes it’s the same as two cups in the case of the milk.

      • Danielle Steere

        ok thank you! i made the single recipe and i did it the wet by volume, it still tasted amazing but it defiantly did not rise as it should have, i also may have not mixed it long enough on top of it. I’ll make those adjustments when i make it again, thank you!

  • Cristiane Ragagnin

    Hi there! I’ve tried to convert the cups into grams but too many sites have different information.. :( would you know the quantities in grams? thank you so much!

  • bubuGirl

    Hi Liz,
    I would like to make your vanilla and chocolate cake recipes. However, if I want to make a 9″ x 1 time and 6″x 2 times vanilla cake , how much should I make? Plus, if I want to make a 12″ chocolate cake, how much should I make. Thank you.

  • Nancy Smith

    Hi Liz, thank you for all you do and share. Did I read correctly in a post thaat if using the choc cake recipe for cupcakes, you leave out the oil? Same for vanilla cake?

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      Yes I do, I’m not a great cupcake maker though so I tend to not make them at all. This recipe is so flat, it’s great for cakes but not great for cupcakes. I heard that if you bake them at 400 for 5 minutes and then turn the oven down they dome better though but I havent tested it out.

  • Kate Benne

    Hi Liz, im so disappointed! I made this cake today for my nieces 17th birthday and although it tastes lovely, it didnt rise at all! I am a seasoned baker and did everything to the letter. I was lucky if both cakes were an inch high, any ideas?
    Thanks :)

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      Most likely under-mixed, that is usually the issue. We’re so afraid to OVER-mix because that is how we are taught to make cakes. Make sure you let that cake mix during the first addition of the liquids for a full 2 minutes or it wont rise. Also fill your cake pans 3/4 of the way full. Best of luck next time!
      Liz

      • Kate Benne

        Thanks Liz

  • Jenn Esguerra

    Hi Liz!! Just discovered your recipe and your YouTube channel. I tried the vanilla cakes tonight and the first batch I made i poured my liquids in too soon so it was runny. But my second batch I followed everything to the letter and everything was going well until I poured the last part of my liquids and my batter just started curdling. What could be happening to cause my batter to look grainy?

    Thank you!!!!

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      The grainy look is normal, don’t worry :)

  • allie

    Hi! How do you chill your cakes overnight? do you wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge?

  • Charlene

    Hi Liz,love your recipe but i have one problem…The cake rises beautiful but when they cool a little they shrink on the sides which causes the sides not be straight…any suggestions?

    • soleilnyc

      Same problem here.

  • marjorie

    hi liz can you convert your recipe in cups please and by the way I love your job and fondant

  • Sheila Schwabe

    Please tell me if your measurements are weights or based on cups????

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      They are in weight as the recipe dictates above

  • miemie

    Hi Liz :)

    You are heaven sent :) I tried your cake recipe & viola :D it doesnt have any dome :D thank u so much for sharing your recipe and tips :) God Bless :)

    • artisancakes

      You’re welcome, glad you like it!

  • Stephanie

    I made this cake for my Dads Anniversary (originally needed something I could carve but didnt have the right pan for the job I was doing) It turned out great! One did break when I went to put it onto a sheet of film wrap to stick into the fridge, but that is my fault for handling a warm cake. The texture is perfect, is easy to handle and carve. My only problem was I had to convert everything from Pounds (lack of scale) to cups which was a pain but I got the same results. I will definitely use this as my go to cake recipe when I bake for family parties.

  • Joy Harrington

    Hi
    How long do you bake for? And where is the smbc recipe? Thanks!

  • Krystal Rees

    Also…. when I make the cake it seems to fall apart when I flip it out of the pan….. made it twice now and seems very crumbly…. help =

  • Krystal Rees

    Hello….when using cake flour,should I use bleached or unbleached cake flour? Does it make a difference?

    • artisancakes

      either is fine, sounds like you are under-mixing.

      • Krystal Rees

        Thank you… will try it agian…

  • Betty

    Hi Liz, I was wondering if you could help me with something, my grand daughter is in to cheer leading I want to make her some cupcakes with fondant toppers, they would be red velvet with butter cream frosting, the a fondant disk with a Pom Pom or megaphone on top of the disk. I keep reading that if I put the fondant decoration on to soon it will be melted by the time the group gets them, do you know how long I have? I can always give them to my granddaughter to put on but really didn’t want to do that. Again thank you in advance for any advice.

  • Bianca

    Hello can you tell me how much the buttercream recipe yields? This is my first time baking and I don’t know how much I’ll need for my sons 2 layer cake. Thank you!

    • artisancakes

      It all depends on how much buttercream you use and how many cakes you are covering. For one cake, a single batch should be enough.

  • amaniemom .

    I have made your cakes and they taste awesome. I was asked for chocolate cake with chocolate cupcakes. The cake turned out but the cupcake paper came away from the cupcakes. Would u happen to know what went wrong or how I can resolve the problem ?

    • artisancakes

      make sure you take out the oil and are filling the wrappers 3/4 of the way full so they rise to the top

      • amaniemom

        Great thank you , will the same go for your vanilla cake recipe ?

        • artisancakes

          yes take out the oil for vanilla but only half full in the cups

  • Betty

    Hello Liz,
    Your cakes are amazing and I made your MMF and its my go to fondant now– thank you so much for sharing, I only do cakes for my family, as a hobby, and have been doign the kids cakes for about 20 years now, and I truly love doing them, but this past Novemeber I experianced something very odd, when I cut into my grandsons birthday cake it was wet, I mean REALLY REALLY went I wasn’t able to serve it at all, it was a cookie monster with American Butter cream and Fondant over Chocolate cake, I have never seen anything like it? of course this freaked me out big time and now when I do a cake for one of the kids I worry i’ll end up with the same WET cake… do you have any idea what might have casued this?
    thank you for any advice yo might give.

    • artisancakes

      I don’t really know. did you freeze the cake? was there cream cheese icing? There could be a lot reasons but mostly it comes from condensation or frozen cakes thawing

      • Betty

        Thank you for getting back to me Liz, I did freeze the cakes and then they sat in the fridge so maybe that was my issue, I thought people froze their cakes then decorated them? being that I work full time and my grandsons Party was on a saturday I started the cake early and tried freezing. Dang I guess its a live and learn thing.
        Thank you again.

        • artisancakes

          You can freeze a cake but you need to let them thaw before you use them. Glad we figured it out.

          • Betty

            Next time I need to do a cake that size I think i’ll just skip the freezing and take a few days of vacation, that was just horrible. :) Thank you so much.

  • Ksenia Geffrard

    Hi Liz,
    I’m sure you were asked this question a million times, but I couldn’t find an answer on your page. Do you use SMBC under fondant as well as the filling for your cakes? I’d like to try it on my cake for the first time but I’ve heard that due to it’s light texture it doesn’t crust which may end up as a mess under the fondant. Thank you:)

    • artisancakes

      I only use SMBC and it works amazing. You don’t want a crusting buttercream for under the fondant. You want something sticky. That is the recipe that is listed above

      • Ksenia Geffrard

        Awesome. Thank you. I’ll give it a try:)

      • Thelma Ebite

        Hi Liz,
        How thick is the buttercream when using under fondant? Thanks

  • Abbie Taylor

    Hi there! Just discovering your site and all your great recipes and techniques…so inspiring! I can’t wait to try them! Quick question…I’ve tried this reverse method before with some issues. Thankfully, your recipes are by weight (love that!) so that should help. But I was also wondering if part of my issue was that I wasn’t using boxed cake flour…I was using “homemade” cake flour with cornstarch replacing some of the AP flour. Do you think my homemade cake flour would work in your buttercake recipe or do you recommend using actual cake flour? Thanks so much!

    • artisancakes

      I have not heard of making cake flour that way but I say try it! You never know! Just watch the video to make sure you are mixing enough, that is the main issue people usually face :) have fun!

      • Abbie Taylor

        Thanks for responding so quickly, wow! :) I will just go for it and see what happens. I’m excited to give this and your fondant recipe a try. Thanks again!

        • artisancakes

          no problem :)

  • Tori Cordova

    Liz, is your water measurement by volume or by weight? Thanks!

    • artisancakes

      weight :)

  • Dee Rey

    Ok so I made a chocolate brownie mmmm but it should of turned out as your chocolate cake. Lol :-/ I’m thinking I didn’t let the chocolate mixture cool enough? Should it be completely cool? Thanks :)

  • Lisa Prewitt Bell

    Ok…I’ve made this white cake before, single batch, and it worked well. I’m mixing a double batch now and after adding all the butter I have clumpy instead of sandy texture. I had sandy texture after adding 8 oz. It is a humid day and I weighed my cake flour, sugar, etc. Is there possibly something wrong here, before I add the liquid ingredients?

    • artisancakes

      Nope that is totally fine. Keep going :)

  • Dee Rey

    What is the difference between cake flour and all purpose flour? Can I use all purpose flour instead?

    • artisancakes

      There are four kinds of flour. Pastry, cake, all purpose and bread. Each are different and made with different parts of the grain. Pastry and cake flour are made to be tender and not be very stretchy when you mix it. All purpose and bread are made for things that need a lot of body. If you replace cake flour with all purpose flour you will have a very tough cake.

      • Dee Rey

        Is there a way to make cake flour or are we better off buying it? What is more cost effective without losing quality. Sorry for the silly question. Thank you very much.

        • artisancakes

          It’s not a silly question :) You should buy it. I don’t know where you are located but it should be available at your restaurant supply store

          • Dee Rey

            In Southern California :) Thanks again!

          • Lis Shaw

            can you tell me what cake flour is called in the UK please as we only have self raising or plain flour in most supermarkets the other flour’s are for bread making

          • helen

            It’s very hard to get in the uk. Wrights I believe do it, but I haven’t seen it in the shops. You can order it directly from them. I myself take out 1tbs of flour and add 1tbsp of corn flour. That is the conversion to make your own, and it works well as I’ve used cake flour in Canada for years when I was living there. Google it to make sure though.

          • Lis Shaw

            what quantity of flour are you talking about please Helen is that from a regular size bag of flour that you replace with cornflour or do you mean in each cake mix ? im a bit confused

          • helen

            I’ve been baking for the last 32 yrs so I don’t measure anything, I just throw in. The actual conversion is 2tbsp of flour removed from 250g/cup and replace it with 2tbsp with corn flour. So if it needs 3 cups of cake flour measure the 3 cups of plain flour and take 3tbps out of the last cup (or 1tbsp out of each cup) and replace with the 3 tbsp of corn flour.

            The difference between cake flour and plain is that the cake is heavier with a smaller crumb. You’ll see a difference if you bake the same cake that you normally do with plain flour and substitute it with cake flour. I love cake flour and use it in all cakes.

            Hope that helps

  • gail dotson

    Hi Liz,

    I’ve never made fondant, used your MMF recipe, turned out perfect! I do have one question: during the marshmellow/powdered sugar step I added Wilton’s Royal Blue gel coloring, but it is not as dark as I’d like it to be. Can I add more coloring to deepen the fondant, and what is the best way to do that? Will it affect the texture of the fondant?

    • artisancakes

      just knead in more. It might be a little stickier so just work in more sugar but a little stickiness is normal :)

  • Moore

    Hi Liz, I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the help and advice! I am an amateur, and fairly new to cake making, but your recipes (particularly for cake and fondant) have already made me a superstar amongst friends and family. One thing I wanted to ask about was double batching the cake. Every time I make a single batch, the cake tastes amazing (heavenly really). But every time I make the double batch, it comes out strange, the texture is off, it looks a little lumpy and dry, bakes strangely, etc etc. I’m having a hard time determining if I’ve just been over mixing my double batches, if my kitchen aid can’t handle it or if something else is going on. I wanted to check with you to see if you always make double batches and if you notice any difference between single or double. Also, do you think it’s easy to overmix this batter? Thanks!

    • artisancakes

      It sounds under mixed. When you add the butter to the dry ingredients. Make sure you let it mix until the flour is completely saturated with the butter and very sand like. If you start adding liquid ingredients too soon, your cake will be crumbly and lumpy. Hope that helps!

  • Ashley P

    Hello!
    So I have been using this recipe for the last couple of cake I have made and I am getting air bubbles under my fondant. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m covering the cakes while they are chilled or if I’m doing something else wrong. Do you have any advice on how to not get air bubbles. Thank you for your time :)

    • artisancakes

      Air bubbles can happen when it is more humid out and I suggest just popping them with a pin :) Cakes need to be chilled before you cover in fondant or they will be lumpy

  • Lynelle Deam

    Do you use the simple syrup on all your variations of this cake such as the chocolate, lemon and spice? Do you use this and vary it for a red velvet cake recipe as well? Also is the cake supposed to be sweeter than the frosting when using Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Maybe I am just too used to the frosting being the sweetest part of the cake… :)

    • artisancakes

      I use simple syrup sometimes but not all the time, depends on how I’m feeling lol. I use a separate red velvet recipe. I don’t like my cake or my buttercream very sweet so that is reflected in my recipes :)

  • Lauren Nettles

    Hi Liz, I have made you recipe twice and I love the taste and texture! My only problem is that I don’t seem to get quite enough batter to fill my 8×2″ pans 3/4 of the way full. I get just about half and then they of course don’t come to 2 (about 1 1/4-11/2″). I followed your recipe to the T so i’m not sure where to start looking for something to fix. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks again for sharing all that you do!!

    • artisancakes

      Sounds like you are not mixing enough in the first stage where you add the first portion of liquid and let it fluff up. Go another 30 seconds more than you usually do :) Liz

      • Lauren Nettles

        Thanks!! I’ll definitely make sure to mix a little longer. I’m just scared to over mix.

  • Vanessa Luna

    Hi Liz,
    I would like to use your chocolate cake recipe but don’t have Dutch processed cocoa powder; can I substitute regular without making any changes? I know the regular kind will react with baking soda but I’m not sure about baking powder.
    I made your fondant and it came out great! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • artisancakes

      I honestly don’t know, I would say yes and give it a try on a single batch. Make sure you really mix up the batter well when you add the first part of the liquid until the batter doubles in size and looks light brown or your cake will be crumbly and dense.

      • Vanessa Luna

        Thanks for your advice! I’ll try it with the regular one and see how it goes. :)

        • Vanessa Luna

          Hi Liz, I made the chocolate cake and it tasted good but it did seem a little dense although not crumbly and there really weren’t huge holes. The batter definitely got lighter while mixing after the first addition of liquids but I wonder if I over mixed (not sure if this is easier or more difficult to do with a hand mixer) as it ended up quite thick. My usual cake recipe is all oil and it is delicious but not good for carving. Since I’m new to baking I’m still figuring out how a “good” texture is supposed to look and feel on a cake meant for carving and supporting the weight of fondant and BC. Thank you!

          • artisancakes

            It should be dense but not crumbly and the batter should be thick so it sounded like you did the right thing :) Try chilling it and carving it to see how you like it. You need butter in your cake to help it carve smooth. make sure you clean your knife frequently to keep things from getting gummed up

          • Vanessa Luna

            Thanks for responding so quickly! It carved very nicely (I chilled it overnight as recommended). I made it for my boyfriend’s work and he just reported that it got very good reviews. :)

          • artisancakes

            awesome!

  • Ashley P

    Hi Liz! I tried your vanilla cake recipe last night and i loved it. i was concerned about one thing though. In your post it says that a single batch would make two 8×2″ cakes. when i made mine i used one 8×3″ pan, filled it maybe a little more then half way and that used all the batter i had. after pressing the dome shape flush my cake was a little shorter then two inches tall. Did i do something wrong?
    Thank you for your time,
    Ashley

    • artisancakes

      You’re using a bigger pan than normal :) just make a double batch next time

      • Ashley P

        Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I went over the recipe over and over this morning trying to see what i did wrong and realized that i didn’t add the teaspoon of baking powder after the tablespoon. I’m making another one right now and it is already rising much higher. Thank you again for your reply! Have an amazing day!!! :)

  • Ksenia Geffrard

    Hi Liz,
    Do you refrigerate fondant covered cakes? If not, how do you store them?
    Thank you,
    Ksenia

    P.S. You and your cakes are amazing!

    • artisancakes

      Yes I refrigerate :)

      • Ksenia Geffrard

        Hi Liz.
        Thank you for quick reply. One more question, i see you display a lot of your cakes outdoors, how come they don’t sweat and melt? That’s always my main concern (i live in Florida and it’s extremely humit here as you know) so i leave my cakes out in a cool room after i cover them in fondant but then they get very soft so when i start decorating the fondant gets deformed:( is there a way to safely refrigerate a fondant covered cake without it melting away after it’s pulled out? Thanks again for your help.

        • artisancakes

          I live in Oregon so there isn’t a lot of humidity in the area. I never have problems with refrigerating fondant or sweating. If you are using my LMF recipe, take out one tablespoon of water to help with the problems of humidity

          • Nicole Duncantell

            Oh my goodness can I intern for you? I’m also on Oregon and baking is my life. I’m an amateur and would love to someday start my own company, I just need to get my foot in the door and get some experience. I’ve made several fondant cakes for my daughters and son as shown in the picture.

  • Preetha

    Hi Liz, does the vanilla cake requires 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder?

    • artisancakes

      Yep :)

  • Michelle Rodriguez

    to use fondant is it vital to use buttercream frosting? i had a recipe in mind but it is whipped cream frosting :/ will this work or should i scratch the idea? Thanks again!

    • artisancakes

      you definitely cannot use whipped cream under fondant, it will just melt and then melt your fondant. If you like a light frosting, I suggest swiss meringue buttercream

      • Michelle Rodriguez

        WOW thank you for the fast reply. back to the drawing board!

  • Catherine

    Hello Liz! Can I ask how long you mix the first portion of batter until “light and fluffy”? I’d hate to overmix the batter and end up with large holes as you mentioned. Thank you :)

    • artisancakes

      Much longer than you think. Don’t worry, it’s hard to over mix this batter. Mix until it doubles in size and turns white. This is an important step for creating structure. Depending on the speed of your mixer, it could take up to two minutes. Don’t worry! Liz

      • Catherine

        Thank you, Liz! You’re awesome!!!!!!!!!

  • Natalie

    Hello Liz
    Could you share your recipe for a Red Velvet cake ? And perhaps the buttercream you use for it?

  • Vanessa Luna

    Hi Elizabeth, I have the same question as below…how long should the cakes bake? Thank you!

    • artisancakes

      It depends on the size of the pan. Small ones I start with 30 mins, large pans 40

      • Vanessa Luna

        Thank you. I made the cake and might have over mixed it but the taste was very good. Do you use SMBC as the base icing for all you sculpted cakes? I am trying to figure out what is best to use.

        • artisancakes

          If the cake has big holes in it, then you over mixed. Otherwise the cake is perfect. I use SMBC for all my cakes

  • Veronica

    Hi, Liz
    I made your MMF, and it turned out sooooo…GREAT!!! I was kind of stopping making fondant cake until I saw your recipe!! what you mentioned in your problems ABC are the same as mine, Thank you so much for sharing!! :) by the way, may I know for how long you bake the cake? it seemed that you only wrote the temperature not the time? Thanks!!

  • Georgina Abbott

    I made this cake today and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, lovely and light and moist. I’m in the uk and made my own cake flour as you can’t get it here – so much lighter! My only complaint is that the cake is maybe a bit oily – can I cut out / down the oil or replace it with buttermilk? What do you think?! I feel like I shouldnt leave out the oil without replacing with another liquid?! Thank you

    • artisancakes

      Yes you can leave out the oil if you don’t like it or try cutting it in half :)

  • Ediblecraft Apprentice

    OMG. I just made the Vanilla cake, it is just perfect. all what i always dream on a cake. Thanks so very much for this recipe. I always wanted to bake from scratch but i have never found a recipe that will turn out right.

    i

    • artisancakes

      I love it too! So glad you liked it :)

  • Sally

    I plan to either do a lemon or almond cake, with lemon/lemon curd or almond and vanilla buttercream. i.e lemon with almond buttercream, or almond with lemon buttercream, is this a good mix?. I am experimenting with flavours. I’m not sure how much almond extract to use in either sponge or the buttercream, and plan to put bit of vanilla in as well. I make my buttercream, with real butter or stork margarine, icing sugar, bit of milk, and flavouring etc.
    Thanks for any advice

    • artisancakes

      I dont think almond and lemon would go that great together but lemon and vanilla or almond and vanilla would be great. Google a recipe for almond cake or almond buttercream and see how extract they use in the recipe to help guide you in this one. Good luck!

  • Sally

    I plan to make your butter sponge for father’s day on Sunday(uk). How much sugar syrup to moisten the sponges? And if you don’t trim, do you still need to do this? I don’t want consistency of a lemon drizzle cake. I do my sponges at 325 F, Fan oven. I agree with lower temp. Why so many receipes say 350F, i don’t know, as always bevelled and cracked at that temp. Do you use a Fan oven, when you do yours at 335. I normally do a soft sponge, so not sure about this one, as for a nearly 90 yrs old man. I will give it a go though.
    Thanks

    • artisancakes

      I just use a pastry brush to moisten the top. I don’t completely soak the cake. Just enough to give it some moistness. You don’t have to do this step but I prefer it :) Liz

  • Sally

    Hi
    Liz why granulated sugar? I normally use castor sugar. I have a big bag of castor already so don’t want to buy granulated if don’t need to.
    Thanks
    PS Castor is just finer granulated, not sure if you use same word in the states

    • artisancakes

      I am sure castor is just fine. Just don’t use powdered sugar :)

    • artisancakes

      Yes it works great! Just chill your cakes before sculpting

    • artisancakes

      It could be the marshmallow brand, it could be that its not getting mixed well enough. Add 1tsp of tylose per cup (roughly) of fondant and let sit overnight and then give it another go. If its cracking, knead in a little shortening (like a smudge) and work it all together really well. Fondant needs to be mixed well or it won’t have a good texture.

      • Sally

        Hi Liz
        In the uk, the only cheap ones in shops, have pink and white marshmallows. The all white mini haribos can be bought on line but not cheap. I bought several bags of a brand called “princess” which were low fat, but had lots of white ones in, and topped up with white ones from a mixed bag of haribos, which were mainly pink. These were all under a £1 per bag, but still not cheap when you have to buy lots lol. Maybe the low fat ones were not suitable. What am i looking for, high in what ingredients etc? I did what you said with the tylose when i first made fondant, leaving some overnight, but rock hard in morning and had to chuck out. I am trying it again, as may have got ratio wrong, so will see what it is like in morning. May have to get expensive haribos, and make another batch, determined to get it right, so frustrating lol
        Thanks for help

  • Sally

    Liz, Made your MMF and hasn’t worked out well. Looks ok, but not good for making figures. It is very soft. I added tylose but started to crack and legs fell off figure etc.
    I don’t have dough hook, just a smallish food processor, so used bowl, which wasn’t big enough and finished off dumping it all on counter and kneading it in, well. Any suggestions on why not pliable/workable as yours?
    Thanks

  • zarlene

    hi liz, thanks so much for sharing, im looking forward to giving this a go! can I ask, is this recipe suitable for carved/sculpted cakes as well? thanks again!

  • Debra Graybeal

    Oh man! I just made the chocolate with no baking soda. I thought it was wierd and my gut was screaming that it needed some! I wish I had listened. Oh well. The kids can have chocolate cake for breakfast while I make a new batch.

    • artisancakes

      Not baking soda, baking POWDER :) sorry about that!!

  • Erin

    Hi Elizabeth, I am back with some more questions! I tried the vanilla cake and it is wonderful! I tried the chocolate cake and noticed that there was no leavening in the recipe but went on with it. The cupcakes did not raise well at all. Is this intentional or was it left out accidentally?

    Also, do you use this recipe for white cake, using only egg whites? I get a lot of orders for white cake and would like to find a good scratch recipe for that as well.

    Thank you so much for being so sharing, you are awesome!

    • artisancakes

      Oh man, I never noticed that! The “powdered sugar” is supposed to say baking powder :/ sorry about that The vanilla cake is what I use for my white cake recipe.

    • artisancakes

      shoot I never noticed the leavening was wrong, its supposed to say baking powder not powdered sugar. I fixed that on the post. This is the recipe I use for white cake

  • Erin

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Your recipe for buttercake looks awesome! Can you tell me approximately how much cake the single recipe makes?
    Thank you!

    • artisancakes

      Two 8″ rounds. Fill pans 3/4 of the way full for 2″ tall cakes or it can make two 9″ rounds that are shorter. It depends on how full you like your pans.

      • Erin

        Thank you!

  • Wendy Ruiz de Salas

    Hi Elizabeth, im very pleased with this you shared im a begginer in this baking stuff but i like it very much, and i kinda love the recipe for the buttercake because i have a recipe that i like a lot but it is very spongy, so i want to try this one but i have one question when you mean “cake flour” is it the regular flour, or is the already prepared flour in a box ?, I dont like using the prepared one because here in México the cakes always get sticky, i dont know why, maybe the humidity, or the heat… anyway, if its the regular flour, is it sifted before?

    Thanks a lot, Wendy

    • artisancakes

      cake flour is different than regular flour. I am not sure what is available in Mexico but it makes a huge difference what flour you use.

      • Sally

        Do you mean self raising flour, when you say cake flour. In uk we use Self Raising for sponges, and plain for pastry etc.