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Cake Decorating: Buttercream Basics

Lesson 2 of 6

Square Cake and Sheet Cake Technique

Lucinda Larson

Cake Decorating: Buttercream Basics

Lucinda Larson

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Lesson Info

2. Square Cake and Sheet Cake Technique

Lesson Info

Square Cake and Sheet Cake Technique

I want to show a square cake because square cakes apparently are also an issue now this one I've done all the prep work just like we did for the round cake but it's square okay and I say my cake has moved its not square on the board that's always the first thing make sure it's square and let's go ahead at her I seen and I'm going to add one and each thing in that pretty like a little flower and let's add another one just to be sure I have enough I really you know truthfully when I'm doing these I don't add this much I seen but I really want you guys to realize you have to have enough icing on there because that's the thing I see the most is people are so afraid they're going to have too much icing on there we can take it off you cannot get past the crumbs if there's not enough icing on there so let's spread it over I want it off to the corner I want those corners covered the corner of my eye I conceived with screen with thea light flashing off of my spatula it's like the pop abroad see...

at my side or something you know ok so let's and I'm just going to isis as if it were around cake I want a level I'm just turning my turntable use your turntable it's your tool use it to your advantage then again I'm going to take this squish it on here get it on there precedent you wanted to stay you don't want it to fall off and I'm sure you guys if you guys to cake you've had it words fallen off your life wide that fall off if your cake is a little dry because it sat out whatever the reason is maybe look you over baked it a little bit or something you can always spray your cake down with a simple syrup and the cool thing about spraying your cakes down with simple syrup is that you can add flavors to that simple syrup and look cores and so you can have some real fun with what's going on with your cakes now one thing about the corners and you can see on this corner here it's kind of hollow are empty I don't know why maybe it's not lined up perfectly that could happen I'm going to build up the icing both on the top and the sides until it will be a squares I can get it my icing is very soft I do not work with the stiff icing one is um these are my only hands and I am not going to kill them with icing that's too stiff so I work with a soft icing buttery sweet, luscious soft I seen yeah, okay I just took a little trip there, it's okay, I'm going to build up this corner because it was looking weak, ok? So I've got a lot of icing on this little square of cake here, but start to smooth out and remove some of that work from the corners in again, that arm is up so my specialists squares I can possibly get it with my eye balling sometimes I think I've got it really good and I look at it, step back it's kind of caddy want us, I think how great get your square out, do it right, you'll notice I wipe off the icing off of my surfaces. I'm going tio remove some of the globs here. I purposely used dark green board so you guys could see all the white icing for using a white border silver board doesn't show is much so that's an issue you can use that to your advantage. Hold that ledger square. If you don't have an edger, you can also use things like bench scrapers, a clean bench draper, not a dirty one. You can use that there's some p m e, the same company that produces the decorating chips. They also produce a line of cake, edgers, cake, combs and they have some very scary where precision machine engineered edges that you can use this bakery that I worked at for you and did all the icing for the high end decorators, they had a special tool that they had passed down, and the boss came in every night and took it from me and locked it up so that we had a perfectly square and sharp edge on all the cakes. I don't know if he thought I was in it actually take it home or something every night he'd come in when I was done, take that tool, lock it up, it's like, ok, ok, I have a little hole over here, you guys see that you have a whole I'm just going to come in with a little bit of icing precedent, because obviously, I seem didn't stick to the part of the cake there and let's, go ahead. I want to take off this excess, you notice I use a spatula, I could just great, but on the side my bowl. But the truth of the matter is, I can't stand the sound of the screen being so this's spatula, it's like that chalkboard scraping it always makes me a little bit see when I see somebody doing something you're like, why are they doing that? Well, that's the reason I can't thiss the scraping on the edge of the bowl with that tool is just more than I can deal with that chalkboard sand then let's take my spatula pulling those big chunks and you'll see how I had that edge again that I was talking about it's come all the way up so then at this point I can pull those in that gives me a square look that helps me level that out I have a lot of icing on this, so I'm going to remove some of it not all that because my customers are buying the cake for the butter cream they like the butter cream and every now and then you get accustomed says oh, I don't want a whole lot of butter cream and so you try to make it thin usually I get the customers that's how I want extra like ok it's all about what your customers want what you're what your audience is wanting and I'm going to get this edge and just keep working it until you are happy okay any other questions? Yes, I have a full of questions state for larger kicked you have larger squaring tool well, you know him tio um there are larger ones, but the problem with the larger ones is they kind of bend in tweak so I find that this size is good it's dirty enough to hold that shape without, you know, doing a tweak and I just kind of work until the seams air are ok and then sometimes depends on you know if it's a larger take usually it's for some sort of group functioning you've got some lot of decorating that's gonna happen you kind of make it so your seems or in the right spot just work to make it smooth I have purchased a lot of tools spatulas and such trying to get something that I could across the large area and they just they just don't work generally speaking I elation mac would like to know can you refrigerate butter cream and use it again how long does it last yes buttercream refrigerate ce very well it also freezes incredibly well and you can literally keep it in your freezer for up to a year you can take it out the freezer defrosted use it and put it back it is very versatile got a very good shelf life the standard american buttercream if you're using an italian butter cream or french butter cream your french butter creams very delicate that's the one that's made with the jokes um so number one it has a lot of yellow to it luscious and delicious but a lot of yellow very delicate doesn't hold up a swell and neither does your french or your swiss buttercream they're swiss in that swiss and italian buttercream are made with egg whites and um different both angry both had the same ingredients but different processes they both create a very luscious yummy buttercream this very delicate to the palate and smooth the problem is is that they have to be made and fairly small batches and their shelf life is not as good as american buttercream so like I can't make a swiss or ah italian butter cream on monday pull it out of the bucket and nice cakes with it on friday it just really isn't that workable um if you make that you make it you use it you put it out the door or you put in the freezer so a lot of bakeries well that use those they make it the icer cakes and then their cakes would go into the freezer um I do not have the freezer space so that's not workable for me and like I said, I really like to have all of my icing made on monday monday's my icing day and baking is hugely wednesday and thursday depending on how many orders and decorating this friday and saturday we arrest the time I'm filling in with making flowers that's a good timing for this question then which just came in ray's angel would like to know I would like to know how our icing is white when she used butter so how is butter a color component in your particular recipe and I don't want I use real better is it amy who was on abby okay? I'm sorry happy she said, you know by the best ingredients that you can afford, I would love to make my buttercream icing with, um, european better european, better does not have the water in it that are what that are better does they don't add the food color to it that our industry does, but they had yellow food car. Um but it's seven to twelve dollars a pound and I go through easily twenty to thirty pounds a week, so when you're looking at that kind of investment, it's an investment. So in that case I use this high a butter as good a butters I can purchase, and sometimes, according to the season, it's got some yellow hue to it way more than others. Um, I also add, I use a white panella, but I also had some other flavors that I add that have a little color to him, so it looks pretty white under these cameras, but the truth of the matter is it's probably a little more ivory than what it appears. Um, and often I deal with brides and I'll say to them, if it's not pure white, is that going to be an issue? Some it isthe, and so in that case, I make a nice scene that is pure white doesn't have near the flavor to it or the nice texture as ones with butter but that's important for them in their wedding and it's all about the bright it's not my wedding I already got married um most of my bride so most of my customers they don't care they'd rather have the flavor and that's the cool thing about the butter cream it's all about the flavor so okay and I have one more to do I want to do one more that's a that's a sheet cake now she cakes are the cakes we probably do the most often we hardly ever in the industry get to do the layered cakes unless of course we're doing a wedding which some of us get to do a lot of those but the sheet cakes to the ones that we do all the time so this is just a quarter she kick not a big deal I see somehow I've gotten something on my board here. Not sure what it is because it's not coming off nice might be chuffed imagine getting chocolate on my surface ok? So let's wipe off for crumbs are like my brush from my client and one of the things that I want to show you and of course I forgot my tools to do it is I want to show you how to use a nicer tip a nicer tip you need at least a sixteen to an eighteen inch decorating bag and you cut that big just for the ice or tip the ice her tip is literally a vera it's a tip about this wide at the end about this bigot the end so it's you have to cut just one big just for that and you literally fill the bag with icing and then when you pipe it on you put the zigzag portion next to the cake you're done so they are used in bakeries a lot because if you're doing more than one or two cakes it's the way to go if you're a home doing this it's not that important I'm getting another bowl of icing because ms bowles really for because that one's getting down so again what you want to do is you want to do the top first if I'm using a nicer tip there are a couple of ways that you can do this I've seen him in bakeries ill often do their eyes her tip in three or four strips across the top they'll do the side and then they just do a finished flat ice on it um in this high end bakery that I worked in with all the famous decorators their method was that they wanted me as I flat ice the top I scraped off any excess hanging over and put that into the crumb bucket and then I would put the ice or tip on to the sides and may it had to be perfect but what that method did was it created a lot of creamy icing, which we then used in part of our feelings and that sort of thing, so it didn't go to waste, but if you're home doing this, you don't want to crimea penny icing that you don't have to because you've worked hard to create your icing, you'll notice I put a lot of icing on the top I'm going to use the back and forth method at an angle. I hope you guys are saying that I'm doing the same thing over and over and over yeah, she just did that before how come she's doing it again? It's just a different shaped cake? Yep that's what it is let's spread that around. This icing has a little more air bubbles in it than the other one so you can see the difference that's cover that corner your corners, khun b your worst, your worst issue okay, we got that covered let's come back in with the spatula and with the butter cream. I just don't get that concerned about certain things because I do know that later on I'm going to come back and add some borders decorations I try to get it is perfect as possible you're not going to get it is perfect as you would a rolled fondant but taste better than rolled funding for I don't know if you guys heard me say yesterday I had and I couldn't give rolled fund in a way I'd sneak it on to cakes and then it got to the point where then everybody wanted rolled fun that nobody wanted buttercream anymore well guess what it's coming back to now people are wanting the butter cream they want their flight their flavor back okay so now I've got my edge is pretty squared up I'm going to bring in the excess and notice I come in from the corner bring in the edge here again I'm not getting too I wanted to be nice but I'm not getting to anal about stuff just yet okay this is looking better let's get our edger out here or your bench draper or your flat edge I'm getting hooked up on a little piece of foil there okay let's make this square stop come around the corner bring it square stop bringing around the corner make it square it's just being super helpful to everybody if you are dealing with the french or a swiss buttercream you can really get perfect that's one of the things I also like about them is those icings I mean you can get them perfect um american buttercream not so much but american buttercream is so forgiving in so many other directions that it's like ok and I'm one of those people that on the swiss and italian buttercream, I could sit and eat that stuff with a spoon. I could easily weigh three hundred pounds with those icings, so I try not to do that to myself, as you know, as a cake decorator, enough, a pastry person, you have to be really careful about what you eat otherwise. Well, I could, you know, could really be overweight really fast. If I'm not careful, my doctor would be saying to me, what are you doing it ok, that looks good, don't you think so, that's, how you I square round sheet? Well, who now expect perfection from everyone? Okay, no paper tells no squirting water, none of that stuff, and my wash clothes aren't even hot. They're just cool.

Class Description

Buttercream is the baker’s best friend, but it can be fussy in both pastry bags and bad weather. Learn buttercream basics from the Buttercream Queen, Lucinda Larson and keep things friendly in the kitchen.

In this course Lucinda will take you through the steps of frosting a cake with buttercream so it is primed for decoration. She’ll offer tried and true troubleshooting tips for working with temperature changes and uncooperative climates and help you keep the cake and all of its embellishments together. You’ll also learn how to prep and use pastry bags using a variety of different tips. Lucinda will teach you techniques for writing, creating borders, adding drop flowers, and shaping leaves.

If you want to add a professional touch to the cakes you bake for your family and friends, join CreativeLive and Lucinda Larson and learn buttercream basics.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lucinda Larson - Buttercream Recipes.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Lucinda Larson - Buttercream Supplies List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

I enjoyed the classes themselves, but the lack of close ups of what Lucinda was doing so I could actually see what she was doing or the differences between the before & afters deters me from spending money on the videos. Thanks for the many hours of fun, Lucinda!


Yes, I did like it. Is simple and short. straight forward. Will try it. thanks.