Sharp edges on cakes – Currently the holy grail in cake decorating and everyone wants to achieve them!
It’s the question I currently see posted the most on cake forums and chat groups, and the one question I get asked so many times on my Facebook page; how do you get your sharp neat edges?
Well, I can’t share every secret on this as it wouldn’t be fair on the classes I teach over at the Cake College, but I can tell you about some fab new products I’ve recently had the luck to try, and I can tell you how good I found them to be – sounds fair right? Good. I’ll get on with it then. 🙂
First up, is the Pro Froster. I seemed to be a little behind on this one as a few cake decorators I know have been using for a couple of months now so I was super eager to give it a try. I ganache pretty much all of my cakes rather than use buttercream and it can be quite a time consuming process. Anything that is going to help speed that up a little is worth a try as far as I’m concerned.
What is the Pro Froster?
At £40 it’s not the cheapest scraper so I was dubious, especially as it’s made from plastic and I much prefer my scrapers to be made of metal. But… it is pink and far prettier than my current Wickes bench scraper… yep, I use hardware products on my cake – classy chick aren’t I! 😉
The Pro Froster is a an American invention and I bought mine from Chrissie Cakes & Supplies where you can get the pink limited edition one here, or the original blue one here. Shipping was super speedy and the packaging is very cute. You even get a little chocolate inside too – I’m easily pleased!
“Frosting will never be the same”
At first glance it looks simple, the plastic is a lot firmer than I thought it would be, and it’s very easy to assemble. There are two sections; one long one with notches all the way up and one shorter one which slides over the top of the long one locking in on the preferred notch. This obviously depends on the height of your cake and you can adjust very easily.
Lights, Camera, Action
Making my ganache the night before meant I had to make it soft again. Usually I aim for a peanut butter consistency but found this was still a little stiff and it needed to be slighter softer for the Pro Froster to move around a little more fluidly. My ultimate favourite chocolate by the way is Callebaut and I buy it from here.
After filling my cake with buttercream and jam I chilled for 20 minutes, removed and set up my Pro Froster to the correct height. Use the notch that will give you a nice thin layer. Not so thin it will be practically non-existent, but not so thick you have a case of “do you want some cake with that ganache”? 😉 I’d go for around a 3-4mm thickness maximum.
To see how I make my ganache, click here.
Using a palette knife I rough applied my ganache all over. Literally just go around and create a nice thick even layer. This does work on buttercream too by the way, with exactly the same technique.
Take the Pro Froster and place the bottom of it at the base of your cake card or drum, whichever you have your cake on, and start with scraping around your cake. I found that I needed to hold it quite firm, one hand on the Pro Froster and one hand on my turntable and I held in the middle with my fingers spread for a good firm grip. I also found that trying to scrape the cake in one full turn is just asking for trouble and doing in quarters is much simpler, scraping off the excess chocolate as you go.
My first full scrape looked like this. Now fridge for 5 minutes. Don’t worry about any gaps or uneven parts at this stage.
Remove from the fridge and add more ganache, especially paying attention to any of those gaps or holes. Repeat in the exactly the same way as the first layer and fridge again for 5 minutes. The Pro Froster doesn’t quite meet the middle on the top of the cake quite right so you will need your small palette knife and traditional scraper to smooth off – this is the only downfall I had so far.
My second scrape looked like this. Fridge again for another 5 minutes.
Adding one more last and final coat and with a little touch up with my palette knife, it looked like this. It took me 25 minutes altogether and that included having a little tidy up at the end. After the second coat it comes together really quickly! It honestly is so simple to use.
I hardly even had to adjust my cake to make it perfectly level too. The Pro Froster does this for you.
How smooth and sharp! Overall the Pro Froster gets my vote 100% and it will now be a firm tool in my kitchen. I can’t believe I actually waited this long!
My top tips for using the Pro Froster are as follows:
- Make sure you ganache or buttercream is super smooth and soft enough
- A turntable is a must. You can buy one here.
- Scrape in small sections rather than one full turn
- Make sure the Pro Froster is secured and connected together properly
- Fridge between layers
Moving on… New cake tool number two! And the reason I’ve reviewed these two items at the same time is purely because you can’t get a nice sharp smooth cake with just one of these tools. You need to have a good base before you cover in fondant and they work together perfectly.
Berina’s Flexi Smoothers
I’ve actually been using plastic smoothers for a few years now and many of you may have been using them too. There are lots of brands and shapes and colours out there to try so you may be wondering what makes these any different to the others? I wondered the same so Berina sent me some to try.
She’s lovely by the way; a very talented cake artist with the cutest Scottish accent to match – you can listen to her demonstrating how to use the smoothers on her Facebook page here.
I always like to support people who are taking their businesses to the next level and with an excellent product now on the market Berina deserves to do well with these smoothers. You can purchase them here.
Here’s why they’ll now be my preferred smoothers:
- They are slightly thicker and more flexible than any other smoother I’ve tried.
- The square set is completely new for me and perfect for sharp corners on square cakes.
- I could grip these ones a lot easier than any others I’ve tried
- The come in a lovely bag with very clear instructions on how to use – you literally can’t go wrong!
- They’ll work with any fondant but my preferred choice is a brand called Massa Ticino which you can buy here. It never rips or tears and tastes far nicer than other brands. Plus as you can roll thinner you use a lot less which makes up for the higher cost. I used just 450g on this 8″ cake – with some left over too!
- After rolling but before lifting your fondant on to your cake, have a little smooth with them first. I always find this makes a big difference.
When holding on the top of your cake don’t press too hard. You just want to have a little bit of pressure to keep secure.
Also, I have to show you this! I purposely put a hole in my cake! Eek, not nice or easy to do – but I had to see just how far these smoothers could go. The did good… just look.
And here is my final smoothed cake – all taking around 15 minutes.
And once decorated…
I hope this review post has been helpful and if you have any questions please do email or comment below. I always answer every question posted. If you decide to buy either of these products let me know how you get on and if you’re an Instagram addict like me, use the #cuppiesncream so I can admire your handiwork.