I’m going to show you how to make a DIY smash cake with five different decorating ideas. so I’m really excited to share this episode with you guys because over the last few years I’ve had a number of friends reach out to me asking um just for some help and some ideas and making their own smash cakes.
And these friends all live like out of the area otherwise I would definitely make a smash cake for them I’d be happy to do it and because I’ve had so many different friends reach out to me I thought it’d be a great idea just to make a tutorial about it. because i know that there’s just probably a lot of people out there who are trying to make their own smash cake and i want to make sure that i give you guys some helpful tips um in actually building up your smash cake and preparing the cake appropriately and then also i have a lot of different decorating ideas.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 4 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
That i think you guys are really going to enjoy learning about so before. i get to the different ways to decorate a smash cake.make a cream cheese recipe? it’s super important and that we have our cake constructed correctly and that everything is level and that we have a perfect canvas for our smash cake when we’re ready to frost and decorate so i’m going to show you guys exactly how to build a perfect cake.
So i’m starting with my already done cake. layers and if you need a tutorial on this um i do have an episode for my go-to vanilla cake recipe um that shows you exactly how to make the actual cake layers so these have been out of the pan and they’re cool but you can see um they are not level so first thing is we do want to make sure that our cakes are room temperature our layers are room temperature.
when we’re working with them you can make them ahead of time and freeze them um but when you’re actually doing this we want the room temperature so the first thing that we need to do is we need to level our cakes. you guys can see that these are like not flat and so we’re just going to take a knife and cut off the cake dome.
So you definitely want to do this before you start building your smash cake so i should also mention that i used my go-to vanilla recipe. and i just added um three-quarters cups of sprinkles to make it funfetti so that’s what you guys are seeing here so leveling all cake layers. and this cake that I’m working with is a six-inch cake so all the cakes.
Smash Cake :
I’ll give you details when i decorate um but they’re all going to either be six inches or four-inch um cakes because when you’re doing a smash cake um for a baby they’re so little they do not need these giant cakes.
That actually probably look kind of weird so my cakes are leveled and now I’m ready to start putting the cake together so I have a batch of American buttercream here. and the full recipe for this is also
down below and all of the cakes that I’m going to be decorating are using just standard American buttercream it’s the easiest to make and it’s pretty sturdy so that’s why I often are amusing.
So I’m just going to take a little bit of American buttercream and I’m going to place some on my cake board and I’m going to put my first cake layer um flat side down and i want to make sure that it’s centered and what that buttercream is going to do is it’s going to make sure the cake isn’t sliding around and you want to give your cake layer.
A firm press and what we’re trying to do is press the air out of our cake if there is air in the cake and it hasn’t settled um your cake could bulge which is just not an attractive look so next.
I am going to go ahead and start frosting this layer and generally like if you read this people say like about a quarter inch thick um i wouldn’t say you have to be like completely exact.
But you definitely don’t want too much or too little frosting um but it does not have to be completely exact just a thick layer to cover the layer and a little bit’s going to come out the side which is totally fine and i’m using an offset spatula to frost this so the next cake layer.
I am going to actually put flat side up because we want that top that nice flat top and again i’m going to press down pretty firmly to get that air out of my cake and i’m also going to look at my cake eye level to see if it’s level i actually have a cake level that i put on here um if you have one you can definitely um use your level to make sure that you know it’s perfectly straight but you can also just eyeball it so add another layer of frosting same thing a pretty
thick layer. and I’m just spreading it around with my offset spatulas going to come out of the sides no biggie and then this cake.
That I’m building is obviously three six-inch layers so three layers high I think this is the perfect size for a smash cake but you guys are going to see a lot of different sizes so you can decide what you like so pressing down helping to get my cake with no bulges and I’m eyeballing.
It and i can see it’s actually sticking up too much on this site so I’m gonna press it down so after you have your layers stacked we’re gonna do what’s called a crumb coat. and this is just a very thin layer of frosting and this is the layer we put before we actually put our final layer on and it’s just like what it says um it traps the crumbs of the cake.
So when you have like fresh cake layers um it’s totally normal and expected that when you frost you’re gonna get crumbs in it but we don’t want that for our smash cake or any cake.
I mean you actually need a crumb coat for every cake you’re decorating um and so we’re gonna start with our very thin layer just to trap the crumbs. so you can see why an offset spatula is really handy here as I’m frosting I frosted plenty of cakes with um just like butter knives but if you’re making your DIY smash cake.
You are gonna want an offset spatula. so after i put my layer of icing for my crumb coat i do need to smooth it out and you’re gonna see i actually have a few different bench scrapers here so i have my metal one i have my plastic one i actually like my plastic one just fine but you are gonna wanna make sure
that you have a bench scraper when you’re making a diy slash cake or as i said recommended really for any time you’re trying to decorate any cake so i’m just going to hold my bench scraper parallel to the cake and i’m scraping off the excess frosting and my crumb coat is a thin layer and it’s supposed to have all these crumbs in it that’s its job.
So it’s not gonna look super pretty at this point so i’m just scraping away my excess and it’s important to wipe off the scraper, after all, that frosting has gathered so you’re wiping your bench scraper. in between and now i’m just going to go along the top of the cake and smooth out this frosting as well.
So this isn’t perfect but the better job that we do on our crumb coat the smoother the frosting is going to look when we put our final coat on so i have my crumb coat ready sorry so i have my crumb coat done and at this point you have a couple different options um what i’m gonna do is i’m actually gonna put this in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill.
Because you want this buttercream firm. that’s the secret to the final smooth layer of frosting so you can put it in the fridge for 15 minutes another option is you could actually let this sit out um for like six to eight hours at room temperature prior to putting it into the fridge and to chill it for a few minutes.
That’s even going to help ensure even more that our cake is going to settle and there’s not going to be any bulges you could also pop it into the fridge overnight if you wanted to come back and decorate the next day just as long as your cake is chilled before we put on the next coat of frosting.
So i’m going to put this in the fridge for 15 minutes and then continue on so cake just came out of the fridge it was in there for about 15 minutes and now I’m gonna add another really thick layer of frosting. so after i add my thick layer of frosting i’m giving it a first pass just kind of taking away all that excess so i’m going to take my bench scraper and I’m going to start at the top just smoothing it out this is where having a turntable comes in really handy so i definitely recommend investing in a
turntable if you’re going to make a smash cake as well so i smooth out my top and I’m just going to take my scraper and put it parallel against the cake just like with our crumb coat.
And i’m going to start scraping away the excess and if there are some areas that are patchy i’m just going to add a little bit more frosting and continue to smooth.and i’m smoothing out the top again and just where some of that excess frosting has gathered so for the purposes of our smash cake.
This does not need to be completely perfect because these are all going to get covered with another layer of frosting so at this point i’m pretty happy with it because i know it’s going to get covered if i was going to just do a plain basic frosted cake i would put this whole thing in the fridge again for 15 minutes and add another layer of frosting and what that’s going to do is ensure that nothing is patchy and no parts of the cake are showing through so this is how we prep our smash cake to be decorated and every single cake that you see in this tutorial have been made up to this point so all the cakes have been crumb coated frosted and have another layer of frosting with the exception of the naked cake for obvious reasons so this cake is ready to be decorated all of my cakes.
Have been chilled so I’m going to put this one back in the fridge again um until it’s actually ready for me to decorate and the first cake that i’m going to show you is going to be a basic naked cake to me this is the easiest one so if i was like the brand new um baker and just doing this for the first time this is probably the design.
I would go with so you guys can see this is the only cake that I haven’t crumb coated. because we need this for the design and this particular idea actually came to me um our friend Allison actually reached out to me because her um little baby Audrey was turning one and she sent me a picture of a cake. that looked like this.
So i thought it was so cute so i decided to make it for the channel so all i’m gonna do is i’m starting with my american buttercream that i dyed just a really light shade of pink using americolor soft pink very popular in the cake world again the recipe for the frosting that i use for every single cake. is down below in the description just american buttercream and for this naked cake.
You probably just need one batch of the frosting recipe that i’ve included so i’m just going to take a little bit of my buttercream frosting and apply a very thin layer like that’s the key to a naked cake is you just need a very thin layer so i’m going to start at the top and it’s by no means perfect and i’m just going to go around the cake again with the thin layer and we want the sides to show through so of course.
I did not trim my cake layers we want that color to show but as i’m frosting the cake i’m pressing in a little bit because i want to fill in the gaps um between the cake layers so i’ve applied my thin layer of frosting i’m going back through um to any areas that i just feel like aesthetically like might need a little bit more frosting. and i’m kind of just smoothing with my
offset spatula as i go i am going to do another scrape and like pass with a scraper but this just kind of helps it go along the way. so now that i have my first layer i am going to take my bench scraper and i’m just going to scrape this down um just really like based on how i think it looks good.
So this trend is so popular and of course we want a little bit of the cake exposed this particular way to decorate is also nice because it uses very little frosting so i’m just smoothing out the top. and you’re going to see that your cake board is going to have a little bit of frosting on it and you can go through and take some off now um.
But you’re gonna want to take a paper towel and like just dampen like a little bit of it and you can scrape away even more so your cake board is clean and then for this particular design i’m going to add an artificial flower and i’m just going to stick that on the cake.
Where i think it looks nice and that’s it for the naked cake it’s so simple so this is the one that i would do if you are going for like the boho look and you’re very new to cake decorating so after my cakes are decorated i am going to pop them into the fridge my kids generally live in the fridge overnight it’s the best way.
I find to store them and rather than leaving them out so the second technique i’m going to show you is the rosette cake this is probably the most popular smash cake.
Design that’s out there and it’s really easy to make so for this cake you do need a wilton tip 1m and this is the tip that’s going to work the best and i’m just going to fill my piping bag so i like to use the cuff just because it makes a little bit easier and less messy.
And for this um shade of frosting so it’s my american buttercream with the recipe listed below and this is americolor and sky blue so really pretty and one thing to know about rosettes is they take a lot of frosting so i would actually make a batch and a half of the recipe that’s listed below .and the other thing to know when
you’re making a rosette cake is you want your frosting not to be too warm so it can kind of warm up as you’re going like from your hand um which will make the rosette slide off so if that happens to you just pop your frosting into the fridge so stop and let it chill for a few minutes this cake.
Has been crumb coated um and obviously i did use the same shade of blue that is gonna be my rosettes. um this is good because if there’s any gaps then the blue is gonna show and not the white so because this is a three-layer cake.
I’m gonna have three layers of roses so that’s the general rule of thumb and i’m gonna start at the bottom of my cake and i’m gonna put a little pressure and just swirl around if my um icing tip starts to get clogged i’m just going to wipe that excess away. if you get a rosette in there that you don’t like like that one i just did i’m just gonna scrape it off and all that’s gonna get covered so i’m not worried about it so like i said rosettes take so much frosting so you’re definitely gonna have to refill your piping bag or you can buy uh like a several different 1m tips.
So you can have like lots of different piping bags ready so i’m ready to go on to the second row i’m going to stagger. so i don’t want them like exactly on top of one another i’m going to start it like in the middle and so i’m just going to eyeball it here and exact same method swirl it around and now i’m ready for my final row and same thing same technique.so after we’re done with the sides of our cake.
We are ready for the top so i’m done piping the rosettes on the sides. i’m ready for the top and this is actually a little bit easier so we’re just gonna start on the outside working in and it’s the same motion. so that’s it for our rosette cake super simple and i’m going to put this into the fridge because i do want these to really firm up and set all right so the next technique is ombre and this has been around for a while super popular and very very simple so if you are a beginner this is definitely a technique that you could easily master successfully so this is a little cake.
This is four layers that are four inches which i think is also a really great size for a smash cake and this cake just got out of the fridge it has been chilling and i have made three different shades of purple that i’m going to be using for this cake so i am going to roughly split this cake into thirds definitely does not have to be exact and i’m just kind of scoring it this is just for me so that i know how to hide a frost that was really crooked. and i’m just going to take my offset spatula and i’m going to start adding a thick layer of frosting.
Then i’m gonna go in with my second lightest shade and apply a thick layer above and then of course my lightest shade at the top and i’m gonna of course frost the top of the cake as well i’m gonna take my scraper and i’m going to just start smoothing out the top of the cake and then i’m going to work my way down around the sides.
So i’m holding it vertical and i’m just.turning my turntable and gathering that excess frosting and i’m gonna keep going around and adding bits of frosting where there are like patchy spots. but i’m making sure to clean my scraper between every pass so after i have gone through and i’ve scraped away my ombre design i’m pretty happy with it the trick is to take um the offset spatula and it’s metal and i heated it over the stove so it’s really hot and i’m just going to take it and smooth out the cake.
This is just a trick to help really make it look smoother more polished i do this on a lot of my cakes when i’m happy with my ombre i’m going to go ahead and put this into the fridge as well so the next cake design i’m going to show you is one of my favorites it’s a really simple cake that adds a lot of color if that’s what you’re going for um and for this cake.
You will need quite a bit of frosting so i would recommend making a batch and a half to two batches of the recipe below and we’re going to need various piping tips so i have prepared a ton of icing here and already filled my bags and i’ll make sure to let you guys know each piping tip that i’m using so i’m going to start with my wilton tip 1m and i’m just gonna um pipe rosettes just randomly around my cake.
Im going to continue piping along the top of my cake as well so next i’m taking the Wilton petal tip 104 and i’m going to pipe basically just like a little ruffle along the sides of my rosettes so i have the wider end of the tip next to the rosette and i’m just going to add a little pressure. and kind of just move my hand up and down making a ruffle and you’re going to want to make sure to um clear your piping tip if a little bit of excess frosting starts to like clog the opening and now, i’m just going to start piping in little stars um in the blank spaces and i’m starting with an ateco tip 866 so this is just a large open star tip you don’t have to use this one and you can use any open star tip that you can find i like the atteco.
Because they come in sets of just like a bunch of different sizes and i use these a lot. and i’m gonna add more dots with an ateco 865 i’m going to go through and i’m actually going to add another layer on top of the ruffle just to make it stand out a little bit more this is like not completely necessary i just think it makes it look a little bit.
Better so after i’m done i’m piping all of this on my cake which i think looks really cute just really fun and colorful i am going to put it in the fridge to set as well just like every other cake. that i’ve made all right so this next cake that i’m going to show you is really simple and really fun.
So i actually do this design a lot when i’m kind of short on time but i want something like really interesting and unique um so spatula painting has definitely become popular in the cake decorating world and it’s really simple so i’m going to be using just a bunch of different rainbow colors for this smash cake.
Um and you can see if you look closely you can actually see i started a different design on this cake. and i didn’t like it and i just took off that layer of buttercream and i’m starting with this different design so that’s the beauty of just cake decorating in general oftentimes if you don’t like it you can just totally start over by just taking off that outer layer frosting and re-crumb coating so this whole cake is getting covered.
So i don’t mind that there are you know little peaks of this teal that are showing through so to get started i just have all my different shades of buttercream and i’m using an a small offset spatula you can get these on amazon they’re relatively cheap and just essential for this cake design so i’m just going to start by getting a tiny bit of frosting and pressing it into my cold cake.
So this design i think originally came from a cake artist named katherine sabbath she is huge in the cake world and on instagram um super talented australian baker i’m doing the same thing along the top just making little i don’t know what are these are called like little swooshes and when i’m ready to switch colors.
Im making sure to clean off my spatula in between and when you’re doing this you can definitely overlap a little bit and you’re actually going to want to do that because you don’t want any of your white cake to show through so at this point i have a lot of my cake covered but i know there’s still quite a bit of white but at this point i’m going to put this into the fridge
for 10 to 15 minutes because i want this layer to crust um because i’m gonna go back in and overlap and if they mix together too much it just doesn’t look good so into the fridge so this will harden just a little bit of color on so the cake just came out of the fridge and like if i touch this these are hardened which is what.
I want so i’m just going to keep adding more color now i’m going to go ahead and start going back in and repeating some of my colors just like when i take a step back i can see there’s some spots where i want to go back and add in like maybe some blues and some pinks and some purples.
So definitely like with this cake it’s about like what you feel like looks nice um and there’s really no like right or wrong way to do it so i’m gonna go ahead and put this in the fridge just one more time before i fill in just a little bit of white that’s left uh all right so this looks about done to me i might go back in and touch up a few more spots later after i like i kind of look at it a little bit more um but you can see like this is just like a really fun design i think it looks so cute and like the smash cake photo shoot um or obviously at the smash cake-like for the first birthday party um.
So this is like a really easy design. um and really fun to make also just as a decorator so this one definitely top of the list um as far as designs that i just really like so again i’m gonna pop this into the fridge and most likely i’ll probably touch up like just a few more spots okay so all of my smash cakes are complete and each one turned out super cute and there are definitely a lot of different options for you guys out there depending on the look that you’re going for.