Using Real Buttercream & The Upside-Down Method
Tapering the tiers of a stacked cake creates a more angular aesthetic. Here, 1” (25 mm) is carved off the diameter of the base of each tier in a 6” – 8” – 10” (15 – 20 – 25 cm) birthday cake. The trick to this method is to work upside-down for better leverage when carving and frosting. In the following example, the 8” diameter round tier is tapered down to a 7” diameter base.
- One 8” round cake
- 6 cups all-butter buttercream
- Serrated knife
- 8” diameter round cake cardboard (20 cm)
- 7” round cake cardboard (can be trimmed down to size from an 8″ using a good eye or a ruler & compass)
- Turntable, preferably wooden
- Pizza pan or 10” (25 cm) diameter cardboard circle
- Offset spatula
- Bench scraper
1. Place the 8” cardboard under the 8” (20 cm) cylinder cake and the 7” (18 cm) cardboard on top of the cake in its center. Place the cake on a turntable.
2. Using a serrated knife, carve and taper the cake out from top to bottom; using the cardboard edges as guides. While carving, press on the 7” (18 cm) cardboard firmly with one hand so that it remains in place.
4. Using an offset spatula, apply a rough crumb coat to the side of the cake only. Set the cake in the refrigerator until the buttercream is hard.
5. Apply a second and final coat of buttercream to the sides of the cake using a bench scraper blade to frost. Level the top surface since the cake will ultimately be flipped over.
6. Return the cake to the refrigerator until the buttercream is cold.
7. Run an offset spatula under the cake to loosen it from the pizza pan then flip the cake right-side-up. Remove the 8” (20 cm) cardboard from the now top of the cake.
8. Quickly frost the top of the cake. The chilled buttercream sides should hold a strong edge, making the corner easier to achieve.
When adding dowels/infrastructure to the tapered tiers of a stacked cake, remember to take into account the narrower width at their base.
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