This tutorial demonstrates how to carve and frost tapered, angled or slanted cake tiers using the Upside-Down Method. This style of cake has a playful 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 Upside Down Method
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, chilled
- 6 cups all-butter buttercream cake frosting
- 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
Upside Down Carving
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 cold cake on a turntable.
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.
Upside Down Frosting
3. 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.
4. Return the cake to the refrigerator until the buttercream is cold.
5. 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.
6. Quickly frost the top of the cake. The chilled buttercream sides should hold a strong edge, making the corner easier to achieve.
TIP: When adding dowels/infrastructure to the tapered tiers of a stacked cake, remember to take into account the narrower width at their base.
Information on how to create the modeling chocolate bangles and zebra print swag elements of this cake design featured at the beginning of this tutorial are in the book, Cake Decorating with Modeling Chocolate.
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