Layer Cake From Scratch: Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cake Decorating | Cakes by MK | Skillshare

Layer Cake From Scratch: Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cake Decorating

Cakes by MK, Blogger, YouTuber, Cake Decorator

Layer Cake From Scratch: Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cake Decorating

Cakes by MK, Blogger, YouTuber, Cake Decorator

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13 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:43
    • 2. Equipment

      3:52
    • 3. Prepping Cake Tins

      5:14
    • 4. Cake Batter

      5:58
    • 5. Depanning Cakes

      2:01
    • 6. Buttercream

      8:25
    • 7. Simple Syrup

      0:48
    • 8. Levelling Cake Layers

      2:37
    • 9. Crumb Coat

      4:22
    • 10. Final Coat

      5:05
    • 11. Adding a Drip

      4:52
    • 12. Adding Fresh Flowers

      4:04
    • 13. Class Project

      0:37
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About This Class

Have you ever seen a gorgeous layer cake, and wondered how the layers are so perfect, or how beautifully smooth the buttercream is? 

In this course I'll be breaking down the process of making a professional layer cake step-by-step, so that you can confidently take on the challenge of making your own layer cake! :)

You'll learn:

- How to bake a delicious and moist cake 

- How to make Swiss meringue buttercream

- How to apply a crumb coat and final coat of buttercream 

- How to apply a chocolate ganache drip to a cake

- How to safely apply fresh flowers to a cake

I have also carefully crafted detailed notes of each step for you to use with extra tips and recipes, so that you can always have something to refer to.

Though this is considered a beginner's course, the course does get progressively more difficult, with some techniques towards the end of the course being relevant to more advanced students as well. 

So what are you waiting for! Come join me in my course where I cannot wait to share my passion with you, and see what beautiful cakes you create :)

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Meet Your Teacher

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Cakes by MK

Blogger, YouTuber, Cake Decorator

Teacher

Hello! My name is Maryam Khan and I am a blogger and YouTube content creator for my brand Cakes by MK, based in New Zealand.

I am a self taught cake maker and cake decorator, and have been pursuing my passion of cake making for over 2 years. Prior to this, I was working in the social services and marketing sector, with my academic background in Psychology. 

I love being able to share my knowledge and skills with others, so I am really excited to be able to share in depth classes with you all, so that you can confidently begin to create cakes of your own :) 

If you'd like to see more of what I do, you can visit my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/cakesbymk.

 

 

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey everyone and welcome to my course, Layer Cake From Scratch Ultimate Beginner's Guide, where I'll be covering in detail the steps required to successfully make a perfect layer cake. Not only will you receive high-quality videos demonstrating each step, but I have also carefully crafted documents with a detailed nurse to support your learning. I have also included a number of great recipes for you to choose from, as well as some bonus videos at the end to show you how to decorate a completed layer cake with perfect chocolate stripes and how to safely apply fish flowers. So whether you're a beginner who has never made a cake before, or you're a regular baker who would just like to up-skill then come join me in my course where I cannot wait to share my knowledge with you all, learn from you all and see what amazing cakes you create. 2. Equipment: Now before we get into the special list equipment which is required for this course, I just wanted to quickly run you guys through how the course actually works so that you can get the most benefit from it. Basically this course has different modules in it, and each module is related to a specific step in making a layer cake. Each module has a video where I'll be demonstrating how to actually do the step, as well as a PDF attachment where I have prewritten some notes for you guys, as well as some extra tips and recipes within those PDFs. I would highly recommend going over both the PDFs as well as the video to get a nice rounded view on how to do each step. Now, let's get into the special list equipment which is required. First up is some mixer. Whether that's a hand mixer or a stand mixer, now either of those will be fine, and this is specifically important when it comes to making our butter cream in this course, because we're going to be making a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Swiss Meringue Buttercream requires a lot of mixing and you candle with your hands so definitely either a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Now next up is our cake tins. Today I've got three-six inch cake tins because I'm going to be making a six inch three-layer cake for this course. But you can go ahead and use whichever cake tins you've got at home. Just make sure that they are the same size and just make sure that the cake tins that you've got have a nice straight side on them. The reason why you want that is because that's what's going to give us really nice straight cake layers, which is going to make stacking out cake layers for our layer cake a whole lot easier. Just some really good quality cake tins. Now next up for our cake tins, you want to make sure that you've got some baking paper or parchment paper. Now, this is really important for putting on the bottoms of our cake tins, and I'll show you guys how to do that probably in the next module. But basically the reason why we really need this is because it's going to ensure that our cake layers release properly from our cake tins. You've gone through all that hard work so you really want to make sure that your cake layers come out properly. Now next up is some measuring cups or a scale. When making a cake, it's really important to use the exact measurements that's stated in the recipe. Whether that's by cups or by grams, either a scale or measuring cups will be really helpful for that. Now next up are some cakes spatulas. Now these spatulas are really important when it comes to actually decorating the cake. If you're looking for what's absolutely necessary, then one spatula will be fine. I would recommend getting a long thin flat one like this, but this little one here is really helpful for when it comes to getting sharp edges on the tops of your cakes. Or if you've got little things that you need to clean up around your cake. Yes, some cakes spatulas are really helpful. Now next up is a cake board. You really want some cake board to put your cake on. If you don't have a cake board at home and you don't want to get one, and you're just making your layer cake for yourself at home you don't need to take it anywhere, then anything that's flat will work too, but just make sure that it is flat. Sometimes plates come up the sides which can make it a little bit harder when it comes to smoothing out the cake. Just something that's really nice and flat. Now next step, which is my most favorite thing when it comes to cake decorating is a turntable. A turntable just makes the cake decorating process a whole lot easier. I would highly recommend getting one of these. It's almost impossible to get a perfect layer cake without a turntable. Now, last step, what I've got here is I've got some cake scrapers. Now, cake scrapers are basically what we are going to use to get those nice smooth edges on the sides of our layer cake. Now you can get these in different shapes and materials and things like that. Like this one here is a metal cake scraper, with the cool handle on it, this one's just a acrylic cake scraper and it's got a cool little measuring thing on it as well. But either of those kinds of cake scrapers will be fine, just anything that's long and got a nice flat edge which is going to give us those nice smooth sides on our cake. Now let's get onto actually getting prepped for our cake. 3. Prepping Cake Tins: Before we start preparing our cake batter, the first thing we're going to do is we're going to prepare our cake tins. Now the reason why you want to prepare your cake tins first is because once you're done with your cake batter, you want to get that into the oven as soon as possible. If we've got our cake tins prepared beforehand, it makes the whole process a whole lot quicker and easier. The reason why we want to get our cake batter into the oven as soon as possible, is because when we're making our cake batter, we use different techniques and ingredients to help our cake turn into a really beautifully moist risen cake. But the problem is that these techniques and ingredients that we use, the effectiveness of them only last for a short amount of time. To give you an example, we often put baking powder or baking soda into our cakes to help make them rise, but the problem is your effectiveness only last for a certain amount of time. If we leave our cake batter sitting for too long, then the effectiveness of these rising agents is slowly going to wither away and our cakes are going to rise the way we want it to rise. That's why we want to get our cake batter into the oven as soon as possible. Today I've got 3'6" inch cake tins because I'm going to be making a 6 inch, three-layer cake. Now you guys can go ahead and use whatever size cake tins you want, but the key thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure that whatever cake tins that you're using, the sides are nice and straight. The reason why you want a nice straight cake tin is because that's what's going to give us really nice straight cake layers, which is going to make the stacking process a whole lot easier. Now the first step to preparing our cake tins is greasing them. Today I'm just going to be using some softened butter, but you can also use some vegetable oil or shortening as well. What you want to do is you just want to grab whatever your greasing your cake tins with. Today I'm just using a little paster to help me spread it around. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to grab some of it and basically spread it around the entire cake tin using my little paster. Now you want to make sure that you get into all the little corners and everything so that your whole tin is completely greased. Make sure you get all the sides. All right now once they're all nicely greased, the next thing we want to do is we want to cut some around pieces of parchment paper or baking paper and put those into the bottoms of the cake tins. Now the way you do that is really easy. You just grab some parchment paper, put your cake tin down on to the parchment paper. Using a pencil or a pen, you mark the outline of the cake tin. What we're going to do next is we're going to cut a circle slightly smaller than the circle that we just marked, and the reason why we're cutting it slightly smaller as so there are parchment paper isn't too big and not creeping up the size of cake tin. By cutting it smaller, you're also stopping any [inaudible] , whatever you've used to mark your outline from getting into your cake. That's one circle done and I'm going to go ahead and cut out two more for the other two cake tins. Now that I've got my three cake circles done, I'm going to go ahead and put them on the bottoms of each of the cake tins. Now the reason why we do this step is because it helps their cake release process a whole lot easier when the cake is finished. Now once the circles are in your cake tins, the last step to making sure that your cakes come out perfect every time is to flour cake tins. Now the way you do that is really easy. You just get a little bit of flour and just pour it into your cake tin. Then what you do is you slowly move all the flour around in your cake pan. Get it all on the bottoms and in all on the sides as well. To get off any excess flower, just give your cake tin a little bang and then shake the rest off. There you have it, a beautifully floured and prepared cake pan. Now I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing with the other two cake tins. All right and there we have it. I've got three beautifully prepared cake tins and now we're ready to go ahead and make our cake batter. 4. Cake Batter: Now next up is preparing our cake batter. Now, you guys can go ahead and use whichever batter recipe you like for the layer cake that we're making in this course, and I've also shared a few extra recipes in the PDF which is attached to this video. But what I'm going to be sharing with you guys today is how to make one of my most favorite recipes, which is a really beautiful, rich, moist chocolate cake. Now, if you take a closer look at our ingredients, what we've got here from the left is all purpose flour, white granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder and here on the right we've got batter, dark chocolate, vegetable oil, instant coffee, some eggs, milk, and some hot water. I've got the full quantities to all these ingredients and both cups and grams in the PDF which is attached to this video. Now, what I've got in front of me as a double boiler. Now, if you're not quite sure what a double boiler is and basically, it's a method that we use to gently heat up ingredients as opposed to using direct heat. The way that you do that is really easy. So you just grab a small source pan, fill it up with some water and bring it to a simmer, so you want to do this over a low to medium heat and then you just get a heat proof ball and put that on top of the saucepan, and the steam from the water is what's going to gently heat up our ingredients that we placed in the bowl. You want to make sure that the water isn't touching the bowl. Now, what we're going to do first is we're going to add our batter, dark chocolate and our sugar into this bowl and stir gently melting that together. You want to keep your stove or you'll burner, whatever you're using to warm up your water on a low to medium heat. Now, while this is slowly melting away, what I'm going to do next is I'm going to grab my instant coffee, I'm going to mix that into my boiling water and then I'm going to pull that over the mixture in this bowl. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to let this melt away for a couple of minutes and just keep stirring it every now and then until it's all completely combined. Now, once the mixture is all nicely combined, the next thing we're going to do is we're going to sit this bowl aside for about five minutes just to let the mixture cool down a little bit before we add the rest of the ingredients to our bowl. So our mixture has been cooling down now for a couple of minutes and now I'm going to go ahead and add the rest of our ingredients to the bowl. Now to mix the rest of the ingredients, I'm using my hand mixer today, but you can also go ahead and do this with a whisk as well. Now first of all, what I'm going to do is I'm going to add my milk to my mixture just to help it cool down a little more before we go ahead and add in our eggs. I'm using my mixer on a low to medium speed. Now, once the milk has nice mixed, and the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to add the eggs one by one, and I'm going to make sure that it's mixed really well in between each addition. So now that I've got all my eggs mixed in, I'm going to go ahead and add my vegetable oil to the bowl and mix that in as well. All right. Now, the last step is just to add all of our dry ingredients to the bowl. I have pre-sifted all our ingredients and then basically just mix it in on a low speed until it's completely combined. Now, once our batter is all mixed together, the last step is just to distribute it evenly into our three cake tins that we prepared earlier. Now, I'm just using a spatula to help me to pour the cake batter into the cake tins, and if you're not confident with eyeballing this, then you can go ahead and use a kitchen scale to make sure that each of your cakes tins weigh the same amount. I've got my batter evenly distributed into the cake tins now, and now the next thing you want to do is you want to bang your cake tins onto the table, and what that's going to do is that's going to get rid of any air bubbles that have just been created when pouring out batter into our cake tins. That's going to prevent any holes from appearing in our cake when we cut through it. All right. So our cake tins are ready to go into the oven now, I'm going to cook these for about 45-55 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius, but the cook time will vary depending on the size of your cake tin and how much batter you pouring into each cake tin. But I do have a rough guide to this, for each of the recipes that I've shared with you guys in the PDF which is attached to this video. So I'm going to go ahead now and put these into the oven and then we'll be back once they are done. 5. Depanning Cakes: Our cakes are out of the oven. Now they've been cooling for about 30 minutes and now we're ready to depan them. If you're not quite sure how to check whether your cake is cooked or not, all you need to do is get a knife or a toothpick and insert it into the middle of your cake and it should come out clean. Just to show you guys what that should look like, I'm just inserting my knife in the middle there and it has come out clean. That is how you know that your cake is done. Now the reason why we let the cake layers cool in the pan for a little bit before we depan them, is because the cooling process allows the cake to harden enough and become a lot more sturdy, so when we depan them, the risk of them falling apart is a lot lower. Now the way you depan your cake is really easy. What I like to do first is I like to flip the whole cake tin over, tap back of the cake tin a few times and that way the cake should just slide right out. But sometimes it does need a little bit of help and if that is the case, then you can just use a knife or a long thin spatula. I've got my offset spatula here. What you do is you just run it around the edges of the cake and then flip the cake out and it should come right out. But I'm going to try the first method first and hopefully it should just come right out. Here we go, our first cake layer is out. I'm just going to flip it back over and just leave it on this side. Then I'm just going to do the exact same thing with the other two, cake pans. Cake number two. Then lucky last. There we go, three beautiful cake layers right out of the cake tins. Now the next thing we're going to do is we're going to let these completely cool. While they're cooling, we're going to go ahead and start working on our butter cream. 6. Buttercream: Next up we're going to be preparing our butter cream. There are a few different types of butter creams that you can make for your cakes, but today I'm going to be showing you guys my favorite, which is a Swiss meringue buttercream. The reason why I prefer using a Swiss meringue buttercream is because firstly, it has a really smooth velvety texture which I love, secondly because it's not too sweet, and thirdly, because it's a really nice, stable butter cream which makes it perfect for cake decorating. In this video, I'm going be showing you guys how to make two different types of Swiss meringue buttercream. Firstly, I have vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, and secondly a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. Let's start off with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. Now the first step to making out vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream is to gently melt some of our ingredients over a double boiler. Now this is the exact type of double boiler that we use while making part about chocolate cake better. All it is, is a sauce pan filled with some water, which we're going to bring to simmer on a low heat. Then we've got a heatproof bowl that we've got on top and we're going to put some of our ingredients in here to gently melt from the steam that's coming from the hot water below. Now for our ingredients today, we've got egg whites, castor sugar, unsalted butter, and some vanilla extract. I'll have the full quantities in both cups and grams in the PDF which is attached to this video. Now the first thing we're going to do is, we're going to combine our egg whites and our caster sugar into our bowl. Then we're going to keep gently mixing it until the caster sugar is fully dissolved. You want to keep an eye on it because you want to make sure that your egg whites don't overcook. Now the way to check whether your mixture is done is to just grab a little bit in between your fingers and you shouldn't be able to feel any sugar granules and that's how you'll know that it's done. The mixture's been going for about 3-4 minutes now and I can see that it's thinned out quite a bit, which means that it must be almost done. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to check it while putting some of the mixture in between my fingers and seeing if I can feel any sugar granule. I can still feel a few sugar granules, I'm just going to let it go for about another 30 seconds or so and then I'll check it again. I'm just going to check it again. Yes, so that's really nice and smooth, so we're ready to move on to the next step. What I'm going to do now, is I'm going to take it off the heat and I'm going to put it straight into the bowl of my stand mixer. Now once you've got all of them extra into your mixer, what you want to have on it is your balloon whisk attachment and you want to mix it on a medium to high-speed for at least 10 minutes until the mixture is nice and cool, and it's turned into a really beautiful fluffy white meringue. Our mixture has been going for about 15 minutes now, and as you can see, it's turned into this really beautiful white meringue. Now the next step is to slowly add our butter to the mixture. The key thing here is making sure that your butter is at the right consistency. The consistency that you want, is you want your butter to be soft so that you can squish it between your fingers, but not too soft that it's not holding its shape. You also don't want it to be too hard that you can't squish it at all, because then it won't incorporate properly into the meringue. If your butter is too hard, a quick tip to get it to the right consistency is just to pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds bursts, mixing in between each burst until you get it to the right consistency. What we're going to do next is we're going to slowly add each cube one at a time to our meringue. You really want to make sure you're doing it slowly. What you might find is, it's may seem like your mix just cuddling, but I promise you just keep going and towards the end you'll see it turns into this really beautiful, silky, so serene butter cream. I've just added the last of the butter and as you can see, we're left with a really beautiful Swiss meringue buttercream. Now the last thing to do is just add our vanilla extract, then we are done. I'm just going to mix that in a low to medium speed. There we have it, our vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream is all done. Now the way you make the chocolates Swiss meringue buttercream is really easy. It's basically a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream which has melted dark chocolate, which is folded into it. For the layer cake that I'm making for this course, I'm going to be putting vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream on the outside of the cake, and then in the middle of the cake I'm going to be putting chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. The amount of butter cream that I've got here is enough to ice the entire cake, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to half this buttercream and I'm going to turn half of it into the chocolates Swiss meringue buttercream. Then the other half will just remain as the vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, which is going on the outside of the cake. I'm just putting half of this mixture into this bowl. There we go. I'm just going to put this bowl aside for a second because I'm just going to finish off our vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream by making it pink, because the outside of my cake today is going to be a pink vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, which is the reason why these vanilla buttercream will be outside. Generally, if you want to color the outside of your cake, you need to use a vanilla buttercream or some buttercream which has a light color to it. Chocolate buttercream won't really work unless you're making like a really dark color for the outside. Now what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be adding a few drops of this pink gel food coloring to my butter cream. Whenever you're trying to color any buttercream, I would highly recommend using a gel food coloring because they are really concentrated and so you only need a few drops to achieve the color that you want. Whereas with a liquid food coloring, you may need a little bit more and it may change the consistency of your buttercream which you really don't want. Yes, I'm just going to go ahead and add a few drops to my buttercream until I get the color that I want. Then I'm just going to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then give it one more mix. Then we're left with this really pretty pink Swiss meringue buttercream. Now we're going to go ahead and move on to making our chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. For the chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, what I've got here today, is I've got some 50 percent dark chocolate, and then I've also got a little bit of butter. Now what I'm going to do first, is I'm going to melt this chocolate with the butter in the microwave. All I'm going to do is, I'm going to put it in for 15-seconds bursts, and I'm going to give it a mix in between each burst until the chocolate is fully melted. I'll be back once it's all melted. Our chocolate is fully melted now it's really nice and smooth. What I'm going to do next is I'm going to put this chocolate into this bowl that has the buttercream in it. I'm just going to gently fold it into the butter cream using a spatula. Then once you fold it and all the chocolate you're left with a really beautiful chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. Now because we've just folded the chocolate and the butter cream is a little bit soft, what we're going to do now is just put it into the fridge for about 30 minutes for the buttercream to become a little bit firmer and until it's ready to use for decorating. 7. Simple Syrup: Now, when it comes to making a layer cake or any kind of cake, a really simple trick to help keep the cake layers nice and moist is to put simple syrup over them. Now, simple syrup is really easy to make and it's basically just made up of equal parts water to sugar. The way that you make it is you just get some hot water, put your sugar into the hot water, mix it up until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then just set it aside until it comes to room temperature before you pour it over your cake layers. All right. So our simple syrup is nice, clear, and elvish. Sugar has completely dissolved. Now, we're just going to set it a side to cool down and we'll bring it back once we start stacking our cake layers. 8. Levelling Cake Layers: Now, before we start stacking our cake, the first thing we need to do is we need to level the tops of our cake layers. Now, the reason why we level the tops is so that we end up with a really nice flat cake layers which makes the cake stacking process a whole lot easier and you end up with a more beautiful finish. Now, when it comes to leveling the tops of your cake layers, there is a special tool called a cake leveler which you can use to do this. However, I prefer to just use a serrated knife. Today I'm going to show you guys how to level the tops of your cake layers just using a serrated knife. What I'm going to do first is I'm going to grab one of the cake layers and then I'm just grabbing my serrated knife and I'm going to start making a cut around the top of the cake. I like my cake layers to be quite thick so I only chop a little bit of the top off. The way that I'm going to do it is I'm going to keep my knife really nice and straight. I'm going to bring it up against the side of the cake and start making a cut around the top of the cake. What I'm going to do is I'm going to keep my knife on this side of the cake and I'm going to turn my turn table to help me continue making that cut around the entire cake. You just want to keep your knife really nice and straight and then once you come back to the beginning, you keep doing the same thing, but this time you slowly start bringing your knife into the middle of the cake. Remember to keep your knife really nice and straight. Then once you're all done, you just lift up that top part and put it into a bowl and you're left with a really nice flat cake layer. Now, I'm going to go ahead and do the exact same thing with the other two cake layers. There you go, we're left with three really beautifully leveled cake layers which are ready to start stacking. 9. Crumb Coat: So now we're ready to start sticking our cake. Now today I'm going to be sticking my six inch cake on a eight inch square cake board. Now generally you want to make sure that you will cake board or whatever you're sticking your cake on is at least two inches bigger than the cake size that you've got. Now the first thing we're going to do is we're going to do a crumb coat. Now if you're not quite sure what I crumb coat is, basically a crumb coat is a first layer of butter cream that you put on around your cake and that acts like a primer which is going to trap all the crumbs before we put our final layer of buttercream around the cake. So that we don't have any crumbs which are showing up on our final layer of butter cream. Now what we're going to do first before we put our first layer of cake onto our cake board is we are going to get a bit of the butter cream and we're going to put that into the middle of the cake board. Now the reason why we do that is because that butter cream is going to act as a glue to help keep our cake stuck to our cake board so that it doesn't move around. Then just make sure to remove the parchment paper from the bottom of your cake before you put it onto your cake board, then just place the cake layer into the middle of your cake board. Then what we're going to do next is we're going to put simple syrup on top of the cake layer. I'm just using a spoon to help me spread it all around. Then the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to grab a nice a dollop of chocolate sauce ring, butter cream and put that onto the cake layer and just smooth it out with my cake spatula. I'm just turning my turn table as I do this to help me smooth it out so I don't have to move around too much. The key is just to hold your spatula really nice and straight and you just keep turning your turntable. Then you end up with a really nice flat finish, and now I'm just going to go ahead and add my mix cake layer and do the exact same thing. Now I'm going to go ahead and put our last layer on now. But what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to flip it over so that the bottom of our cake layer is the top of this cakes so that we have a really nice flat top. Then what I'm going to do next is, I'm going to put more butter cream on the top. I'm going to smooth it out and then I'm going to put a really thin layer of butter cream all around the sides of the cake. Now that I've got butter cream all around the cake, I'm just going to clean that up a bit and then we'd done with our crumb coat, and to clean up that top lip around the cake, I'm just dragging the butter cream it towards the center of the cake. Okay, now once that's all nicely cleaned up, we're going to pop it into the fridge for about an hour for the icing to become really nice and firm. Then we'll be back to put our final layer of butter cream on. 10. Final Coat: Our cake is out of the fridge now. The chocolate butter cream is really nice and firm so we can go ahead and put our final layer of buttercream on. What I've got here today is the pink Swiss meringue buttercream that we made earlier. I'm going to go ahead and first put that on the top of the cake and smooth it out with my cake spatula. Then I'm going to go ahead and put the buttercream all around the edges of the cake and then start smoothing it out with my cake scraper. Again, the key here is just to hold your spatula really nice and straight and let the turntable do the work. What I'm doing now is I'm putting quite a thick layer of buttercream all around the cake, don't worry because a lot of this icing will be scraped off when we start smoothing it out with our cake scraper. But you want to make sure you've got a decent amount on it so that you have enough to scrape. Then once you've got buttercream all around the cake, we're going to go ahead and start smoothing it out without cake scraper. The way you want to do that is you want to hold your cake scraper at a 90 degree angle. Keep it really nice and straight, and in really gently start scraping the sides of the cake. You don't want to scrape too hard because you don't want to end up at your chocolate layer of butter cream, you just want to keep doing it so that you're gently smoothing out the outer layer. Then we're going to go ahead and fill in any gaps with more buttercream. Now again, you want to keep your cake scraper generally in the same spot and you want to let the turntable do most of the work. Every time you finish scraping it, you take off any excess icing, and then you go ahead and scrape again. Then every now and then, just take a look at your cake to make sure that it's nice and straight. For example, for mine, I can see that it's slightly going outwards towards the top of the side, which means I need to scrape that side a little bit more at the top. I've scraped it quite a few times now and now the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and fill in buttercream and the little holes which have appeared in the buttercream. I'm just going to go ahead and smooth it out again with my cake scraper until I'm happy with the look. I'm happy with how the sides of my cake of come out. The next thing I'm going to do is I'm just going to clean up the top. There's two ways that you can do this. Firstly, you can get a small offset spatula and you just hold the spatula at a slight angle and slowly drag the excess icing towards the middle of the cake. Another way that you can do it is by using your cake scraper and by pretty much doing the same thing. So just holding it at a slight angle and dragging the excess icing into the middle of the cake until you've got a nice sharp edge. Today I'm going to be doing it with my cakes scraper just because I find that you end up with a smoother top when you've got a wider surface area. Just start off slowly and then you can keep scraping more off as you need to. Just make sure that you are taking your excess icing off every time before you go ahead and scrape again. Then the last thing to do is just clean the bottom of our cake board and then our final layer of butter cream is done. I've cleaned the bottom of the cake board and now our layer cake is pretty much done and you can go ahead and decorate this cake however you like, but what I'm going to be doing for this course is I'm going to be adding a chocolate drop to the cake as well as some fresh flowers on top. To add a chocolate drop to a cake, you need the cake to be really nice and cold. I'm going to go ahead and pop this cake into the fridge again for about another hour and then we'll be back to add our chocolate drop. 11. Adding a Drip : To decorate the layer cake in this course, I'm going to be adding a white chocolate drop to the side of my cake. Chocolate drops can be pretty tricky and there are a few things to keep in mind to making sure that you get them right. I've got all those different tips and tricks in the PDF which is attached to this video. What I've got here today is I've got white chocolate and I've got heavy cream because we're going to be making a white chocolate ganache for our drop. The thing to keep in mind is that ratio is really important. So, the consistency of your ganache is really important to making sure that your drop comes out right. In the case of white chocolate drops, the ratio of heavy cream to chocolate is three parts chocolate to one part heavy cream. Today I've got 90 grams of white chocolate, and so I've got 30 mills of heavy cream. The key thing to keep in mind is that you really want to weigh your ingredients to make sure that you've got the correct weights. Because if you're using cup measurements or teaspoons or tablespoons, the quantities will not be the same. For example, a cup of chocolate is not the same weight as a cup of heavy cream. Just make sure that you are converting your measurements correctly if you are using your measurements and cups or spoons. The way that we make our chocolate ganache is really easy. All I'm going to do is I'm going to add my heavy cream to my white chocolate, and then I'm going to put it into the microwave for 30 second burst, mixing it in-between, each burst until the chocolate and the cream is fully combined and we're left with a really beautiful white chocolate ganache. I'm going to go ahead and put this into the microwave now and then we'll be back once it's all melted. So, our white chocolate and heavy cream are nicely combined now and we're left with this really beautiful white chocolate ganache. But as you can see, it's not quite as white as we'd like it to be. Because when you melt white chocolate, it actually ends up with this kind of yellowy color. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to go ahead and add some white food coloring to our chocolate ganache to give it a really beautiful white color. You just want to mix it really gently as well because you don't want to incorporate too many air bubbles into your ganache. This is also a great time to color it, whatever color you like. Today I'm going for a white chocolate drop so I added white, but you can go ahead and add whichever colors you like. Then you're left with this really nice white chocolate ganache. There are a few things to keep in mind before you go ahead and add this chocolate ganache to your cake. The first thing is your cake needs to be really nice and cold. So, our cake is chilling in the fridge at the moment. We're going to leave it there for a little bit longer for the butter cream to become really nice and cold and then the second thing is to make sure you leave some time for your ganache to cool down. The reason why you don't want to add it to your cake straight away is because if your ganache is too hot, then you run the risk of melting your butter cream, which you really don't want. I would suggest leaving your butter cream cool down for about 20 minutes or so. If you come back to it and it's a little bit too thick, then what you can do is just put it into the microwave for about ten seconds and in that'll send it out a little bit. But if you notice that it's still too thin then just let it cool down for a little bit longer before you add it to your cake. Our cake is out of the fridge now. It was in there for about an hour and our butter cream is really nice and cold and firm now, which means that we can go ahead and put our white chocolate drop on top. Whenever you are adding a chocolate drop to a cake, the first thing you want to do is to just do test drop to make sure that your ganache has the right consistency and that your drops are dropping the way that you want them to drop. I'm just using a spoon to put the drips onto my cake. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to grab spoonfuls of the ganache and then drop the drops over the edge of the cake. Some people like to use a squeeze bottle for this, but I'm just used to using a spoon, so I prefer them. But you can go ahead and use whichever method you prefer. I'm just going to go ahead and do a test drop on the back of my cake first. I'm happy with how that drop's come out. So, I'm going to go ahead and drop the rest of the side of my cake. We've got a nice little side drop on our cake now. The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to pop it into the fridge for about ten minutes for the ganache Just to sit a little bit before we go ahead and start putting the flowers onto our cake. 12. Adding Fresh Flowers: Our cake is out of the fridge now. Our Ganesh has had some time to sit, and now we're ready to go ahead and put our fresh flowers onto the top of our cake. Now before you go ahead and add any kind of fresh flowers to your cake, there are a few things to keep in mind to making sure that your flowers of food safe. First of all, what you want to do is you want to give you a flower is a good rinse. What I like to do is I just like to rinse my flowers under some gentle cold running water. What that helps to do is get rid of any harmful chemicals which might have been sprayed on the flowers, as well as get rid of any insects which may be hiding inside. We don't have any kind of creepy crawlies on our cake. Now the next thing you want to do is you want to make sure you wrap your flowers before you insert them into your cake. Now, I like to use floral tape when wrapping my flowers, and the reason why we wrap our flowers is because one, it's going to stop any of the liquids from the rose from seeping into your cake. Two, it's also going to help your flowers last longer. It's going to trap the liquid inside, which is then going to help your flowers last longer. What I like to do is I look at the front of my cakes first and then I choose my biggest flowers and I put those in the back first. I just choose which one I want to put as like the centerpiece flower. Generally I use the biggest flower for that so I might go for this white flower. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to see the kind of height that I wanted. Probably about there I'll cut it off and then I'm just going to cut it off and then wrap it with some floral tape and then stick it into my cake and you just wrap the floral tape around right to the bottom of the stem so that it's completely covered. Then once you get to the end, you just wrap it around really tight so that you lift with this little pointy top at the bottom. Now I'm just getting rid of some of the petals on the edges which are withering away. Now I'm going to go in with my first flower and then once that's in another thing I like to do is fan out the outer petals. That gives it a nice open look. Then that is basically how you put a flower into your cake. I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing with the rest of the flowers. Also when putting flowers into your cake just make sure that your buttercream is really nice and cold. Because I had put mine into the fridge to add my drop to it, my icing is really nice and firm. What that means is when I go ahead and insert the flowers into different places, it's not denting the buttercream. Then once I'm pretty much done, what I like to do is with my leftover small buds and small roses, I'd like to just poke them in the little areas where you can see the middle part where I've inserted all the roses. Just to cover it up a little bit. Then we're pretty much done. I was going to go ahead and add a bit of greenery on the sides, but I'm really happy with how it's come out. I'm just going to leave it just like that and that is pretty much it our layer cake is done. 13. Class Project: Now that we've gone through the whole process of how to make a layer cake from start to finish, we're now ready for our class project. For our class project, we are going to be making some layer cakes. With your layer cakes, I would highly recommend to just get creative with it. You guys can decorate them in whichever way you like. The key thing is just to follow those key steps in constructing a layer cake. To help you with that, I've got a PDF which is like a checklist for you guys. When you start making your layer cake, you can go through and just tick off as you're going just to make sure that you are covering those key steps in making any layer cake. I hope you've enjoyed this course. Good luck with your class project, and I cannot wait to see what you guys create.