So you’ve designed a cake, and you see something’s wrong. The cake isn’t that great, and it’s not perfectly level. Any solution? You can simply use a cake leveler to solve this problem. No kidding, this tool can level your problem just like that.
All you need to know is how to use a cake leveler. And that’s what we’re going to discuss today. We’ll also give you some cake-decorating tips. So, we don’t see any point in you waiting here forever. It’s time to get some lessons.
How to Use a Cake Leveler?
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Initially, a cake leveler might look like an easy tool but requires sophisticated skill. Well, you’ll feel it that way until you’re giving it a shot all by yourself, and once you do, we think you’ll say it’s nothing but easy as pie.
But trying it out of the blue might lead you to a failed attempt or a result with your cake that you really don’t want. That’s why we believe it’s better if you can get the step-by-step instructions. So, are you ready for that? We guess you are!
Step One: Cooling Down the Cake
The worst idea anyone can give you about leveling a cake is telling you to do that when the cake is hot. This is the time when the cake stays at the peak of the possibility of crumbling, and we don’t think you want that to happen.
So, make sure that you’re trying to level it when it’s cold enough. Putting it in the fridge is also a great idea if you want to give it a shot. This way you’ll raise the chance of having a more successful leveling.
Step Two: Putting the Cake on a Turntable
Now take the cake and put it on the turntable. Make sure its height is not making you feel uncomfortable as the leveling has to be perfect.
One more thing! Check out if the turntable is not spinning or staying steady. Otherwise, there’s a chance that it can cause interruption when you’re trying to do your job. For better results, you can get turntables that come with a locking mechanism.
But what if you don’t have a turntable? No problem at all. Getting a cake board will be enough as a replacement. Just don’t forget to use a small amount of icing between the board and cake so that the cake can stay in place without making much of a move.
By the way, if you want to use a turntable, then its diameter has to be wide enough so that you can put the leveler on its surface. Otherwise, using the cake board is a better option.
Step Three: Adjusting the Leveler
A big part of the accurate sizing depends on this. So make sure that you’ve adjusted it in order to put it on the right level.
You’ll see there are a lot of grooves where you can set the wire. To adjust the wires, push the two ends of the leveler towards each other with a bit of force. This way, the wire will get loose, and it’ll be easier for you to slip the wire hooks in the right groove.
If you’re thinking about having a double-layered cake, then put two wires on the leveler. You can do it with on wire too, but that’ll eat up some extra time of yours. So it’s better to do it that way.
Step Four: Holding the Cake and Start Leveling
At first, place a hand of yours on the dome of the cake to ensure stability. Now place the leveler right by the side of the cake and make the wire touch the cake’s side.
Then gently push the leveler towards the cake and when you’re doing it, make the leveler move back and forth gently like a saw. Keep doing it till the leveler reaches the end of the cake.
Step Five: Removing the Top or Slice Portion
Now take the sliced top out. You don’t need to care whether it’s crumbling or not. But that’s only when you don’t need the top. In case you’re making a double-layered cake, remove the top gently and carefully.
In such cases, use a cake board to make sure it’s not falling apart. Just slip in the cake board and take the sliced part on it. Now check out if the cake has been perfectly leveled or not, though if you’ve done it as we said, there shouldn’t be any unevenness.
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Cake Decorating Tips for Beginners Useful Method
If you’re done with the leveling, then clearly, it’s time to make it a piece of art. Yes, we’re talking about decorating, of course. We don’t know what design you’ve got in mind, but we can surely help you with some tips.
Tip 1: Spend on Accessories
Do you know what you need the most for making a cake beautiful? Your imagination! But what matters after that is getting the right accessories. A painter can paint with his hands too, but to touch the ceiling of perfection, he/she also needs the right set of brushes. Things are pretty much the same here too.
The first thing you need to add to your accessories list is a Pastry bag. It can be made of fabric or can be disposable too. Call it the magazine of your cream gun. The next thing you’re going to need is decorating tips, at least the basic ones. Right after that, you’ll have to lay your hands on a set of spatulas.
But if a cake is a canvas, then you’re going to need some colors to make it a painting, too, right? Well, then don’t forget to add some Food coloring to your list too.
Also, think about getting a Turntable stand. It might look like an unnecessary tool until you’re messing up your design. After all, when you’re putting the cake on a table while decorating it, clearly, you’ll have to bend too much, and that can cause you a hell of back pain.
Now, try to put together some cutters in your collection too. Make sure they’re of different shapes, sizes, and motives.
Tip 2: Don’t Underestimate the Bench Scraper
Do you want to know how to make a cake look more flawless than ever? A leveled surface of frosting with total evenness. Guess what can make that possible more than anything? Yes, a bench scraper. So, if you don’t want to miss that in your cake, too, make sure you’re giving your best to master the tool.
Tip 3: Focus on Your Piping Techniques
If you’re thinking about calling it the most important part of cake decoration, we won’t be holding you back for sure. So, try to improve that more than anything. The beautification of your cake is, to a huge extent, dependent on this alone.
You can try the YouTube tutorials to get ideas on different kinds of pipings too. But make sure that you’re gradually mastering all the pipes you’ve got in your collection.
Tip 4: Freeze Your Cake
If someone suggests you work on a warm cake, then be sure that they know nothing about decorating a cake. There’s no doubt making a cake look beautiful is a ton of work. So, it’s better to split the task into different stages, and the first one is freezing the cake.
Now the question is, for how long you should keep it in there? Well, we say it’ll be better if you can keep it that way for 3-4 days to get a good outcome. Freezing cakes are much easier to work with as they are low on chances of getting crumbled.
Moreover, leveling them too gets more accessible this way. By the way, you can do the same with buttercream as well, and it’ll stay good in that condition for a week.
Tip 5: Cooling the Cake in a Pan Is a Bad Idea!
What’s wrong with that, right? After all, you’re making the cake in a pan. So, what’s the problem if you cool it there? Well, nothing except that you won’t be able to get it out of there again.
Tip 6: Don’t Leave the Dome on the Cake
You can leave it there only when it can be a part of your design. Otherwise, don’t even think about it. That’s why leveling a cake is being so emphasized lately. All you need to do is just use the leveler or a knife to slice off the dome. Trust us; it won’t take more than a few minutes of your precious time.
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Tip 7: Don’t Forget to Put a Barrier!
When you’re filling the cake, you definitely will push it to the edge. But this way it’ll come off of the edge and spread around the side. We don’t think you’d like it as it’ll spoil the look of your cake.
So what you can do is pipe a barrier to prevent that. But don’t do it on edge, but slightly in from it. Then when you’ll be placing the filling, you won’t have to worry about it slipping out anymore.
Tip 8: Go for Strokes Vertically While Icing
It’s kind of a common mistake among beginners that they hold the spatula horizontally while icing a cake. But to bring efficiency in that, it’s better if you can do it vertically. Try it! It works.
Tip 9: Plan Your Space
When you’re drowning yourself in imagination, it becomes tough to draw a boundary there. So, plan wisely how you’re going to utilize every part of the cake. Otherwise, incomplete designs can hurt more than a spoiled cake.
Tip 10: Don’t Use Cake Made of Cold Ingredients
Your cake is your canvas, and that’s where you’re going to turn your imagination into reality. But you better be ready to encounter an imperfect transition if all you’ve got is an imperfect cake made with cold ingredients.
You might be thinking about how cold ingredients can spoil a cake. Well, for example, when the butter that has been used is cold, there’s no chance of getting a fluffy cake, and it’ll be heavy too.
Tip 11: Not Mixing the Ingredients at Room Temperature Is a Mistake
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This is a mistake often beginners make, without knowing about it, of course. For reaching the desired outcome, the ingredients have to be mixed at room temperature, especially butter.
This way, it gets easier to make ingredients bond together to create a smooth-evenly incorporated batter.
Tip 12: Practice, Practice, And Practice!
Nothing can bring more perfection to your work than this. So, the more you’ll practice, the closer you’ll get to it. No matter whether it’s level, frosting, icing, or piping, the only way you can do the best is by practicing.
And don’t forget to introduce yourself to new recipes. The more you’ll try new ones, the more practice you’ll get for sure.
All the recipes in this world get better only when they are executed flawlessly—making and decorating cakes ain’t out of that list either.
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If that’s what you’re planning to do, you’ll surely have to know how to use the cake leveler. Let us guess; you know that now, don’t you? After all, that’s what we were talking about so far. So, when are you planning to get started with it then? Use our cake-decorating tips for an amazing experience.
James is the owner of North. After working at Nick’s on Broadway, James moved to Red Fez and put his knowledge to the test with hot dog R&D. He assisted in the launch of Momofuku Ko in NYC In 2008. And a year later, James was part of Christina Tosi’s team for Momofuku Milk Bar as their bread baker.