How I cover a cake with BUTTERCREAM. By Hello Cake

The most requested tutorial by far has been – How to cover a cake with fondant neatly.

Before you get a beautifully neat fondant cake you need a beautifully neat layer of buttercream so I will show you first of all how to cover a cake with buttercream, which will give you the best chances of getting perfectly neat fondant.

I have uploaded a short video to instagram of the process.

You will need:

  • A palette knife
  • A scraper
  • Drum board
  • Cake – 2 or 3 layers of sponge.
  • Jam (or other filling)
  • Buttercream
  • A fridge/freezer
  • Mixer


To make your buttercream you need 250g unsalted butter at room temperature and 500g of icing sugar. Use a stand or a hand mixer to whip up your butter, gradually adding the icing sugar as you go. The longer you mix it the better, it should turn really light and fluffy. Once it’s all mixed you can add any flavouring of your choice, such as vanilla essence or lemon zest.

Whilst the buttercream is mixing I usually start prepping my sponges. Using a knife cut off the top of each layer, stick one layer to the cake board with a little buttercream. Sandwich the layers together using a thin layer of jam and buttercream.

Then you need to go round the outside of your cake and fill in all the gaps with buttercream. Once its covered pop the cake in the freezer for 5 minutes so the buttercream hardens.

Then you need to cover the whole cake again with another layer of buttercream. The best way to do this is you use completely cover the cake with way too much buttercream then scrape it off with your scraper, making sure you’re holding the scraper horizontally at all times.

You can keep going until you’re happy with the look of your cake, sometimes I repeat the freezer-cover-frezzer-cover step a few times just to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. Always make sure you pop it in the fridge or freezer for 5/10 minutes once it’s done so everything sets.

Any left over buttercream can be popped in the freezer or fridge to use on your next cake.

Practise makes PERFECT!

Top tips:

  1. – if your butter is too hard, chop it up and pop it in the microwave for ten/fifteen seconds.
  2. Use a thin layer of jam and buttercream between each sponge – using too much will cause the filling to bulge out of the sides.
  3. When cutting of the tops of your cake make sure they’re super level. You can use a posh cake leveller if you fancy splashing out.
  4. If its a hot day you may want to add an extra tablespoon or so icing sugar to the mixture. On a very cold day you may need to soften the buttercream a little with a splash of milk.

I hope this helps!

Lots of love emma.hellocake x


3 thoughts on “How I cover a cake with BUTTERCREAM. By Hello Cake

  1. This is a really great tutorial… I am an amateur/home baker, and I’m just starting to perfect my use of buttercream. One common problem I face, though, is that by the time I get the cake perfectly smooth and level, the overall taste of the cake is compromised because the butter cream is just so sweet. I’ve been experimenting with using a cream cheese based alternative to traditional buttercream…

    Do you have any suggestions or keys to keeping the cake from becoming just too sweet?

    Many thanks! Love your blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

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