Cake Decorating – How to Level, Tort, and Fill Your Cake

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 227,610
    Master cake decorator Sandy Sheppard demonstrates how to level, tort, and fill your cake.

    Sandy Sheppard: Hi! I am Sandy Sheppard, a master cake decorator, and I am here to show you today how to fill your cake and to make sure its nice and leveled so that when you fill it and the stack the two cakes together that they will have a complete level look at the end.

    First, I would like to choose whichever cake I am going to put on the bottom, and it doesnt really matter much, but this one is sitting really flat and this one has got just a slight slope to it. So, I am going to use that one as my bottom cake. Now, I just take a little bit of my icing, and put it on the wax side of my cardboard. Spread it on there that works like my glue. Then I take my cake, which is well cooled and I can the put the cake circle on that and turn it over, there you go. I just realized that I didnt have my pastry bag full of icing and I need that for my next step.

    This is one of those large plastic bags, which I have shown you earlier, and I have my coupler without the ring on it. I have taken the ring off, now I put the coupler into the bag and slide it on down in there. When cutting a pastry bag to fit with the plastic bag, I need to cut it right there at the top of the ring. So, I am going to scoot that bag, just a tiny bit, and grabbing my scissors, trim it off a little bit more, and press it back down in there. Now, I am ready to fill my bags. Notice how I folded the top down, so it forms this nice cup, makes it an easy place for my hand to hold it, keeps my hand from getting messy, as well as keeps the top of the bag from becoming too messy. I am going to take a nice scoop of icing, slide it right down into the bag, and then I scrap that spatula off against my thumb as I pull it out. Thats plenty for what we need today.

    Once I have got the icing in the bag, I am going to take it up at the top here and squeeze, bringing it down to the coupler and give a little squeeze to come it out to tip. Alright. Now, I am ready to start filing my cake. I want to keep icing covered, because my icing does dry to the touch and Id like to keep the top of it moist as well.

    I have my cake set on a little turn table just for my own ease, and I have got my icing in the coupler, and I am going to start to just squeeze a little wall of icing all the way around the cake, till I get back to the beginning. See thats all I needed that for, and we are going to fill this chocolate cake today with Dulce de Leche this is a Spanish, South-American tradition, but its a wonderful caramel, has a nice creamy consistency, very easy for spreading, but thick enough to hold in the nice cake and stay. If I can get a hold at the edge of the cardboard, there we go, slide this around, spread this around nicely into the cake. When you are filing the cake, lets say you have got a nice raspberry filling that you like to use. One of the things thats important to remember is not to overfill the cake. If you get your filling higher than the wall of icing, and you put your other cake on top of it, its going to ooze out the middle. So keep your filling below that icing wall, so that it wont come out the middle that sliding too much for me today. So, just get this spread around nicely that will be a nice caramel and chocolate is always a good combination and there we go, and set that aside.

    For a minute, I am going to set this aside. Now, I take my other cake, which I see a slope to, now maybe thats fine for you and you could use that if you really wanted to, but I like my cake to even be a little more level. So, I am going to take my nice serrated knife and I am going to hold that nice and even and just zigzag saw. Now, you see I am holding the cake over here, but as soon as I get that knife near me, I am going to get my hand out of the way because it will certainly cut my fingers, and I am going to take off the top.

    Now, to check the levelness of that cake, I am going to turn it upside down again, now I can see its nice and level. I always like to ice my cake with the bottom side up; this is the part that was in the bottom of the pan, the bottom side up because it has a real smooth finish to it.

    Alright. I have got my other cake, I will prepare it, and I am going to set that cake on top of it. I forget, many of my students always fuss at me when I grab a cake like this, and just pick it up because they are like, wow you can do that, they are kind of surprised. If you are not accustomed to handling cakes like I am, there is another technique to use.

    Have your cake set on a cardboard circle, and then when you pick it up its easier to hold, you can gently put your cake at the edge of the other cake and wiggle and pull that cardboard circle out of your way. Press the top of the cake down, this helps stick it together with that glue in the middle and then you are good to go.

    The next thing I am going to show you is how to crumb coat a cake.