Fun with Kids – Cake Icing Trick!

Cake Icing Trick

I have a friend who knows a little bit about everything creative and a lot about certain ones. Everyone needs at least one of these friends! They are the ones that tell you things like, “Use powdered sugar instead of flour when rolling out sugar cookies” or “Add cocoa powder to icing before adding food coloring to get it a deeper color”. Brilliant!

So, the other day when I was icing Kitten’s birthday cake (and making a mess out of it), my friend took the spatula from my hand (a wise move) and showed me The Way.

Here is The Way to ice a cake:

Get a glass of water and an icing knife (remarkably I had one and did not even know it!). Dip the knife in the water before dipping it into the icing. Spread a very thin layer of icing all over the cake, dipping in to the water occasionally to keep the icing from gumming up on the knife. Spreading this thin layer will seal in the crumbly cake exterior and provide a smooth surface for the rest of the icing to go on.


It was magical! The icing went on beautifully! I have never before iced a cake or even a cupcake without damaging the cake surface. Usually I try to smooth out the icing and I just wind up tearing up a big chunk of cake. No more! Now I know The Way!

Perfection :)

Perfection 🙂

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Fun with Kids – Cake Icing Trick!

  1. Great tip!

  2. Terri Boris

    The icing job did not go un-noticed when I saw the picture in an earlier blog. Beautiful. Did you use a cut-out of the “5” to get the sprinkles so precisely where you didn’t want them to be? (Does that make sense?)

    • Yup! I printed a ‘5’, cut it out and laid it right on top of the icing. After the sprinkles went down, I peeled the paper up and fixed the icing with the knife. I really loved it 🙂 The hardest part was getting sprinkles on the sides. Next time I would do those sprinkles first when the icing is wettest and the sprinkles will stick easier. We literally threw handfuls of sprinkles at the sides – it was a mess, but hilarious 🙂

  3. Ok, I once tried that, but I ended up using all my icing and having very little left for the main layer. Did this happen to you? Admittedly I didn’t do the knife dipping but instead was advised to make up a very watery mixture and ice it on first. It soaked in so I had to make more and more and… see above.

    On the other hand, the kids reaaaaaaly loved the cake (it was a bit sweet for me).

    • I used two cans of pre-mixed icing and had quite a bit leftover. I didn’t use a whole lot of icing for the first round; you could still completely see the cake. The icing was a regular thickness. The water just reduced the drag on the knife. Does that help?

      • I’ll try it with the knife dipping. The suggestion I got you mixed the icing into a watery consistency and sort of glazed the cake. I used three quarters of the amount the recipe suggested should be needed in total and only ended up with a transparent film over the top. It was certainly crumb-proof! But most of it had soaked straight in and made the cake sickly sweet. I’ll go for a thicker layer with hardly any water next time.

  4. Your friend is a genius! Please keep posting her good tricks. Question though…adding the cocoa powder doesn’t change the flavor of the icing too much? How much do you add?

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