By Claire Fitzsimons. Visit Claire’s Facebook
How to cover a round cake and board with sugar paste.
Round sponge cake: I used a 15cm (6”) cake
Butter cream for filling and coating the cake
Sugarpaste: 800g (1lb 12oz)
Round cake drum: 23cm (9”) or 25.5cm (10”)
Scriber/glass headed pin
Small sharp knife
- First begin by preparing your cake. If it has a domed top, cut the top flat. Smear a little buttercream in the centre of the cake drum. This will secure the cake to the drum. Place the cake upside down on to the drum and centre it.
- Fill with buttercream, jam or both! Then coat the top and sides of the cake completely with a thin layer of buttercream. This is called a ‘crumb-coat’. This will prevent stray crumbs from getting into the icing as well as acting as a glue for the sugarpaste to stick to.
- Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. This will set the buttercream and make it easier to sugarpaste.
- Knead ¾ of the sugarpaste on the non-stick board until soft and pliable. Wrap the remaining paste in a plastic bag to use later. Only dust with a little icing sugar at this stage if it starts to stick to the surface.
- Measure the top and sides of the cake so you know how large the sugarpaste will need to be rolled out. So if using a 15cm (6”) cake that is 7.5cm (3”) deep, you will need to roll out your icing a little larger than 30.5cm (12”) across.
- Dust the work surface with a small amount of icing sugar. Take care not to use too much as this will dry out the paste making it difficult to work with. Roll out the paste, gently lifting and frequently turning as you roll. This will prevent the paste from sticking and help to keep the paste in a circular shape. Do not turn the paste over. The paste needs to be approximately 5mm (¼”) thick. Using spacers either side of the paste as you roll out will help ensure an even thickness.
- When your icing is rolled out to the correct size, flip onto your rolling pin towards you. Place against the front side of the cake and lay the paste over the cake, moving the rolling pin away from you as you unroll the paste over the cake. This action reduces the possibility of trapping air under the paste, causing air bubbles.
- Smooth the top with your hand then work around the sides lifting out any pleats (do not be tempted to squash pleats or creases into the cake). Work gradually around the sides of the cake, gently lifting out any creases with one hand and smoothing down with the other.
- Smooth and polish the surface and sides with a smoother. Using two smoothers, one in each hand, would give an even smoother surface and prevent finger marks!
- Remove any air bubbles with a scribing tool or glass headed pin, by pricking a tiny hole in the centre of the air bubble and rubbing over with the smoother in a circular motion easing the air out and sealing the hole.
- Trim the excess sugarpaste from the base of the cake with a sharp knife and smooth any rough edges with the straight edge of the smoother.
- To cover the board, roll a sausage of sugarpaste the same length as the outside diameter of the board. Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar and roll out into a strip 5mm (¼”) thick and approximately the width of the board. Trim one side of the strip with a sharp knife to create a straight edge. Dust the strip with a little icing sugar and gently roll up the paste strip like a bandage.
- Brush a little cooled boiled water on to the cake board before carefully unrolling the sugarpaste ‘bandage’ around the cake. Gently push the cut side of the paste strip up to the base of the cake as you unroll.
- Overlap the join and cut through both strips. Remove the excess flap of paste and smooth over the join with the smoother, before smoothing the rest of the surface.
- Trim the excess paste from the board edge with a sharp knife. Attach the ribbon, to the board edge with non-toxic glue.
- Your cake is now ready to decorate!