Smoothing down the sides of the cake

Covering a Sponge Cake with Sugar Paste

Covering a Sponge Cake with Sugar Paste should not be a chore. Follow these simple steps to get a great finish.


Equipment Needed:

Cake Board – Width should be 2 inches larger than the cake
Large Non Stick Rolling Pin
Sugar Sifter
Icing Smoother
Embossing Tool
Sharp Knife

You will also need:

One sponge cake, top leveled, filled and coated with buttercream, (already placed centrally on the board), it should have been in the fridge for around 20 to 30minutes to firm up, no longer, or it will start to dry out.

Your sugar paste should be kept  in a cool place, to help with handling, but not in the fridge or it will be too solid and difficult to roll.  Warm sugar paste will be too soft and will crack when you cover your cake.  Always store your sugar paste in an airtight plastic bag, as it will dry out and harden very quickly once exposed to the air.

Sugar paste is a magnet for fluff, so I always wear a cap and apron, and most importantly, sleeveless fluff free clothes.  No hairy jumpers please!

Step 1

Lightly knead the sugar paste on a clean dry surface, try not to use any icing sugar at this point if possible to avoid drying out the paste. Turn over the kneaded paste and press down the surface to prevent air bubbles forming when rolling.  Some suggest using white fat at this stage, personally I prefer not to.

Step 2

Now you can dust your work surface with icing sugar. Roll out the paste until approx 4mm thick, lift and move the paste all the time and add a little more icing sugar if necessary to prevent sticking. You should have just enough to cover the side with a little left over to trim off.  Smooth the paste with the smoother before lifting onto the cake.

Step 3

Carefully place both forearms under the paste and lift onto the cake, some people use a rolling pin, but I find this difficult, particularly when covering a larger cake.

Gently pull and tease the paste over the cake, until you have no folds, then press aroundly gently with your hands.

Step 4

Smooth the top first, then keeping the smoother flat against the sides, press and slide around the cake.  Firm but gentle pressure is needed.  Try not to stop and start and pull away in a sweep to prevent getting take off marks on the cake side.  Remember to keep the smoother very flat against the cake at all time or you may “dig” holes in your icing surface.

Step 5

Trim off the excess sugar paste.  You should not go too close to the cake, or you will create a gap when you press the paste back onto the cake.

Step 6

Roll the trimmed off sugar paste into a sausage, long enough to go around your cake, use a tape measure if you are not sure.  Start by using your hands and then use the smoother to get an even finish.

Dampen the very bottom of the cake and some of the board where the paste will fall.  When I say dampen, I mean just slightly, you don´t want to wet your cake, as that will create marks on the paste and it will get sticky and difficult to handle.  Then lift the sausage around the cake, trim by cutting through both layers at the same time where they overlap at the back of the cake, then remove the excess.

Step 7

Start by embossing over the join you just made, continue around the cake until you are back at the join.  Be careful not to catch the cake sides with the embossing tool.

Well done, you covered your cake, all ready to decorate.

Some tips from Wilton




Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply