The Icing on the Cake

Decorating a cake can be as simple as swirling creamy frosting over its layers.

For the best results, take these steps to make your finished product a work of art:

Step 1.

1. To help frosting spread more smoothly, get rid of loose crumbs with a pastry brush.

Step 2.

2. Spreading a thin coating of frosting on the sides helps seal in any crumbs, allowing for a smoother overall look.

Step 3.

3. Use smooth, up-and-down strokes to decoratively swirl the frosting.

4. Place a second cake layer, top side up, on top of the frosted layer. Spread a thin coating of frosting on the sides of the cake to sea in any crumbs. Let stand 15 minutes.

5. Add a thicker coating of frosting to sides of the cake. Then frost the sides again, swirling and building up the top edge of the frosting about 1/4 inch above the cake.

6. Let the cake stand -- if time allows -- for about an hour before you slice it to let the frosting set up.

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