In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to use a cake comb for 8 different cake decorating techniques. Of course, you can use a cake comb to smooth frosting but also for so much more!
Mark guidelines for piping
Before piping onto a cake, it’s a good idea to mark where you’re going to pipe. This will keep your piping straight and level and also the same width or height. Cake combs are great for this because they're thin and sharp so they'll easily score the frosting.
Then just pipe along these lines for the neatest results! I decorated this cake with my new Facelift Frosting technique. I’ll show you how to do this later in this tutorial!
Smooth the top of the cake
When you’ve smoothed the frosting on the sides of a cake, you’ll have frosting sticking up around the top edge. Use your cake comb to smooth that, pushing sideways to swipe it off. Clean your comb after each scrape for the sharpest edges. As you can see, I use lots of different cake combs: plastic, metal and acrylic. Check out this tutorial on which cake scraped is best. Spoiler alert: they’re all great for different stages and different techniques!
Cut the frosting for sharp edges
For an even sharper edge, cut the frosting! Put the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill and set the frosting first. Then dip a metal cake comb in hot water to heat it. Dry it off on a towel or paper towel and then use the edge to slice through the frosting. Work your way around the cake, dipping the comb back into the hot water if it cools down. You’ll create a neat, razor sharp edge around the top of your cake!
How to use a cake comb to remove air bubbles
The hot metal cake comb method works for the frosting on the sides of the cake, too! Use hot water or even a blowtorch to heat the comb. Then use it to get rid of any air bubbles or indents or unwanted texture in the frosting. Scrape the frosting and the hot metal will melt the other layer of frosting, dragging it to fill in any gaps in the frosting and leaving it super smooth.
If you have a metal cake comb you can use it for the facelift frosting technique. Pipe details onto the cake and then set them in the freezer for 20 minutes. Next, frost over them to cover them up completely.
Chill the cake for another 20 minutes and meanwhile, heat a metal cake comb. Scrape around the cake again and again, taking off layer after layer of frosting. You'll reveal a cross-section of the piping, creating a colourful design or pattern that’s completely flat on the cake. It will look as if it’s been printed or painted onto the cake but it’s just frosting!
Moving a cake onto a cake stand
After frosting and decorating a cake on a cake board you can transfer it onto a cake stand. This makes for prettier photos or a classier way to display the cake on a dessert table. A cake comb is a great tool for this because it’s thin so it's easy to slide between the cake and the cake board. Also, it’s wide so it’s easy to balance the cake on it as you move it. The cake needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before doing this to chill the frosting. When it's cold, it gets very firm so you can touch it without damaging it.
How to use a cake comb to clean your table or countertop
Frosting, chocolate and cake crumbs can be a pain to clean off your work surface. If you wipe them off straight away they’ll smear and smudge and make a mess. Instead, wait an hour or so for them to dry out and set. Then you can clean them with hardly any effort using a cake comb! Scrape across the table or counter and your comb will dislodge any ingredients, leaving a clean surface behind.
Clean your cake board with a cake comb
After spreading frosting onto your cake, you probably use a cake comb to smooth that frosting. That's what it's intended for but it's also a useful tool to scrape off frosting smudges from your cake board. It will leave the board smooth and clean and pretty. A comb is especially useful if the frosting has already set after chilling the cake. With a solid tool like this you don’t need much pressure at all to loosen and remove the hard frosting.
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