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Striped Cake Tutorial

Follow these 6 easy steps to make a perfect striped cake! In this striped cake tutorial I’ll share everything I’ve learned since making my first striped cake back in 2018.

#1 Assemble a straight cake

The first step is to assemble a straight cake. Of course, you’re always going to try to make your cake straight, but this is especially important with striped cakes because when you eventually hold your striped cake comb against the side of the cake, you want the grooves to push through the frosting evenly all the way up and down the cake.  If the cake leans to one side like in the photo below, the stripe grooves will dig through the crumb coat up here and you’ll get crumbs in your striped frosting. 

why do my stripes disappear because a striped cake comb wont work on a leaning cake

To make sure your cake is straight, get down to eye level to check the sides after placing each layer. Spin the cake around the check it from all angles and if necessary, adjust the layer to center it.

how to assemble a straight cake

#2 Crumb and chill your striped cake

Before you frost the cake with stripes, you need a crumb coat. This is this thin layer of frosting to cover the cake, and it traps any crumbs that come off the cake so that you don’t get any crumbs in your stripes. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth because you’re going to cover it up next, but focus on straight sides by pushing the base of your cake comb down on the cake board as you scrape, to line it up straight. Then put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill this frosting so it gets firm. 

crumb coat before striped frosting

#3 Use different cake combs on your striped cake

When you can touch the crumb coat without damaging it, it’s set, and you’re ready for step 3: The final layer of frosting! Spread it all over the top and sides of the cake, so that it sticks up around the top of the cake.

how to frost a striped cake

This frosting needs to be at least as thick as the grooves on your striped cake comb. A striped cake comb looks something like this, and it can be made of metal or acrylic or plastic and all of those will work!

But you'll need another cake comb before using this. First, use a straight edged cake comb to scrape around the cake a few times until the sides are smooth and straight, without any big gaps or indents.

smooth the frosting before using a striped cake comb

Then switch to a striped cake comb and press the base down on your cake board before pressing it gently into the frosting as you spin the cake, imprinting the grooves of your comb into the cake.

how to use a striped cake comb

You’ll need to scrape around the cake a few times to get these really neat. You’re looking for a smooth surface the frosting within the grooves, and also on the stripes that stick out.

air bubbles cause flecks of colour in striped frosting

If there are any indents or air pockets within the stripes, fill them in by piping or spreading more buttercream over them. Then scrape until they're smooth. If you continue without filling them in, you'll get dots of the next colour within those spaces.

use a striped cake comb and then chill in the freezer

#4 Freeze your striped cake

When it’s neat, put the cake into the freezer for 20 minutes. Set a timer because 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time for this step! You want the frosting to be firm enough that it will hold its shape, but not completely frozen.

#5 Fill in the stripes

Next, fill the striped grooves with whatever colour or colours you choose. You could spread this on but it’s much quicker to pipe it into the grooves. Make sure this frosting fills the entire groove, so that there aren’t big gaps or air pockets within the stripes.

pipe frosting into stripe grooves

#6 Scrape until the stripes are smooth

Then move straight onto step 6, which is to scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape! You might doubt the whole process because there will be frosting smudges all over your cake. But suddenly, after several scrapes, you'll take off the last of the excess frosting and leave behind impossibly neat stripes.

scrape to smooth striped frosting
use a hot metal cake comb for smooth frosting on striped cakes

If you see any specks of colour within the stripes, it’s because there were air bubbles in the first colour of frosting, the one you used the striped cake comb on. You can dig those out with the corner of a cake comb and then spread or pipe the correct colour into that hole, then scrape to smooth it and tadaa!

how to get rid of flecks of color on stripes by scooping them out

And that’s it! Perfect buttercream stripes in 6 easy steps! Please subscribe to my channel for a new cake decorating tutorial every week and visit my cake school on to learn hundreds of cake decorating techniques and designs! Thanks for watching!

Striped Cake Tutorial

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