How to Level and Fill a Cake

This is one of the things that I get asked how to do quite often…so I thought I best do a quick tutorial!

It is much simpler than it seems, you just need a few tools to make it nice and simple.


The cake of your choice – I used the brooklyn black out recipe which can be found here.

Your choice of buttercream I used this delicious chocolate buttercream.

A bread knife or cake leveller, palette knife, small bevelled palette knife and a dough scraper. Finally a board to place your cake on.

This isn’t essential but does make your life easier, a icing turn-table.

The very first job is to level your cake, with your knife trim off the rounded top of your cake, cut into the cake and turn the cake once you are around half way.

To make sure that you end up with a level cake once you finish place a cut into the cake along the side of the cake. Mark a half way point on the side of your cake this way you don’t cut into your cake realising it isn’t at all in the middle.

Place a small amount of buttercream to the middle of your cake board, this will act as a glue to keep your cake from moving when your are smoothing the buttercream.

Place the board with the first layer of cake into the fridge for 10 minutes. Bring the first layer out of the fridge, add a dollop of buttercream to the centre of the cake, with your larger palette knife spread the buttercream around the layer of cake, you want a thickness of around 5mm.

Place your next layer of cake on top of this and repeat until you are on your last layer of cake. Make sure that this is the “underneath” of your cake so that you have a nice level top.

Place another dollop of buttercream in the the centre of your cake, you will use this to spread around the edges of the cake. Continue to turn the turnable as you spread your buttercream around the cake edges.

Once they are completely covered, spread across the top of the cake.

Take your dough spreader and line it up with both the edge of the cake and the base of the board. this will ensure a straight edge to the cake.

At this point, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.


With your bevelled palette knife trim off the rough edges of buttercream. Et voila! A beautiful base for sugarpaste or buttercream swirls!



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