I remember the first cake course I went on, and being pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to cover a sponge cake. Let me share my tips with you…
Firstly. Start by covering your sponge with a really thin layer of butter cream. This will ensure your first layer of icing sticks to the sponge and also even out the sides.
Then….take a fist size amount of white royal icing. Start to roll it, use plenty of icing sugar so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Ideally, that icing should be larger than a dinner plate. This is your practice layer, it will cover the majority of the lumps and bumps on your sponge – so this doesn’t have to go on perfectly.
Next, carefully lay the icing over your sponge, using your rolling pin to help you (don’t worry if the icing is a lot larger, you can trim it off later). Using your hand, gently pull the icing away from the sponge and with your hand, work your way around the sponge, pressing the icing to the sponge. Now, using a sharp clean knife, you can trim off any excess icing. Remember this layer doesn’t have to look perfect so if you have any rips or marks, don’t panic!!
Now for the next layer. This time you want to start off with a larger ball of icing – maybe a fist and a half). Roll it out like before, remember to keep turning the icing and use plenty of icing sugar underneath. Word of warning! If you are using a coloured royal icing, try not to use too much icing sugar on your rolling pin as the icing sugar can alter the overall colour of your icing.
Anyway, this time your icing needs to be a couple of mm thick – personal preference really, it can be thicker if you really like icing. Once it is the size of a dinner plate you are good to go. Lightly brush your cake with water; this will help the second layer of icing to stick. Again, with your rolling pin, lay the icing over your sponge. Take your hand once again, this time, work slowly. Pull the icing from away from the cake gently, let it fall naturally, and then use your hand to smooth it to the first layer of icing. If you have a cake smoother, run this over the top of the cake and around the sides. Once the icing has been smoothed, you can trim off any excess. Don’t worry if you don’t trim the icing very neatly – that’s what ribbon’s are for!!!
And there you have it! You can now carry on and decorate your cake!