FAQ – Answering your cake questions

I love getting all your messages and questions, and with YouTube, Instagram and Facebook there can be times where I get asked the same question quite alot so below you will find some of my most asked questions. If these are things you want to know too, I hope my answers will be helpful to you.

About Cakes by Lynz

I get asked this question a lot. I’m from the UK. I live in a small rural village in the South of the Country!

I am so happy you would like me to create a cake for you. Unfortunately I no longer sell my cakes or cupcakes. If you have seen a photo of one of my cakes there is a high chance I have a step by step tutorial showing how to make it. You can check out all my tutorials in the tutorial section of the website.

Buttercream Piping Techniques

When I say separating I mean the buttercream isn’t flowing out of my piping nozzle so the buttercream has a gap in the swirl. With the 2D piping nozzle this is a closed star piping tip, which means all the points meet in the center. If your points are too close together it can stop your buttercream coming out. When you look at your 2D nozzle there should be a small hole in the center.

If your points are all touching if you place a knife between the gaps and just open these out slightly it will allow the buttercream to flow out without any problems.

You can find out more about the 2D piping nozzle in the video below.

There is nothing more satisfying than a perfectly piped buttercream swirl, but with so many piping tips / nozzles available as a beginner which ones should you buy first? The 2 most popular piping tips are the 1M and the 2D. These are 2 extremely versatile nozzles. You can use them for the classic ice cream looking swirl, rosettes, ruffles and so many more. Take a look at the video below to compare the 2 and see what effects you can create.

Buttercream related questions

What butter you use when making buttercream can make such a difference to your cakes and cupcakes. When making buttercream you want to use a block of real butter. Think about it this way, real butter when in the fridge sets firm, so when used in your buttercream when you place your cake in the fridge the butter in the mixture will firm up. Spreads and butter from a container is made to stay soft, so when used for buttercream it will never firm up.

Learn more about what butter you should use and more tips for your buttercream in my video below.

When whisking buttercream this can create lots of air bubbles to appear and you want to remove these before adding you buttercream onto the side of your cakes. To remove them use your spatula and push and smooth your buttercream against the side of your mixing bowl. This will push the bubbles out of your mixture. Continue this until your buttercream looks lovely and smooth.

Buttercream tends to be naturally yellow due to the colour of the butter but there are some things we can do to make our buttercream whiter. The first thing you can do is beat your buttercream for longer. The longer butter is whipped the lighter it will become. I then like to add purple food colouring. You only need a tiny amount, but purple reduces the yellow tones in buttercream. Once it’s looking a lot paler I then like to add a whitener like the Ingenious Edibles Icing whitener.

You can see step by step how I whiten my buttercream in my video tutorial here

Cake Decorating

When stacking a cake you want to create a structure inside your cake to take the weight of all the tiers above. By adding dowels with a cake board on top I like to think of it as if you are creating a table inside your cake. The dowels are the legs and the board is the top. This internal table structure will then take all the weight of the cake sitting on top. So one thing to remember is all your dowels need to be the same length and straight else you will have a wobbly table. They also need to be strong enough to take the weight of the cake above without bending.

Learn more about how I prepare and stack your cakes in the video below.

For my drips I tend to create a runny ganche with a ratio of 1:1 using chocolate or candy melts mixed with double cream. For a white drip I like to use bright white candy melts mixed with double cream. I always add a littel white food colour to cancel out the yellow in the cream. Alteratively for a white drip you could also use Royal icing.

Watch the video below to see how I made the white drip for this rainbow sprinkle cake.

Fondant Cake Questions

When covering your cakes or cupcake with fondant unless your filling needs to go in the fridge I would suggest leaving your decorated cake in a cool, dry place, maybe in a cardboard cake box.

When fondant covered cakes are placed into the fridge, when they are removed you can often see water droplets on the fondant or the fondant can go super shiny and sticky. This is due to the change in temperature from the fridge to room temperature and is more apparent on a really hot day.

If this has happened and your cake is sweating just leave it to get back to room temperature and for the fondant to dry. This can take a few hours depending on the temperature and how humid it is.

The quick answer is nothing, they are all the same. The only difference is where you are from. What we are referring to is the cake covering that can be rolled out and placed over your cake or used to make cake toppers. In the UK when I first started making cakes it was always called icing or rollout icing. In the USA it was fondant. Over time Fondant has become the most well used name but they are all referring to the same thing.

Now one thing to note is different brands of fondant can differ in taste, elasticity and easy of use, so it’s worth trying a few difference ones to find your favourite.

It’s worth mentioning you can also get gumpaste, modelling pastes and florals pastes. These are similar to fondant as they can be rolled out, but they aren’t used to cover cakes. They tend to set a lot more solid and are used for more intricate designs like sugar flowers.

Probably one of the most asked questions. For most of my cakes I use either Renshaw or The Sugar Paste. You can buy both in white or pre-coloured. I tend to buy white and colour it myself unless I need black or a colour like navy blue which I buy pre- coloured.

Recipe Questions

For all my cakes I always use a normal over setting and all my temperatures are in degrees Celsius.

Also of cake questions I get asked are a result of using a fan oven setting. If you are using a fan oven you will need to reduce the temperature and bake for a little longer. Fan ovens tend to bake the outside of your cakes alot quicker than the inside. This can result in quite a hard crust on the top of your cake or your cupcakes may look like they have exploded. As the cupcakes have risen the top of the cupcake has crusted over so they rise from a small hole in the middle.

In all my recipes I use medium sized eggs. In the UK a medium sized eggs weigh around 60g but they can differ slightly from different brands. If you’re cake mixture is looking a little thick you can always add a dash of milk to thin it out.

This may be the result of using a fan oven setting. If you have a normal oven setting I would suggest using that instead. If you only have a fan oven setting you will need to reduce the temperature and bake your cake for a little longer.

Fan ovens tend to bake the outside of your cakes alot quicker than the inside. This can result in quite a hard crust on the top of your cake or your cupcakes may look like they have exploded. As the cupcakes have risen the top of the cupcake has crusted over so they rise from a small hole in the middle.

Do you have a recipe that asks for a 6inch tin, but you only have an 8 inch tin at home. Maybe you want to scale your recipe for a tiered cake or make a cake for more or less people. Watch the video below to see exactly how to scale your recipes for any size tin. Even if you want to convert your recipe from a round tin to a circle tin.