To Frost Cakes In Seconds, Try This Microwave Hack

Frosting makes any homemade cake look extra special. But even if you use store-bought frosting to make the job easier, it can still sometimes prove tricky to get a neat and even result since it's often so thick; and not only that, the shortcut doesn't even always seem that fast. Thankfully, there is a way to get frosting so that it's just the right consistency in seconds: microwaving it for short bursts. 

While stirring before use is a crucial instruction you're ignoring with canned frosting, the microwave hack takes things a step further in terms of ease of application. In fact, it's so easy that you don't even need a frosting knife or specialist offset spatula to spread it, as the warmed ingredient can simply be poured over the cake.

To achieve a professional finish using the microwave method, there are just a couple of key steps to guarantee the best results and minimal mess. But once you've mastered the simple and incredibly quick technique, you'll be able to create beautifully decorated sweet treats in no time at all.

Microwave frosting to make it easy to pour

Usually, frosting a cake requires a steady hand, a little patience, and a good spreading technique to get a visually appealing coating. For the microwave hack, all you need is a cake, a microwave, some frosting, a bowl, and a couple of everyday kitchen utensils that help reduce the amount of clean-up that's required afterward.

Setting up a stand for the cake first will help keep things tidy and make it easy to frost the cake without it sticking — and elevate it, so you can better see what you're doing. The best arrangement is a plate or oven sheet covered with parchment paper or foil, with a cooling rack on top. This means the frosting can be poured over the entire surface of the cake, and any excess will simply drip through the rack onto the paper; the messy parchment can then be disposed of.

To get a pourable consistency for the frosting, try heating it at 30-second intervals in a microwave-safe bowl. You can always stir through a little food coloring for an even more appetizing result and a faux-marbling. And the melted sweet mixture is not just useful for decorating a whole cake. You could also use it to dip cake pops into before decorating, or to drizzle over brownies or other bakes. Once the cake is covered in frosting, putting it in the refrigerator for around an hour will help it set firm and be less sticky.

More hacks to make frosting cakes a breeze

To get the absolute neatest results, it's worth applying a crumb coat. This thin layer of frosting acts like a base coat to seal everything together and prevent crumbs from sneaking into the buttercream. To achieve this, pour on one layer of microwaved frosting, let it cool, then repeat the process with a second coat for a smoother finish.

The microwave is surprisingly versatile when it comes to decorating cakes, and not just for heating frosting. Professionals often use a turntable to elevate a cake and make it easy to rotate while frosting, piping, or decorating. But if you don't have this piece of equipment, then the turntable within your microwave will do a similar job. Just remove the plastic wheel with rollers from the appliance, and either set the glass plate from the microwave or another plate or board on top. The cake can then spin as you work.

While there are many ways to upgrade canned frosting, food coloring easily achieves an array of attractive rainbow colors. But if you want the buttercream to look pristinely white, then you can actually use food coloring to help with this, too. It may seem strange, but adding just a tiny amount of purple coloring gives white frosting a dazzling brightness thanks to the way it cancels out the yellow tones.