— Fundamentals —

As requested we give you our lesson on paneling a square cake. Look, no one likes draping or paneling a square, but let Susan show you the quickest and easiest way around this trouble maker.  In this particular lesson, she shows you how to get the sharpest and cleanest edges possible by paneling with only a couple simple tools.  Susan really makes it easy! Check it out and tell us what else you want to see!

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  • Vanilla Cake – Creaming Method


    ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

    3 large eggs, room temperature

    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

    ½ tsp salt

    1 ¾ cups sugar

    1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

    1 ¼ cups milk, room temperature


    1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour two 8” round pans.
    2. In a medium size bowl stir the flour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside.
    3. In your mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then scrape the bowl.
    4. Add eggs, one at a time and beat after each addition until incorporated.
    5. Beat in vanilla.
    6. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined.
    7. Start with 1/3 flour mixture and mix, then ½ the milk and mix, then second 1/3rd of the flour mixture and mix, then the remainder of the milk and mix, finish with the last 1/3rd of flour mixture and mix till combined.
    8. Spread batter in to the prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes.
    9. Start checking at 25 minutes, a toothpick inserted in to the centre of the cake should come out clean.
    10. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the sides of the pans and turn out on to parchment paper.

    TUTORIAL:  Vanilla Cake – Creaming Method

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  • Vanilla Cake – Two Stage Method

    2 ¼ cups plain cake flour (9 ounces)

    1 cup milk, room temperature

    6 large egg whites, room temperature

    2 teaspoons vanilla

    1 ¾ cups sugar (12 ¼ ounces)

    4 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), softened but still cool


    1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour two 8” round pans. Pour the milk, egg whites, and extracts in to a measuring cup and mix with a fork until combined.
    2. In your mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    3. Mix on low speed until blended.
    4. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no dry flour.
    5. Add all but ½ cup of your wet ingredients to the crumb mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes. Add the remaining ½ of the liquid and beat 30 seconds more.
    6. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat for a final time on medium high speed for another 20 seconds.
    7. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and spread the batter with a spatula to smooth the tops.
    8. Bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
    9. Start checking your cake at 20 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
    10. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cakes out on to parchment paper and cool completely.

      TUTORIAL:  Vanilla Cake – Two Stage Method

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  • Sue’s Swiss(ish) Meringue Buttercream


    – 1 cup (8 oz) pasteurized egg whites

    – 1 kilo bag (Canada), or One 2 pound bag powdered sugar (about 8 cups)

    – 3 ½ pounds butter, softened (you can use some salted butter, or for whiter buttercream you can use some or all vegetable shortening) as long as your total fats weigh 3 ½ pounds total.

    – 2-3 tablespoons clear or dark vanilla (to taste)


    1. In the bowl of a 5 or 6 quart Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, whip your powdered sugar and egg whites using the whip attachment for 2-3 minutes (start on low speed at first, to avoid a powdered sugar mess).
    2. Add all your butter (and or shortening) and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
    3. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
    4. Once the mixture start to come together, increase your speed to 3 or 4.
    5. Whip until really light and fluffy, 10-15 minutes (maybe longer if your butter isn’t very soft).


    • Use right away or store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
    • To thaw, place frozen buttercream in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then allow to come to room temperature on your counter.

    TUTORIAL:  Sue’s Swiss(ish) Buttercream

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Paneling a Square Cake Tools:

  • A Square Cake or Square Dummy Cake
  • Rolling pin
  • Fondant
  • Placemat
  • Knife or Metal Spatula
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Fondant Smoother Paddles


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