Tips for a Better Layer Cake

Hi there lovelies! The holidays are a time for baking around here.
So far this season I’ve attempted my first pumpkin roll, made a few pies and plan on making some homemade candy this evening!

Today, in the spirit of the major baking season, I have a few tips for you on how to make a better layer cake.

make a better layer cake

First of all, I love layered cakes. You can most definitely still use just a cake mix, so they’re as easy to make as a normal pan cake, but they look much more impressive. They require only a little extra time, but give off the impression of much more time spent then a normal pan cake.

grease and flour cake pans

One of the most important things for make a good layer cake is preparing your pans. By all means go the extra mile and grease and flour those suckers. Sure non-stick spray works alright, but if you want the cake to really come out clean, the grease and flour method works the best. Using parchment paper in the bottom of your pan is an extra step against having your cake stick, but I’ve found for the most part grease and flour does the trick.

making a pretty layer cake

I do recommend parchment paper as a way to turn out each cake to cool before stacking though. Lay a plate down, then cover it with parchment. Turn your cake over onto the parchment paper and allow to cool completely before stacking. Otherwise, as the cake cools it might stick to your plate.

Another tip at this point is to cut off the rounded top of your bottom layer cake. This gives the top layer a nice, mostly flat surface to rest on to make your cake more even. I use a butter knife to just sort of shave off the rounded top and even it out.

icing a layer cake

I usually use store bought icing. After all the point is to make an easy cake but with a funner look right?!

You’ll want to cover the top of your bottom layer, then stack your top layer before icing completely. This way you don’t work on getting a nice bottom layer only to mess it up trying to blend it in with the top layer. Once it’s stacked you can ice the entire cake.

making a better layered cake

Now because store bought icing is often much thinner than homemade icing it’s a good idea to stick your cake in the fridge for an hour or two before serving. This gives the icing time to set and keeps it from just melting off. Take note, because it is so much thinner than homemade it will melt even with a completely cooled cake in a semi cool room. That’s just the nature of store bought icing on a stacked cake versus a flat cake.

So there you go! A few tips to make your next layer cake a little bit easier and a little bit prettier!

Tell me lovelies, what’s your favorite thing to bake during the holiday season?

Linking this here and here and to these.

P.S. Hope you enjoyed this post! If so, we’d love if you’d follow along!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely


  1. great tips!

    I never thought about using parchment paper before, I will have to try that next time! I love layered cakes! they seem so fancy for minimal effort 😉

    • Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

      Exactly! They look like so much more work, but they’re really not… My favorite kind of recipe! 🙂 Thanks for the visit today Paula!

  2. This post reminds me that I havent made a layered cake in a long time. There’s a very important birthday coming up soon in my house and now I have so many ideas for desert! Thanks!

    • Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

      You should make one then! 😉 Happy birthday to the special birthday person at your place!!

  3. Hubby’s mom makes a lot of cakes and let me tell you, they are yummy! We take the cake tops and put icing in them to eat as whoopie pies, or put fresh fruit and milk on them…. what ever you do, don’t throw away your cake tops! 🙂

  4. Okay, these are great tips and your cake look delicious! I love love red velvet cake, do you ever watch cupcake wars, if you don’t you should hulu it. They always make delicious looking red velvet cake! Were did you find your recipe?


    • Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

      Red velvet cake is a favorite in our house. I’ll be honest with you, it’s a red velvet cake mix from the store. Works just as good and tastes just as yummy as the homemade kind! 😉

  5. Great tips!! I pinned!

  6. Great tips! I’m visiting for the 1st time. I hope you come stop by and link on my parties every Tuesday-

  7. I love all these tips!! Thanks for sharing! I never thought to even out the bottom layer. 🙂