Sep 23

23rd September 2019 

Free Cake Tutorial: Panelling a Buttercream Cake

This is a free tutorial is all about how to panel a buttercream cake. This free tutorial comes from Pretty Witty Academy and shows you how to neatly cover your cakes, perfect for wedding and celebration cakes.

This is a great technique using large strips of sugar paste around the edge of the cake and a round or square of sugar paste on top of the cake. This method prevents any pulling on sugar paste and risk of ripping.

This technique works particularly well with double barrelled cakes as they are much harder to cover using the standard method. It's a technique that also works really well on square cakes!

In this tutorial you can learn about freezing cakes for panelling, how to deal with sweating and what to do to make your sugar paste a little stiffer and therefore easier to work with. This tutorial is full of great tips as well as teaching you the basics of panelling a buttercream cake.

You may also want to look at this tutorial for How to Cover a Ball Cake and How to Fondant Cover a Cake over on the Academy! We have so many tutorials which really help with cake basics such as covering cakes and getting really sharp edges. 

How to Cover a Ball Cake
How to Fondant Cover a Cake

Top Tips for Panelling a Buttercream Cake:

  • Make sure your cake has been in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before covering with sugar paste.
  • If it is a little sticky, you can use Trex so the paste can stick to the cake.
  • You don't want your cake at room temperature otherwise you can't use this technique. 
  • Don't use too much pressure when smoothing as it will create bulges in the buttercream cake.
  • Use parchment paper and a board to flip your cake with.
  • Parchment paper really helps to move your cake so it is easier to work with!
  • If your cake is sweating you do not need anything to help the fondant stick.
  • Measure the circumference and depth of your cake so you can panel it, allow an extra half an inch to allow for some error.
  • If you can, place the rolled and measure fondant into the freezer for 5 minutes before panelling the cake.
  • If you can't do this then dust the fondant with cornflour before rolling it up.
  • You can add Tylose powder to the paste to make it firmer
  • Once the cake is wrapped, you can use as much cornflour as you like to help with the stickiness.
  • You can fill the crack in with gunge (sugar paste mixed with edible glue).

Products Used:

White Sugar Paste    

Purchase HERE


Purchase HERE

Quilt Ruler

Purchase HERE

Parchment Paper  

Purchase HERE


Purchase HERE

Our Final Words:

Panelling is a great way to cover a cake and is perfect for buttercream cakes. You may find it easier to avoid elephant skin and pulling when using the panelling method so it really is a great way to cover a cake. Perfect for beginners and professionals alike!

This is a perfect method for double barrelled cakes, so no more and rapid work or fear needed when trying to cover a cake so tall! 

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Over on the Pretty Witty Academy site we have nearly 1000 cake tutorials showing you everything from how to cover a cake with sugar paste to toppers and fully advanced gravity defying cakes. We also have a huge business section for those wanting to run a cake business. 

Why not check out some of these amazing cake tutorials. See more at Pretty Witty Academy.

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