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STEP 1: Plop the frosting onto the cake

Scoop a mound of frosting on top of the cake (after the crumb coat).

STEP 2: Spread the frosting

Use a spatula to spread the frosting around. Do not let the spatula touch the base of the cake. Continue by turning your cake on a turntable and gliding the spatula along the frosting.

STEP 3: Spread the frosting down the sides

Spread a thick layer of frosting onto the sides of the cake, turning all the while and pulling excess frosting from the top edges down onto the sides.

STEP 4: Clean your spatula

Keep a cup of hot water close by and gently dip your spatula to quickly clean it.

STEP 5: Clean up the top edge

Knock down any frosting that is poking up and spread things out a bit as needed to make the edge fairly even all around.