Have you ever tried to frost a cake with lovely, thick, delicious frosting and had it just make a mess all over the edges of the plate?
Have you then oh-so-carefully attempted to clean up the messy plate edges with a damp cloth or paper towel, only to find you need to keep rubbing at the swirls over and over, never really getting the plate properly clean again?
Have you even perhaps tried to scootch the frosted cake to a new, clean plate, without messing up the edges again?
I confess to all three. The last scenario only happened once. I lost half the cake in the process. Most aggravating.
I now have a solution. You see the parchment paper tucked underneath the cake in the first photo? Use four to six small pieces of paper, tucked just far enough under the bottom of the cake to cover the plate. Now, frost and don't worry about mess.
When you're ready, gently pull out the parchment.
Ta da! Frosted cake. Clean plate.
One more tip for you. Do you see the occasional crumb in the cream cheese frosting on this carrot cake? I'm not too worried about it this time. However, if you want a perfectly clean, crumbless frosting top as well, simply frost in three stages. One, use half of the frosting to coat the cake, realizing that crumbs are inevitable in a thinner coating and ignoring them. Two, pop the cake in the fridge to chill for an hour or two. This is fine for cream cheese, fudge, chocolate, buttercream, white mountain, jam... Three, take out the chilled cake and use the other portion of (unchilled) frosting to cover the cake again. The cold lower frosting layer won't shift around so easily, being glued in place by the chilled layer, and your crumbs will be covered by the new spread of sugary goodness. It will all meld into itself again and I've never yet had a texture problem from layering icing in this manner.