Above is how I level my cakes. Sure you can buy one of those fancy cake levelers, but honestly I get a better result with the toothpick method. Measure up the sides of your cake and figure out where your cake needs to be leveled off. Then place a toothpick in the spot. Then take the same measurement and place more toothpicks around the cake.
To fill a cake, always make sure you make a dam with your frosting about 1/4 inch from the sides of the cake. Making the dam insures that you filling does not leak out the side of your cake.
2 cakes meet for the first time. Love at first sight.
My MAC has other uses other than browsing food blogs. You see, when you do a larger cake with a filling and covered in fondant, sometimes there can be unsightly bulge on the side of the cake where the two cakes meet in the middle. So what I do to prevent this is, I assemble the cakes, and then place something a bit heavy on-top of them..to settle the cake and the frosting. I leave it there for an hour or so.
The crumb coat. Try to get your buttercream as smooth as possible. This honestly just takes practice. You need a nice big off-set spatula and a cup with warm water. After you get a thick coat of frosting on there, dip your spatula in the warm water and do your final smoothing on the buttercream. The warm spatula “melts” the buttercream, making it easier to smooth out.
Here is the naked cake assembled. I wish I could have taken some photos during the fondant process, but you see, me and fondant have a love- hate relationship. I love love love the clean look it gives cakes, but I hate working with it. It honestly stresses me out. It is soooo temperamental..like a woman with PMS, you never know how it is going to behave.