Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

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image via Becky Kimball


Hello, friends of Alison! I’m Betheny of The Apothecakery and I am SO, so excited and honored to be guest-posting this tutorial for you. I love Alison, she is the best! And I also love getting creative with cake, so I hope you’ll hop over and visit my blog! As for this mini layer cake tutorial, it’s super easy to do, and super impressive!

When I contacted Alison to beg her to let me be a part of Rad’s Banana Bash, she couldn’t have been more gracious. AND she knew EXACTLY what she wanted: which I LOVE. Her idea was to create these adorable little naked mini layer cakes, meaning no frosting on the sides, and have them all lined up on the dessert table to spell out “GO BANANAS”.

With lots of texting back and forth and lots of changing our minds, these mini layer cakes evolved into the PERFECT product. And really, that’s what cake decorating is all about; being open with your ideas and letting your creativity lead you.

Hop through for a mini layer cake tutorial:

Start out by tinting your cake batter ANY color you want. Obviously, we chose banana yellow for the party theme but you can rock your favorite color. One batch of cake batter will fill 2 cookie sheets perfectly. (If you are using a box mix, that is only 1 box!)

For tinting your cake mix I recommend starting with a white cake batter, and then adding AmeriColor gel! It will make your colors really pop!

I used a rimmed baking sheet to bake my cakes in. I took care to grease the sheets with shortening and parchment paper so that my circles came out perfectly.

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Once you have divided your batter between your two baking sheets, use a large, angled cake spatula to smooth out your batter so you get a nice, even layer. You want all your little cake circles to be the same height.

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After your cakes are COMPLETELY cooled (sorry I yelled, it’s just kind of important), then you are going to take a circle cutter in the size of your choice (we picked a 3 1/4 circle cutter) and cut our your circles! I got 15 cake circles out of 1 sheet of cake. If you cut your circles while your cake is still warm, you will get lots of cracks around the edges and it won’t look as clean.

Activity Day girls 085 Carefully transfer your cake circles to a cooling rack.

Activity Day girls 081 Whip up a batch of buttercream (you can use Alison’s “Perfect Buttercream Frosting” recipe) and tint it any assortment of colors that your little cake-heart desires. For these cakes, we chose white, mint green, and black (for drama!). Place your buttercream in pastry bags fitted with an Ateco 809 tip OR just snip off the end of your pastry bag. (And Alison has a tutorial video on how to use a piping tip too!)

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Now it’s time to stack our little cakes!

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***This is very important: you HAVE to let the cakes chill at this point BEFORE you add your second layer of buttercream. The reason for this is that if your buttercream is too soft, and then you stack another cake and two more layers of buttercream on, your bottom layer of buttercream is not going to be able to hold that weight and it will start to squish out of your cake. So chill, chill, chill after your place your second cake on your first layer of buttercream.***

After those have chilled and your buttercream is now firm, pull those babies out and add your second layer of buttercream:

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(Use an angled cake spatula to smooth out the top layer of buttercream for a more polished look.

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Make sure to add the CUTEST little baby banana sugar cookies on top to finish them off. Alison nailed it with these sugar cookies. I just about died when I saw them!

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Happy baking everyone and I hope you ROCK those creative juices and come up with something fabulous!

All my love,


Want some more cake inspiration?! Check out my Floral Crown Cake, my gorgeous Ombre Cake, or one of my favorites, my Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake!


  1. ah! i need to make these cakes pronto!
    they are amazing!

  2. I’m the biggest Apothecakery fan there is! I love Betheny!

  3. JerI

    How do you keep the cake moist?

    1. It does get a little dried than a fully iced cake! but if i were gonna do it in advance I would leave the top layer un-frosted, and wrap the 3 decker cake in plastic wrap (with two middle layers frosted), or put them in a sealed container in the fridge. And then ice the top layer before serving so that it doesn’t get messed up! Hope that’s helpful!

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