You've baked a lovely cake and now you are attempting to frost it, but the frosting keeps sliding off the sides. You try to scoop it up and reapply it, but to no avail. Every time it sloughs off the side, it takes more of the cake with it. In no time at all, your frosting is sullied with cake crumbs and your cake remains resolutely unfrosted. There are several methods you can try to help keep the frosting on your cake.
Place the cake in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. If the cake has not cooled completely, the frosting will melt and slide off the sides of the cake. Remove the cake from the fridge. Ensure that it is completely cooled. Reapply the frosting with a spatula.
Mix additional powdered sugar into the frosting if the cake has cooled and the frosting still won't stick to the sides. The frosting may be too runny. Add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time, mixing well with an electric mixer. When the frosting reaches a stiffer consistency, apply it to the cake with a spatula.
Apply a thin layer of frosting. Place the cake in the fridge for half an hour. When the base coat has cooled, apply additional frosting with a spatula. The base coat must be dry to the touch. This base coat will prevent the cake from crumbling or tearing when heavier frosting is applied.