this thing's incredible

The $1 Tool Chloë Sevigny’s Wedding-Cake Baker Uses to Create Her Signature Frosting

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

You might recognize baker Aimee France, a.k.a. Yung Kombucha, from our story in which we identified everything from Chloë Sevigny’s recent nuptials (France didn’t even realize Sevigny was a follower until she woke up to a DM request.) But in confectionary circles, the 23-year-old self-taught pastry chef is known not for her clientele (though it is expansive — she has created desserts for AnnaSophia Robb, as well as for brands like Parade and Brightland), but for her painterly frosting technique that evokes the wrinkly texture of a crottin de chèvre.

Photo: Aimee France

France says she used to achieve this effect with a spoon or wooden dowel, dragging the utensils through the frosting to leave lines that add dimension to the cake. Then last spring, she came across a “decorating and icing comb” in the baking section of a restaurant-supply store. The aluminum triangle has since become her most-used tool — because of its 4.25-inch edges, she can cover much more surface area in much less time.

As seen here on her TikTok account, France turns the tool onto its finest serrated edge — it provides the most intricate detail — and strokes the frosting upward to leave raised tracks, “like when the snow gets skied over a lot and then gets freshly groomed.” (An alternative analogy for getting the movement right is Zen garden, but you’re raking a landscape of dairy and sugar.) She’ll then either freehand-pipe more buttercream on top or leave it bare for an organic, arboreal look. Less experienced (or artistic) home bakers might want to begin with the comb’s most straightforward use: Place the cake on a rotating stand, touch the comb to the side, and turn the base — this gives you neat grocery-store ridges, which has its own birthday-party-in-the-park charm.

But to find your own signature icing aesthetic, France recommends consulting the school of YouTube (“your best friend” for learning any new baking skill) and experimenting. After all, it’s just frosting — if it goes badly, you can always smooth it back out and start over.

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This Pro Baker’s Most-Used Tool Is a $1 Decorating Comb