6 Cake Decorating Tips For Beginners

It can be extremely rewarding to prepare and create a cake for a friend, family member, or even yourself. Being able to make something that looks exactly how you envisioned is definitely easier said than done.

Cake decorating is no exception to this, and there are many ways that you can work on your skills in order to make complex designs, shapes, patterns that make the finished product seem even more impressive.

These are six tips for people who are new to cake decorating, or for someone with a little less experience.


1. The Three Essentials

The Three Essentials

Firstly, it is definitely worth trying to master the ‘three essentials’ when it comes to cake decorating. These are key skills that allow the frosting, glaze, or icing to stick to the cake and make it easier to create different finishes.

Taking the time to work on your pressure control allows you to find a balance between holding the piping bag too hard and too soft. This can be challenging for some people as it is a unique skill to the world of baking and cake decorating.

In addition, you should check how you are holding the piping bag. Look at the most comfortable bag position and see how different angles can impact the flow of the frosting. The final part of the three essentials is icing consistency. Check that you have achieved the correct consistency that is solid enough to hold its shape yet soft enough to easily squeeze out of the bag.


2. Invest In Your Tools

While there are plenty of affordable options that could be used at the beginning of your cake decorating journey, a high quality turntable is definitely something that is worth investing in. It can allow you to easily apply crumb coats and sheets of fondant evenly.

It could also be worth spending extra money on edible silver leaf sheets for cakes, as they provide a touch of class and style to any finished product.


3. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Piping definitely gets easier over time, and it is worth allowing a little time to practice some of the basics before trying to decorate an elaborate cake for a special occasion. As with any skill, piping will seem a little unnatural at first until you have built up the right amount of muscle memory for it.

Cupcakes are easier to practice your piping skills for, because they have much smaller surface areas. This means that you can try to cover areas or create more complex patterns without worrying about messing up a large cake.


4. Remember To Level Your Cakes

If you plan on stacking your cakes, it is essential that you make the top and bottom of them completely flat and level. This prevents them from leaning and possibly toppling over.

Using a serrated knife that is longer than the cake’s diameter, saw any roundness from the top of the cake.


5. Don’t Skip The Crumb Coat

This acts as a primer which the frosting can stick to a little easier without getting cake crumbs mixed into it. Using a palette knife or another flat, smooth decorating tool, lightly coat the sides and top of the cake in frosting.

It is recommended that you do this for every layer of cake if you intend to stack certain layers on top of each other. A crumb coat acts as a seal that prevents the main coating of glaze, icing, or frosting from having visible cake crumbs on the final product.

Once you have applied a very thin layer of frosting for the crumb coat, you can let it sit in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. This allows the layer to solidify, which prevents it from combining with the main coat of frosting.


6. Prep Ahead

Prep Ahead

As with most processes, cake decorating can be made easier by planning ahead of time. Whether you want to bake your cakes that you will be using for base layers several days before decorating, or even if you want to blend your frosting ahead of time, you can use the refrigerator and freezer to your advantage.

Once you have baked your cakes and allowed them to cool completely, you can freeze them for up to one week, and they will stay fresh. Firmly wrap in saran wrap and store in a tupperware container before placing in the freezer.

Allow the cakes to fully defrost at room temperature before consuming to prevent biting into a hard surface.


Summary

It can be highly rewarding to decorate cakes, and it is pretty satisfying to see an idea come to life over time. Make the most out of your newest creations by investing in high quality equipment such as a turntable.

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