Tag Archives: Cake Decorating

Basic Cake Decorating tips to share.

If you’ve ever tried to decorate a cake, you know it’s challenging! It’s not my forte either, but I’m working on it.  Here are some tips I’ve learned that might help you too.

-My mom used to decorate cakes and one day I was worried about a mistake she made in the writing on the cake.  She said not to worry.  If you mess up your decoration or writing, just wait until it dries and gently remove it with a toothpick.  Do it again!  She then talked about her belief that, in life, there was very little that you messed up that couldn’t be fixed.  The Wilton class reinforced this mantra to me and also reminded me of a nice childhood memory.

-When icing a cake, keep crumbs out by always keeping the icing between your spatula and the cake.  Push the icing along towards the edge.

-To smooth a cake for writing and decorating, wait until the icing sets and then place a piece of parchment paper on top and sides, using your hand or spatula to smooth out the rough spots.  Remove parchment and voila!

-You can use the cupcake tips for other things like making swirly mashed potatoes or whipped cream.

-When decorating the edges of a cake, keep your elbow anchored to your side as much as possible for stability and turn the cake, squeeze, turn, squeeze, and so on.  Make the cake come to you.  It makes a huge difference and so much better than moving your arm around the cake.  Duh!

-When writing on a cake, use writing gel.  It’s much easier.  You can also write your message in clear gel first to be sure you get it right and then go over with color.

-Roll the decorator bag down on the sides before filling and then twist to close.  Much less messy this way.

-There is a special tool called a cake leveler that shaves off the top dome of the cake to make it level.  Of course, you should flip it upside down and use the flat bottom as the top. The leveler can also be used to torte a cake.

-Always use a cardboard cake round instead of a plate.  Makes doing the bottom so much easier!


Cake Decorating Tips

I’ve always had awful handwriting and have struggled with drawing, picking out furniture and school crafts… So it’s no real surprise that most of my delicious-tasting cakes can look pretty rough unless I keep presentation really, really simple.  I finally mastered squeezing icing out of a snipped Ziploc bag and that’s about as far as the icing decorating talents extend.   So, I’m trying to up my game.  Here are some tips that I want to share with you.

  • It’s all about the tools!!!  Just like most any endeavor, if you have the right tools to do the job it turns out better.  For cake decorating beginners, you gotta have a turntable (who knew!), a good angled spatula, a medium-stiff buttercream icing recipe, and some real decorating bags and tips (ziploc won’t cut it).
  • Ever see those tortes with really thin layers of cake?   You do it with a cake leveler!  I actually did it on this cake.  It’s only one 8-inch cake split into two layers with a cherry pie filling in between.
  • Keep the juicy fillings from gushing out between layers by building a dam of stiff icing all the way around the cake layer and then filling it.
  • To make the top of a cake smooth before decorating, you can pat it/smooth it down with a sheet of parchment paper and a spatula or press.  Just be sure and wait until the icing is no longer sticky to the touch.. but not all the way set either.

Cool, huh?