July 11, 2018
Do you enjoy baking but find decorating cakes a little daunting? Fear not - we have a few simple cake decorating tips and ideas that’ll make your cakes centre of attention! This blog post will show beginners how to decorate a cake, meaning you’ll have your scrumptious bakes looking beautiful with just a few simple steps!
This rustic yet elegant design has made its mark on the world of baking! Naked cakes have become a favourite for weddings, baby showers and birthday parties for all ages. It’s one trend that’s here to stay, and the best part about it is that it’s a really simple cake decorating idea that you can recreate at home!
Follow these steps to learn how to make a naked cake: Ice your cake with buttercream and then use a scraper tool or pallet knife to scrape off the excess buttercream gradually to expose the cake layers. We think this design looks really impressive when done on a Victoria sponge cake topped with berries or a few sprigs of fresh flowers.
These beautiful rose swirls are perfect for any occasion and work really well piped straight onto a cake or cupcakes. We let a open star tip nozzle and piping bag do all the work with this one - an inexpensive little tool that is invaluable when piping roses.
Here’s how to create rose swirls on a cake: Cut 5 to 8mm off the tip of your piping bag and pop the Star Tip nozzle into place so it’s nice and snug. Add your buttercream to the bag, making sure there’s no air bubbles hiding in there by squeezing the buttercream towards the tip of the bag. Now it’s time to start piping! Place the hand you write with at the top of the bag to squeeze the buttercream down, and use your other hand to hold the base of the bag and guide it as you pipe. Start in the centre of your cake/cupcakes and make a swirl using an anti-clockwise motion. Et voila! A beautiful buttercream rose!
We love this simple yet effective look, which is perfect for all occasions! Get your hands on a stencil of your choice and pop some icing sugar in a small sieve, hold it about 5 to 7cm above your bake. Using a small spoon, tap the side of the sieve so the icing sugar starts to fall. Dust with a generous amount of icing sugar until you can’t see any cake coming through the icing sugar.
And that’s it! No, really it is - lift your stencil to reveal your beautiful yet quickly decorated bake.
This classic design originally found on the light flaky French pastry, mille feuille, will give your cakes a pretty, dainty look to them. Sieve some icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add a few teaspoons of cold water to create a drippy consistency icing. Now do the same thing again, but add some colour or cocoa powder to help the icing contrast.
Add one of your icing mixtures to a piping bag (this is the one you will use to draw the lines). Fasten the loose end with an elastic band and place upright in a tall empty glass. Pour the other icing over your cake (if using cupcakes, spoon liberally onto cupcakes until you flood the paper case completely) then chop the tip off your piping bag and make straight vertical lines up and down your cake/cupcakes and now using that ever-so-handy toothpick, lightly run it from left to right without lifting until you get to the end of your cake and there you have it, a beautiful and delicate mille feuille inspired look created in a few minutes tops.
Top tip: If you want to colour your icing, use a toothpick to add colour to your icing sugar mixture. This way you can never add too much at one time and it means less colourful washing up to do later! We like using coloured pastes instead of liquid colours to give a more vibrant shade. Also, remember with colour pastes, less is more!
Another current trend in the world of baking is cakes topped with chocolate dripping over the edges, and then finished with fruit, shards of chocolate, chocolate bars, and other treats that are easy to find in the supermarket! So why not give it a go at home? The key to making this look great is by breaking the treats into a few different sizes.
First, cover your cake with a crumb coat of buttercream and leave it to chill for at least an hour. Then, create a chocolate ganache by gently heating 200ml double cream in a saucepan, before taking it off the heat and adding in 200g chocolate. Stir this mixture until the chocolate has melted and you have a nice glossy ganache. Pour this ganache on to the top of your chilled cake, using the back of a spoon to gently encourage the ganache to drip down the sides of the cake. Give it a shake if you want it to drip down further, and then pop back in the fridge to firm up.
After 30 minutes in the fridge, carefully pile your chosen treats on top of your cake. Make sure that everything is well placed so that you don’t lose anything when moving from the kitchen to the dining room table. If you need a little extra support to help secure your decorations, use a bit of leftover frosting. As if this wasn’t decadent enough, use a spoon to drizzle over some melted chocolate or caramel for the perfect finishing touch!
This is a no decorating decorating tip! Save time by baking your cake in a patterned tin. Once cooled and turned out of the tin, simply dust with some icing sugar (or cocoa powder) and garnish with fresh fruit or flowers. Hey presto - beautiful cake, minimal effort.
Buttercream has always been one of the most common ways to decorate a cake. It’s cost effective, easy to make and, most importantly, the possibilities are endless! Jazz up that layer of buttercream on your cake with a fancy cake comb. They come in either plastic or metal and in a wide range of designs.
To create this effect, simply apply and smooth out your buttercream (or ganache) as you would normally. Then, place the comb up against the cake and drag it around the sides without lifting to create a simple yet effective design all the way around your cake. Top off your cake with anything from fresh fruit, chocolates or even some sprinkles or chocolate curls. With those beautifully detailed sides, you won’t need much as it will already look spot on!
This is a fantastic and very simple cake decorating idea for children’s birthday parties, but also for any chocolate lovers, big or small! Simply cover your cake in a frosting of your choice whether that be buttercream or ganache, and smooth it down. Then comes the fun part - which chocolate bar are you going to use to decorate you cake?
Once you’ve chosen which chocolate bars you’re happy to part with, start sticking them to the cake. As the frosting is still wet, they shouldn’t need any more support - just a tiny bit of pressure to make sure they stay put. We find that chocolate cigars also work well for this design and also look the part! Finish off your cake with a ribbon tied halfway up the cake.
When we see beautiful wedding cakes with flowers cascading down them, we often wonder how they’ve been inserted into a cake. Create your own floral showstopper worthy of a place at any wedding with these few simples steps, it couldn’t be any easier.
All you need to do is cut up some tin foil into 15 x 15cm squares and chop the end of your stems off to a size you’re happy with. Place the stem onto the foil, leaving about 5 to 7 cms at the bottom free. Fold the foil upwards and then fold in the two sides tightly around the stem. Once you’ve done this with all of your flowers, start arranging them on your cake. We quite like the look of all the flowers to one side but the choice is yours!
Sprinkles are bright, fun and, best of all, inexpensive and easy to use. We’ve seen a growing trend in the baking world where bakers are covering whole cakes in sprinkles. We’ll show you how you can do it too!
Simply apply a crumb coat to your cake and chill until the icing is firm (a couple of hours in a really cold fridge should do it). A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream that holds in all the crumbs. That way, when you apply your second layer of buttercream, no crumbs can be seen on your beautifully frosted cake! Once your crumb coat is firm to the touch, apply the second layer of buttercream about 5 - 7mm thick and chill until the frosting is firm (you’ll need to be patient with this one as slightly soft buttercream won’t cut it).
When your cake is chilled and firm to the touch, remove it from the fridge. It’s time to get the fun part ready! Pour the sprinkles of your choice into a large sheet tray and roll your firm cake up and down the sheet tray to cover all sides in sprinkles. Once the sides are nicely coated, pop your cake on an upside down bowl in the sheet tray and sprinkle the top of your cake liberally with sprinkles and pat down gently, slowly embedding them into the buttercream. And there you have it - a fun looking sprinkle coated cake perfect for those fun birthday celebrations!
Now you know how to decorate your amazing bakes, why not check out our Bake Shop to find the right cake to try out your new-found skills?
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We can’t wait to hear how your decorations turn out - leave us a comment below with the details!
July 23, 2018
I love these ideas! I’ve seen the naked cake thing a lot but have never known how to do it before. I’ll give it a go!
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