Decorate cakes like a pro … our top tips for success
Do you spend hours scrolling social media watching amateur bakers create the most amazing looking cakes and wondering how they achieved that professional finish? It takes a lot of time, patience and practise to create a professional-looking cake. We’ve learnt many tips and tricks over the years so to set you on the right track we’ve created a list of our top tips for decorating a cake like a pro.
1. Make sure the cake is cool - It’s important to ensure your cake is completely cooled before you attempt to decorate it. This will minimise crumbs and crumbling that can occur with a still-warm cake. Ideally, chill cake layers in the fridge for at least two hours before icing. You can even freeze your cake just be sure to remove your cake or cake layers from the freezer an hour before you’d like to start decorating.
2. Do a crumb coat - A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing (buttercream usually) that’s applied all over a cake after it’s been filled and stacked. It’s also a great way to fill any dents or imperfections in your cake. This layer of icing will stop any subsequent layers of icing from becoming filled with crumbs.
3. Good tools lead to better results – You don’t require a lot of equipment when starting your baking journey, but there are some tools that you should invest in. A turntable is essential when it comes to creating a smooth finish on icing and it enables you to move the cake 360 degrees. Good quality tools such as a cake scraper will help give you that professional finish. Piping bags and tips are also a must-have, especially as the more traditional styled piped cakes are back in fashion. If you’re unsure on how to pipe, head to YouTube where you’ll find plenty of videos to help you out.
4. Add something fresh - Fresh flowers make beautiful, simple and easy to use decorations for cakes. Be careful about the varieties you choose as some flowers are naturally toxic. If in doubt, consult your florist for recommendations. Flowers such as roses, calendulas, nasturtiums, hibiscus, violets, and sunflowers are popular and safe choices. You can also add some greenery and texture by using fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and chamomile.