Pro tips for easy cake decorating


The party is fast approaching and it’s your turn to bake the cake. No pressure, just because everyone in attendance will pull out their phones and share your creation on multiple social media channels, it doesn’t matter that you have a million other things to do besides go to decorating school. cakes. Don’t stress! Instead, use our easy cake decorating ideas when you need a low effort, high impact look for your cake.

The real pro tip (it’s probably not what you think!)

Before you sweat thinking about spending the next three nights sculpting a fondant menagerie to top a birthday cake, consider this timeless wisdom:

Less is more.

And this motto is especially true when it comes to cake decorating. If you want to express your creativity with exquisite icing, then go for it! But it’s also possible to decorate an absolute cake in 30 minutes or less with simple frosting and cleverly placed fruit, chocolate bows or edible flowers.

First, the icing

Image credit: Christopher Martyn/Unsplash

Frosting is your canvas to display and complement the rest of your cake decorations.

Buttercream Basics and Beyond

Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a classic all-purpose frosting with a silky, stable texture that spreads beautifully on cakes and can be applied in perfect peaks and patterns. Check out our guide to basics from frosting to piping or jump straight to the try-kitchen secret formulas for vibrant buttercream colors and learn some simple yet awesome piping techniques.

We said “put down the piping bag,” but there are clever ways to color, spread, and yes, buttercream that’s so gorgeous on its own, your cake won’t need any extra decorations.

easy cake decorating
Image Credit: Sharon Chen/Unsplash

Use this trial cooking trick: Paint the inside of your piping bag with gel paste food coloring or strained fruit jam before icing for whimsical multi-colored swirls. Or make an ombre frosting. Or triple the frosting and swirl with Martha’s Berry Layer Cake. Are stripes more your thing? Watch how to pass stripes

Frostings, frostings and more

Beyond the piping bag and the buttercream box, there are many other options for frosting a cake. A poured glaze, such as a shiny chocolate ganache or a cosmically cool Galaxy Glaze, are real must-haves.

If the occasion calls for a rustic, “basic is best” ethos, all you need is whipped cream, a vanilla or citrus flavored no-fuss confectioners sugar icing, or just a dusting of baking powder. cocoa or confectioners’ sugar – whichever contrasts most beautifully with the color of the cake. (Tip: wait until just before serving to sprinkle the powdery toppings.)

Fun Cake Decorating Ideas: No Piping Needed

edible flowers

Look for them in the fresh herb section of a deli or ask the flower vendors at your local farmer’s market if they have untreated (pesticide-free) flowers. Turn to the experts for advice on decorating with edible flowers.

Edible flowers that look beautiful on cakes include:

  • Roses — buds or petals
  • Worry
  • violets
  • Thoughts
  • Lavender
  • nasturtiums
  • Hibiscus

Other all-natural decorations

Look in the aisles of the grocery store for other easy edible toppings like fresh mint, candied citrus peel, toasted coconut shavings, candied ginger, candy-coated nuts (hazelnuts and halves pecan nuts are particularly pretty) or brittle nut shards. And of course, you can never go wrong with chocolate shavings or colored sprinkles!

Fresh fruit

easy cake decorating
Image credit: Alexandra Gornago/Unsplash

Choose brightly colored fruits that can be left whole or that aren’t so juicy they’ll run down the icing. We love whole strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pitted cherries and halved figs.

Cake toppers that do the decorating for you

If you’re short on time or just want to do something different, there are fun decorations that do all the decorating for you, like novelty candles, mini pinwheels, or sparklers. See more of our ideas for crafty cake decorations.

No matter which cake decorating ideas you decide to try next time, remember to have fun. A homemade cake is an act of love!

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