Basic Decorating Ideas

So, you have finished baking your cake, waited for it to cool, so now it’s time to decorate it.  That can be great fun and very pleasurable, however, it also means being a bit patient and skilled.  The following ideas and tips will help to make your cake decorating more pleasurable and fun.

We can start with some basic facts about cake decorating, and what’s needed to get it done. First, you need a place where you’ll have plenty of space to decorate your masterpiece. Additionally, you’ll want somewhere no one is going to bother you and where you won’t be in anyone’s way. Firstly, when it comes to decorating cakes you must ensure the cake is totally cool prior to trying to decorate it. A warm cake will just fall apart if you try to decorate it.

Next, ensure you have all your cake decorating gear, as well as any ingredients needed to decorate the cake. A few things essential include: an icing bag or syringe, some decorating tips to fit them, and the proper coupler to make sure the tips attach properly to your icing bag.  Amazon has a low-cost starter kit that includes everything you need. Plus, you have to make some plans prior to starting as to how you want the cake to look, then it will be simple to gather up all you require to start to decorate it.

To start, you have several choices for frosting your cake. You can use buttercream frosting, fondant frosting, or royal frosting. When you begin, you carefully squeeze out a thin layer of your icing onto the top of the cake. This holds all the crumbs in place. Next, more icing goes over the thin layer. It’s vital that your frosting is made to just the perfect consistency so it goes smoothly onto your cake. If it's not thick enough it will run down the cake and if it’s too thick it won’t spread right. However, there is a way to say icing that’s too thin. Just add a little powdered sugar and it will thicken up great. Don’t add in too much powdered sugar or it will get stiff and won’t spread. If that happens you will have to add some more liquid to the mix.

You need frosting of varying consistencies when doing different kinds of decorating. For instance, if you want to make some pretty flowers, you need frosting that is thick and stiffens up. That way the petals of the flowers won’t be droopy. But if you wish to make some stars on the cake, or flat flowers or a shell border around it, the frosting needs to be medium thickness. And if you want to write something on your cake, you need thin frosting. Here’s a tip, add two teaspoons of light corn syrup to your frosting and it will cause it to spread better and be lots more versatile.

After you’ve smoothed on the frosting, now you can do the decorating. You need to hold the frosting bag a specific way and at a precise angle to make the kind of shapes or patterns you want. You will be happy to know that there are merely two ways to hold a frosting bag when you want to create specific shapes or designs.

One of these is holding the bag straight over your cake at an angle of 90 degrees. This method is how you hold it to make easy, simple designs, i.e. if you just want to make eyes, dots, stars or flower centers. The other way to hold the bag is using an angle of 45 degrees, in other words, hold it about halfway between pointing it straight up and the top of your cake.

In this location there’s more versatility for creating more complicated shapes and patterns. It’s used to make the petals on flowers or if you want to write some words on the cake.  There are also special tips you can put on the bag if you want to do things like make a basket weave, ruffles or intricate petals, or irregular shapes and patterns. You also have to hold the frosting bag in a certain way when using these tips.

Here are a few of these special patterns you can try on your cake:

basket weave tips

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– Basket Weave – If you use this method on a cake, make it obviously look just like a basket. It’s a good idea to do some practicing ahead of time on some waxed paper before trying it on a real cake. You must put on the special basket weave frosting tip and use medium consistency icing. Do make a basket weave first draw a vertical stripe, then follow that by drawing a horizontal stripe. The horizontal stripe must be somewhat longer than your vertical one so the vertical strip will fit across the horizontal stripe. As you make a few stripes, you will notice it is starting to look like a basket pattern.

– Bows – This method makes a cake appear like a present. To make bows you need a flat frosting tip as well as icing made with a medium consistency. Fill the bag with icing and hold it with an angle of 45 degrees. As you squeeze on the icing, swing the bag to the left, thus creating the first half of a bow. Then swing it to the right, so you make what looks like a figure eight. Then, you swing the frosting bag down and out from the bow’s center and do this twice to create the two bow streamers.

wilton tips

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– Lacework – This method looks fantastic on a cake for a baby shower or a wedding. It’s a good idea to practice before you try decorating a real cake. You first need to mix up some thin frosting. Then fill up the bag and hold your frosting bag with an angle of 90 degrees. Put your bag nearly onto the cake’s surface. Then, you use it to make the border and watch carefully so you don’t get the icing over the edge of your cake.

Move your icing tip up, then down, then around so you can create lots of shapes that look the same. However, don’t cross over or touch any of the designs you have already created. You can keep doing this until you feel there are enough designs and shapes on your cake. After you are done, it’s a good idea to go back over the cake’s border with thicker frosting. Then you can admire the great lacework you have put on your finished cake.




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