If you aren’t an expert on decorating cakes, but still want to impress your guests during your next event with a stunning, on-trend cake — then you’re in the right place, my friend! I’ve talked with my friends who own only the best cake shop in the country, picked their brains on decorating cakes tricks that can totally help a beginner out, and am sharing them with you!
1. Get your cake decorating tool kit ready!
The following techniques will require some tools, so it’s best to invest in some basic cake decorating supplies to get the best results.
To smooth a buttercream cake, use a turntable and a spatula, holding the spatula with one hand while turning the turntable with the other. To add some fun to a plain cake (covered in buttercream or whipped cream), use a piping bag and some piping tips in different shapes. Fill the bag with some whipped cream and make some flowers, stars, ombre waves or ruffles on the side of the cake… Put your improvisation hat on and have fun!
Just note that if your cake is covered in fondant, the whipped cream will just slide on it. So, you can just kinda remove some of the fondant where you plan your whipped-cream decorations to go, and you’re all set.
2. Write on a Cake with Royal Icing
On a Whipped Cream/Buttercream Cake
Writing with a piping bag may sound intimidating, but if you follow these tricks it can be fairly simple. First, you’ll need a piping bag and the right piping tips (a smaller tip is best). Then, you’ll need to write your template or you can print it out in a font you like. Just make sure it’s written in a size that fits your cake. Write/print more templates for practice! Next, cover your template with baking paper. To make sure your template + baking paper stays put while you’re writing, use masking tape & tape them on the surface.
Fill your piping bag with royal icing and carefully start writing. Once you’re content with the writing, leave the piping to set for a few hours, or overnight. Then, carefully remove the baking paper off the piped writing and put the writing on your cake.
On a fondant-wrapped cake
The previously-described method doesn’t really work on fondant, you won’t be able to stick the saying as it’s already set. So, in this case, you can use stencils – just find your words/sayings, attach it to the top of the cake, spread the fondant across, and remove the stencil right afterward.
For a thicker royal icing, use citric acid. Add a little at a time to achieve the thickness that will work for you.
3. Make a Brushstroke Cake
These dramatic brushstroke cakes took over social media a while ago, and for a good reason! Not only do they make quite the statement, but they are also really easy to make, even for beginners. You’ll need chocolate melts (either previously colored or white ones + food coloring), a microwave, pastry brush, and baking paper.
Melt the chocolate melts in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time and stir them in between. By using your pastry brush, create brushstrokes of the melted chocolate onto a baking paper, and let them cool for a while. Use buttercream or melted chocolate (while hot) to attach the brushstrokes to your cake (works on fondant, buttercream, and whipped cream cakes).
4. Make a Drip Cake
To create the dripping effect, you’ll need to make a ganache which is super simple – just add some heated heavy cream to crushed chocolate, in a 1:1 ratio, (if you want the drip to be colored, use white chocolate + food coloring), and mix it up. Transfer the ganache into a piping bag with a small round tip and start pouring it on the edges of your cake (fondant or buttercream covered), letting the ganache to kinda slide on the cake’s side to get the best effect. Once you’ve done with the edges, pour more ganache on top of the cake and with a spatula spread it evenly.