I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a professional cake decorator; I just really love baking and love to learn new things. Along the way, I have picked up some tricks that help me with my end product.
Last Thursday was my daughter’s 15th birthday and she wanted a “very chocolate” cake. Easy enough, right? I love chocolate too and was excited for her choice. I tried something a little different and made a triple layer cake with chocolate frosting. I placed crushed Oreos around the base of the cake and added dollops of vanilla buttercream frosting on top with a variety of candy bars.
The kids tore through that cake like it was their first meal in a week. Dibs were placed on candy bars as well as the first through fifth slices of cake. Some girls were more reserved and waited until a slice become available but they all had a piece.
They were amazed that I made the cake and quite frankly, it wasn’t my best work. However, I was thinking about the many ways that cakes can wow with a few, simple, embellishments. If you have a shaky hand and have difficulty getting a smooth finish, you can still make a lovely cake with some easy additions:
1. Fruit-dried, candied or fresh fruit make lovely additions. Cut fruit can bleed onto your frost so be careful.
2. Flowers-edible flowers can bring beautiful colors to plain cakes.
5. Coconut- wonderful to pat onto uneven frosting
6. Powdered Sugar-looks great on a darker cake
7. Cocoa- go easy with this one; it can be bitter.
9. Sugar works
10. Nuts- make sure no one has an allergy
One thing I like to do is microwave frosting for about 15-20 seconds so that it is pourable. I get a smooth finish every time by placing my cake on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Excess frosting runs into the cookie sheet and I’m left with a nice and smooth frosted cake.
Another tip that I’ve learned is to dip my spatula in hot water before spreading frosting. It really helps to create a smooth surface that is nice to look at.
I’d also like to share that I have struggled in the past with icing bags and frosting tips. I always make a huge mess and get icing everywhere. One thing that has really helped a simple home cook like myself is a frosting gun. The brand that I use is Wilton and it has made a huge difference in the quality of my frosting efforts.
One thing the girls did notice was my Dollar Store birthday sign that read, “Harpy Bipthday”. It was a huge surprise and laughable moment. We ended up singing “Harpy Bipthday” to my daughter and everyone laughed and enjoyed the new rendition.
I don’t have a new recipe for this post, but I did want to share some ideas for cake decorating to make anyone look like a star!
Have a great day!