Beautiful cakes are not just for big bucks on extra-special occasions. You can learn easy cake decorating ideas that you can do yourself to make even an ordinary boxed cake mix look extraordinary. With a few simple tools and techniques and the easy cake decorating ideas in this article, you'll be able to make a beautiful cake yourself at home.
Icing The Cake
Most of the time, you'll want to start with smooth icing all over the cake as the base for all of these easy cake decorating ideas. To get a smooth surface, make sure the cake is completely cooled and your frosting is not too thick. Thinner icing will spread more easily and end up with a smoother finish.
First, put a very thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This is called the crumb coat, and it will keep crumbs from getting mixed in with the frosting that you'll see on the finished cake. At this point, you can refrigerate the cake to set the crumb coat and make it easier to apply the top coat.
Next, use an icing spatula to put on the second coat of icing. Start with a large amount of icing in the middle of the top of the cake and spread it toward the edges. When the top of the cake is completely covered, cover the sides of the cake. To smooth the sides, hold the spatula straight up and down and hold the edge against the cake as you spin the plate.
For the best look, try to get the frosting as smooth as possible all over cake. For the top of the cake, hold the spatula perfectly horizontal. For the sides, hold it perfectly upright. Try dipping the spatula in hot water and drying it before gliding across the frosting for even smoother results.
Getting smooth, even icing on your cakes is probably the hardest part of cake decorating. Practice these techniques until you can get perfectly smooth frosting, and you might find that you don't even need any other cake decorating ideas for an elegant, beautiful cake.
Easy Cake Decorating Ideas & Tips
For a simply elegant cake with a really easy technique, dust your frosted cake with powdered sugar. Try using a stencil for a themed or geometric design on the top of the cake. Remember making paper snowflakes as a kid? Make one to fit the top of your cake and use it as a stencil for a one-of-a-kind powdered sugar design.
If you want a more detailed, three-dimensional design, you can buy ready-to-use decorations and cake toppers in just about any theme you can think of. Candy flowers and letters, sprinkles in special shapes, and even small toys can be used to top your cake.
For an especially tasty look, sprinkle the cake with candy, nuts, shredded coconut, or chocolate shavings. Or use fresh fruit, like a simple ring of strawberry slices or an elaborate pattern of a few kinds of fruits. For a different style, decorate only the sides of the cake and leave the top smooth, or surround a simply frosted cake with fresh fruit or flowers.
Another option is to use a decorating comb or decorating triangle to add texture to the frosting. A decorating comb is a simple piece of plastic or metal with a variety of shaped edges. You drag the comb along the frosting to leave a textured pattern in the frosting. This is a great option if you're having trouble getting your icing as smooth as you want it to be.
Anyone Can Master These Easy Cake Decorating Ideas
These easy cake decorating ideas will help you make all your cakes more beautiful and are simple enough for anyone to learn. Master these techniques, and then consider taking cake decorating classes locally or online to learn more advanced cake decorating ideas and techniques like piping with a pastry bag and using fondant. Even if you stop with these easy cake decorating ideas, you'll still be making beautiful cakes for every occasion.