Learn About the Different Cake Decorations First!
Learning how to make cake decorations at home as a beginner? Get to know about the most common types of cake decorations used by professionals as well as every other baker in the food industry!
The first thing to get familiar with is the royal icing, which is a sweet white icing made by whipping fresh egg whites with powdered or icing sugar. You can’t even imagine that beating egg whites and icing sugar can create something like this. Using royal icing on the cakes make them look professional and well-sculpted with no bumps visible on them.
A few drops of lemon juice give it a gleaming white hue, while food colours can be used to make it in different colours. It is usually piped into designs using a fine tip. It hardens when dried.
Fondant is also known as ready to roll icing or sugar paste, which is an ultimate kitchen staple in most baking houses. You can create a fondant in various colours, and to be true, it is quite easy to handle if prepared well. The primary ingredient is again icing sugar; gelatin and sometimes liquid glucose is kneaded into it to make it a smooth, pliable dough that can be rolled or shaped into figures.
Spreading out fondant on the cake gives it smoother finish, and you can even use sculpting fondant to create various shapes and figures on it too. It is primarily used for covering cakes only, but it needs a professional to handle a fondant for creating desired shapes.
The next part of learning how to make cake decorations at home is to know about gum paste. This decorative item for cake is made out of egg whites, confectioner’s sugar and vegetable shortening. You can surely use fondant for covering your cake, but when it comes to creating shapes, gum paste is a better option.
It dries quickly and turns quite hard hence making the cake easy to take from one place to another. You just need to roll it thin on the work surface and mold into desired shapes only with your hands. You can even create other intricate decorations with it too.
Although fondant is more preferred for cake covering but in case of unavailability you can also use Marzipan too. Often fondant and marzipan are used together, such as in Christmas and wedding cakes - marzipan for the taste and a sheet of fondant over it to give it a smooth finish. This is also quite easy to make and does not even require eggs. It primarily consists of almonds and turn out to be a great alternative of fondant too.
You can roll the marzipan into thin sheets to be used as a cake covering or for molding into shapes. Marzipan can also be enjoyed as a form of sweet too, and you can often find people enjoying it dipped into chocolates.
Modeling chocolate is a type of cake decorating item which is unknown to many. It is made out of white/dark chocolate along with corn syrup and then rolled into thin sheets to be used as a cake covering or desired shapes. The additional ingredients prevent it from melting by turning it into a play dough like consistency.
You can include other kinds of syrups like glucose and golden syrup instead of corn syrup too. Through this way, you have the option to form the chocolate into desired shapes and structures which are sometimes hard to achieve through marzipan and fondant. You can prepare modeling chocolate through both dark as well as milk chocolate easily.
Edible Ink Printing
And the last but definitely the most trending type of cake decorating designs and technique is Edible Ink Printing. Thanks to this cake decorating technique, now you can get the photo of your loved ones printed on the cake, and the best part is that the ink is entirely edible and causes no harmful effects.
This technique can be used on pastries and cookies too. You need an edible printer to create these edible ink designs which are a work of the professionals only. These types of cakes are easily available in the market but at a higher price than usual cakes.
Try these Recipes for Making Different Kinds of Cake Decorations at Home
Royal Icing Recipe
Royal icing is one of the most common types of cake decorations used by professionals as well as other bakers. You can also make it at home with a simple 3 ingredients recipe!
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 6 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
How to Make
- Firstly, warm the egg whites over low heat for 2-3 minutes. You need to make sure that they are not cooking and only getting warm and keep on whisking them in this process. Raw eggs contain the risk of salmonella hence this gentle cooking makes them safer to use.
- Fix a whisk attachment in a mixer and beat egg whites in a large bowl on high speed for about 2 minutes.
- Once it becomes fluffy, mix sugar gradually followed by lemon juice and beat at high speed until it becomes thick. You can add more icing sugar to make this icing thick according to your requirements. For piping work a thicker consistency is needed, but to fill out your designs, it will have to be thinned using a little water.
Easy Fondant Recipe
Fondant is mostly used by professionals because sometimes it can be difficult to make. But now say no to store bought fondant and switch to the easy homemade cake decorations recipe of cake fondant provided right below here.
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup corn syrup and ¼ cup cold water
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp. glycerin and 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
How to Make
- Take a small saucepan and add water and gelatin and stir on low flame until it gets dissolved completely.
- Turn off heat and mix corn syrup and glycerin in it followed by vanilla extract.
- Take a large bowl and sift sugar in it and then make a well in the center to pour the wet ingredients in it.
- Use your hands to knead this mixture, and you will get fondant in the end. You can store it in a container for 8 hours.
Gum Paste Recipe from Scratch
Not everyone knows, but gum paste is also used for making cake decorations as it is easier to sculpt desired shapes. If you want to make a fancy looking cake, then you have to learn this recipe of gum paste here.
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 6 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tbsp tylose powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
How to Make
- Beat the egg whites in a mixer with a paddle attachment for 10 seconds at high speed.
- Low down the speed and slowly add sugar in it and keep on increasing speed afterward.
- Turn the mixture to low speed and slowly add tylose powder and then increase the speed again.
- Pour the mixture on the work surface covered with powdered sugar and put some veg shortening in your hands to avoid sticking. Knead, and you will have a soft dough of gum paste with you.
Although Marzipan is one of the least used items for making decorations, it still can help you decorate your cake nicely. You can use marzipan just like gum paste and can create various shapes through it.
- 250 gm whole almonds
- 150-200 gm icing sugar
- 3 drops rose water or almond extract
How to Make
- Put almonds in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water on it. After few minutes peel off the skin of almonds and drain out all the water.
- Now place almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and make a paste out of it. You can add water if the paste is too dry.
- Add few drops of rose water in the end and process until the paste becomes entirely smooth.
- Wrap in the foil and use within a week for cake decoration.
Modeling Chocolate Recipe
Modelling chocolate is a rather new thing for making cake decorations. You can use white as well as dark chocolate for creating this decorative item and it is such a quick and easy recipe too. This 2 ingredient recipe will surely be loved by you.
- 450 gm chocolate
- 1/3 or 2/3 cup corn syrup
How to Make
- Melt chocolate through double boiler method and let it cool for a while. Make sure to stir it in between.
- Stir the corn syrup into chocolate until it starts thickening.
- Pour it out on a work surface and knead with your hands and its ready to use!
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Frosting is one of the most common cake decorating recipes you can try. If you are looking for a tutorial on how to decorate a cake for beginners then you should definitely start with this buttercream recipe mentioned here.
- 230 gm unsalted butter and 360 gm powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
How to Make
- In a bowl, beat buttercream with paddle attachment until it becomes smooth.
- Add powdered sugar by gradually increasing speed until the mixture starts to come together and then add heavy cream.
- Now add vanilla extract and salt and continue mixing for another minute and your buttercream is ready.
Follow these Tips to Master the Art of Cake Decorating
Freeze the Cake Well Before Starting to Decorate
Freezing the cake is an essential step when you are learning how to make cake decorations at home. You should freeze it for about an hour as it creates a firmer surface to work upon. In this way, your cake will always have a professional touch to it.
If there isn't enough time to freeze, make sure the cake is completely cooled. Even refrigeration will make the texture firmer, making it easier to get a good finish. Never try to decorate a fresh cake - the steam will ruin any icing or decoration and the soft crumb will keep falling apart.
Crumb Coating for a Smoother Finish
Crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting applied on the cake which prevents any loose crumbs on the cake to fall out of it. It is done to make the cake even from all sides so that you can apply the final layer on it. It's a way to seal the cake, fill any gaps and set the stage for a proper layer of frosting.
Try Scallops as a Beginner
As a beginner, you should know that you can’t create delicate decorative looks on the cake right away. But you can surely try out scallops. In this, just put a coin size frosting on the cake through a piping bag and spread it sideways through a spoon. It looks quite lovely too.
Use Marzipan Cutouts for a Quick Decoration
If you do not want to waste too much time on cake decorations, then you can use marzipan cutouts for quick decorations. This is a great step for learning how to make cake decorations at home, and it is quite easy to make marzipan at home too.
Learn Some Piping Techniques
Learning to pipe is the main essence of cake decorations as you can create as many types of shapes as you want through it. For example, roses are made through star piping while to create wavy frosting, use large slit piping. You just need time and patience to master this art.
Bonus: Use these Interesting Cake Decorating Ideas too
If you are not so good at cooking and baking and want simple yet innovative cake decorating ideas, then this section is just for you. Here you will get simple ideas on how to decorate the cake in no time and make it look fancy and super yum as well.
Use Edible Glitter to Make Your Cake Sparkle
If you are making a cake for kids, then using edible glitter is the best thing you can do to make the cake look amazing for them. You can create vertical and horizontal lines using different edible glitter colors, and it will be quite interesting to look at. Or you can even draw a cartoon character if you are good at it.
Cookies to Save the Day
This is super trending right now, and all you need is different kind of cookies for it. Simply cover the cake with buttercream and then stick some cookies on it as a decoration. You can even use Oreo cookies for it too. Make sure to keep them in moderate amount, so the cake doesn’t lose its real essence.
Use Edible Flowers
If you want to learn how to make cake decorations at home in the simplest way possible, then you should better learn the art of edible flowers decoration. You can find various edible flowers in the market and decorating a white frosting cake with these flowers can look pretty amazing.
Do note that using edible flowers is vital. These are grown organically without the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides which makes them safe to eat. Regular flowers are subject to heavy doses of chemicals and insecticides to make them last longer and prevent spoilage from insects. You may not plan to eat them but the chemicals will transfer to the cake during handling.
Use Powdered Sugar or Cocoa Powder for Dusting
The simplest and one of the most popular ideas is to use powdered sugar or cocoa powder to create desired shapes on the cake. Take a fine sieve, put in a few spoons of sugar or cocoa and gently tap the side to dust onto your cake.
Create designs this way. For example, put a spoon on the cake and sift some powdered sugar on it and then remove the spoon. It will work like a stencil on it, and you can do the same with other things like lace, doilies, prepared stencils. Even a simple dusting of sugar or cocoa will create a lovely finish. You can alternate with sugar and cocoa to create a mixed dusting too. Go slow and easy and tap your sieve gently; it's easy to add more, very difficult to take extra off!
All You Need is Some Motivation to Bake the Best Cake Ever!
Our only aim, here, at BP-Guide is to bring the best of the internet to you. Now that you've seen some fantastic ways you can decorate a cake, put your apron on and get to work! Add your flavours, ideas, and recipes to make the tastiest cake you've ever eaten. Happy baking!