Unlike a cake purchased from your local bakery, a homemade cake is a one-of-a-kind creation. Serving a homemade cake is an excellent way to celebrate a child’s birthday, a friend’s anniversary, or your spouse’s big promotion. Fortunately, there are a number of simple cake decorating techniques you can use to create a special treat that looks as good as it tastes.
Most cake decorating techniques will call for a large batch of buttercream icing. There are many different icing recipes available, so you may have to do some experimenting in order to find one that suits your tastes. Use food coloring to tint your icing to the appropriate color for your cake decorating techniques, since a basic buttercream icing recipe will result in a white or slightly yellowish icing.
To create a frosted design on your cake, you’ll need to use large pastry bags topped with metal or plastic cake decorating tips. Star tips, round tips, drop flower tips, rose tips, and leaf tips are versatile tips that allow for a variety of cake decorating techniques. You can purchase the tips individually or look for them in an all-in-one cake decorating kit for beginners.
If you want to write “Happy Birthday” or some other message, create a flat canvas by applying an even coat of icing with an offset spatula. Add your message to the top of the cake using a pastry bag topped with a round cake decorating tip. Using the star tip to make a shell or zig-zag border around the edges of the cake is one of the easiest cake decorating techniques to finish this type of cake.
Creating frosting flowers is one of the cake decorating techniques that can add an elegant look to your cake. To create flowers that lay flat on the cake, use the drop flower tip and the leaf tip while holding your bag at a 90 degree angle. If you want to create roses, however, you’ll need to use a flower nail covered with wax paper. Make the base of your rose using the round tip, and then add petals with the rose tip.
If you’re using a shaped pan to bake a cake that looks like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, or your child’s favorite cartoon character, the star tip is all you’ll really need. For these cake decorating techniques, hold your bag straight, push down gently, squeeze for three seconds, and lift up. Work from top to bottom to fill in the entire pattern of the cake with these frosting stars, changing colors as needed.