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Easy and Hassle Free Cake Decorating Ideas

Updated on March 23, 2014

Easy Cake Decorating Ideas

Think about a tray of pretty little cake on a tray, or a single, beautiful cupcake on a plate, or a slice of cake with it's decorative frosted edge. Is there a more cheerful sight anywhere? I don't think so! If you think you have to stop at the bakery to have that-- wrong! You can actually do it yourself!

Cake decorating is a daunting task especially to those who have no prior experience. Do not fret! Below are some easy-to-do cake decorations that barely cost any effort and money.

Beautify Your Cake - With Minimal Skills

Even a very simple design can turn an ordinary cake into something fancy for gatherings.
Even a very simple design can turn an ordinary cake into something fancy for gatherings. | Source

Frost A Base Coat First!

Let your cake cool completely before frosting. Never frost the cake when it is still warm, it will melt the frosting.

Use a large frosting knife to smooth the frosting over large areas into a nice, even surface.

Frost between layers (if any) first by giving it a liberal coating. Then frost the sides with liberal globs of frosting applied at a time (never frost sparingly!).

Finally, frost the top- put a few globs of frosting on the top then smoooth it around.

Use a lazy Susan or spinning tray to make it easier to smooth the sides and top-- keep the knife steady and the cake spinning.

White frosting like vanilla, cream cheese or butter cream gives you a nice, blank canvas for your decorating. Now you can move on to piping and decorating the cake.

Making Designs Festive

Frosting decorations in a piping bag with a decorative tip help you bring some texture to your cake. It does't take much-- if you can squeeze, swirl and pull, you've got the technique down already.

Again, practice with tips on waxed or parchment paper to get the hang of it. You will soon begin to master fluffy designs and shapes that you really like. You can use these around the base of the cake or around the top edges to make it look more fancy.

Easy Basic Icing Recipe for Cake Decorating

4 cups confectioner's sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sweet cream butter

1/4 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Water for thinning (optional)

Food coloring (liquid, gel or powder)

Beat the sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and salt on medium speed for about 5 minutes.

Thin with 1 tsp of water at a time if too thick (you shouldn't be using more than 5 or 6 tsps of water total, though. It should be creamy, not runny).

Divide and add food dyes to color the icing. Use for decorating your frosted cakes and cup cakes.

Piping Icing Designs

Icing is very versatile and is often easy to work with. Try basic patterns that you can come up with-- practice on wax paper or parchment paper using a bakery bag. You don't really have to be an artist to master a few swirls or squiggles, but they can look really great around the sides or edges of the cake. It doesn't have to be perfect-- it just needs to offer a splash of color and pattern for fun!

If you have great penmanship, write an inscription on the cake, preferably in script, cursive). This will give you cake a simple and sophisticated design.

The Most Basic Piping Makes Cupcakes Look Professional


Add Cake Decorations

There are a lot of things you can purchase to top your cake with to give it a more professional look. Plastic figurines, cake confettie and sprinkles, edible cake beads (silver or pearl, for example), little flags, signs, numbers and letters-- the list goes on and on. You can browse through websites like Amazon to really see a lot of options.

Little kids especially love to see figures of their favorite characters on their cakes and cup cakes, whether it's a birthday or just a special dessert night after a family dinner.

If your frosting and piping skills aren't perfect yet, these will give you something to distract from or conceal imperfections, and no one ever has to know!

Simple but Beautiful

Strawberries and chocolate chunks say "I love you" on this easy but lovely cake.
Strawberries and chocolate chunks say "I love you" on this easy but lovely cake. | Source

Fresh Fruits

Use fruits to liven up your design. The key to great cake design is matching. You can’t just throw all the designs you can think of onto the cake. They have to match each other. The colors of everything have to match one another.

Find fruits that are bright in color. Use strawberries for Valentines Day cakes, or use blueberries and cherries for the Fourth of July-- dot the white cake with them liberally for a red, white and blue patriotic dessert. For ice cream cakes, place a banana split as a centerpiece. It is funny and looks great!

So remember, cake decorating is easy and fun. You might not get it right the first time, but in a matter of time, you will be doing it like a pro. The important thing is thinking about who will be benefiting from your cake as I mentioned above. It does not matter what you want just as long as you can get it right for whomever you are making it. In addition, of course, it will not hurt to add a little of yourself in every design. Happy New Year dear reader!


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