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Free Cake Decorating Lesson For Beginners

Updated on March 2, 2015

Cake Decorating Tips

Over eighteen years ago, I took a cake decorating class. This was a very fun and rewarding decision I made. I can remember three nights a week carrying my cake supplies along with a freshly baked cake I made the night before. I was a baker and caterer and wanted to add cake decorating to the services that I offered. In business a person does not want to ever be in position that they are limited because usually this sends business somewhere else.

I want to share with you the things I learned. Maybe you will use the information to start a business or the next time someone in your family has a birthday or anniversary you can surprise them with something special.

Getting Started

To get started we will simply make sure you have all the supplies you need. I suggest you purchase a very inexpensive book from Amazon or Ebay since they usually have the best prices. You could also purchase your supplies from them both. Cake boxes along with other supplies can be purchased at .

You will need:




cake stand

cake boxes

food coloring

decorating tips

decorating bags


1 1/2 c. Crisco shortening

2 lb. sifted confectioners' sugar

1/2 c. water 1-1 1/2 tsp. clear vanilla

Cream shortening, sift sugar over the shortening, add 1/2 cup of water and flavoring. Mix on low speed to prevent air bubbles from forming. Cover bowl with damp towel and use as desired. This is my own personal recipe and I have found it enough to ice and decorate an average 1 mix size cake.

Decorating time!

Now that you have all of your supplies and your icing is made, we can get started decorating your cake. You can either bake a cake or purchase a cake from your local deli. Take the cardboard and cut out a circle, square, or rectangle, depending on the shape of your cake. Make sure you cut it about two inches smaller than the actual cake. Take a small quarter size of icing and basically glue the cake on top of the board with the icing. You should make sure your decorating area is clean and well sanitized and sterilized. Make sure your hands are clean and all of your supplies.

To organize your supplies you can keep them in a large closed container of any kind. First decide on a design. If you are a beginner try not to choose something that is to complicated. Next you should choose the appropriate tips that you will need and put those to the side. Now using the cake decorating icing recipe above, take your spatula scoop up a great big circle and start on the side of the cake working you way around the whole cake. Try not to ice your cake too thick or too thin. Now that you have the sides done. Ice the top of your cake.

Smoothing techniques When you have put the first layer on your cake. Take the cake and place it is the freezer for about ten to fifteen minutes so that layer can harden. The purpose of this is to avoid getting crumbs in the next layer or two of your icing. Another simple trick to smoothing your icing is to take clean paper towels and lay one on top of the cake and firmly press the towel on the top of the cake from one end to the other. This will make your icing very smooth. Also if your paper towel has a design on it. You will imprint that design onto that cake. Using the same technique, work your way around the cake.

You should now have a fully iced cake ready to decorate. Pull your decorating bags out. You should already know how you want your cake to look. Depending upon how many colors that will be on your cake will determine how many decorating bags you will use. Make sure the desired decorating tips and plastic couplers are added to the bags before you add the icing. You will need to add about half a bag of icing with desired amount of food coloring but remember not to put too much food coloring because you will thin out the icing and the icing will not be stiff enough. I usually just add one little drop at a time and just when I see the color I want I stop adding the color and take a plastic spoon and mix the icing. Now if you want a frosted look where the icing has white streaks in it, mix it halfway. Now take your bag push the icing towards the bottom of the bag towards the coupler, with your hand without pushing the icing out. Twist the top of the bag to prepare your self for decorating. You can take a piece of wax paper if you like and do a test to see if the tips you chose are the look you are looking for.


It is time to practice. To create a border around the edge of a cake remember to stay as close to the edge as possible but not so far that your border will fall off of your cake. Whenever you make a mistake, you can take the icing off and start again, since this is just a practice cake. You can even freeze the cake and icing and start again tomorrow. You can also make a dummy cake. What's a dummy cake? A cake made from card board. You can decorate these when ever you do not feel like using a real cake, however the real test is on a real cake. The more you practice, the better you will get.

How To Price Your Cakes For Sale

Simply add up the amounts you spent on supplies plus gas mileage and add yourself a profit. Try not to price your cakes higher than anyone else. There is a lot of competition out there and you are just getting started so you do not want to knock yourself down before you get started.

How To Market Your Cake Decorating Business

Every so often bake cakes, take as many quality pictures as you can, and make your self a website or even a Facebook page for your business. You can create a free website at . Offer cake samples to friends and family members and as often as you can, give away some of those practice cakes free with a business card. Make cupcakes for your children's or grand children's birthday parties and pass out cards to the parents.

You are well on your way! I advise anyone that is getting into cake decorating to purchase a book learning the Wilton method just like I did. Their books are easy-to-follow with full instructions, tips, recipes, and more. Once you have gotten a fill of cake decorating you could move on to an intermediate course that teaches you how to design and bake wedding cakes. Check around your neighborhood and see where classes are available. Check with your local craft stores and community colleges to see if they have classes available. A career as a cake decorator is fun, exciting, and rewarding.

copyright 2013 by Victoria Sheffield-all rights reserved.

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    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 2 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you! I am glad!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I absolutely love this hub. Cake decorating always fascinated me. My father was good at it. He's gone with the Lord now, and I'm sorry I never had him show me what he could do. He made my wedding cake and it was so pretty.

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 3 years ago from Georgia

      I am glad you like the advise!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sound advise and so well put together with a helpful video.

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 4 years ago from Georgia


    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      You are better than me .... those tips and the bags are in a box that I didn't touch for years now :-(

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 4 years ago from Georgia

      You are welcome! I really do not do much of it myself. I just remember how! :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very nice hub and great pictures Victoria! I took lessons in cake decorating a long time ago when my kids were young. But when people take lessons now, it's possible to learn also about marzipan and create even more nice things! It has been a while since I decorated a cake so I should keep your hub in mind for my next cake :-)

      Thanks for sharing!

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 4 years ago from Georgia

      I sure hope so! thanks!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Victoria, these look great. I have a friend who does this for a living, so it was a very interesting read. I'm sure there are a lot of people that will benefit from this hub.