10 June 2017

6 Easy Cake Decorating Ideas

Fun fact about me: when I was in high school I wanted to be a cake decorator. Needless to say, that career aspiration never really went anywhere. I do still love decorating cakes for parties though, and I want to share some really easy ideas that even someone with little to no decorating skills can do.

Maybe you want to treat yourself or go all out for the next tea party potluck!

1. Candied Flowers

This one I've done a few times before, and it looks amazing if you get the right flowers. You can use petals or whole flowers - but you might want to pick a sturdy one for that. Make sure to research which flowers are non-toxic and edible in case someone tried to eat it!

How it works is this: trim off any stems or leaves you don't want (or you can leave a little bit on to anchor the flower into the frosting), gently coat the petals with egg white, lightly dust the flower in sugar, let dry, and arrange on your cake.

Image credit: Sherri Silver

2. Fresh Fruit

Decorating with fruit is probably one of the healthiest options, and you can make a myriad of different color combinations and schemes. Peach slices and raspberries, kiwis and bananas, starfruit, the options are endless.

As a surprise present for my boyfriend, I made a hot milk cake and decorated it with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries from the farmer's market. I love taking the ugliest pieces and covering them with white sugar and letting the mixture sit in the fridge for several hours, mixing every so often. This makes the strawberries so much sweeter and produces a simple strawberry syrup to pour over the cake. Yum!

Image credit: Elena

3. Candy & Chocolate

This idea is easy but not for the health-conscious. I've found that the hardest part is guessing exactly how much candy to buy - too little and you won't have enough, too much and you can't help but eat all the leftovers!

Instead of kitkats and M&Ms, you can also use other candies such as jellybeans, pocky, chocolate covered strawberries, sour belts, wafer sticks, etc. Like the photo below, you might consider trying a cute ribbon around the cake to help keep everything in place before you serve the cake.

Image credit: thecookieshop

4. Almond Slices (Whole Ones Too...)

Presumably you could decorate with other nuts, but I've personally never tried. Almonds are super versatile and go with many different cake flavors.

My personal favorite method is pressing almond slices into the frosted cake sides to look like over-lapping shingles, but there are many other really easy things to do with almonds. Sprinkle almond crumbles on the top, arrange almonds in flower shapes, make all kinds of patterns, even stick slices into fudge/cookie dough and make pinecones!

Image credit: Elizabeth LaBau

5. 3D Chocolate

You don't need a culinary degree or an expensive 3D printer to make really cool shapes out of chocolate. All you need is some chocolate to melt, a plastic bag with the tip cut off, wax paper, and a design you want to trace.

Here's how to do it: melt the chocolate you want to use, fill a plastic bag halfway with the melted chocolate and cut off a tiny bit of one corner, place the wax paper on top of the design you want to trace, twist the top of the bag and squeeze carefully to pipe the melted chocolate onto the wax paper, let dry, and place where you want it. If you are making something more complicated, you can "glue" together dry pieces together with more melted chocolate.

I've used this decorating technique before for an intricate gingerbread house I made a couple of years ago (if you didn't believe my love for decorating, you will once you see it!)

Image credit: Emma Galati

6. Dusted Powdered Sugar

This idea I have used several times - sometimes with powdered sugar, sometimes with sprinkles. It's really easy, and it works even on cake that isn't frosted.

All you need to do is put your cake on a surface that is easily cleaned like saran wrap, place whatever object or cut-out you want onto the surface, and lightly dust the powdered sugar over the area you want covered.

A tip: this works the best on darker frosting or cake colors like chocolate, red velvet, or green tea.

Image credit: Painted by Cakes

I hope you got some inspiration for your next baking adventure. If you don't bake - maybe you're just inspired to indulge in a store-bought slice!

Comment if you like lifestyle inspiration posts like this, I'd love to make more!

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