Tips on how to Adorn a Cake (For Newbies)

New to cake adorning? Be taught Tips on how to Adorn a Cake like a professional with these 6 easy suggestions (nice for newcomers!). Your muffins will look higher than ever! Features a how-to video.

Cake topped with swirls of white icing and sprinkles.

A Newbie’s Information to Cake Adorning

No new recipe right now! As an alternative, I’m sharing an in depth information on how one can embellish a cake from begin to end. That is one thing I actually want I had as a newbie baker who significantly struggled with cake adorning!

In case you’ve ever been tasked with making a layer cake, whether or not or not it’s for a marriage cake, birthday cake, or only a informal get-together, you then already know the stress that comes with adorning. Whereas a sheet cake is easy to embellish, a layer cake is a wholly completely different beast. It’s straightforward to spend a LOT of time attempting to get your cake to look *simply* proper.

Uneven frosting, wonky layers, and lackluster decorations are only a few of the problems newbie bakers run into when adorning. However not anymore!

Right now’s suggestions cowl all the pieces from the perfect variety of cake layers to how a lot frosting you actually want. Even when you’re not a newbie cake baker, my suggestions will allow you to hone your expertise for the most effective, prettiest muffins you’ll ever bake! Observe alongside beneath after which try my video on the finish the place I present you how one can embellish a cake step-by-step from begin to end.

piping bags and tips filled with colored frosting

Listed here are my favourite necessities; most of those may be substituted with extra frequent utensils, but when you may get your arms on the true issues, they are often extraordinarily useful!

  • Cake platter. A fairly cake platter is a superb start line for a reasonably cake. I’ve the purple one pictured beneath in a number of colours and love all of them!
  • Cake leveler. You may as well simply use a serrated knife, however I solely suggest this you probably have a really regular hand (extra on this beneath!).
  • Piping bag. A big Ziploc bag will even work in a pinch; you’ll simply want to chop one of many corners to permit your piping tip to suit inside.
  • Piping suggestions. These are cheap and make all of the distinction with ornament on the cake. You could find a Wilton 2D tip in quite a lot of piping starter kits and that may work properly, however my private desire is Ateco 846 or the bigger Ateco 848 tip. That is what I exploit for many of my cake and cupcake decorations that you simply see on the weblog!

Hyperlinks for all of those instruments (and extra) may be present in my Amazon shop.

BONUS TIP: An offset spatula (or bench scraper) and turntable may be useful for attaining clean sides, however neither are completely mandatory.

Tip #1: Three Layers Look Higher Than Two

Purple cake stand with three layers of yellow cake stacked with chocolate frosting in between.

Taller muffins look higher than shorter muffins, so select a 3 layer recipe (like my peanut butter chocolate cake or Oreo cake). Or, you probably have a 2 layer cake recipe you actually get pleasure from *like my white cake), simply improve the recipe by 50%.

In case you solely have two pans (or your oven solely matches two pans), you possibly can let your batter sit on the counter when you look forward to the third layer.

That is actually not obligatory, and even when you skip this one, all the opposite suggestions outlined right now will nonetheless vastly enhance the look of your 2 layer muffins!

Tip #2: Degree Your Truffles

Yellow cake being leveled with a cake leveler.

Some muffins bake up good and stage (like my gingerbread layer cake), whereas others are inclined to have a domed high (like my yellow cake). For the simplest adorning and prettiest finish consequence, I like to recommend leveling your muffins.

In case you have a superb eye and regular hand you should use a pointy serrated knife to stage your muffins. In case you don’t (neither do I!), use a leveler. I exploit an inexpensive cake leveler made by Wilton that I like. It’s underneath ten bucks on Amazon and has served me properly for a lot of completely stage muffins! In case you’re curious how this works, I reveal how one can use this actual software in my video beneath.

BONUS TIP: Let your cake cool fully earlier than leveling or frosting. Not solely will heat cake will crumble, however it would additionally soften your icing. Have endurance and let it cool fully!

Tip #3: Select Your Frosting Properly

White bowl filled with chocolate frosting.

Many bakers who’re simply studying how one can embellish a cake don’t notice how necessary their selection of icing actually is.

For the simplest and prettiest cake adorning, use a sturdy icing you can simply manipulate. It must be straightforward to unfold (to assist maintain from dragging up giant crumbs within the cake) however not so skinny or so heat that it falls off the cake.

Buttercreams, my cream cheese frosting, and swiss meringue buttercream are all nice decisions for a newbie cake decorator. These are sturdy, clean, not too thick or skinny, and pipe properly.

Tip #4: Make Further Frosting

white bowl full of smooth pale yellow frosting being stirred by a white spatula

I strongly suggest that newbie bakers make 50% extra icing than the recipe requires. Why? Errors occur, and the very last thing you want is to expire and should rush to make extra! Making additional will provide you with some much-appreciated wiggle room. Plus, you’ll usually want additional anyhow if you wish to do ornamental piping on high (extra on that beneath!).

I discover I usually want 5 cups of frosting for a 2-layer cake and 6-7 cups for a 3 layer cake.

Sure, you possibly can completely embellish a cake with a typical batch of icing (usually 4 cups), and I do it on a regular basis with out problem. Nonetheless, once I was a newbie, I discovered it a lot simpler to have additional for any mess-ups.

BONUS TIP: Nonetheless have additional icing after adorning your cake? In case you’re not planning to make use of it instantly (cupcakes are at all times a good suggestion!), you possibly can normally freeze it. Merely put your leftover icing in an hermetic container and freeze for a number of weeks. Once you’re prepared to make use of it, place the container within the fridge in a single day to thaw. Chances are you’ll have to rewhip it to get it again to the proper texture earlier than utilizing.

Tip #5: Do a Crumb Coat

Crumb coating a chocolate cake

A crumb coat is the primary very skinny layer of icing on a cake. Bakers do that to carry in any stray cake crumbs for a superbly clean, crumb-free outer layer of frosting.

Keep in mind: your crumb coat doesn’t should be fairly to be efficient, so don’t spend an excessive amount of time on it. Simply be sure that to coat the cake evenly and maintain the frosting skinny; the second layer will cowl any imperfections.

After crumb-coating your cake, put it within the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes. This can permit the frosting to agency up properly. Once you’re prepared so as to add your remaining layer of frosting, you’ll be thankful for that crumb coat!

Bonus Tip: Add a Ganache Drip

Cake decorated with pink strawberry icing, a chocolate ganache drip, and pink icing swirls.

Including a chocolate ganache drip is an intermediate stage approach, so don’t really feel pressured to do one simply but. Nonetheless, if you find yourself prepared, this system will add class and make your muffins look polished.

I’ve a separate publish on how one can do a ganache drip; be happy to examine that out when you’re prepared!

Tip #6: Adorn the Prime!

Overhead view of a cake frosted with white icing and a rim of piped icing swirls topped with sprinkles.

Ornamental piping on high takes your cake to new heights (actually!). Even an novice can deftly do that with the proper tip; I like a big, closed star tip. I like to recommend the Ateco 848; it’s my traditional go-to for piping frosting on muffins and cupcakes alike. The Ateco 846 is barely smaller and likewise works properly.

In case you’re nervous that you’ll mess up your ornament, simply follow on a paper plate first. Once you’re assured in your design, scrape your follow swirls again into your piping bag and pipe away!

In case your piping doesn’t prove as you hoped, add some sprinkles! Nicely-placed sprinkles on high are an amazing addition to any cake! Simply be intentional about the place you place them so the ultimate consequence has a neat and tidy look.

BONUS TIP: In case you wrestle with filling your piping bag by your self, do that: put your tip in your bag, then place your bag in a tall cup. Stretch the highest of your bag across the rim of the cup so you could have a pleasant, vast opening for filling. Then use a spatula to unfold frosting over the cup and into the piping bag. No extra mess!

Often Requested Questions

What’s a unadorned cake?

A unadorned cake is a cake layered with icing and coated with little to no icing on the skin (basically only a glorified crumb coat!). They have a tendency to have a extra rustic look.

Bare muffins are excellent for individuals who don’t like an excessive amount of icing, and since they require minimal ornament, they’re a pleasant selection for bakers who’re simply studying how one can embellish a cake.

My pumpkin cake and lemon cake are each adorned in a semi-naked model, when you’d wish to see what this appears like.

How do you freeze a adorned cake?

Put your adorned cake within the freezer for a number of hours to let the icing harden. Then, fastidiously wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap (utilizing a number of layers is a good suggestion) and end with a layer of foil.

Once you’re able to eat it, take away the foil, switch your cake to the fridge, and let it thaw (nonetheless coated in plastic) in a single day. A couple of hours earlier than you’re able to serve, carry the cake out of the fridge, take away the plastic wrap, and let it come to room temperature on the counter.

Cake decorated simply to show how to decorate a cake for beginners.

Whereas this publish actually isn’t all-encompassing, these are the guidelines I want I knew once I first began adorning muffins. I hope you discover them useful!

Take pleasure in!

Let’s bake collectively! I’ll be strolling you thru all of the steps in my written recipe and video beneath! In case you do that recipe, you should definitely tag me on Instagram, and you may as well discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Video Tutorial