The popularity of culinary TV shows like The Great British Bake Off, Ace of Cakes and Choccywoccydoodah has inspired a new generation of Britons to don their oven gloves.
But this revival of the art of baking isn’t just about making treats tasty: it’s also about making them look irresistible.
So it’s no surprise then that there’s been a surge of interest in cake decorating in recent years. If you’re hoping to join the trend, but you’re daunted by the idea of making an eight-tier cake studded with intricate sugar roses, there’s no need to fear. The trick to decorating cakes is to start with simple tasks, and then build up to towering majestic confections.
The first steps to cake decorating
If you’re serious about getting into cake decorating, you’ll need to make sure your kitchen is well-equipped first. The first piece of kit you’ll need is a piping bag. You can buy disposable piping bags, as well as reusable ones. Nozzles – which vary widely in shapes and sizes – are best bought made from durable stainless steel or non-stick, easy to clean silicone. Popular kitchenware purveyor Lakeland have an excellent selection to choose from.
Of course, where there’s a piping bag, there’s also icing. Buy a few big bags of icing sugar when you get started to allow room for mistakes. Start by making easy buttercream icing: simply beat one part softened unsalted butter with two parts icing sugar. When you’re happy with the consistency, spoon into your piping bag and get to work on your cake; try covering it in small peaks for an easy but elegant effect or simply work the icing into a pretty spiral pattern.
To jazz up your buttercream icing, make sure you have some natural food colouring in your cupboard. This is best bought in paste or gel form as liquids can dilute your icing. If you’d rather avoid food colouring altogether, this article offers a great tip: simply mix in some hundreds and thousands into your icing. It’s quick and easy and will make your cake look fantastic.
Also simple to use is ready-to-roll icing, which you can buy in blocks pre-coloured. This is a very easy way to decorate a cake and gives it a professional-looking finish. Make sure your cake is placed on a cake board before simply rolling the icing out and covering it, trimming off the ends. If your trimming looks a little shaky, you can hide it by tying a ribbon around the bottom of the cake. Use any offcuts to make shapes – like small animals, polka dots, petals or leaves – to adorn the top of your cake.
How to develop your cake decorating skills
Once you’ve mastered the art of piping and shaping fondant icing, you can start developing your cake decorating skills further. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, begin by making a list of the kinds of decorations you’d like to make and gradually tick each one off your list. Sugar roses, for example, are a great way to liven up a cake, and are easy to make once you know how. This blog offers invaluable video resources that teach you the art.
You’ll also find spectacular inspiration on blogs like Bakerella and Cake Journal. But it’s also a good idea to look for cake decorating courses and clubs in your local area for some hands on experience with professionals.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Win a Fitbit to see just how fit you’re becoming. - January 23, 2018
- Discover walking and the great outdoors with HF Holidays - January 22, 2018
- Bucket List Holidays for all seasons - January 22, 2018
- How often do you wash your bed sheets? - January 21, 2018
- Do you support the idea of a bridge spanning the English Channel? - January 21, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!