Find out how to Adorn a Cake (For Novices)

New to cake adorning? Be taught Find out how to Adorn a Cake like a professional with these 6 easy ideas (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 as we speak! As an alternative, I’m sharing an in depth information on how one can adorn 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!

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

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

Right this moment’s ideas cowl every little thing from the best variety of cake layers to how a lot frosting you actually want. Even when you’re not a newbie cake baker, my ideas will show you how to hone your expertise for the perfect, prettiest muffins you’ll ever bake! Observe alongside under after which take a look at my video on the finish the place I present you how one can adorn a cake step-by-step from begin to end.

piping bags and tips filled with colored frosting

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

  • Cake platter. A fairly cake platter is a superb place to begin for a fairly cake. I’ve the purple one pictured under 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 when you have a really regular hand (extra on this under!).
  • Piping bag. A big Ziploc bag may even work in a pinch; you’ll simply want to chop one of many corners to permit your piping tip to suit inside.
  • Piping ideas. These are cheap and make all of the distinction with ornament on the cake. You’ll find a Wilton 2D tip in lots of piping starter kits and that can work properly, however my private choice is Ateco 846 or the bigger Ateco 848 tip. That is what I take advantage of for many of my cake and cupcake decorations that you simply see on the weblog!

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

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

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, when you have a 2 layer cake recipe you actually take pleasure in *like my white cake), simply improve the recipe by 50%.

Should you solely have two pans (or your oven solely matches two pans), you may let your batter sit on the counter when you await the third layer.

That is actually not obligatory, and even when you skip this one, all the opposite ideas outlined as we speak 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 degree (like my gingerbread layer cake), whereas others are likely to have a domed prime (like my yellow cake). For the simplest adorning and prettiest finish consequence, I like to recommend leveling your muffins.

When you’ve got eye and regular hand you should utilize a pointy serrated knife to degree your muffins. Should you don’t (neither do I!), use a leveler. I take advantage of an inexpensive cake leveler made by Wilton that I like. It’s beneath ten bucks on Amazon and has served me nicely for a lot of completely degree muffins! Should you’re curious how this works, I exhibit how one can use this precise software in my video under.

BONUS TIP: Let your cake cool utterly 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 utterly!

Tip #3: Select Your Frosting Properly

White bowl filled with chocolate frosting.

Many bakers who’re simply studying how one can adorn a cake don’t understand how vital their alternative of icing actually is.

For the simplest and prettiest cake adorning, use a sturdy icing that you would be able to simply manipulate. It must be simple to unfold (to assist hold 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, easy, not too thick or skinny, and pipe nicely.

Tip #4: Make Additional 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 need to rush to make extra! Making further offers you some much-appreciated wiggle room. Plus, you’ll usually want further in any case if you wish to do ornamental piping on prime (extra on that under!).

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 may completely adorn a cake with a regular batch of icing (usually 4 cups), and I do it on a regular basis with out concern. Nonetheless, once I was a newbie, I discovered it a lot simpler to have further for any mess-ups.

BONUS TIP: Nonetheless have further icing after adorning your cake? Should you’re not planning to make use of it straight away (cupcakes are all the time a good suggestion!), you may normally freeze it. Merely put your leftover icing in an hermetic container and freeze for a couple of weeks. Once you’re prepared to make use of it, place the container within the fridge in a single day to thaw. It’s possible you’ll must rewhip it to get it again to the best 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 easy, crumb-free outer layer of frosting.

Bear in mind: your crumb coat doesn’t need to be fairly to be efficient, so don’t spend an excessive amount of time on it. Simply make certain to coat the cake evenly and hold 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 may enable the frosting to agency up properly. Once you’re prepared so as to add your ultimate layer of frosting, you’ll be pleased about 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 degree method, so don’t really feel pressured to do one simply but. Nonetheless, if you find yourself prepared, this method will add magnificence and make your muffins look polished.

I’ve a separate submit on how one can do a ganache drip; be at liberty to verify 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 prime takes your cake to new heights (actually!). Even an newbie can deftly do that with the best 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 in addition works nicely.

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

In case your piping doesn’t prove as you hoped, add some sprinkles! Effectively-placed sprinkles on prime are an important 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: Should 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’ve a pleasant, vast opening for filling. Then use a spatula to unfold frosting over the cup and into the piping bag. No extra mess!

Regularly 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 surface (basically only a glorified crumb coat!). They have an inclination 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 alternative for bakers who’re simply studying how one can adorn 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 to be like like.

How do you freeze a adorned cake?

Put your adorned cake within the freezer for a couple of hours to let the icing harden. Then, rigorously wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap (utilizing a couple 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 number of hours earlier than you’re able to serve, deliver 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 submit actually isn’t all-encompassing, these are the information I want I knew once I first began adorning muffins. I hope you discover them useful!

Get pleasure from!

Let’s bake collectively! I’ll be strolling you thru all of the steps in my written recipe and video under! Should you do that recipe, remember to tag me on Instagram, and you may as well discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Video Tutorial