Learn how to Embellish a Cake (For Learners)

New to cake adorning? Study Learn how to Embellish a Cake like a professional with these 6 easy ideas (nice for freshmen!). 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 immediately! As a substitute, I’m sharing an in depth information on methods to beautify a cake from begin to end. That is one thing I actually want I had as a newbie baker who critically 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 wholly completely different beast. It’s simple 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!

As we speak’s ideas cowl every thing from the perfect variety of cake layers to how a lot frosting you actually want. Even should you’re not a newbie cake baker, my ideas will show you how 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 methods to beautify 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 will be substituted with extra widespread utensils, but when you may get your fingers on the true issues, they are often extraordinarily useful!

  • Cake platter. A fairly cake platter is a good 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 also simply use a serrated knife, however I solely advocate this you probably have a really regular hand (extra on this beneath!).
  • Piping bag. A big Ziploc bag may also 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 quite a lot 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) will be present in my Amazon shop.

BONUS TIP: An offset spatula (or bench scraper) and turntable will be useful for attaining easy 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 enhance the recipe by 50%.

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

That is definitely not obligatory, and even should you skip this one, all the opposite ideas outlined immediately will nonetheless vastly enhance the look of your 2 layer muffins!

Tip #2: Degree Your Muffins

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.

You probably have a superb eye and regular hand you should use a pointy serrated knife to stage 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 underneath ten bucks on Amazon and has served me effectively for a lot of completely stage muffins! Should you’re curious how this works, I display methods to use this precise software in my video beneath.

BONUS TIP: Let your cake cool utterly earlier than leveling or frosting. Not solely will heat cake will collapse, however it is going to additionally soften your icing. Have persistence and let it cool utterly!

Tip #3: Select Your Frosting Correctly

White bowl filled with chocolate frosting.

Many bakers who’re simply studying methods to beautify a cake don’t notice how vital their selection of icing actually is.

For the simplest and prettiest cake adorning, use a sturdy icing which you could simply manipulate. It ought to be simple to unfold (to assist preserve from dragging up massive 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 selections for a newbie cake decorator. These are sturdy, easy, not too thick or skinny, and pipe effectively.

Tip #4: Make Additional Frosting

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

I strongly advocate 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 further will provide you with some much-appreciated wiggle room. Plus, you’ll usually want further in any case if you wish to do ornamental piping on high (extra on that beneath!).

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

Sure, you possibly can completely beautify a cake with a typical batch of icing (sometimes 4 cups), and I do it on a regular basis with out subject. Nevertheless, 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 at all times a good suggestion!), you possibly can often freeze it. Merely put your leftover icing in an hermetic container and freeze for just a few weeks. Whenever you’re prepared to make use of it, place the container within the fridge in a single day to thaw. You could have to 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 should 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 preserve 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. It will enable the frosting to agency up properly. Whenever you’re prepared so as to add your last layer of frosting, you’ll be glad 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 stage method, so don’t really feel pressured to do one simply but. Nevertheless, when you’re prepared, this method will add class and make your muffins look polished.

I’ve a separate publish on methods to do a ganache drip; be happy to verify that out when you’re prepared!

Tip #6: Embellish the High!

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 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 likewise works effectively.

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

In case your piping doesn’t end up as you hoped, add some sprinkles! Properly-placed sprinkles on high are an awesome 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 battle with filling your piping bag by your self, do this: 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 will have a pleasant, extensive 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 (primarily only a glorified crumb coat!). They have a tendency to have a extra rustic look.

Bare muffins are good 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 methods to beautify a cake.

My pumpkin cake and lemon cake are each adorned in a semi-naked type, should you’d wish to see what this seems to be like.

How do you freeze a adorned cake?

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

Whenever 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, 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 definitely isn’t all-encompassing, these are the ideas 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! Should you do this recipe, you should definitely tag me on Instagram, and you too can discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Video Tutorial