Methods to Adorn a Cake (For Learners)

New to cake adorning? Be taught Methods to Adorn a Cake like a professional with these 6 easy suggestions (nice for newbies!). 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 at present! As an alternative, I’m sharing an in depth information on find out how to 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!

If you happen to’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 definitely already know the stress that comes with adorning. Whereas a sheet cake is easy to embellish, a layer cake is a completely totally 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 just some of the problems newbie bakers run into when adorning. However not anymore!

Right now’s suggestions cowl all the pieces from the best variety of cake layers to how a lot frosting you actually want. Even should you’re not a newbie cake baker, my suggestions will make it easier to hone your abilities for the very best, prettiest muffins you’ll ever bake! Comply with alongside under after which take a look at my video on the finish the place I present you find out how to embellish 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 could be substituted with extra widespread 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 good start line 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 also simply use a serrated knife, however I solely advocate 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 suggestions. These are cheap and make all of the distinction with ornament on the cake. Yow will discover a Wilton 2D tip in loads 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) could be present in my Amazon shop.

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

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%.

If you happen to solely have two pans (or your oven solely suits two pans), you’ll be able to let your batter sit on the counter when you anticipate the third layer.

That is definitely not obligatory, and even should you skip this one, all the opposite suggestions outlined at present 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 high (like my yellow cake). For the simplest adorning and prettiest finish consequence, I like to recommend leveling your muffins.

You probably have an excellent eye and regular hand you need to use a pointy serrated knife to degree your muffins. If you happen to don’t (neither do I!), use a leveler. I take advantage of an inexpensive cake leveler made by Wilton that I really like. It’s below ten bucks on Amazon and has served me nicely for a lot of completely degree muffins! If you happen to’re curious how this works, I exhibit find out how to use this precise device in my video under.

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

Tip #3: Select Your Frosting Properly

White bowl filled with chocolate frosting.

Many bakers who’re simply studying find out how to embellish a cake don’t understand how vital their alternative of icing actually is.

For the simplest and prettiest cake adorning, use a sturdy icing you can simply manipulate. It needs to be simple to unfold (to assist maintain 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 decisions for a newbie cake decorator. These are sturdy, easy, not too thick or skinny, and pipe nicely.

Tip #4: Make Further 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 need to rush to make extra! Making additional provides you with some much-appreciated wiggle room. Plus, you’ll typically want additional in any case if you wish to do ornamental piping on high (extra on that under!).

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’ll be able to completely embellish a cake with a normal batch of icing (sometimes 4 cups), and I do it on a regular basis with out problem. Nonetheless, after 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? If you happen to’re not planning to make use of it instantly (cupcakes are at all times a good suggestion!), you’ll be able to normally freeze it. Merely put your leftover icing in an hermetic container and freeze for just a few weeks. If 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.

Keep 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 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 enable the frosting to agency up properly. If 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 degree method, so don’t really feel pressured to do one simply but. Nonetheless, when you’re prepared, this system will add class and make your muffins look polished.

I’ve a separate publish on find out how to 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 high takes your cake to new heights (actually!). Even an novice 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.

If you happen to’re nervous that you’ll mess up your ornament, simply apply on a paper plate first. If 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! Properly-placed sprinkles on high 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: If you happen to 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!

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

What’s a unadorned cake?

A unadorned cake is a cake layered with icing and lined with little to no icing on the surface (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 alternative for bakers who’re simply studying find out how to embellish a cake.

My pumpkin cake and lemon cake are each adorned in a semi-naked fashion, should 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 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.

If you’re able to eat it, take away the foil, switch your cake to the fridge, and let it thaw (nonetheless lined 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 guidelines I want I knew after 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! If you happen to do this recipe, remember to tag me on Instagram, and it’s also possible to discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Video Tutorial