If you are interested in learning more on how to decorate cakes like the one’s I’ve blogged about, this post is filled with my tips and tricks.
My first tip is to take a beginner cake decorating class. I have only taken the beginner class at Michael’s and I keep meaning to take the second one, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. The beginner class will help to familiarize yourself with how to use the frosting tips and give you some good frosting techniques.
My next tip is to invest in the Wilton Master Tip Set. I did have to buy the grass tip (233) separately, but below are the tips that are included in the set. I haven’t used all of them yet and I like to play around with them to see if I can get the effect I’m looking for.
To get great coloring with your frosting be sure to use gel food coloring. But to really get a good red or black, it’s best to buy it at a cake supply store.
Invest in good cake pans. For Christmas I received a 6x2”, 8x2” & 10x2” round aluminum cake pans and I also just bought a 9x13x3” aluminum cake pan all by Fat Daddio.
For the most recent cake I baked I used Bake Even Strips. These strips are soaked in cold water and then wrapped around the base of the cake pans. Without them the center ends up baking taller than the sides and you have to cut the top off to make it level.
When baking a larger cake I also put a flower nail in the bottom of the pan to help distribute heat into the middle of the cake.
I line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper. If you have a more decorative bundt pan or a molded pan be sure to spray with baking spray (has flour in it so you don’t have to grease and flour separately).
I don’t remember what this tool is called, but it cuts the cakes in half for you without having to eyeball it.
To add equal amounts of frosting between layers I use a piping bag with tip 12. After piping the frosting like below, I spread it out with a frosting spatula.
I also do a crumb coat before doing any colored frosting. To do this you coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting. You will get lots of crumbs mixed into the frosting but it’s supposed to do that. After the cake is coated you freeze it for 30 minutes or so. If it doesn’t fit in your freezer you can put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or if it’s Winter in Wisconsin you can just put it outside for a while (I’ve done this multiple times). Now you can frost with your colored frosting without worrying about getting crumbs in your frosting.
The most recent frosting recipe that I’m in love with is Rick’s Special Buttercream Frosting I found at allrecipes.com. I took the advice in the multiple reviews to use 1 cup butter & 1 cup shortening instead of the listed 2 cups shortening.
I hope these tips and tricks help or make you more confident that you too can create amazing cakes!