The right way to Adorn a Cake (For Rookies)

New to cake adorning? Be taught The right way to Adorn a Cake like a professional with these 6 easy ideas (nice for learners!). Your truffles 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 right now! As an alternative, I’m sharing an in depth information on the right way to embellish 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!

In the event you’ve ever been tasked with making a layer cake, whether or not or not it’s for a marriage cake, birthday cake, or only a informal get-together, you then already know the stress that comes with adorning. Whereas a sheet cake is easy to embellish, a layer cake is a wholly 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 only a few of the problems newbie bakers run into when adorning. However not anymore!

At this time’s ideas cowl the whole lot from the perfect variety of cake layers to how a lot frosting you actually want. Even for those who’re not a newbie cake baker, my ideas will enable you hone your expertise for the perfect, prettiest truffles you’ll ever bake! Comply with alongside beneath after which take a look at my video on the finish the place I present you the right way to embellish 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 might be substituted with extra widespread utensils, but when you will get your palms on the actual issues, they are often extraordinarily useful!

  • Cake platter. A reasonably cake platter is a superb place to begin for a fairly cake. I’ve the purple one pictured beneath in a number of colours and love all of them!
  • Cake leveler. You may as well 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 could find a Wilton 2D tip in loads of piping starter kits and that can work properly, however my private desire is Ateco 846 or the bigger Ateco 848 tip. That is what I exploit 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 essential.

Tip #1: Three Layers Look Higher Than Two

Purple cake stand with three layers of yellow cake stacked with chocolate frosting in between.

Taller truffles look higher than shorter truffles, 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 take pleasure in *like my white cake), simply improve the recipe by 50%.

In the event you solely have two pans (or your oven solely matches two pans), you may let your batter sit on the counter when you look forward to the third layer.

That is definitely not obligatory, and even for those who skip this one, all the opposite ideas outlined right now will nonetheless vastly enhance the look of your 2 layer truffles!

Tip #2: Degree Your Truffles

Yellow cake being leveled with a cake leveler.

Some truffles bake up good and stage (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 end result, I like to recommend leveling your truffles.

You probably have eye and regular hand you should use a pointy serrated knife to stage your truffles. In the event you don’t (neither do I!), use a leveler. I exploit an inexpensive cake leveler made by Wilton that I really like. It’s underneath ten bucks on Amazon and has served me properly for a lot of completely stage truffles! In the event you’re curious how this works, I show the right way to use this actual instrument in my video beneath.

BONUS TIP: Let your cake cool fully earlier than leveling or frosting. Not solely will heat cake will disintegrate, however it is going to 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 the right way to embellish a cake don’t notice how essential their selection of icing actually is.

For the simplest and prettiest cake adorning, use a sturdy icing you could simply manipulate. It ought to be simple to unfold (to assist hold 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 properly.

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 must rush to make extra! Making additional offers you some much-appreciated wiggle room. Plus, you’ll typically want additional in any case if you wish to do ornamental piping on prime (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 may completely embellish a cake with a normal batch of icing (sometimes 4 cups), and I do it on a regular basis with out concern. Nevertheless, once 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? In the event you’re not planning to make use of it instantly (cupcakes are all the time a good suggestion!), you may often 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. You might have to rewhip it to get it again to the suitable 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 must be fairly to be efficient, so don’t spend an excessive amount of time on it. Simply be 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. It will enable the frosting to agency up properly. Once 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, if you find yourself prepared, this system will add magnificence and make your truffles look polished.

I’ve a separate publish on the right way to do a ganache drip; be at liberty to verify that out when you’re prepared!

Tip #6: Adorn the High!

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 novice can deftly do that with the suitable tip; I like a big, closed star tip. I like to recommend the Ateco 848; it’s my basic go-to for piping frosting on truffles and cupcakes alike. The Ateco 846 is barely smaller and in addition works properly.

In the event you’re nervous that you’ll mess up your ornament, simply follow on a paper plate first. Once you’re assured in your design, scrape your follow 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 prime are an awesome addition to any cake! Simply be intentional about the place you place them so the ultimate end result has a neat and tidy look.

BONUS TIP: In the event 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 could have a pleasant, large 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 skin (primarily only a glorified crumb coat!). They have an inclination to have a extra rustic look.

Bare truffles are excellent 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 the right way to embellish a cake.

My pumpkin cake and lemon cake are each adorned in a semi-naked fashion, for those who’d wish to see what this appears 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 couple of hours earlier than you’re able to serve, convey 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 information I want I knew once I first began adorning truffles. 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 beneath! In the event you do this recipe, be sure you tag me on Instagram, and you may as well discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Video Tutorial