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Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
A cake is a perfect dessert for just about every celebration. From birthdays and weddings to baby showers and office parties, serving cake brings people together over a delicious dessert! Homemade cakes give your dessert a personal touch and these easy cake decorating tips will make your dessert spectacular! These tips are being shared from Janice Murfitt, a highly qualified cake decorator, cookery writer and editor, food journalist, and home economist who specializes in cake making and decorating. If you are interested in making homemade cakes that really stand out, I hope these easy cake decorating tips are helpful! Don't forget to invest in some cake decorating equipment before you get started. I am including a few of the author's recommendations here but check out the link below to her book for full details!
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Cake Designing Tips for Beautiful Homemade Cakes
Sometimes, it is helpful to look at a pattern before you make your homemade cakes but other times, you want a unique look instead. If you want to really add a personal touch to your cake, there are a few things you need to consider before you start decorating. Here are a few of Janice's cake design tips and things you need to think about before you get started.
- What occasion is the cake for? This plays a big role in the type of cake you will make.
- Who is the cake FOR? Consider the recipient’s age and sex as well as any particular interests, skills, or hobbies that can influence the design and theme of the cake.
- Which cake ingredients should you include? Chocolate or vanilla? A light sponge cake or a rich fruit cake? Are there any dietary restrictions?
- What size and shape should you choose? Round, square, oval, horseshoe, heart, flower…the list is endless. Make sure you have pans and cake boards of the correct size.
- How much time you have available? The time factor can also affect your choice of design. If you are short on time, it’s better to make a simple, well-finished cake rather than an intricate cake that may be ruined by rushing at the last minute.
- How far will you transport it? Avoid fragile decorations, like extension work, for a cake that has to travel a long distance because any breakage will spoil the design.
Must Have Cake Decorating Equipment
Decorating cakes can be fun but without the right cake decorating equipment, you might find it frustrating. If you want to start putting these easy cake decorating tips into practical use, you will need to invest in a few of the following items to really take your cakes to the next level.
- Acrylic rolling pin and board: These tools may be expensive, but they provide nonstick surfaces and are easy to clean, practical to use, and available in a variety of sizes. Use them for rolling out small pieces of fondant or marzipan for decorations.
- Brushes Fine artists’ brushes, available in different sizes, have many uses for painting flowers and sugar plaques with food coloring; they are also useful when making icing run-outs.
- Cheesecloth: Cheesecloth is used for covering royal icing to prevent a skin from forming; because cheesecloth is white, it will not discolor the icing. Keep the cheesecloth clean and dry while in storage.
- Crimpers: Fondant Crimpers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and offer many different patterns. You may purchase them in sets or individually.
- Dowels: Fondant Dowels in different thicknesses are useful for holding drying leaves and petals to give them more realistic, curved shapes.
- Flower nail: You can make your own with a wine cork and a large nail or you can buy one from a kitchen store or cake-decorating specialist. Flower nails
are invaluable when piping flowers.
- Icing syringe: Ideal for simple piping, icing syringes usually come with a selection of tubes.
- Piping bags: Piping bags are made in a variety of materials. Nylon piping bags are soft and flexible, making them suitable for cream, meringue, and icing. Buy small, medium, and large piping bags. You can also make your own from parchment paper and a variety of straight-sided tubes or even without a tube.
- Turntable: This is the essential piece of equipment for easy movement of cakes while icing and decorating. Check that your cake turntable is stable and make sure it revolves smoothly. Buy the best quality you can afford.
All in One Guide to Cake Decorating Tips
These suggestions are just a very small portion of the amazing cake decorating tips that are included in Janice Murfitt's book All-in-One Guide to Cake Decorating: Over 100 Step-by-Step Cake Decorating Techniques and Recipes. Not only is this guide essential for aspiring sugar crafters but it is also lauded by Publisher's Weekly as a "must have for anyone with the slightest interest in cake decorating." There is an amazing amount of information in this book including easy cake decorating tips for beginners as well as beautiful homemade cakes that even experts will be wowed over! For more information about the author, head over to www.janicemurfitt.com.
Have any other easy cake decorating tips to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.