How To Make + Decorate Cakes Ahead Of Time
Im a big advocate of cake making as a means to reduce stress and have fun. That said, I know how incredibly stressful cake can be when youre running short on time and/or things just arent going the way you wanted especially if said cake is an order. I can remember many stressful nights from my years of running a cake business from home and most of them stemmed from not giving myself enough time to enjoy the process. Can you relate? In hopes of sparing you some of that added stress, Ive put together my best tips for making a timeline and working ahead. This way, maybe you wont find yourself up at 2am agonizing over an unfinished cake!
First, lets talk about some make ahead tips for baking cake layers, making frosting, and storing it all so its ready to go when youre ready to decorate. There are a few different methods and preferences on the subject that vary from baker to baker, and the purpose of this post is to talk about my own preferred methods. Ive gathered them all in the video below, so give it a watch before reading on to commit these make ahead tips to memory.
And side note: if youre wanting to learn more Cake Basics, be sure to check out my YouTube channel and hit the Subscribe button so you never miss a new one. In addition to the basics, youll also find my favorite recipes and cake decorating tutorials to broaden your skill set!
Simple But Impressive Chocolate Decorations
If you are looking for a simple but effective idea, you can decorate the cake with chocolate, also ideal for birthday cakes. It is the ideal decoration for those who love to create something spectacular in a short time, but without difficulty. Just melt the dark or milk chocolate in a bain-marie, then insert the melted chocolate in the pastry bag and make the drawings or writings you prefer on the baking paper. Then let it cool and place the decoration on your cake. In addition to making a single design, to be applied around your cake, you can also create many different chocolate decorations and insert them both around and above the cake. You will make a great impression.
Cake Is Bulging At The Bottom
- This happens when your cake is so tender, moist and fresh that it has trouble supporting the layers above. To save the cake from basically exploding underneath heres what you do: Get some thick paper or a few sheets of newspaper and make a collar or corset for the cake. Tighten the paper so that the bottom layer is no longer bulging then tape it together and chill until set. Afterwards to can remove the paper and continue decorating.
Making Easy Buttercream Frosting
Now is a good time to make your buttercream. I know a lot of beginners think they want to use whipped cream because it is light and creamy but for making a cake, you will get nothing but headaches. I prefer to make my easy buttercream frosting because you can just throw everything into the mixer, whip it up until its white and its done! Its super light and not too sweet.
The easy buttercream frosting is also great for frosting the cake and getting a smooth finish and is firm enough to pipe with.
Store your easy buttercream at room temperature with plastic wrap covering the top until you need it. If you leave it out overnight make sure you whip it a little bit before you use it to make it smooth again.
Store leftover buttercream in the fridge or freeze it for up to 6 months in a ziplock bag.
Dust Icing Sugar Like A Dream
One of the easiest yet effective cake decorating ideas for beginners is using icing sugar to dust your cake. You simply cant go wrong, and youll be left with a cake that looks delicious and classy.
Dust onto your cake freehand, or cut out a template and dust icing sugar over it to form pretty shapes.
Make sure your cake is completely cool though, as otherwise, the icing sugar will melt straight away!
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Recreate A Childhood Favorite
I’m not saying these are the easiest cakes of the bunch, but I feel like they’re totally doable, especially when you see how adorable they turn out. You only need a couple of frosting tips, some googly eyes, and a kid who understands the allure of a grumpy do-gooder.
Find the full details: Oscar the Grouch cupcakes from I Am Baker
How To Decorate A Sheet Cake
Hello hello, friends!! I have a quick tutorial for you today. I am showing you, with step-by-step images, how to decorate a sheet cake. This Valentines Day sheet cake is an easy way to tackle one of my favorite recent trends.
Every now and then, I indulge in food trends although I should say cake trends as those are what catch my attention. A few years ago I showed you how to make a number cake because my niece wanted one for her birthday. It was such a hit that I made a letter cake for my sons third birthday. This year, I decided to try the decorated sheet cake trend that has been popular on Instagram.
If you havent seen them, these decorated sheet cakes are basically your normal sheet cakes taken up to the next level by buttercream piping designs. Unlike the store-bought sheet cakes that decorate parts of the cake or the borders, these decorated sheet cakes are decorated all over with buttercream frosting and different piping designs.
One thing I love about this trend is that it is EASY! I am not one for complicated things, I love to keep my cakes and decorating simple. Look at this white chocolate rose cake, it is my typical style and I think thats why I was attracted to this cake trend. Also, it does help that this trend is very forgiving. As long as you know how to use a decorating bag to pipe, you got this.
Okay enough of the babbling, let me walk you through how to decorate a sheet cake.
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How To Fill And Stack A Cake
Place the bottom layer of your cake on a cake stand or serving dish. Take four strips of parchment paper and tuck them halfway under and around the bottom of the cake layer . For simple buttercream and more stable filling, like fudge or cream cheese, simply spread on the filling between the layers of cake with a metal spatula. Begin by placing a dollop of frosting in the center of the cake, then spread it around towards the edges. Smooth out the filling as evenly as possible.
For softer fillings, like pastry cream or fruit preserves, create a frosting dam to keep the filling from leaking out. To do so, fill a piping bag fitted with a medium plain tip with whatever frosting you are using on the outside of your cake. Pipe a ring or dam of frosting around the outer edge of your cake, and then spread the filling in the center.
Continue to fill and stack your cakes, keeping them as even and level as possible. Invert the last layer of cake upside down. The bottom of the cake creates a nice, flat top for the cake, while the cut side is facing down to prevent too many crumbs from getting into your frosting.
Take a step back and really look at your cake. If it is leaning or appears crooked, gently press it back into place.
Add Toys And An Easy Diy Topper
Gussy up a simple cake with toy animals and this easy birthday sign made from refrigerator magnets, straws, and pipe cleaners. While Oh Happy Day went with a circus theme, it’d be just as easy to put a princess or toy truck or any toy from around the house on top and call it done.
Find the full details: Carnival Cake Topper at Oh Happy Day
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Crumb Coat Is Essential
Im embarrassed to admit I had no idea what a crumb coat was before I started cake decorating. Every time I went to frost a cake in the past, the cake crumbs would get mixed in with the frosting and ruin any chance of a decoration. Little did I know the pros have a solution for this & its actually quite genius: a crumb coat. The crumb coat is a light coating of frosting that goes on the cake first to hold the crumbs in so when you do your final cake decoration there are no messy crumbs to deal with. Who thought of this, really?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Poke Cake
When my family is planning a get-together, I can count on three or four people asking if Im bringing this chocolate peanut butter poke cake. If you dont have a chocolate cake mix, use a white or yellow one and stir in 3 tablespoons of baking cocoa. Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
Learn how to decorate a cake like a pro!
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What You Need To Make Your First Cake Shopping List
Tools Recommended *note: this list contains affiliate links which do not cost you anything but I may make a few bucks off the sale*
I was inspired to make this post because my daughters teacher approached me one day asking if I had any tips on how to make a cake for the first time. It was her Mothers birthday and she had never baked or decorated a cake but had her heart on making one.
Of course, I had tons of links to send her, recipes, videos and more and I could tell she looked a little overwhelmed. It then occurred to me at that moment that I had never made a video showing someone who had never made a cake, how to make one from start to finish.
Which is really ironic because I myself not that long ago picked up my first box mix and can of lemon frosting to make my first cake and I had no idea what I was doing. I remember having a lot of questions about the process but at the time, no one to ask.
Why was the cake so soft and why is it cracking?
Why wont this frosting stick to the side of the cake?
Is it supposed to taste like this?
So here is my complete guide on how to make a cake for the very first time from start to finish! Even if youve never made a cake before, this will clear it all up for you. I recommend you read through this entire post first before you start baking so you can be sure to have all your tools and ingredients ready to go. I prefer to bake the day before I need the cake so I have time to let the cake rest and chill.
Easy Cake Decorating Ideas And Toppings
Weve got lots of inspirational ways to decorate a cake at home. Weve included how to decorate a cake with icing sugar, marzipan, marshmallows, and more.
If youre looking for cake decorating ideas and toppings, were here to help. From royal icing to buttercream, from desiccated coconut to fruit, weve got plenty to choose from.
This collection includes simple, easy methods and techniques. Most of them are budget-friendly and ideal for decorating a variety of different cakes including traditional Victoria sponge cake, chocolate cake, classic lemon drizzle cake and moist chocolate brownies to name a few.
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Low Carb Recipes: 25 Healthy Low Carb Dinner Ideas
Decorating a cake doesnt have to take hours on end. Our Kids Kitchen vlogger, Sarah demonstrates, in the video above, three simple cake decorating designs for kids. Simply by using cookie cutters and sprinkles, writing icing, and marshmallows, she transforms them into showstopping cakes.
So whether youre looking for kids birthday cakes or just want to jazz up your usual cake decorating techniques, see more of our easy cake decorating inspiration below
Create Roses For A Magical Princess Cake
So, I haven’t tried out this super-easy frosting technique, but I have been assured that it only looks hard. Like really, really hard. Like if you master it, you probably can graduate from this blog post and go straight into creating those Olafs who take off their own heads to the cheers of legions of > birthday party goers.
Find full details here: Rose Cake at I Am Baker
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Candies And Fruit For An Original Decoration
To make a cake unique with a simple and original decoration, you can simply create a ideal for pears. It is an ideal decoration to personalize a cake covered only with cream. Put the candies in a plastic bag and break them. Cut the pears into very thin slices, place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and sprinkle them with the crumbled candies. Bake at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes. Once ready, let your decorations cool and apply them to the cake according to your creativity.
Apply The Top Layer Of Icing
Using the same technique as you did to apply the crumb coating, place a larger dollop of frosting on the top layer of the chilled cake.
Spread around the top with an offset spatula until it is completely covered with an even, thick layer. Use the turntable to spin it around as you push excess icing towards the edges.
Apply a small amount of frosting on the sides, and gently spread it all the way around, using more as needed. Keep spreading it around the sides until completely covered in a thick, even layer, using the turntable to spin it around.
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Incredibly Easy Ways To Decorate A Cake
You don’t have to be a self-proclaimed artist to turn your dessert into a work of art. A cake is a blank slate waiting to be beautified. is a fun activity to explore solo, with friends or your children. Everyone will love taking time to exercise their creativity for a special occasion. So skip the supermarket and make your own cake this yearyour efforts won’t go unnoticed! Here are some surprisingly easy ways to turn your cake into a masterpiece.
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