Lately I've been obsessed with cake decorating. It's all over my Instagram feed and on my Facebook feed. I just can't stop watching videos of the process. Somehow, watching people make such smooth lines in their icing without using fondant is mesmerizing to me. Also, I find it oddly relaxing. But seriously, it is an art that I'm in awe of and super jealous of.
And then I started really thinking about cake decorating. I thought to myself, "Why can't I do this?" I've seen people spend hundreds of dollars on cakes that are baked and decorated at a local bakery when they can easily make one for themselves.
I knew all I needed were the right tools, and that I could easily (or at least try to) make a rocking cake that not only tasted good, but looked amazing. Here's how to do it.
For decorating a cake, you'll need a few essential items:
First of all, you need a turn table to put your cake on. Having a turn table makes it easier to make smooth lines because you simply put your scraper on the cake, spin the table, and your work is done for you!
Unfortunately, I didn't have access to a turn table. But I took the plate out of my microwave (you know, the one that you see rotating your pumpkin spice latte every am). It works just as well, and is super cheap.
You'll also need a spatula to put the icing on your cake. The spatula is to help you put a lot of icing on your cake so that when it comes to scraping, you're left with the perfect amount. Then of course you have the scraper, which is used to make those smooth lines on your cake. And lastly you have the piping bag and your tip, which is what will give you your awesome design.
Frost the the first layer of cake. It is important to make sure there is a good amount of icing on this layer because it serves as the support for the second layer of cake you will add.
Using the spatula, apply a lot of icing to the cake. It's better to have too much than too little.
Hold the scraper at a 45 degree angle and turn your turn table. Scrape until your sides look smooth and even.
Put your piping tip in the bag. These bags typically have a hole in them, so it's super easy to push the piping tip in and have the tip coming out of the hole in the bag.
Start piping away. Depending on which tip you use, you may want to time out how long you squeeze the icing to make sure the size of each design is about the same.
Start having fun with your piping. Add some chocolate chips or sprinkles to give it some color. You can also switch tips to add different textures and patterns.
And the finished product:
For my first attempt at cake decorating, I feel this cake turned out pretty well. I wish I had not added the extra chocolate chips around the rim and the top of the cake, but I felt I needed to hide some poor scraping skills.I learned how important a turn table is, and that it's probably not the best idea to put a paper towel underneath it since the scraper can easily get caught on it.
But I had a lot of fun decorating this cake, and I can't wait to get better at decorating. So start baking, and start piping.