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» Decorate a Cake

How Did I Do It? > Food & Drink > Decorate a Cake
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Step One, is the frosting, and if you get this part right, trust me when I say that the rest is easier.
The main problem I always had was that the crumbs broke away from the top of the cake, always sitting in the midst of my beautiful white icing.

Of course, I pretended it was supposed to be like that. It wasn’t.

There are a few tools that will help you to make this job a lot easier, and keep your hands out of the icing at the same time.

An offset spatula will help you to add and smooth the icing, and a large pastry bag, and a large sized icing tip will make icing the sides of your cake easy as pie.

Set your cake down on a plate and to keep it from moving, take about a teaspoon of icing and glue it down to the plate with that icing.

Cake decorating is half simple technique that is easily accomplished
with just the knowledge of how to do it. The other half is practice.

Take an offset spatula and add a layer of icing on the top of the first layer of cake, and set the second cake layer over it.
If there are crumbs in the middle frosting, this isn’t an issue frankly as we’ll be more concerned with making sure that the top layer comes out clean and leaves a clean canvas for the decorations.

One of the tricks to keeping your frosting from getting crumbs in it, is to push outward with the spatula rather than drawing it in. If you don’t go back and forth, you won’t usually pick up crumbs.

Put a rather large glob of icing in the middle of the cake to start. Don’t be concerend with having too much as the outward push will build it toward and over the edges where it can be used on the sides of the cake, or removed when it gets to the edge.

The fastest and best way to ice the cakes sides is to use what is called a jumbo pastry bag and one of the largest tips available.

Fill the bag and pipe a rather wide stripe of frosting all the way around the outside of the cake.
A giant icing bag and the tips are very inexpensive ways to put icing on, so if you don’t have them, do invest in some.
If you don’t have them at this point, use the same push out technique that you are using on the top of the cake.

Smooth out the icing that you striped on the sides of the cake and use your spatula, a metal one prefereably, to go over both the tops and the sides of the cake, making a smooth flat surface to place your ribbons and decorations on.

Now that you have a blank canvas to decorate, you mnight want to try something new and different.
Ever wonder how the baker gets those awesome three colored borders on his cake?
It’s simple and easy to accomplish, and if you can use a pastry bag to make a simple border, you can do it too.

There are two ways to accomplish it, one of whihc is to place three different colored icings side by side into the pastry bag, which will net you a pastel stripe effect.
The second and more dramatic way to accomplish it, is to paint the inside of the pastry bag. Take the cake decorating bag and paint about 8 stripes of paste food coloring down the inside of it in the color that you want. Fill the bag with icing and begin to pipe it, using perhaps a star tip. THe border that you end up with will be partly white, with a deep colored edging on it.

Are you interested perhaps in putting your own character or drawing on the cake? Want to make a cartoon that you kiddos just love? Maybe you’d like to put your husbands company name on his cake.

Creating custom cake decorations from a simple drawing is one of the easier things that a beginning cake decorating student can learn and one of the best projects to undertake to teach yourself the techniques.

All you will need, besides your regular cake making supplies and pastry bags, tips and so on, is a sheet of rice paper.
Rice paper is completely edible sheeting that is made from, yep, you guessed it, rice. It is edible, kosher and one of the things that you will find does not add any noticeable flavor to the cake.

Using the rice paper and a non toxic writing instrument.. (The best thing to use is a crayola crayon, VERY lightly trace the object that you want to put on the cake, onto the rice paper and then cut it out, just outside the line.

Lay the rice paper on the cake and cover it with frosting, using dark black or dark chocolate to do the outlines.

The rice paper will dissolve from the frosting long before the cake touches anyones lips in most cases, so you won’t have to worry about cutting into it.

Next time, we’ll go into making those lovely roses, and for that you will need a couple extra tips.

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