Cake Decorating

No celebration is complete without a cake. Whether it's your child's 5th birthday, your parents' anniversary, or a friend's wedding, cakes can be designed to capture the mood and theme of any given party. You don't have a to hire a professional to construct a crowdmaking first. Depending on what you are celebrating, you need to decide what kind of cake you're planning to create. Will it be a simple, onepans'>baking pans to use. Be sure to follow cake mix recipes carefully, as you're building the foundation of the cake itself. Two types of frosting are typically used in cake decorating: buttercream and rolled fondant.  Let's explore. 

Buttercream Frosting

Icing is obviously the essential ingredient to cake decorating. Icing that's too thick, too thin, or tastes a little off can ruin the final presentation of the cake. Using storebook'>recipes exactly to achieve optimal consistency.   '''Buttercream Icing Recipe''' (courtesy of yields 3 cups)  * 1 stick softened margarine or butter * 2 tablespoons milk * 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, solid * 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar * 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract For medium consistency: In electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Rolled Fondant

Using fondant is another option for cake decorating. Rolled fondant is often used for professional wedding cakes, and gives a crisp, smooth finish. Thicker than buttercream icing, it's rolled out like a pie crust and used to cover the entire cake. It can also be used for cutdimensional structures, as it is easy to shape. For cake decorating beginners, '''Rolled Fondant Recipe''' (yields 36 ounces) * 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin * 1/4 cup cold water * 1/2 cup glucose * 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening * 1 tablespoon glycerin * 8 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted * icing colors, as desired Combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick, about 3 minutes. Place gelatin mixture in top of double boiler and heat and stir until dissolved. Add glucose, mix well. Stir in shortening; just before completely melted remove from heat. Add glycerin, flavoring and color. Cool until lukewarm. In large bowl, place 4 cups confectioners' sugar; make a well. Pour the lukewarm gelatin mixture into the well and stir with a wooden spoon, mixing in sugar and adding more, a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container at room temperature until needed. If storing longer than 1 week, refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before kneading. Do not freeze. When ready to use, knead again until soft. This recipe yields enough to cover a 10 x 4 inch high round cake. If fondant becomes dry, either by adding too much sugar or air drying, add small amount of solid vegetable shortening and knead thoroughly. * ''Tip: ''To add color to rolled fondant, dip a toothpick into food coloring of choice. Rub toothpick into fondant; knead fondant until color is evenly spread throughout.

Decorating Tools

Here's the fun part!  Now that you have the essentials covered, decorating tools can be used to make your cake stand out from the others. Several companies sell instructional guidebook

Decorating Sets

How to Hold The Decorating Bag

Holding the angled spatula. # Close the bag by twisting it tightly, forcing the icing down into the bag. # "Burp" the bag by squeezing some of the icing out of the tip to release any air bubbles.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Here are some examples of finished decorated cakes to get you inspired to start your own creation. 

Related Guides

* Wedding Cakes * Cake Toppers * Hiring a Cake Designer * Birthday Parties