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OT - Cake Decorating

ksmom14's picture

I've been wanting to dabble a little bit in cake decorating. I have some artsy in me and I enjoy cooking/baking. I have 3skids that live with us, DD1.5 and another DD on the way. So a big family with lots of birthdays to practice this new skill! lol

Anyways, I volunteered to make the cake for a baby shower at work, I've only ever made box cakes. However, the "professional" cakes seem to be denser (and I assume easier to decorate), does anyone have a cake recipe that they use for a sturdy cake to decorate?

Any wisdom on cake decorating in general is appreciated!


justkeepstepping's picture

I make cakes at home for my kids birthdays. Using a box cake make decorating harder. The cake tends to crumble when iced. For a dense cake just add an extra egg or 2, use melted butter instead of oil and use 1 1/2 to twice as much as called for, and use milk instead of water. Also, I don't use canned frosting. It's horribly sweet. You can mix the canned frosting with cool whip or cream cheese and it'll work fine if you don't want to make your own. I don't mess with fondant much. It requires a lot of tools to do correctly.

That kind of cake are you thinking of making? A simple cake? Shaped cake?

ksmom14's picture

Thanks for the tips! I will try that out.

I'm just going to make a simple layered round cake, but decorate by probably doing a flat top that says "it's a girl" and the sides done in the ombre rosettes.

justkeepstepping's picture

That sounds cute. My kids always like it when I make 2-3 layered cakes and dye each layer a different color. It adds a "pop" to a simple cake. You could do that to go along with your ombre roses idea.

ksmom14's picture

Yes! I probably will dye the layers as well. I did a similar cake earlier this month for SD12's birthday. But shades of purple, I did 3 layers. Overall worked out pretty well other than I used store bought icing and when I added food coloring to it, it just got too runny so the rosettes didn't hold up very well.

hereiam's picture

I have also added a package of Dream Whip to the batter, I think I read about it on the internet, and it does make a difference.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

I have a few tips:

* Buy the strips you wet and secure around the cake pan to keep the center from rising higher than the sides.

* Use a cake leveler to remove the center lump (also great for splitting cakes into more layers).

* If you are put your cake on the counter to cool, place a slice of bread on the top of the cake.

* Make a simple syrup to moisten the cake. Poke holes in the cake with skewers or toothpicks and drizzle the syrup over each layer. You can use liqueur, too.

* Frost the cake with a "crumb coat" first. This is a layer of icing that "glues down" any crumbs. Chill the cake for 30 minutes before adding the final layer of frosting.

ksmom14's picture

Thanks for the tips! I did see some stuff on those strips to help the cake cook more even, I saw that you can also try using just a towel. Will see how that all goes!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

You can get a cake leveler for $5-6. If your cake is 10" or less, Amazon has one for less than $4.

Merry's picture

Make your cake a day ahead, let it cool, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze. Makes it SO much easier to ice.

I'm not a fan of American buttercream, but I find it works best for making buttercream flowers. I use swiss buttercream for icing the layers.

hereiam's picture

I almost forgot, I have a checkerboard cake pan set. People are really impressed when you cut the cake and it's checkerboard!

Acratopotes's picture

I hate you all.... now I want cake...

I have no use full tips cause I'm the one who makes a chocolate cake in the micro wave with in 7 minutes... nice moist cake, I simply slap whipped cream on top...

my mum is a baker.... I've watched her, but way to complicated for me...

Acratopotes's picture

hey my mum just said to tell you.....

put rice paper in your cake tin/pan.... does not stick to the sides at all, you get it out quickly and no crumbs if you do the icing...., you can not see it and you do not taste it..

ksmom14's picture

Thanks so much for all the tips! I will definitely use them, I have this baby shower cake coming up in a couple weeks, then we're doing a family birthday celebration soon after that so I'll have another opportunity to test some stuff out!