In honor of my 26th birthday, I present to you this cake decorating how to for beginners. Think of it as an amateur’s guide to Birthday Cake Decorating.
I made my first cake when I was 6 years old. I bought a cookbook for kids from a Scholastic book order. It wasn’t the best cake. Over the past 20 years, I’ve picked up a few tips here and there.
I am all for the whimsical, non-traditional birthday cakes. I’ve been turned off lately by perfectly shaped flowers ala grocery store bakery cakes. (Maybe this is because I have no clue how to make one?) I love the idea of a cake looking somewhat “rough” and homemade.
When I decided one day to make my own wedding cake, I realized that I needed to do a little research on cake decorating. I went to my local library and checked out every book I could on cake decorating. Then my step-mother graciously gave me her set of Wilton tips and gel icing colors. It wasn’t perfect, but I did it. And it was very special.
Since then I have done a number of commissioned cakes for friends, family, and neighbors. Each time I learn what to do differently the next time and get a little better.
Here is where I would start:
-Find a picture of a cake you like and copy it.
-Practice! Make some icing and practice piping on a piece of parchment paper. Get a feel for which tips you like and the pressure you need to have on a bag and the consistency of icing.
-Experiment with different kinds of icings—it’s not all about piping. Not all icing is meant to be piped.
-Look for these icing recipes:
-Play around with different types of cakes, too. Experiment with different fillings.
-Be creative! Explore! Personalize your cakes according to your own tastes and interests!
If I can do it, you can TOTALLY do it. It’s fun — like art class. Only you can lick your fingers! And this cake decorating how-to is only the beginning. Pretty soon it will be a “piece of cake.”
Credits: Written by Lindsey Rose Johnson. Photos too! Don’t miss Lindsey’s full birthday cake tutorial with lots of photos.