Do you ever look at cake decorating on Instagram and think, “God, I could never do that.” Well, guess what, yes you can. Buying a professionally decorated cake can cost hundreds of dollars, it doesn’t take that much extra effort or talent to decorate your own cake at home. We’re gonna teach you five really easy decorating styles to zhuzh up your next cake. Honestly, like cake, it’s a really tangible way to show people you love them. First things first, we have to prep our cakes to be decorated. Get a little icing, secure the board on top of that, and start building our cakes. All you really need to do is plop a good amount of icing down first, more than you think, honestly.
You don’t have to worry about it being perfect, you could pipe it on if you wanted, but I dunno, it’s not really the biggest deal in the world. And then, for the top layer, you’re actually gonna put it bottom side down, that’s a lot flatter and we want a really sharp edge to our cake. You might have to move it a little bit to make sure that it’s totally level on all sides, and then put a whole bunch of frosting on top. I like to take the back of my spatula and just dab the icing onto the cake. And then you’re gonna use the offset spatula to flatten out the sides, and get off any excess icing. This is your primer, if you will, on your cake to ensure that the finished coat is gonna go on really nice and smooth.
As you can see, there’s crumbs that kinda get caught in the mess, and that’s why it’s called a crumb coat. We’re gonna chill that until we’re ready to decorate. To make this job really easy, all you need is a piping bag, a spoon, an offset spatula, you know I love ‘em, a cake board, and a rotating cake stand, if possible. Lastly, you’ll need a rosette piping tip. Not all of these tools are necessary, I mean really all you need is a piping bag and a tip, but they make the job a lot easier.
First things first, we’re gonna put the piping tip into the bag, then turn it right around and put the bag over your non-dominant hand with the top of the bag kinda folded down. And you’re gonna use your thumb, actually, to help scrape off the extra icing. Put the top back up and squeeze it in-between your thumb and your hand, and that’s where you’re gonna have all the pressure coming out of. So, a lot of people want to press down in the middle of the bag, and it actually gives a lot of uneven pressure, and that’s not what you want to do.
It’s actually a lot harder, as well. So, when you’re making your rosette you start in the middle, apply even pressure until the end, and just curve around really easy and at the very end, when you’re trying to make the edge of your rosette, you just flick your wrist a little bit, wrap it around, and release that pressure. You just kind of quickly dismount, if you will. Oh, dismount, that’s a good word for it, yeah, you dismount! And the first few that you do, they’re gonna feel kind of awkward, you’re gonna have some that look better than others, but I will say just go for it.
To fill in those holes that are naturally gonna be there, all you need to do is just put the tip down in that hole, apply a little bit of pressure, and then kind of flick your wrist so it almost looks like it’s part of a petal of a nearby rosette. The reason why the rosette cake is great is you really don’t need to be perfect, it looks so cool when it’s done. It’s so elegant, it’s really, really easy, it’s just one piping tip with one icing color, next thing you know, it looks like you’ve been doing this for years. So, to start the ombre cake, you’re gonna take the darkest color and pipe it around the bottom. Put two thick layers of icing on the bottom and then do two stripes of the next color. Just choose whatever colors you want, you could do from a dark blue all the way to a really, really light blue. We’re going for more of a sunrise look, like a tequila sunrise is what we’re calling this cake.
I’m gonna top it with white, it’s gonna be a really nice gradient of colors. This tool is a bench scraper or a dough cutter. You can drag it right along the bottom of the stand itself so it’ll be really, really level. If you want a really clean stripe you can start here, but we were going for that gradient ombre look so now we’re gonna use that excess frosting and go up, go down, go in a few different directions so that you’re really getting a good mix of all of the colors together.
The fun thing about this is, honestly, anyone can do it, it’s so easy, and you really just have to know when to stop, like, that’s usually my problem is that I just want to go and go and I have more fun with it. We’re just topping it with a little bit of crushed Graham Cracker and an umbrella, because we can. Just play with it, that’s the fun thing about decorating cakes is they can be kind of kitschy or elegant, or whatever you want them to be. I think we really just need a vacation, that might be why we went with the sunset.
We’re gonna show you how to make homemade buttercream succulents. And for dyeing your frosting we recommend using gel colors, they’re just a little bit more saturated. We’re going for kind of a dark greenish-gray kind of color. I’m using some green, a little bit of brown, and a little bit of blue. A little goes a long way, so start with a little and you can always add more. Alright, so I’ve got the green, I’m also gonna use a little bit of pink for these succulents, and so this is, I don’t know, what tip is this? Oh yeah, it’s a petal nozzle, yep, that’s it.
This one’s great for making roses and succulents. And what we’re gonna do is put a stripe of pink down one side of the bag. And, similar to the ombre cake, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it in there from right to the start of the piping tip, all the way to the top of the bag. And we’re gonna fill in the rest with the green color. And again, I’m gonna use my thumb, here, to scrape off the icing when it gets into the bag. We’re gonna twist, make sure there’s no air bubbles, and set that aside while you grab some parchment paper. So, just a little square is what we’re gonna use to make our succulents on. And you’re gonna just test the icing to make sure that the color is coming out the way that you want it to. Kind of schmoop schmoop, get it out there until I’m happy with the color.
A new piece of parchment, and I’m gonna make a mound of icing in the middle and then do an X shape over that. And then you’re gonna do little C shapes all around that X that you made. Do a quarter turn in-between each one. When you’re trying to dismount that icing I think it’s better to go down into the parchment itself. And then just keep going until you’re happy with the size of that succulent. With the same nozzle you can play with it and create different shapes. So you’re gonna turn the bag to ensure that the pink side’s kind of on the top of the nozzle when it’s coming out, and you’re gonna go in a loop motion, turning your parchment around and going in these little loop, loop, loops until you’re all the way around.
And just keep going up until you have a beautiful, unique little cactus, like this. You can just buy a beginner’s piping set, all of the tips we used here are kind of the standard ones that come in there. If you’re nervous about spending much money on frosting, and you still want to practice your piping, in culinary school they used to have us buy powdered instant mash potatoes and practice with that. Top tip, you heard it here first, don’t take it too seriously,1 just have fun! And then, while those are chilling in the fridge, we’re gonna assemble our naked cake. So this one’s really cool and it looks really elegant and is ridiculously easy to do. Similar to our crumb coat, you’re gonna take a bench scraper and scrape off all the excess. You’re gonna really push into the cake and get as much icing off as you can. So it’s gonna look, you know, naked. They’re very trendy right now, very in. And then you can start putting on your succulents. So these came straight out of the freezer, so that they’re really easy to work with.
It looks very intimidating, and you may not want to try it because you think people will think your piping’s not good, but the point of this and why it’s so great, is that there’s so much on there and it’s just like an overwhelming, beautiful, gorgeous, unique cake that you don’t see everywhere, and you should just go ahead and try it. Now, for the drip cake, very dramatic and elegant, and also very on trend. You make a really simple white chocolate ganache and then dyed it this really gorgeous blue color. You pour the ganache in fourths along the cake. So the cake’s really cold, the ganache is warm, and I’m pouring the warm ganache onto the cold cake, it’s gonna kind of set as it goes. I’m just gonna use a dinner spoon and kind of coax the ganache in the direction that I want, to make sure that it’s pooling down the side of the cake.
You could use a piping bag or a little squeeze bottle to do this, but we thought this is a really organic, natural way, as well as not really needing a ton of extra equipment. You could top it with anything, candy, macarons, or just leave it plain, it looks really gorgeous with a clean, shiny top, as well. Mirror glaze is an absolute show stopper, do not be intimidated, you can do this. You just have to be prepared, so make sure you have all your mise en place ready, because you do have to work quickly with this glaze. To make sure that it’s really, really well mixed, we recommend using a stick blender.
If you put cling film on the top that can help get rid of any extra bubbles, but as you can see some remain so you want to get out as many as you can. The ideal temperature to pour the mirror glaze on top of the cake is anywhere between 90 to 96 degrees fahrenheit. The most important things about doing a mirror glaze is one, making sure that it’s frozen solid, and two, making sure that it’s as smooth as you can possibly get it. The glaze is warm when you’re pouring it on, so the cold cake will help the glaze set really nicely on the cake.
Take an offset spatula and do a little schmoop! And then it really completes that marble look. And this is the fun part, it’s when all of the hard work pays off and you just get to watch this mesmerizing process take shape. ‘Cause we just can’t help ourselves we just had to add a little bit of silver leaf to the top as well. Most of it will drip off, but you just want to make sure that you’re getting a good mix of the two colors. Hello! Oh my god, that’s so cool! Every occasion, every party, has a cake, and this is just a few helpful tips to help you make yours really stand out at your next event. So all the care, all the effort, all the fun creativity that goes into making these cakes, don’t be afraid to eat them in the end, that’s the whole point, that they’re something great to look at but also something great to eat and enjoy with your loved ones.
Really though, what are all those damn tips called? – [Man] Tips! – [Presenter] No, but all the different styles, like, I don’t know, the one that makes a squiggly bit? I don’t know, like, whether the– (laughs) I don’t know the names of the tips, I just buy the mixed five of them, I don’t know!.