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How to Decorate a Cake

You are now going to learn how to decorate a cake. I give easy tips and explain in detail so you can decorate a cake beautifully in no time.

Imagination plus a cake decorator set equals many beautiful cakes. Cake decorator sets can be purchased anywhere (Wal-Mart, Target, etc) at a reasonable price. These sets are easy to use and come with complete instructions. Homemade cake recipes at the bottom of the page…

How to decorate a cake #MissHomemade

How to Decorate a Cake

Carefully read the instructions and practice on a piece of waxed paper or on the bottom of the cake pans. When you feel you have mastered several designs, try decoration a cake.

Learning how to decorate a cake includes a cake decorator set that is made up with a metal gun or a plastic-lined bag and four basic tips. Each tip is used to make certain designs which I will explain below.

This tip has a small round opening. It is used for fine writing and for drawing lines. To put the decoration on the cake, draw the letters or design on the frosting with a toothpick. Fill the decorator about 2/3 full of frosting.

With the tip barely touching the cake, squeeze the bag or force the gun so an even flow of frosting comes through. Once you begin a line DO NOT STOP. Stopping produces an uneven line.

It can be identified by its narrow opening and long narrow notches. The leaf tip is used to make leaves, borders and decorations for the sides of cakes.

Hold the tip at an angle and press to make a leaf. Release the pressure – and then lift the tip. If you want a wider leaf, increase the pressure. Flower petals can also be made with this tip.

The rosette tip has a notched opening. It is somewhat larger than the opening of the plain tip. Large letters, greetings and borders are made with this tip. Frosting put through the rosette tip comes out in a ridged, rope-like ribbon.

Flower rosettes can be made by holding the tube upright about 1/4 inch from the cake. Press out the frosting, then release pressure and lift the tip away.

This tip is smaller at the opening than the rosette tip. It is used to make borders and decorations.

It’s fun when you learn how to decorate a cake for a family occasion or birthday. Put a different design on each cake you bake. Your family will look forward to these occasions when you have a beautiful cake baked and decorated.


Bake a homemade white cake in a long rectangular pan. Make sure the rectangular pan is deep enough to hold a 1″ thick cake when it is baked. When done, cut the cake into 2 inch squares.

Place the squares in rows on cake racks leaving about 3/4 inch between squares. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drippings. Pour icing over the cakes thoroughly coating each cake and let stand until firm.

A second coat may be applied if desired. After you learn how to decorate a cake, you can then add any special decorations to the cakes that you want.

Birthday cakes are fun to decorate, and each can be different. Begin by baking a two-layer cake and frost it. With the cake decorator set, pipe borders on the cake. Using a toothpick, draw a design on the frosted cake.

Pipe designs around where the candles will be placed on the cake. Be sure to include “Happy Birthday” somewhere on the cake (I forgot that once). Adding the person’s name makes it more personal and will be appreciated.

After you learn basics on how to decorate a cake you should master the art of decorating before you attempt a tier cake. A three-tier cake can be made by preparing the layers as follows:

Two 12-inch layers make up the bottom layer. Two 8-inch layers make up the center tier and two 5-inch layers the top tier. First frost the cake as usual.

Use your imagination and put an unusual border on the cake. If the cake is to be decorated with flowers, make the flowers a week in advance and store them in a covered container.

To apply these flowers to the cake, use a bit of frosting to hold them to the frosting on the cake. When flowers are arranged on the cake, make leaves with the leaf tip from the decorator set. A figurine or a cluster of flowers can be placed on the top tier.

How to decorate a cake: The recipe below is a delicious buttercream that is easy to make and yummy.

Basic Decorating Frosting Recipe without Crisco

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 TBS milk
3-6 drops food coloring (optional)

Cream butter with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until incorporated.  Beat in vanilla extract.
Add milk and beat for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add food coloring (if using) and beat for 30 seconds or until smooth.

NOTE:  The FDA has banned trans-fat (hooray!) from all food.  Commercial manufacturers have until 2015 to comply.  That means no more Crisco folks. 

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However, Mical E. Honigfort, a consumer safety officer at FDA, says that some manufacturers still use partially hydrogenated oils in processed foods. Some examples of foods which may contain partially hydrogenated oils include:

  • crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods
  • snack foods (such as some microwave popcorn)
  • stick margarines
  • coffee creamers
  • refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls)
  • ready-to-use frostings (you will make your own!)

Now that partially hydrogenated oil is no longer generally recognized as safe, FDA is providing a three-year compliance period. This will allow industry to gradually phase out the remaining uses over a three-year period (2015), or seek food additive approval for those uses.


Easy Cake Recipes

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