Easy to Use Cake Decorations for Beginners

This course will introduce you to some of the most common, easy to use, edible cake decorations available.  Of course there are many, many more, but these are a good place to start as a novice cake decorator. 

Introduction

How to decorate a cake....

Why decorate??

The purpose behind cake decorating is to turn an ordinary cake into a spectacular piece of food art. Decorating a cake can be as complex or as simple as you wish. Even a simple decoration can be highly effective, so you don't need to be afraid that you don't possess the skills needed to be good at decorating – much of it is about applying your creativity along with a little know-how on effective decorating.  Let's take a look as some of the more simple items that can be used for decorating.

Real flowers...

Flowers Meet Flour

Flowers and cake decorating make fine friends. But the flowers don't need to be fashioned from sugar. Fresh flowers can add a beautiful, vibrant quality to your cake decorating, whether it's a fancy wedding cake or a fun birthday cake.

Fresh flowers can be employed in a number of ways in your cake decorating, from delicate garnish to all-out cakes topped with flower arrangements. This post will guide you through the basics of using fresh flowers in cake decorating, including inspiring ideas for how to create works of beautiful cake art.

How to use the fresh flowers

Edible flowers...Is it really safe to use fresh flowers on cakes?

Yes, but do abide by:

  • Not all flowers are appropriate for cake decoration. Some flowers are naturally toxic for consumption; others are harmful because of pesticide use. A good florist should be able to advise on which flowers might be harmful If you have specific flowers in mind that you'd like to use, do some internet research on the flower, including how it is professionally grown.

 

  • Generally, any flower that is sold as an edible garnish will is a perfect choice for fresh flowers on a cake. Flowers that are edible include, but are not limited to, roses, gardenia, pansies, violets, dandelions, and violets. Here's a full guide to types of edible flowers.



  • In addition to your own safety, consider the durability of a flower on your cake. For instance, a beautiful gardenia might not fare well in a setting where it is on a cake displayed in the hot sun for hours. More delicate flowers might wilt in the presence of a moist buttercream. Consider how the cake will be served, and try to choose flowers that will have staying properties.

Molding (or modeling) Chocolate...

What is it?

Modeling chocolate is made up of two ingredients: chocolate and corn syrup. It can be made using Candy Melts, real chocolate or even chocolate chips. When the corn syrup comes into contact with melted chocolate, the chocolate seizes and turns into a workable dough.

Troubleshoot Common Problems with Modeling Chocolate here.

Fondant & Gum Paste: Cutout, Molded and Sculpted

Advantages:

Because of its easily "workable" clay-like consistency, fondant is well suited for a variety of decorating techniques. It can be rolled and used to easily cover a cake for a smooth, polished appearance.

Because of the smooth, flat surface which fondant can create on a cake, it tends to work better for transfer methods.  It can also can be used to create fondant cake toppers of various shapes and characters, which can add a high level of personalization to a cake.

Fondant is great for making cutouts. It can be rolled and cut out into shapes using fondant or cookie cutters, which can be used as decorating elements.

Fondant Decorating Tips for Beginners

Disadvantages:

Fondant is not well suited for piping. You might be able to extrude some fondant through a piping tip, but it is not easy, and the results are not as smooth or fluid as buttercream.

While it's not extremely difficult to make fondant, it requires much more time and effort than making buttercream. Even many cake professionals will purchase premade fondant rather than making their own.

Fondant can dry out quite easily, and this can lead to cracks or tears in the finished product. Fondant must be stored properly, or it will harden and be unusable.

In terms of flavor, many people prefer the flavor of rich buttercream to the candy-like flavor of fondant. Placing the fondant over a layer of buttercream (a common method of adhering it to a cake) can solve this by lending the flavor of buttercream but the polished, finished look of fondant.

The texture of fondant doesn't work well as a cake filling -- it can be too tough. It is more appropriate for a cake topping.

Review....Click on the hyper-links, then complete the questions below when you are ready.

True or False: All types of flowers can be used to decorate a cake but only some are edible.

  • True
  • False

Molding chocolate is also known as ___________________ chocolate.

  • modeling
  • Put your answer option here

All of the below are types of fondant except for

  • Rolled
  • filling
  • cut-out
  • molded