The Artistry of Baking
Five fun ways to decorate your cake
If you ask a stranger if they rather like cooking or baking, his answer is most likely going to be cooking. People who prefer cooking will all agree with food writer Danielle Oteri that following directions and exact measurements is a pain. Although both are forms of culinary arts, it’s cooking that’s more so an art and baking as a science. The artistry of baking really comes after the cake is out of the oven. And for all those bakers, both aspiring and professional, decorating the cakes is the best part of the whole process.
Just like M&S ’s head of cake development Helen Brennan is “always on the lookout for new icing and decorating techniques,” you should be too. There are plenty of ways to personalise cakes, and no baker should just limit themselves with buttercream frosting as the finishing touch to their final product.
Here are some simple yet imaginative ways to decorate your cake:
Add fondant shapes
Use cookie cutters on already rolled out fondant icing to create shapes for your cake or even cupcakes. Fondant dries out pretty quickly so it’s best to seal the leftovers with plastic wrap.
Make a polka dot cake
To make add charm to your layered cake, try adding polka dots! Not only are they fun but they also do a nice job of hiding whatever flaws there are in the cake’s icing. To keep those dots neat, remember to hold the pastry bag in both hands. The tip should be at a slight angle just above the cake’s surface. Then squeeze gently, release, and pull back.
Sprinkle sanding sugar
Place a stencil of your cake and dust away with the colours of your choice using a spoon. Remember, before placing the stencil, the cake should have already been frosted and refrigerated for a couple of hours.
Instead of any additional icing…
Fruits, nuts, and some store bought cookies are great, inventive, and easier ways to decorate a cake. Nuts can be crushed and sprinkled on top or even line the edges of the cake. Sliced berries and cream filled sandwich cookies could serve as embellishments.
Or if you’re looking to just frost the cake after baking…
Try using the teaspoon technique on the cake frosting. All you have to do is make “S” shapes with a teaspoon. If you mess up, simply start over by smoothening out the frosting.