Cake decorating is a tough hobby – you work so hard, for so many hours, and then it is all gobbled up and gone so quickly!
It is tough to see something you worked on for so long disappear in usually less than 10 minutes.
The hardest cake I have made so far was a grand piano cake for my sister’s birthday/piano recital. It took about 8 hours to make and was seriously gone in what felt like 5 seconds.
This cake was definitely an exception and more difficult than most of my cakes. My general cake decorating style is very simple. I really like the look of simple but I also like that it takes less time! Is that cheating? Here are some tips on how to make a simple cake that still looks fancy.
(“Simple” is totally relative – cake baking and decorating is a lot of work regardless of how simple your decorating is. These cakes took some time but didn’t take too long or too much effort.)
Tip #1: Skip the fondant
If you are pressed for time, then adding a layer of fondant is an extra, unnecessary step.
If I have a very plain cake, I might play around with the color or add a cute little bunting banner on top.
Ombre is easy if you leave your frosting in the mixer and take out a little bit at a time before adding more dye. I use a piping bag if I want the lines to be clearly defined.
I like a cake with texture. Every now and then I make a smooth cake, but I usually go back with a spatula or spoon to give it some texture.
Tip #2: Decorate with candy/use candy as base border
Candy is by far the easiest and fastest way to decorate a cake.
Your frosting doesn’t have to be perfect if you are covering it with candy!
Don’t know how to pipe icing? Decorate with candy!
I like to add loose candy to the bottom of a plate. This relieves me from having to add a fondant border and helps cover up any imperfections.
Tip #3: Use toys for decoration
I am not a sculptor, so I use small toy figurines whenever possible to decorate the cake.
Tip #4: Wing it
I always have a general plan on what I want to do, but, honestly, I am usually just winging it!
I find that it helps if I am flexible and leave some room for improvising and creativity to cover up mistakes.
Ssssshhhh!!!! There was a gap at the bottom of both of these cakes but I purposefully covered it with fondant flowers!
Cake decorating doesn’t have to be painful! Keep it simple but have fun with it!
What are your cake decorating “cheating” tips? How do you keep cake decorating simple?
You can see some of my more elaborate cakes here.