You’ve decided to tackle decorating your own cake instead of ordering from a bakery. Congratulations! Cake decorating is a creative and rewarding hobby. But before you dive in, take some time to plan out the cake design.
Start by choosing the cake theme or overall style. This helps you choose how you want to decorate it. This is also the time to decide on the type of cake you want. A basic sheet cake is the easiest to decorate and move to the party location. A stacked cake requires support and is more difficult to move but makes more of an impact. One of my favorite types of cakes to make is a carved cake. With this style, you take a knife and sculpt the cake to look like a particular shape.
I decorate primarily with buttercream. It is a relatively easy frosting to work with for beginners. You can smooth on the frosting to cover cakes. You can also use icing bags and tips to make different borders, flowers and other designs on the cake.
Fondant is another popular icing option. You can roll is smooth to cover the cake. It can be difficult to get a smooth finish without any bunching. I use fondant for decorations rather than cover cakes. You can shape fondant into different shapes for the decorations.
Now that you have a general idea of what you’re doing, it’s time to plan the details. Don’t try to take on too much, especially with your first cakes. Simple is often better. If you try to do too much, the cake will look busy. Choose a few key decorations to get across the theme you’re going for on the cake.
I like to sketch out the cake design before I get to work. It helps me with the placement and the size of the decorations.