Have you ever seen such a beautifully made cake that you did not want to cut into it to eat it? Well, I have and even though I love eating cake, I love decorating them more because of the reactions I get when people see the final masterpiece. When it comes to decorating a cake, or even cupcakes, the possibilities are endless with the different ideas, techniques, and decorations you can use. In this essay, I am going to explain to you the basics of decorating a cake. Before you begin, you want to gather all of your ingredients and supplies which include a cake, turntable, bowl, piping bags, decorating tips, coupler, frosting, parchment paper, offset spatula and a bench scraper. Once everything is gathered, you want to start off by placing your cooled cake onto the turntable so that you can rotate it for easier decorating.
Next, you want to apply a crumb coat to your cake which is the first layer of frosting that helps prevent loose crumbs on the outside of your cake. This is especially important if you are frosting a darker cake with a lighter icing. With your offset spatula, spread an even, thin layer of frosting onto the cake and scrape the excess off into a separate bowl so that you do not get crumbs into your main bowl of frosting. You can reuse the excess frosting for the crumb layer but do not use it again afterwards.
Lastly, use a bench scraper to smooth the edges and then place the cake into the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes before frosting the next layer. After you remove the cake from the freezer, you want to place it back onto the turntable to frost. With your offset spatula, scoop a large amount of frosting onto the top of the cake and begin smoothing it out until the frosting is even. For the sides, you only want to apply a little bit of frosting at a time and hold your spatula perpendicular to the turntable so that you create smooth sides. Then, take your bench scraper and place it directly on the edge of the cake and hold it there lightly while you slowly turn the turntable. This will create even smoother sides by gathering excess frosting and filling in any small holes.
As you smooth the sides, some frosting will be pushed up towards the top of the cake which can be easily smoothed out by pulling that frosting towards the center of the cake with the offset spatula. Finally, you can fill your piping bag with the remaining frosting to use for a border and decorations. Before adding frosting to the bag, you will need to place a coupler base into the bottom of the bag, cut an opening and push it through the opening. Then you will place your decorating tip over the coupler base and twist the coupler ring onto the base to lock the tip into place. The easiest way to fill your bag with frosting is to place the tip of the pastry bag into an empty glass and fold the opening of the bag over the edges of the glass.
You will then want to use a spoon to transfer the frosting into the bag until it is three quarters of the way full. Following this, you will remove the piping bag from the glass and twist the open end to close it and grip it at the seal before applying pressure to pipe the frosting. Use the turntable to rotate your cake so that you can pipe your design quicker and with ease. If you plan to write a message on your cake, it is best to first practice your writing on a plate, paper towel or parchment paper.
You can also gently outline your words into the frosting with a toothpick and then pipe your words onto the outline. Overall, decorating a cake is a pretty simple task that can turn complex but is worthwhile in the end.