Don’t have all day to make a cake? Try these quick frosting techniques for effortlessly stunning cakes!
Add colour and texture in less than a minute with these diagonal swooshes. First, spread a thin strip of coloured frosting around the bottom of a cake. Don't worry about the top edge because the unevenness of this adds to its beauty. Wipe your spatula clean and press the tip into the bottom of the frosting. Drag it diagonally upwards to leave swooshes in the coloured frosting.
When frosting starts to build up on your spatula, scrape it off into a bowl. Overlap each swoosh and try to keep your pressure the same each time. You can do this around the bottom of the cake or the top, or both!
Here’s an even more rustic look, before we move on to some more polished, elegant-looking techniques. Smooth the frosting on your cake and then press the tip of your offset spatula into the frosting. Spin the cake, holding your offset spatula still to create a groove around the bottom of the cake. Pull the spatula slowly upwards to continue the grooves all the way up the sides of the cake.
This is a fun technique to do because you’re not aiming for precision. Instead, have fun with it! Create a rustic textured effect that adds some pretty detail to your frosting.
Now for super quick two-tone frosting! Frost the top of your cake as normal, and the top of the sides. Then switch colours to cover up the rest of the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if smudges of this colour get onto the top half because those smudges will help with the blending effect next.
Scrape around the cake a few times with a frosting smoother or cake comb. Do any touch-ups to fill in gaps or indents until the frosting is smooth. This two-tone frosting is dramatic but SO quick and easy to achieve!
Naked cakes aren’t covered with frosting so any naked design is a big time-saver. Frosting kisses are a quick way to apply the filling and to decorate the top of the cake. You can pipe these with any round tip and of course, the bigger the piping tip, the bigger the kisses! I piped these with a 1A tip.
If you want to add sprinkles you can do that straight after piping, while the frosting is still soft, so that the sprinkles stick. Check out my Lunchbox Cakes tutorial for more ideas on making these adorable treats!
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You can get much more elaborate with piped filling on naked cakes, but it doesn’t need to take any longer. 1M piping tips are star-shaped and they’re very versatile, with loads of options for piped designs.
For the neatest results, start at the outer edges of each cake layer and work your way in. This way, the outer ring of frosting lines up perfectly with the outer edge of the cake. That’s the most important piping since that’s the part that will be visible once you’ve layered your cake.
For the top of the cake I like to start in the middle instead, since the whole top of the cake will be visible. Colourful piped filling looks gorgeous between naked cake layers.
Turn a plain frosted cake into an eye-catching centerpiece in seconds with this next technique. Arrange berries or chocolates or place cookies standing up around a cake. Space them evenly by moving from one, towards the opposite side of the cake.
Then use a piping bag fitted with a 1M or 2D tip to pipe spiral swirls or ruffles. Use your berries as a guide, piping up to the edge of them and also up to their height. This frosted Lemon and Raspberry Cake doesn’t look so plain anymore!
For a very quick loaded cake effect, don’t tidy up the top edge of the cake when you frost it. Leave the frosting sticking up around the top to form a wall to hold in any toppings on the cake.
Here’s a quick practical tip: chill the cake to set the frosting so that the wall firms up. Now it won't bulge when you add your toppings. You’ll need to spread a thin layer of frosting on top after it sets to act as glue. This will attach your toppings so they stay in place.
Fresh berries are perfect in summer or use chocolates, candies, flowers… there are so many options!
To make a neat sprinkle border around your cake, wrap the cake in parchment paper. Leave an inch or two of frosting sticking out at the bottom. Pour sprinkles around the cake, onto the cake board. I recommend putting your cake on a tray or rimmed baking sheet for this because it will catch any sprinkles that roll off the board, and LOTS of sprinkles will do just that!
Push the sprinkles into the frosted cake with an offset spatula or a spoon or your fingers. The frosting on the cake needs to have set before you do this so that the parchment doesn’t damage it. That means the frosting will be firm so you’ll need to push the sprinkles in quite hard to attach them. Another option is to spread some fresh frosting around the bottom of the cake after wrapping it in parchment paper. That fresh frosting will be like glue for the sprinkles.
Peel the parchment off and voila! Then just lift the tray up and pour the sprinkles back into the jar for super quick cleanup!
Tell me in the comments: which if these quick frosting techniques is your favourite?
You can also watch a video of this tutorial on 8 quick frosting techniques!
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