Make 2022 the year to take your cakes to the next level with these 8 baking, frosting, and decorating tips!
If you prefer to watch a video of this tutorial, scroll to the bottom of the page.
If you struggle with domes on your cakes, meaning that they rise higher in the middle than around the edges, your oven temperature is too high.
Try decreasing the temperature by 25F or 15C to get perfectly flat cake tops and you’ll also find that by reducing the temperature, your cake layers will be more evenly baked AND more moist!
After baking your cake layers, when they’ve cooled completely wrap them in cling film or Saran Wrap and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes, before you assemble your cake and frost it. The cake layers will firm up and be more stable and less crumbly when you frost them, making your frosting much neater. 15 minutes in the freezer won’t affect the taste or texture at all – when the cake comes back to room temperature it’ll taste just as good as when it was freshly baked.
Make this the year to perfect smooth frosting on your cakes. The keys are to apply a crumb coat first, layer your frosting on thickly and so that it sticks up above the top of your cake, and do touch-ups to fill in indents as you go, after every few scrapes around the cake with your cake comb. Check out my tutorial on 15 Frosting Mistakes You’re Making And How To Fix Them for more tips!
Invest in some gel colours to get really bright and bold frosting. Gels are much more concentrated than liquid colours, and with just a few drops you can make colours like this fuchsia, which would take probably a whole bottle of a liquid colour to achieve.
After mixing a coloured frosting, cover the bowl and leave it for an hour to allow the colour to develop and get even darker and you’ll blow everyone away with your brightly coloured cakes!
Branch out and try different piping tips for different textures. For examples, instead of always using a 1M star tip to pipe swirls onto the top of a cake, try a 2D instead.
The 2D tip on this pink and red cake makes wavier swirls with more movement than the stiff lines of 1M swirls on the green and yellow cake above.
If you struggle with sinking, leaning or bulging cakes, refrigerate them after you frost and decorate them and that will keep everything firm and stable.
If the cake will be in the fridge for more than 6 hours, take it out after an hour, once the frosting is firm, and wrap it in cling film or Saran Wrap to seal it from the moisture in the fridge to prevent condensation, and then put it back in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Take the cake out 2-4 hours before serving it, and that will allow it to warm up to room temperature, when it tastes the best.
Take a cake decorating course! I have LOTS on my online cake schoolthat you can take from the comfort of your own home, watching the modules whenever is convenient for you and ask questions in the comments that I’ll reply to straight away!
Finally, learn how to cut your cakes! I always used to dread taking my cakes to events because people would assume I would cut the cake, until I figured out how to do it without making a mess! Tall cakes can be cut into traditional slices but try this technique to get more portions out of each cake, with different ratios of cake and frosting so each person can choose what they like best! You’ll need a cutting board and a knife. Cut above an inch off the side of the cake and lift up your cutting board and use your knife to tip the slice over onto the cutting board. Then cut this end slice into three pieces and these are perfect for people who LOVE frosting.
Use the same technique again, cutting another inch off and tipping it over onto your cutting board but for these wider slices from the middle of the cake, cut them into half and then half again to make 4 portions, and if you want smaller pieces you can cut across the middle, too. The middle pieces have much more cake than filling or frosting, so they’re great for people who don’t like super sweet desserts, but the edge pieces have a LOT of frosting so they’re great if you have a sweet tooth. There’s a piece for every kind of taste bud when you use this method of slicing your cake!
How will you improve your cakes in 2022?
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Here’s the video version of this tutorial:
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