Cake decorating should be FUN and STRESS-FREE. So here are a few fail-safe tips to decorating success which we hope will leave you celebrating with a glass or two, not drowning your sorrows in despair!!
- When baking a cake using a packet mix, don’t be tempted to reduce the recommended mixing time once combined, beat for the full 2 minutes recommended. This puts much needed air into your cake mix and creates a tall light and fluffy cake.
- It’s best to bake your cake at 160C on FAN FORCED on the middle shelf. This will help your cake to rise more evenly creating a flatter surface for easy decorating. If your cake is doming and splitting the oven is too hot.
- Don’t be tempted to keep opening the oven during cooking to check how your cake is travelling. The cool air will cause your cake to sink in the middle. Check when there is approximately 5/8 minutes to go just in case your oven is a little hotter than average.
- When making butter icing, start with a thick consistency; don’t add extra milk too soon. Some colours need more food colouring added than others to achieve the right colour. If you’re icing is still too thick AFTER colouring, you can then add milk carefully one teaspoon at a time.
- Icing always melts slightly while you use it and after it’s been spread on the cake. Keep your icing nice and thick at the start to avoid it sliding off the cake and onto the plate before the big reveal.
- Cut cake is always tricky to ice so to reduce crumbs in your icing, cut out your cake shape then let the cut cake sit for an hour on the bench or overnight in an airtight container.
- When icing your cake a palette knife or flat spatula is a must. Add lots of icing to your palette knife at a time and lightly brushing the surface cover the whole cake in a rough thick layer. Now place your palette knife in hot water, dry off and gently smooth the surface removing any excess icing.
When rolling out fondant, add icing sugar to the bench and rolling pin and regularly move the fondant around on the bench between rolling to prevent it from sticking. If you’re rolling a large amount of fondant, roll out on baking paper. This will make it easy to lift onto the cake and the baking paper can then be peeled off.
When you cut out the fondant shapes it often creates a rough edge. Holding the fondant shape in your hand gently run your finger round the edge of the cut shape. This will remove any rough edges and give you a clean finish. If you are cutting out circles, look for something in your home that it is same size like a glass or lid to use as a cutter for a more smooth finish.
STORING YOUR CAKE
If your cake is entirely covered in butter or fondant icing there is no need to store in an airtight container. The thick icing prevents air from hardening the cake. Keep your cake in a cool cupboard like the pantry. Don’t be tempted to store in the fridge as this make mottle the colour of the icing and the condensation can cause any lollies and fondant to bleed their colour onto the cake.
If you follow the above directions, you will have a perfect cake every time!