How to Decorate a Cake with Frosting and Sprinkles
Cake decorating is a fun and creative way to make any occasion more special. Whether you want to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or just a regular day, you can make a cake that looks and tastes amazing with some simple tools and techniques. Here are some easy cake decorating ideas that will impress your guests.
What You Need
- A cake of your choice, baked and cooled completely. You can use a cake mix or make one from scratch.
- A frosting of your choice, homemade or store-bought. You can use buttercream, cream cheese, whipped cream, or any other type of frosting you like.
- Sprinkles of your choice, such as jimmies, nonpareils, sanding sugar, or confetti.
- A cake board or plate, slightly larger than your cake.
- A cake turntable or lazy Susan, optional but helpful.
- A serrated knife and a cake leveler, optional but helpful.
- A spatula or an offset spatula.
- A piping bag and a star tip, optional but helpful.
How to Decorate
- If your cake is domed or uneven, use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to trim off the excess and make it flat. You can also cut your cake into layers if you want to fill it with frosting or jam.
- Place a dab of frosting on the center of the cake board or plate. This will help the cake stick to it and prevent it from sliding around.
- Place the first layer of cake on the board or plate, cut side down. If you have more layers, spread some frosting on top of the first layer and place the second layer on top, cut side down. Repeat with any remaining layers.
- Use a spatula or an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This is called the crumb coat and it will seal in the crumbs and create a smooth base for the final coat of frosting. Refrigerate the cake for about 15 minutes or until the crumb coat is firm.
- Use a spatula or an offset spatula to spread a thicker layer of frosting all over the cake. You can make it smooth or create swirls or patterns with the spatula. If you want to pipe some decorations on the cake, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with some frosting and pipe rosettes, shells, stars, or any other design you like around the edges or on top of the cake.
- Sprinkle some sprinkles on top of the cake and around the sides. You can use one type of sprinkles or mix and match different colors and shapes. Press them gently into the frosting to make them stick.
- Refrigerate the cake until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes or longer. Enjoy your beautiful and delicious cake!
More Cake Decorating Tips and Tricks
If you want to take your cake decorating skills to the next level, here are some more tips and tricks that professional cake decorators use to make their cakes look and taste amazing.
- Use a cake board that is the same size as your cake or slightly smaller. This will make it easier to frost the sides of the cake and create a clean edge. You can also cover the cake board with foil, parchment paper, or fondant for a more polished look.
- Use a cake leveler or a toothpick to mark the middle of your cake before splitting it into layers. This will help you cut even layers and avoid uneven filling or frosting.
- Use a simple syrup to moisten your cake layers before filling and frosting them. Simple syrup is a mixture of sugar and water that is boiled until dissolved and then cooled. You can add flavorings like vanilla, lemon, or rum to the syrup if you like. Brush the syrup lightly over the cut sides of the cake layers with a pastry brush. This will prevent the cake from drying out and add extra flavor.
- Use a piping bag and a round tip to pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of each cake layer before filling it. This will prevent the filling from oozing out and create a smooth surface for frosting.
- Use a cake smoother or a scraper to smooth out the frosting on the sides and top of the cake. Hold the smoother or scraper at a 45-degree angle and gently scrape off any excess frosting while rotating the cake on the turntable. You can also use a comb tool to create textured patterns on the frosting.
- Use a hot spatula or knife to smooth out any imperfections or air bubbles on the frosting. Dip the spatula or knife in hot water, wipe it dry, and run it over the frosting lightly. Repeat as needed until you get a smooth finish.
- Use different piping tips and techniques to create various decorations on your cake. You can pipe flowers, leaves, shells, stars, rosettes, swirls, dots, lines, and more with different tips and pressures. You can also use couplers to change tips without changing bags.
- Use edible decorations to add color and interest to your cake. You can use sprinkles, candies, chocolate shavings, nuts, fruits, flowers, cookies, macarons, marshmallows, and more to decorate your cake. Just make sure they are fresh and clean before using them.
- Use food coloring to tint your frosting different colors. You can use gel, liquid, or powder food coloring depending on your preference and the type of frosting you are using. Start with a small amount and add more as needed until you get the desired shade. You can also mix different colors to create custom shades.
- Use fondant to cover your cake or make 3D decorations. Fondant is a type of sugar dough that can be rolled out and draped over cakes or molded into shapes. You can buy ready-made fondant or make your own with marshmallows and powdered sugar. You can also color fondant with food coloring or paint it with edible paints.