Planning a children’s birthday party is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. From the decorations to venue to food, there are a lot of decisions to be made, all with timing and budget in mind. But maybe there’s one thing you have your mind made up about…the cake! You decided you want something special and unique this year from the heart and want to make your kids’ birthday cake from scratch for the first time. Homemade cakes can be beautiful and delicious with the right skills and tools. Here are some cake decorating tips for beginners that will have your party guests asking for the name of your baker.
Start off Right
One of the most common mistakes beginner bakers make is decorating while the cake is still hot and fresh out of the oven. Doing this will cause the frosting to melt right off creating a sticky and runny mess. Try freezing the cake to avoid this mishap! Once cooled, go ahead and place the cake in the freezer until you are ready to decorate. This technique not only ensures the icing stays on but can also be a real-time saver. You may have some extra time during the week to bake the cake but are worried about it still tasting fresh on the day of the party…don’t be! Cakes can be frozen for up to a week and still taste fresh. By doing this, you used your extra time wisely and still have a tasty cake to decorate the day of or before the party.
A baker is only as good as their tools, so let’s go through some essential cake decorating tools. First, a turntable makes frosting your cake much easier and cleaner. Place the cake on top and slowly turn the table to evenly spread the frosting on all sides of the pastry. For the frosting itself, we recommend frosting bags. These can be made right at home for much less than the store-bought alternatives. All you need are quarter or gallon-sized storage bags, depending on the amount of frosting you are using, and a scissor. To see exact instructions or more cake decorating tips and tricks, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGkbUR61cpc.
Lastly, piping tools are useful baking gadgets that will help you ice your cake with different styles and techniques. Piping tips have different designs that can be placed in your frosting bag. Your local grocery store will have various ones to choose from or you can often find them in cake decorating kits at craft stores.
Level and Crumble
When you are trying to make your own birthday cake, the hardest part is getting the fondant or icing to look nice and smooth like it does at professional bakeries. To help you achieve this, try the level and crumble coat method. The crumble coat acts as a layer of “glue” to seal in moisture and provide an even surface. To start, spread a thin layer over the cake, thin enough that you can still see through to the cake, and smooth it over the best you can. Then let that thin layer dry. Once it dries, continue icing the cake as you normally would. The crumble layer stops any crumbs from getting into the final icing and decorations and lets you glide the frosting across. To note- this tip is especially helpful for those looking to freeze their cake before decorating.
Making your own frosting may sound difficult but it’s actually pretty simple! Look through some of your cookbooks or look up some recipes online to find which one you think would look and taste best. The easiest way to go is buttercream frosting- easy to make and a favorite for most people. Some other frosting tips include: starting at the top and working your way down to the sides and using a palette knife to smooth the final layer.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to cake piping techniques. As a beginner, you may want to practice on a piece of wax paper before placing it onto your pastry. This way you can get a sense of how much and how fast the icing comes out of the bag before you accidentally spill half all over your cake! This tip also helps you see which designs you like best.
As we mentioned before, you can also find plenty of helpful cake decorating videos online that will show you all types of different piping techniques and much more.
The main show of your birthday cake is the frosting so when it comes to cake toppers and other decorations, it’s best to keep it simple. Piping tips will help you create beautiful edges or patterns across the cake. Use other items, like sprinkles, kids’ birthday cake toppers, big number candles, party candles, etc., to enhance your cake with minimal effort.
Did you decide to use fondant instead of icing to cover your birthday cake? Our last tip is for you! If you run out of fondant or can’t seem to make it lay flat on the cake, don’t panic. You can make your own pastry fondant with only a few common ingredients- marshmallows, powdered sugar, and water. You can add to the dough you already have to make more or add to premade fondant to make an easier texture for you to place on the cake.
There are plenty of kids birthday cake decorating ideas to choose from when making your own cake, just make sure to follow the recipe exactly and use these tips to make decorating fun and successful. For more birthday party ideas or tips check out www.pumpitupparty.com.