I Tried Cake Decorating and This is What Happened

I Tried Cake Decorating and This is What Happened

The first time I was introduced to cake decorating was in my 11th grade culinary class. I had always enjoyed making cakes, but I never really experienced the art of cake decorating until that year. Before the lab, I had to research a few piping techniques that I wanted to try. So I looked up how to use a piping bag and tip to pipe icing roses and a basic shell boarder. My first cake was a little sloppy, but the roses were fun to create!

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Then I decided to try something kind of intimidating - using fondant (icing used to decorate and sculpt cakes that gives them that smooth look). This little monster took hours to make, but I think it was all worth it in the end. It helped to watch instructional videos about putting fondant on a cake and doing a practice cake before this one. Cake decorating usually takes a while and can get tiring, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun, and I love seeing people’s reactions to the things I’ve made.

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This minion cake is a great project for beginners! It’s so simple, and instantly recognizable. I used buttercream frosting and a mason jar ring for the eye goggle. It’s easy to make different facial expressions by changing the mouth or the eye.

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I used these cakes for a church picnic and a family reunion.

One of the best things I discovered was that you can use a cheap boxed cake mix to make the cake, and it still tastes great! The most important part of a cake is the frosting. For cake decorating, you should always make the frosting from scratch with simple ingredients like butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. It tastes a million times better than canned frosting, and you can make it the exact consistency that you need by adjusting the amount of liquid or powdered sugar. I make buttercream frosting with these ingredients and I always have people telling me how good it is and asking what kind of frosting I used.

I also learned that you can save a lot of money by baking a cake yourself instead of buying one from the store or a bakery. I made this princess cake for my sister’s birthday, and the ingredients and supplies cost around $10. I had to research how to stack cakes using wooden dowels (sticks), and had a lot fun building the cake layer by layer.

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The green and white thing under the cake is a Wilton turntable. It makes life so much easier! I didn’t buy one because I thought it might be a waste of money. Then I got one as a birthday gift. The first time I used it I realized why they exist. What a huge timesaver! I will never decorate a round cake without one again.

Wilton Trim 'n Turn ULTRA Cake Turntable Rotating Cake Stand, $15.97

It feels really special when people ask me to make them a birthday cake. It’s exciting to come up with a design and research new ways to decorate. I created this cake for my culinary teacher’s nephew.

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I decided to make cupcakes for my graduation party. I liked being able to make them exactly how I wanted them, instead of just buying a generic cake from the store. I chose to have some with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting, some with flower designs, and some with peanut butter cup graduation caps.

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My neighbor called them "capcakes"!

Anyone can decorate cakes! The more you practice, the better you’ll become. There are so many tutorials online to help you along the way. Being a college student, I love that I can save money by making special cakes instead of buying them. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You may end up loving it.

Related: I Tried Going Vegetarian and This is What Happened

 

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