Humans are visual creatures and it's a fact that we are attracted to things that look pleasant to the eyes. Wondering how this is related to cakes? We make up our mind about a food item before even touching it by its visual appeal! If the appearance of a cake doesn't excite you, most probably you are not even going to taste it, unless you are a cakeoholic. Thus, learning to decorate a cake is just as important as making one. So you are thinking about decorating a cake. Maybe you have done it before, maybe you haven't. If you need to know how to decorate a birthday cake, how to decorate a cake with frosting, or just a few general cake decorating techniques, you have come to the right place. Follow the below simple tips and turn your cake into a showstopping centerpiece. Tools you will need: • Rotating cake turntable: Rather than having to walk all around the cake, the turning table makes the whole cake making the process much easier. • Serrated cake or bread knife: For better leveling and splitting layers. • Offset palette knife: This is used for applying to frost without dragging your fingers through it. • Cake smoother/ scraper: For smoothing frosting and making decorative markings and patterns. Cake Decoration Tips: 1. Freeze your cakes First things first, before you start decorating a cake it is important that you freeze the cake well in advance. Baking cakes in advance and freezing them makes frosting easier since it will create a firmer surface. For example, bake it on a Monday and freeze it, and then take it out and decorate it on Friday. Frozen cakes don't crumble as much when you frost them, and it makes it much easier to apply your crumb coat. Also, leveling your cakes is easier with frozen cakes. 2. Level your cakes Leveling your cakes is important because the tops of the layers need to be completely flat, otherwise, they can lean or wobble when you stack them. This is where your serrated cake knife comes in. The aim is to saw off any dome-like top on the cake so that it's perfectly flat. Start the blade at the edge and keep it level while rotating the cake on the turntable. Instead of pushing the blade through the cake using a sawing motion. The bottoms should already be flat because of the cake pans but, you should still level them so that the bottoms don't wobble. 3. Apply a crumb coat Now it's time to frost the cake, which starts with applying a crumb coat. A crumb coat is an initial, light coat of frosting that helps prevent any loose crumbs from turning up on the outside of the cake. If you're making a layer cake, position the bottom layer on your turntable, spread a layer of frosting to the bottom layer, then place the top layer on top (bottom side up). Now you should apply the crumb coat to the whole cake and chill the cake for 15 to 30 minutes. This allows the crumb coat to fully set before you apply the final coat of frosting. 4. Applying the Frosting The next step is to place the assembled layers on the turntable and apply a mound of frosting to the top, spreading it around with your palette knife while you rotate the cake. It's best to work quickly so that everything stays cool. 5. Add piping To decorate the cake, you can use the piping method. Piping your frosting through a pastry bag is a very easy technique that gives your cake a sophisticated look. There are different types of bag tips such as round tips, star tips, leaf tips, and basket-weave tips that will get you different looks on your cake: • Round tips are used to make lines, dots, and write on the cake. • Star tips are used to create stars, shells, flowers, decorative borders, and rosettes. • Leaf tips are used to make leaf shapes on your cake. • Basket-weave tips can be used to make lattices and ribbon-like lines and borders. 6. Add Creative Toppings This is another way to make your cake look more beautiful and delicious. Instead of achieving the perfect look for your cake with piped frosting, you can get a creative look by adding fresh fruit, cookies, and nuts. Some of the other creative cake-topping ideas include whole small berries, sliced fruit, cashew or walnut halves, sliced or slivered almonds, chopped hazelnuts or peanuts, toasted or shredded coconut, gingersnaps, or cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies. 7. Use Candy Decorating a cake with candy provides you with tons of creative ideas. Here are a few types of candy that can easily be arranged to make decorative patterns and borders: • Miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces • Chocolate-covered peanuts or raisins • Jelly beans • Gumdrops • Fruit rolls or leather • Peppermint sticks • Whole or crushed malted milk balls • Sour fruit-flavor straws Conclusion: There's no left thumb rule for decorating a cake. One can decorate a cake as per his/ her choice of toppings and creativity. However, the basics of choosing the frosting and baking the cake should be implemented as mentioned above. So follow the above tips and treat your tummy with a sumptuous cake.