You’ve just learned how to bake the perfect cake – now it’s time to up your game and start decorating!
It may sound daunting, but there are plenty of easy cake decorating ideas that beginners can try – most of which don’t need any fancy tools.
From using buttercream to frost your cake to pieces of fancy fruit, here are 12 quick and easy ways to transform your cake into a delectable masterpiece.
1. Apply Buttercream Like a Bakery Boss
One of the first techniques of cake decorating you should like is how to make and apply buttercream. After that, the sky’s your limit as to what you can stick into the icing as decoration!
To start with, smother your cake in classic buttercream icing. You can then decorate it simply by creating texture with an offset spatula. The result is not only pretty, but you can mask any buttercream application imperfections. Win-win!
2. Practice Piping
Once you’ve mastered the art of crafting buttercream icing, you can then practice piping to create designs.
While most beginners are intimidated when it comes to piping, there are ways to start slowly.
Before you can start creating fine and intricate designs, start with something large. For example, over-sized rosettes are an easy option for piping beginners.
3. Make Cakes Magical with Marshmallows
Either used melted or whole, marshmallows are a fun and simple way to brighten up a classic bake. Press them gently into buttercream icing or melt gently on a low heat on the hob to drizzle over the cake. It’s up to you!
If you do opt to melt, use a non-stick pan and warm slowly to make sure they don’t become overcooked – otherwise you’ll be left in a sticky situation!
4. Cover with Candy
Made a buttercream faux pas? Don’t worry – it happens. And, it’s totally salvageable!
Another easy cake decorating trick is to cover up any icing mistakes with colorful candy. You’ll be left with a cake that’s fancy, fun, and extra delicious with the sweet treat additions!
Simply press your candy of choice right into the frosting, and voila!
5. Dust Icing Sugar like a Dream
One of the easiest yet effective cake decorating ideas for beginners is using icing sugar to dust your cake. You simply can’t go wrong, and you’ll be left with a cake that looks delicious and classy.
Dust onto your cake freehand, or cut out a template and dust icing sugar over it to form pretty shapes.
Make sure your cake is completely cool though, as otherwise, the icing sugar will melt straight away!
6. Go Nuts
Adding nuts to buttercream icing is a great way to add character to your cake. Cover the whole thing or sprinkle a few on to the top.
Depending on what type of cake you create, you can match the nuts to pair well with the flavor. Walnuts are dreamy with carrot cake, or if you’re making a cake with peanut butter, peanuts are the obvious choice.
Chocolate lover? Then go for sweet pecans.
7. Get Crafty with Coconut
Like using nuts, choosing desiccated coconut is one of the healthier cake decoration ideas, but is just as yummy!
Cover your cake in a light buttercream icing and press flakes of coconut into it. It’s such a light flavor, that it works well with many types of cake like vanilla, lemon, chocolate, and carrot cake, so it’s certainly a versatile option.
Going full coconut? It can also be baked within the cake if you adore the flavor.
8. Fancy Fruit for the Win
For a taste of summer, brighten up a drab cake with light and refreshing fruits.
From fresh raspberries to dried raisins, to succulent strawberries, there’s a range of fruit that will make your cake look fancy and fresh.
Using fruit isn’t just limited to the summer either. Theme your cakes with seasonal fruit, for example, you can use clementines and dried fruits for a winter cake.
9. Have Fun with Fondant
Ready to roll fondant can be found in most supermarkets in the cake decorating aisle and is a super-easy way to decorate your cake as its pre-made.
Choose from a variety of different colors and get creative with your designs. For a confetti-inspired style, randomly place lots of colorful fondant circles across the cake, sticking them on with lemon extract as a glue.
The finished look is an easy yet effective one!
10. Go for Gold
Another way to snazz up your buttercream icing is by using a cake embosser. Create a mixture of metallic luster dust with vodka or lemon juice, dip a cake embosser into the metallic mixture, then press it onto a cool, buttercream-covered cake. Too easy!
11. Written on the Cake
Creating a cake for a birthday or special occasion? Make someone’s day by writing them a personalized message on the cake.
This is an easy cake decorating ideas for beginners, as you can simply purchase edible art pens or special cake decorating stamps to create words in fondant.
If you can’t find icing writing in your supermarket or you want to try your hand piping the message, simply use buttercream or icing sugar mixed with water instead. Make sure it’s thick enough for you to pipe through a thin nozzle, though!
12. Pipe and Stripe
Finally got the hang of piping? The last of our cake decorating ideas is the pipe and stripe method using buttercream piping.
Create pretty stripes across your cake by piping, but make sure to get them perfect for the best effect! To do this, measure first by pressing a ruler into your icing. Then, use the line to guide you for Pinterest-perfect stripes.
Ready to Practice These Cake Decorating Ideas?
Once you get more comfortable with applying buttercream icing, most of these cake decorating ideas will be a breeze once you put them to the test!
Likewise, it’s an art to get the hang of piping icing but once you do, you’ll be amazed how incredible your cakes will look and taste.
Ready to improve your cake decorating skills even further? Learn how to bake a mirror glaze cake from scratch here.