I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Yes you can call me creative, however I am creative in a theoretical sense. But when it comes to hands-on artistry I cannot be relied on to do much more than color in the lines. I never took a course (or even a class) in cake decorating nor do I own my own set of pastry bags and tips. I always borrow from my kind and patient neighbor Robin. She is patient because sometimes it takes me days to return her cake decorating equipment and she is kind because she never says anything about it.
When it comes to my kids’ birthday cakes, I feel so much pressure. People can’t wait to see what I turn out. They expect cakes of grandeur and beauty, cakes that are whimsical and delicious and most of all professional looking. But I wasn’t trained for this. Suddenly you become a mom and you’re expected to be able to do something fun with frosting. But because I am creative in the theoretical sense, I’ve figured out a way to make my kids and myself look good. Now with no skill or fancy equipment (other than an offset spatula) you can too!
Before we get to the DIY tutorials, here are a few tips:
CHILL IN THE FREEZER: Place your cakes in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes to firm them up so you have fewer crumbs when you frost.
CRUMB COAT YOUR CAKES:
A crumb coat is just a thin layer of frosting (the same color you intend to frost the cake with) applied with an offset spatula to help hide crumbs. Don’t worry if crumbs get into your crumb coat, the crumbs will become “glued” into the surface of the cake with the 2nd chill.
CHILL AGAIN THIS TIME IN THE FRIDGE: Once you have applied a crumb coat you will need to let it set. Place your cake in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. Once set, the surface will be ready for a final frost and to decorate.
Here are a few easy to decorate cake ideas, click on the links to get the full instructions: