Cake decorating doesn’t have to be difficult, although I admit sometimes my OCD gets the better of me and I can spend hours trying to get perfectly smooth buttercream icing.
But more often than not, I just don’t have the time to fuss over a cake. So here are 4 ridiculously simple ways that I rely on to decorate a cake quickly and painlessly.
(1) WHIPPED CREAM AND BERRIES
This way of decorating a cake is a personal favourite. It’s very evocative of British summers (even though I’ve yet to experience one!) and English tea. A cloud-like layer of thickly whipped cream dotted with bright berries can often be found in Victorian sponges, like in this Basic Sponge Cake recipe. But I’ve been known to use this type of decoration quite a bit because it’s so quick and easy, and yet looks spectacular. Try it out on my Lemon Semolina Cake!
(2) ICING SUGAR
A dusting of icing sugar can be the perfect way to finish of a cake. Make sure that you only sift on the icing sugar just before serving because the sugar will dissolve over time. If your cake has to sit out for a bit, make sure that your icing sugar layer is thick enough, or that you use something to soak up the moisture from the cake, like a layer of icing or cocoa powder. If you own a cake stencil, you can create pretty patterns of icing sugar in a pinch, just like the one on my Easy Chocolate Cake with Cake Stenciling. The icing sugar can also be a backdrop to something more colourful, like rainbow sprinkles!
Using candy to decorate a cake is so easy it almost feels like cheating. Just use something for glue like icing or melted chocolate, and stick on your candy of choice. There’s an amazing way to decorate a cake using Kit-Kat bars and M&M’s which I learnt off this post on Making Life Delicious. Here’s one that I made for a friend’s birthday:
(4) STAR PIPING
If you’re going to get into piping, the star is the easiest one to master in my opinion. It’s just a matter of holding the bag upright, squeezing until you get a sizable star, then release the pressure on the bag and lift it up. I just go crazy filling the entire top of cakes with stars, just like with my Matcha Cake.
And if you’re feeling a little more confident, you can let your imagination fly! Just by filling in the outlines with star piping, you can create pretty fancy-looking cakes.