Am I the only one who needs an extra 24 hours each day? I jolly well hope not :P If like me, your time is precious, it's important that every second spent cake decorating is productive. Yet, I have found myself staring into the abyss at 2am wondering how and why my cake edges aren't sharp and smooth despite my 100th attempt (don't judge me, it felt like 100 attempts). Even worse, I've been known to wonder why I couldn't make a cake like Ms/Mr Instagram superstar. After a lot of soul searching (what?? staring into the abyss is a recipe for soul searching) I discovered these three secrets that if done consistently, will result in stunning cakes every damn time (yup! That's my conclusion and I'm sticking to it).
1. GET YOUR FOUNDATION RIGHT
Listen guys, I'm a creative at heart and generally view rules as suggestions butttttt with cake decorating you NEED to learn the rules. I'm talking back to the basics. Learn how to bake a delicious cake that can withstand your cake decorations and be stacked if need be. Perfect your frosting recipe. Learn or relearn to properly fill your cake. Sharp edges? practice like your life depends on it. Get your foundations right people. It may seem like a waste of time but it isn't. Learn the rules so you can take creative licence with your cake projects and err break them. No point trying to make an optical illusion cake if you don't know how to stack a standard cake now is there?
2. INVEST IN QUALITY TOOLS
Ahem, I can't overstate this. If cake decorating is a business for you, you can't be afford to use flimsy tools. Let me clarify, when I say tools I mean your basic tools. You know, the ones. These are your I use you every damn time tools like your turntable, your cake scraper, your spatulas and even your piping bags (yes piping bags. Few things are as frustrating as your piping bag bursting mid decorating). If you're still wondering why tools are on this list, it's because the better your finish. It also means less time wasted trying to achieve a god finish, which is ALWAYS a plus in my books. A cake friend of mine told me about her cake sliding off her turntable when she was decorating. We can all guess who wasn't a happy bunny.
My Ifeoma Acrylic Cake Scrapers are pretty dope if I say so myself. Thick, sturdy, sharp. You can get yours HERE
3. SEEK INSPIRATION OUTSIDE OF CAKE DESIGNS
Many cake trends are the result of inspiration from outside cake designs. Think concrete cake (architecture and design), Terrazzo cake (erm terrazzo), sugar flowers (nature) and ahem the unicorn cake. From nature to fashion to movement and design. The possibilities are endless. Remember, if you copy other cake designers, you'll probably become good at cake decorating but you'll always play catch up. If you are inspired by the things you love, well, darling the sky really is the limit isn't it?
This bookcase by Wayfair is giving me all kinds of design ideas.
TOP TIP: Create a private Pinterest board of items that inspire you. As you learn new cake decorating techniques, try your hand at replicating your saved items in cake form.
If you take only one thing away from this blog post, let it be this: A good foundation, coupled with good tools and inspiration outside the cake industry is a sure fire way to create stunning cake designs - ALWAYS!
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