It can be difficult to come up with creative and simple ideas to decorate birthday cakes. You don’t want to make boring cakes for special events, and you want to be able to impress your friends and family with your decorating skills. What can you do? Don’t fear- just read on to find new and innovative ideas, which can be made by all levels of cooks and will look amazing.
1. Character Pans – for less than $10 at most craft or grocery stores, you can buy a cake pan in nearly any popular character. Also, look for shapes such as flowers and cars. This pans get you started with a great foundation, and often you’ll only need simple frosting to create an amazing cake.
2. Camouflage Icing – a new vogue in frosting, camo looks difficult. It’s not. Make 2-3 different shades of green (or try pink!), a dark khaki and an ivory frosting. Simply spoon alternating colors onto the cake, and blend lightly where they meet with a frosting spatula or butter knife. For cupcakes add the colors to a piping bag in alternating lines within the bag, and pipe without using too much pressure.
3. Crystallized Flowers – these can be purchased online, or made easily at home. To hand make, brush organically or naturally grown edible flowers with a sugar syrup or lightly beaten egg whites. While still damp, sprinkle with fine sugar to completely cover, and let dry. In humid weather this can be accomplished by dehydrating on the lowest setting of your oven for 2-4 hours. Flowers that work well include violets, rose petals, borage and dandelions.
4. Marzipan – this sweetened almond paste is available in most groceries, and can be molded just like playdough. Unlike playdough, it’s actually edible (and delicious). You can color the marzipan, and then easily mold almost any shape you want- traditional choices were small fruits, vegetables, and flowers. New popular choices include pinecones, animals, and monograms.
5. Birdwatcher – a set of ideas for bird-lovers: nests, eggs, and baby birds. Nests can be created by using broken up shredded wheat or rice noodles, molded in chocolate. Add in candy eggs, and marshmallow peeps for an adorable and fun cake creation.
6. Present – super easy: bake and frost a square 2 layer cake. The ribbons will be four strips of fondant, one placed along each side. A final strip of fondant is folded into a bow on the top, where the four others meet. No fondant? Try fruit roll-ups!
7. Fruit Basket – a traditional French technique for tarts. In this decoration, a selection of 4-5 fresh fruits are simply added individually to the top of the cake in little piles. For the best results, use fruits with different colors and shapes: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and slices of kiwis, peaches, or plums. Alternate the whole fruits and slices, along with colors to give the appearance of a farm market basket.
8. Pearls – these edible sugar decorating beads allow any cake to have an elegant look. The simplest and most stunning effect starts with a base of plain white or ivory frosting. Just add the pearl beads by either sprinkling for a casual event, or lining up for a more formal cake.
9. Cookie Cutter – not just for cookies, these can be used to add a finishing touch to any frosted cake. How? Simply place the cookie cutter on the cake, and dust a layer of sprinkles inside. Pull off carefully, and your design will be marked in sprinkles! Lots of fun, and this tip is so easy even children can help.
10. Molded Shapes – use silicone molds to bake mini cakes, or mold chocolate candies in a wide range of shapes. These easy forms will adorn your cakes, and no-one will believe how simple it is.
For your next cake, try out these different frosting and special add-ons. Don’t forget to as well start with the best foundation- baking your cake in a desired shape will help you create your masterpiece. These ideas will make creative and special cakes for birthdays and parties. Try one out, or a few of them, and your cakes will be the hit of the next event.
Written by Michelle Wagner Dellavalle