Cake decorating can either be a fun hobby for someone, or a successful career for anyone who enjoys being creative. It can be very lucrative once experience is gained, but where does one start? The following are a few simple cake decorating ideas for beginners to help them gain the confidence that it takes to flourish in this field.
*Buy a starter kit for practice
*Find an easy cake frosting recipe
*Buy a how-to book or magazine on cake decorating or search online for helpful hints and suggestions
*Use a fake cake for learning
Making Your Own Starter Kit
To begin decorating cakes, a large inventory of supplies is not needed. Buying a few well made frosting bags is a must, though, or a box of disposable bags that can be thrown away afterwards instead of washing. More than one bag is used due to using several colors of frosting at a time. Another item are the tips for making the different shapes such as the writing, leaf, star, and petal tips. Most beginners start with these four because they are the easiest to learn, while making a beautifully decorated cake at the same time, even if you are just starting out. Couplers are another item needed–one for each bag used. These are what connects the tips to the bags and holds them in place while decorating. All of these can be purchased at craft stores, where they usually have a wide selection of tips, bags, couplers, and other cake decorating items.
Find a Simple Frosting Recipe
Every cookbook will have a frosting recipe to use for decorating–usually what is called a buttercream frosting. If a cookbook isn’t available, then search on any recipe website. If making frosting is out of the question, then another option is the canned frosting from the supermarket. Either will do the job, as long as the homemade frosting is beaten very smoothly with no lumps to clog up the bag, or the supermarket frosting is kept cool enough that it doesn’t run out of the frosting bag too quickly. If it does run out too quickly, just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to thicken it up again. Try not to knead the bag too much or hold it too long at a time, as the heat from your hands will warm it up too much and make decorating very difficult.
Buy a How-To Book, Magazine, or Video
This is one of the best ideas when learning to decorate cakes. Buy an instructional book, magazine, or video, where step by step instructions are given, as well as plenty of close up shots to use for guidelines. Make sure to buy a beginner’s book or video, though, because they will explain the steps much more clearly, and they can also advise on the best materials needed to begin.
Use a Fake Cake for Practicing
Instead of using up valuable time having to bake cakes for decorating, there are “dummy” cake shapes available for practicing on. They can be bought at craft stores, also, and can be made for different materials such as cardboard or plastic. The plastic is the most economical, as it can be washed and re-used over and over again, whereas the cardboard cannot be.
These few simple cake decorating ideas can help beginners work towards a career as a professional cake and cookie decorator. The suggestions can help beginners in learning the basics and–once even a little experience is gained–the self-confidence to keep going and learning more is sure to follow directly behind. Even if it just becomes a hobby, it will be just as rewarding and fun.