Easy Tips For Dressing Up Cakes And Pastries
You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s for this very reason that it’s important that your cakes and other desserts not only taste delicious, but look attractive, too.
Decorating your cakes, cookies, pies and other pastries doesn’t have to be a difficult task, though. As online pastry students quickly find out, it only takes a few finishing touches to make your delectable desserts a work of art your customers, friends or family will want to dig into.
Choose a frosting
Frosting is a simple way to take your cake to the next level. Choose a frosting that will make your cake stand out. Buttercream is many bakers’ go-to choice, but there are other frosting options that will make your confection unique, Better Homes & Gardens pointed out.
Try a meringue frosting for a fluffy and toasty-looking topping:
- Combine egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar.
- Beat for 30 seconds.
- Use a double-boiler to heat up the combination, beating constantly, for 10-13 minutes.
- Add vanilla.
- Beat for another minute or until your frosting holds soft peaks.
- Use a kitchen torch to toast the tops.
Add some color
Another way to make your frosting stand out is by adding food coloring. Your options are endless – all you need is an artist’s eye and some red, blue and yellow food dyes to mix your pallet as you please. According to Betty Crocker, 1 cup of classic white frosting is an excellent base when you want to mix the following colors:
- Tangerine: 45 drops red + 80 drops yellow.
- Blue raspberry: 58 drops blue.
- Basil: 80 drops green + 3 drops yellow.
- Eggplant: 50 drops blue + 110 drops red.
- Bubblegum: 4 drops red.
If you’re making a large batch of frosting, increase the number of drops in relation to the amount of frosting.
Candy and cookies create fun visuals
Candy and cookies can also help you make fun textures and scenes on your cakes. Use chocolate candies to create patterns or carefully arrange macarons atop your cake to add a dramatic and edible topper. Cut fruit rolls or fruit leather into colorful shapes to create geometric designs on top of your cake.
Cake designer Erin Gardner wrote on lifestyle blog Handmade Charlotte that cutting rainbow licorice pieces width-wise gives you cute flower heads you can stick all over the top and sides of your cake. Use green licorice pieces cut lengthwise to create the stems.
Use flowers and fruit for natural splashes of color
For natural decorations that cut down on the added sugar to your cake, use fruit or flowers in your topping. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all add colorful beauty to your cake. Arrange strawberries atop your cheesecake, or circle a chocolate cake with red raspberries.
Flowers can also add unique splashes of color. According to Southern Living, these are ideal floral additions to any baker’s pantry:
- Rose petals.
- Borage blossoms.
Get creative with sprinkles
Sprinkles are easy to pour over your freshly frosted cookies and call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, but sprinkles can also be very versatile toppings when you let your imagination take the reins. Use stencils or cookie cutters to create a shaped barrier in the center of your cake. Choose a heart for Valentine’s Day, a leaf for a fall treat or personalize a cake celebrating a person, birthday or anniversary. Then, pour the sprinkles inside the stencil to make sure the pattern sticks.
If you have the time and patience, you can arrange cylindrical sprinkles to look like an embroidery pattern. First, group like colors together, then use a toothpick or butter knife to lightly outline your pattern. Carefully place the sprinkles end-to-end until you’ve covered your entire outline.