cake decorating tips Archives

Cake Ideas – Preparing for the Graduation Cake Rush

 

Cake ideas start coming around in May for 8th grade promotions and high school and college graduations. This is one time of year when everyone seems to want their cakes on the same day or couple of days. This definitely takes some planning and preparation. The last few years, I have had orders for 25 or more cakes to be done in about 3 days. The first time I had that many orders, I baked and decorated a certain number of cakes per day – till exhaustion, with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep between. The next year, I did it with a whole new routine. The week before all the cakes were needing to be decorated, all the cakes were baked and stuck in the freezer, and many batches of decorators icing were mixed up and put in the refrigerator. Then the week prior to the graduations, the number of cakes to be decorated each day (usually 6 or 7) were taken out of the freezer the night before. That way it was just a matter of decorating cakes for the day and no baking was involved. That made things go so much smoother! It's much easier to concentrate on one thing at a time, like either baking OR decorating – not both šŸ˜‰ So how do you prepare the cake for freezing? In one of my earlier posts, I explained how I line my cake pans with waxed paper before baking. Once baked and cooled, I dump the cake out on the waxed cardboard and leave that waxed paper on them to seal them for freezing. I also have 1/4" boards I put under those cardboards to help support the cake to keep it from splitting. I then insert the whole thing – cake, cardboard, and 1/4" board into a white unscented 13 gallon tall kitchen trash bag and seal it up. This helps protect the cake in the freezer. Pull the cake out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the bag overnight. This is also the time to set the frosting out of the refrigerator so it will be softer for spreading the next day. The next morning, take the cake out of the bag and remove the waxed paper from the cake. This whole process has kept the moisture sealed in the cake. Doing cakes for graduation if you have several orders can be a little stressful, but if you can establish a routine that works for you, it will go much smoother. If you have any other cake decorating ideas for the graduation rush, please feel free to post them here as a comment to share with others. 

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – Mother’s Day Cakes

Cake ideas turn to the feminine side for Mother's Day, which is the second Sunday in May. Many people try to have a family get-together on that day to honor mothers. Often times they treat her to a meal out so she doesn't have to cook. And then in the afternoon they continue the celebration with refreshments of some kind. What a perfect time to have a decorated cake on hand – made just for her! So what are some cake ideas for Mother's Day? Well, first of all, it would be a good idea to find out ahead of time (not the day before if you plan to surprise her) what her favorite cake flavor and colors are. This way you will have something made especially to her liking. Decorations of flowers, ribbons, or bows can be applied to the cake for that feminine look for the cake. With an edible cake image, many pictures can be chosen from to put on the cake. Some ideas for that could be a picture of her when she was young (before children) like her high school graduation, a comparison of her in younger years and a current photo side-by-side, a family picture with her children, her with her favorite pet, or something in reference to her favorite hobby or interest. Below are a couple of cake ideas that can be used for Mother's Day. These photos are in reference to a birthday, but it can still give cake decorating ideas as to what can be used for your masterpiece for this yearly occasion.

Old Graduation Picinterest in cats

So with the approach of Mother's Day, get the facts and materials you will need to make that special cake: favorite cake flavor, favorite color(s) for decorations, and favorite photo if using edible cake images. Remember, your mother loves you so much and this cake will be a little token of how much you love her. šŸ™‚

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – St. Patrick’s Day Cakes

Cake Ideas for St. Patrick's Day are generally geared towards something green. The cake itself can be made green by adding green food coloring to a white cake mix. When applying the icing, it can be frosted in green or frosted in white and then trimmed with green. Of course there are a few cake pans out there that can be used for the holiday theme. There is a Care Bear pan, a shamrock pan and a horseshoe pan, of which the latter can be turned the one way to look like a good luck Irish horseshoe and turned the other to make a rainbow where you can find the pot of gold. To accent the cake, gold, foil-wrapped coin candy can be scattered around the base of the cake to make it look like someone got into the pot of gold.

There are also gold sprinkles or shamrock confetti that can be added for a little glitter or glamour when decorating cakes.

Sometimes little trinkets for St. Patrick's Day can be found to add to the cake or placed on top of cupcakes that are baked in gold foil cupcake papers.

Maybe you are of primary Irish descent or at least can trace your lineage back to include some of it in your ancestry. Keep the Irish event as a tribute to your family history by celebrating this sometimes almost overlooked holiday. Have fun with it and even put up St. Patrick's Day party decorations. But most of all, remember to wear green so you don't get pinched!

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas- Valentine’s Day Cakes

Cake ideas start to be sought when Valentine's Day approaches in order to make a treat for those special someones. A decorated cake for that holiday can make it memorable, no matter what the age of the recipient. What are a few ideas for the cake itself? Well, pink and red are usually associated with Valentine's Day. So how about using Strawberry or Cherry Chip cake mix for a pink cake or a Red Velvet cake mix for a red cake! Or you can always use a White mix and add red food coloring a few drops at a time to get the shade you desire. The frosting can be white or pink and then use any of the various shades of pink and red for the trimmings, writing, and decorations. The decorations on the cake can be any variation of things to spruce it up. Ideas for that could be red or pink artifical flowers, Valentine confetti, a cake topper, or fresh strawberries (don't put these on till ready to serve šŸ˜‰ ). Since hearts are usually associated with the holiday, a heart-shaped cake definately fits the occasion. If a heart pan is not available, you can actually make a cake in that shape by pouring half the batter in an 8" square layer and the other half in an 8" round layer. After they are baked and removed from the pans, turn the square layer with a point on the bottom like a diamond. Cut the round layer in half and place the cut side of each half of the round layer against one upper side of the square layer, making it look like it has Mickey Mouse ears. What shape do you see? A Heart šŸ˜® ! Heart-shaped cupcakes or ones in Valentine cupcake papers make great individual servings or something special for school parties. Any shape of pan can be used for a Valentine's Day cake and the decorations will give it the character needed for the special occasion. You can use any of the items listed earlier for decorating the cake, or you can also use colored decorating sugar, red hots, or candy conversation hearts that are in season for the holiday.

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – Decorating With Candy

Jelly Belly Shop

Cake ideas can include candy such as plain old M&M's and Hershey's Kisses for decorating cakes. However, you can purchase these candies for those special occasions, and they will definately make a conversation piece. When my husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary, we ordered M&M's that said 'Daryl & Linda' on some and 'Happy 25th' on the others. We had chosen the colors of silver (or course) and light blue or light turquoise for our anniversary colors to work with for the celebration. (We also used gold and yellow M&M's for my parent's 50th Anniversary and purple and lavendar ones for our son's wedding.) Several months before our party, we had received an email advertising for personalized M&M's, and we thought that was just too unique of an idea to pass up. Checking the website now, they have more options available than they did almost 2 years ago – including 22 colors!  Our anniversary is April 10, so I was able to start picking up Christmas decorations on clearance in the right colors (silver  garland and bells and blue balls, etc.) that we wanted for decorating for the event. See some of the table decorations in the pictures below.

Another place that has some really cool ideas for candy that can be served with your decorated cake as a little garnish, or scattered on the tables as a colorful decoration, is a store called 'Candy Warehouse.' You deserve to check out this store. You can search for candy by the type, the occasion, and by color of it – or the wrapper. Another place you can shop for specialty candy and tons of party decorations is the Oriental Trading Company. They have all kinds of stuff that we used for our anniversary, including individually wrapped dinner mints in silver foil that had anniversary greetings printed on them and 25th anniversary balloons. And since Valentine's Day was only about two months prior to our anniversary, I was able to find the 'Love' tag Hershey's kisses. One thing the papers that came with the M & M's said was to not store them in a refrigerator, but rather keep them in a small styrofoam cooler, as getting chocolate cold makes it turn a whitish color – and then they wouldn't have been very pretty for the party and people would have thought we were serving them old candy šŸ˜‰ . So as you can see, sometimes you can think 'outside the box' and come up with some really great options that will enhance or compliment your cake ideas.

Personalized MY M&M'SĀ® Candies.

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – New Years Cakes

 

Cake ideas for the new year can maybe be a little harder to come up with. If you have a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day party, you could make a decorated cake to bring in the new year that depicts an hour glass or a clock. With edible image frosting sheets, it's less difficult to go online and find a picture of "Father Time" or a party hat, horn, and confetti to put on a cake to create your masterpiece. If all else fails, one cake idea is that you can at least make an eggnog cake šŸ˜‰ ! Here is a recipe to accomodate that:

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Eggnog Cream Cake

1 box French vanilla cake mix 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon rum extract (optional) ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (divided) 1½ cups prepared eggnog 1 package (6 serving size) vanilla pudding and pie filling (NOT instant) 1 container (8oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding extracts and ¼ teaspoon of the nutmeg to batter. Bake in 9 x 13 pan according to package directions. Cool completely in pan. In small saucepan over medium heat, cook eggnog, pudding mix, and remaining ¼ teaspoon nutmeg – stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; place plastic wrap directly on pudding to prevent skin from forming.

Refrigerate to cool completely. Gently fold in whipped topping in 2 additions. Spread pudding mixture over the top of the cake. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

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Since this cake is actually served in the pan, you could lay a couple of party horns close to the cake and sprinkle some 'incoming year' confetti on the table around the cake. Also have some glasses of punch or eggnog to serve with the cake. To get some ideas of what you can use for this type of party, just visit 'Celebrate Express' and 'The Party Works' banners on the right side of this page. They can accomodate all your party needs year-round, including that New Year's event.

Decorating cakes for different holidays can be challenging, but also very fun and exciting. Just let your imagination flow and you will come up with some New Year's cake ideas.

 

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – Our Store For Decorating Cakes

 

Cake Ideas can begin in several ways. Sometimes we get our ideas from pictures we see in books, sometimes from cake pans we see and start to visualize different ways we can use them, or maybe we see some sprinkles or confetti that sparks that idea. In order to assist our visitors, we have set up a store with Amazon that features cake pans of all sizes and shapes, cake decorating books of all kinds from beginner to expert (there's even one of 'Cake Decorating For Dummies' šŸ˜‰ !), decorating supplies from bags and tips to toppers and candles, and baking ingredients that include sprinkles, flavorings and tube icings. There are way too many things to list them all here, including many Wilton products . We have tried to include many items that decorating cakes requires, plus some things you may not have known was even available! So come on over to visit by clicking on the blue banner above that says 'Visit CakeIdeas101.com Amazon Store' and see what we have made available for you all in one shopping place. You will be directed away from this site, but there are a couple of places on the Amazon site then where you can return to us by clicking on 'Cake Ideas 101' and it will take you back here to the home page. If there are items you would like to see us carry, please contact us and we will see about getting it added to our store. We hope you enjoy your shopping experience in our Amazon Cake Ideas 101 Store, and that you find many of the items for decorating cakes that you are looking for at a very reasonable Amazon price.

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – How Many Will The Cake Serve?

Cake Ideas many times revolve around how many people a cake will serve. Of course the biggest determiner to that question is how big the pieces are cut šŸ™‚ . Generally, a cake mix box is going to say that a mix will make 12 servings. Those are pretty hefty portions if you are looking at it in a 9 x 13 pan. That means you would slice the cake in six rows the width of the cake and then cut it down the middle, making 12 pieces. We usually slice it in the six rows but cut it twice the other way for 3 rows to make 18 pieces, and these are still plenty big. It can just as easily be cut in 4 rows to produce 24 pieces. If you are serving other things like ice cream or nuts and mints, this is a nice-sized piece. Cake is usually served as a refreshment and not as a meal anyway šŸ™‚ . Cakes done in the sheet pan (or cookie pan) that is about 11 x 17 can easily be cut to serve 28 people, and that is with just one cake mix. This is 4 rows of 7 pieces, as illustrated in the first picture below. The second picture shows individual pieces marked for a 12 x 18 cake that will serve 50 people. It uses 2 cake mixes.

 

Round, heart, and other miscellaneous shaped cakes are a little harder to figure for how many they will serve. It's best to keep in mind how thick the pieces will be. As in the two above pictures, the one is in the cake pan and is only about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. The second one is from a 2" deep pan. So even though the pieces in the second one are smaller in surface area, they are also at least twice at thick as the one in the pan. If the decorated cake is a layer cake, you have even more height so the pieces can be cut narrower for the same amount of serving size. As you can see, decorating cakes for that special occasion can be a little tricky in the planning when it comes to figuring how many it will serve. The shape of the pan and the height of the cake can account for several variables. But just as a basic guide, a good rule of thumb is to figure one mix will make anywhere from 18 to 24 pieces to serve the guests. Of course, the biggest thing to figure in would be the person cutting the cake. If they like hefty pieces on the plate, you may just come up short in the end. Guest will then either be receiving a 'sliver' of cake in order to make it stretch, or they will get not at all šŸ™ . If unsure there will be enough to go around, take a stash of homemade chocolate chip cookies to serve to the end of the line if you do run out, and I'm sure they will be just as happy šŸ™‚ .

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipe, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – Bright Ideas!

 

Cake ideas and cookie ideas are a couple of things that can be found online without much effort. There is actually a site called Bright Ideas – "a mecca for mingling with other creative friends and the perfect place for finding inspiration for ‘any day’ or ‘everyday’ celebrations. . . It's the perfect place for birthday and holiday ideas, but we think you'll find it's so packed with creative thinking that you’ll be inspired to make every day a special day." You can actually search for what you are interested in by activities, events & parties, holidays, ingredients, and difficulty. You can not only 'get ideas', but also 'give ideas' on this site. They have tons of recipes and a free newsletter you can subscribe to (Don't forget to subscribe to ours while you are here šŸ™‚ ). There are some really clever ideas for treats for kids to take to school for different holidays, or to add a little festivity to the dining table for your family get-together. This is just a very fun site we wanted to share with our readers, even though it's not just limited to decorating cakes and cake ideas. 

Be sure to sign up for our FREE eBook “Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert” by subscribing to our FREE Monthly Bulletin at the top of the right side about decorating cakes, and to receive contest notifications, recipes, and cake ideas.

Cake Ideas – FREE eBook For You!

Cake ideas come and go, but cake decorators are usually here to stay. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, sometimes we all need a little inspiration. So I am bringing to you a FREE eBook you can download and save to your computer.  All you have to do is subscribe to my FREE monthly newsletter and the ebook will be sent as a link in your welcome email.  The name of the eBook is "Cake Decorating: How To Go From Beginner To Expert." Just come on over to the top of the right hand side of the page and sign up for the FREE monthly newsletter. Be sure to include your birthday (month & day only), as there may be a little surprise for you that day šŸ˜® . Go ahead and claim your FREE eBook!