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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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™‚ .

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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. 

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Cake Ideas – The Finishing Touches

Cake ideas come to life when the finishing touches are put on the cake. Decorating cakes is fun, but what is done to "polish" it with the last little details is what leaves that lasting impression. Once the cake is frosted and decorated with the borders and design on top, little things can be done to make it noticeable – not just a cake on the table. Here are some ideas that can make your decorated cakes look remarkable.

  • Put artificial flowers (or real ones if available) in one or two of the opposite corners of the cake. This will give it a definate 3-D effect. Artificial flowers come in so many colors and kinds that you can let your imagination run wild. Mix and match the kinds and colors to come up with contrasting or complimentary colors to the rest of the cake theme and design. Whether using fake or real flowers, just cut the stem about 1 1/2" long and poke down in the cake in whatever position or angle you desire.

  • Use spray food coloring to add a little color without having to use colored frosting. If there is a certain place you do not want any overspray, cover it up with a sheet of paper while spraying. Start with a light mist and then go over it till you have the shade you want.

  • Sprinkles are a great way to add color to the cake, they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and themes, so let your imagination run with that one.
  • Confetti can be used to decorate cakes because there are not only designs available, but also words. People will a lot of times sprinkle confetti on tables for decorations at a party, but it can also be used on the cakes. Just make sure you tell the people when you serve the cake that they will need to pick the confetti off šŸ™‚ . The main timesweI use confetti is around the frosting sheet on a 12×18 or 11×17 cake where you end up with a wide border, that needs something to fill it in. The other time is on sheet cakes on the individual pieces. Below are pictures as an example of both instances, and the first one actually shows how a black and white photo looks when used for the frosting sheet.

  • Small toys and decorations can be placed on the cake that go with the theme. For example, we are from a rural community and a cute idea for a little farm boy is to put a miniature tractor or toy cows or horses on the cake. And what little girl wouldn't like a little princess doll on hers?

These have just been some examples of cakes we have produced for customers. The finishing touches are what gives the cake a personality and character.  Just use your imagination and come up with your own cake ideas. 

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Cake Ideas – Edible Image Frosting Sheet Tips

 

Cake ideas generated onto edible image frosting sheets can create decorated cakes that will never be forgotten. We have been using this style of decorating cakes for several years now and have come up with some tips we would like to share with others who either currently use them or are thinking about investing in them in the future.

  • There are a couple of different edible image frosting sheets we found, but we decided to go with ones that are on a slick backing that is released from the frosting sheet itself when you are ready to apply it to the cake. The other type is the actual sheet itself that is run through the printer. We were just personally uncomfortable with using this second type.
  • Before printing off the frosting sheet, run a sheet of copy paper through the cake decorating printer to test the printing to make sure there are not any missing dots or lines, or there will be lines on the printed design. Do a cleaning if necessary.
  • If the frosting sheet had dried out some to where the corner pops loose from the backing, lightly mist it with some water so it will adhere back to the sheet, and then let dry before putting through the printer.
  • Use a spray bottle to lightly mist the top of the cake where the design is to be applied. If the icing has slightly crusted, this will allow the edible image sheet to adhere to the cake.
  • Right before applying the sheet to the cake, stick it in the freezer for about ten seconds. This takes any moisture out of the sheet to help release it from the backing.
  • If you are having trouble yet getting it to release, get a corner started with a fine paring knife with a flexible blade. You can then use your angled blade spatula to slowly and carefully slide between the sheet and the backing to release it. Normally it will just come right off, but we all like to be contrary once in a while šŸ˜‰
  • When placing the sheet on the cake, try holding it directly above where you want it to be positioned because it is going to stick right where you put it, especially if you have spray misted the top of the cake.
  • Use a star or shell design to go around the edges of the frosting sheet just to make sure they are sealed down and give the finished look to your decorated cake. Depending on the cake, we generally use white frosting for this or choose a color that is in the design itself to accentuate it, even if it's a minimal color you want to bring out.

Whether decorating cakes with traditional methods or with the new wave, we hope your choice or transition will be helped with these cake ideas.

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Cake Ideas – The Traditional Decorations

"Squeezing all those stars example!"

 

Cake ideas can be a dime a dozen, but when it comes to getting it just right for the occasion, you may have to explore several options for decorating cakes. There is the traditional decorating that uses piped icing to make the design itself and the writing. Before we started doing edible image cakes, we did decorating the hard ways, as we call it. One way was squeezing out those thousands of stars all over the cake till it was completely covered. The other way was that we would get a picture of the design wanted, whether from a printed paper copy or a napkin that would be used for the party. We would tediously draw the design on the cake icing with a toothpick. Then we would load up frosting bags with various colors and accomplish our feat. After decorating in this manner for many years, we started hearing about a new style of decorating cakes with edible image frosting sheets. More of that is in our posting about decorated cakes called "Cake Ideas – Edible Image Decorations."

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Cake Ideas – Trimming the Cake


 

Decorated cake ideas can be found online, in books, or you can use your imagination to come up with your own that will brand you. Applying the trim on the cake is the first step to the finished product once the cake is frosted. The base edge trim is usually done with a star or round tip. The star tips used are tips #16 thru #22, and the round tips used are #8 thru #12. The size will depend on the look you are wanting and where you are applying it. Generally the larger size of tip is done for the base of the cake and a smaller size is then used on the edge where the top and sides meet. The star tip can be used to make the star or shell border, and the round tip makes a bead border. Most of the time we will use a smaller version of the same tip design to trim the top edge as the bottom. Sometimes it is hard to get that top edge consistently covered with the icing, so using the correct tip and pattern will help cover that edge. We personally prefer to use tip #18 and do a reverse rope pattern around the top edge. If you look in a Wilton book, it will show the rope pattern which looks like commas stacked next to each other. We do one "comma" one direction and then go in the undercurve and bring it around to a "reverse comma," then another comma and so on. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy because it is just a flick of the wrist one direction, then the other. The trim is where you can use colored frosting to get the look you want. Depending on the theme or top design, you can make the bottom border one color and the top border a different color, or you can alternate the stars, shells, or beads back and forth between the two colors. Or if you don't want to distract any from the top design, you can just do both borders in white icing. Another option here is if you frosted the cake with white icing, you can use the food color spray from Wilton or Betty Crocker or Wilton to change the color of the icing. That should be done before applying the borders, and then those can be done in white, which really accents the cake. These are just a few cake ideas when decorating cakes to personalize your masterpiece.

  

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Cake Ideas – Crumbs and Glazing

A Glazed Cake

 

Here are a couple of cake ideas to use before applying the frosting for your decorated cake. Make sure to brush off any loose crumbs. If you don't do this, you will end up with the crumbs showing in the icing. If this happens with a white cake, it's not as bad though as with chocolate cake when it can make it look like you've used a chocolate chip frosting šŸ˜‰ A damp paper towel can be used to pick up any loose crumbs from the cake and from the board or plate it is setting on. There generally aren't too many crumbs to deal with if it's a cake that has just been turned out of the pan, but if you have to do any cutting or trimming of the cake, that can be a different story. So if you are wanting to seal those crumbs, it is best to glaze it. To glaze the cake, just take some of the same icing you will be using on the cake and thin it down with a little water to a very easily spreadable consistency. It will not matter if crumbs get mixed in during this step because they will be covered up when applying the frosting. It is best to let the glaze do some drying at this point to let it start to crust over a little. There are many steps to take in getting your desired finished product when decorating cakes. Eliminating and covering up crumbs are just a couple of cake ideas that will help you produce your masterpiece. 

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.