Decorating A Cake Without Your Tools

Decorating By ljhow623 Updated 18 Sep 2009 , 1:01pm by DetailsByDawn

ljhow623 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 4:25pm
post #1 of 13

Okay I need some help here. I am doing a cake demo next month. The group asked if I would show how to decorate a cake without buying all the tools needed for decorating cakes. So if you didn't have any of your tools available what would you use that you would have laying around your house.

I am so use to using my tips, agbay, fondant cutters and molds that I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas.

Can you please help me come up with a list for these young girls.

Thanks.

12 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:17pm
post #2 of 13

I think it might be better to show them how to do it with a few cheap tools than no tools at all...I mean, they want to get past just swirling the icing on with a spoon, probably. No one would ask you to show them how to work on a car without a few basic tools, would they?

I think showing them with the cheap Wilton wire leveler, an offset spatula, and a piping bag with a star tip for the border, and a round tip for some really simple writing or scrollwork would be good. For less than $20 they could get the tools they needed.

Melvira Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:37pm
post #3 of 13

I agree that it's completely unreasonable to try and do it with NO tools. But you can show them a few cheap alternatives... using a spoon on the side of a cake to make that neat swoopy texture. A Ziplock bag with the corner cut off for piping. A knife instead of a leveler and instead of a spatula. Those sorts of things. But you know, you can't bake a cake without a pan... or an oven... why would they think they can decorate it without a few basics? There are cheap 'kits' at Michael's that have a piping bag and a few tips and maybe a spatula in it. Try just using those things and nothing 'fancy' that would cost more. Good luck, that's quite a challenge!!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:44pm
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I think it might be better to show them how to do it with a few cheap tools than no tools at all...I mean, they want to get past just swirling the icing on with a spoon, probably. No one would ask you to show them how to work on a car without a few basic tools, would they?

I think showing them with the cheap Wilton wire leveler, an offset spatula, and a piping bag with a star tip for the border, and a round tip for some really simple writing or scrollwork would be good. For less than $20 they could get the tools they needed.




I agree...you have to have some tools to work with.

Instead of a leveler, you could show them how to use a piece of thread [actually 3 or 4 strands or 1 piece of fishing line] held tightly and moved back and forth across the top of the pan to saw off the domed part. You could show them how hard it is to ice the top with a regular spatula but then how much easier it is with an angled one, you could show them how to use a sheet rock blade [The best I've ever found came from Lowe's paint section, is 6 inches wide and cost $4] to smooth the sides. Finally, how about buying one of thos basic decorating sets at Wal-Mart or target that come with a bag and a few plastic tips....then you can show them why having a few bags and couplers are much more convenient than having to wash one every time you need to switch colors.

KHalstead Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:45pm
post #5 of 13

get some paper towels to smooth the cake, then show them the "martha stewart basketweave" where you push a steak knife into the side of the cake.....plastic bags for piping bags to write on the cake.....or parchment paper bags, then you could cut the tip of it into a leaf by cutting a V into the bag tip, or make a flat cut (wrap tape around tip to keep it flat, like a rose tip) and pipe roses on the top of the cake.

Will be interesting to say the least!

2SchnauzerLady Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 6:04pm
post #6 of 13

They even have those cheap little decorating tips at the grocery store with the "decorator" icings! You can show them how to level by placing toothpicks around the cake sides for a cutting guide. I like KHalstead's ideas for faux decorating tips with plastic and parchment paper!

sadsmile Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 6:22pm
post #7 of 13

Use the flat side of a big serrated knife to smooth icing and then use the serrated side to comb the icing. But there truely is only so much you can do without the right tools. They need to be prepaired to at least invest in some basics if they really want to decorate cakes.

ljhow623 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 6:39pm
post #8 of 13

see now there is some creative thinking. The bag for a piping bag is good, thread or unflavored dental floss to cut a cake, cookie cutters to imprint designs on cake. The serrated knife is great too.

Maybe I typed that original request wrong. These girls aren't looking to learn the art of decorating just some tips to make a pretty cake without spending a fortune on decorating tools. The girls are doing a cake walk for charity the next month and just wanted some tips on how to make a simple but pretty looking cake.

For example. I could make chocolate panels from melted chocolate chips an put them around a cake. Or wrap a ribbon around the bottom of a cake.

sadsmile Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 7:05pm
post #9 of 13

You can make your own scroll presses. Easy peasy! Every one knows how to make paper fans right? DUH!

OK so make one from foil.

Make the folds about two inches wide.

Lay it all flat.

Pass over it with a canned good(rolling pin substitute) and then fold in half to make a 1/2 width foil strip.

Pass over it again with your canned good.

Now curl into a nice swirl, curve, scroll ect...

You can even add extra swirls or curls onto your original length by using a paper clip to attatch them together.

Push lightly into icing to make impression.

Pipe over your completely unique design to complete the look.

Nice work and you didn't spend $50 on that imprssion kit.

KHalstead Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 5:15pm
post #10 of 13

sadsmile= I love the idea of the foil.......I've been buying cheapo metal circle cutters (.25-.50 each at A.C. moore) and then cutting one end and then bending it. I used that for the spirals on a wedding cake....but I love the idea of the foil for a disposable one!

idgalpal Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 5:38pm
post #11 of 13

The dollar store is always a great source for items! I've gotten a few Disney figurines there to put on cakes, and a plate to put the cake on if I want to do something more than just a cardboard circle, but I don't want it returned.

msmeg Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 8:06pm
post #12 of 13

When I was a child I used to make pretty cakes all the time... I had no idea how to make a border or use a tip but many things decorated my cakes... candy was they number one way a border of m n ms on a chocolate cake yummy

string licorice....tootsi roll roses, gum drop flowers fruit roll ups,

I used to flatten marshmellow and cut like a daisy and add a gum drop center.... I did learn not to pick daisies from the garden the time all these little bugs crawled out all over my cake YUCK

It sounds like they want cakes like in Family Circle cute and easy.

And then I would show them a few idea with a few tools.. like show them what they can do with 4 tips and a bag.

for bake sales cup cake ideas are great.

DetailsByDawn Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 1:01pm
post #13 of 13

I don't have any fondant tools - I don't work with fondant often, so I was always afraid to buy them. Lately I've been practicing and i use the wrong end of my wooden spoon as a ball tool. The foam that came in a the box with my coffee maker? I covered it with plastic wrap and place a paper towel over it to make it food safe to mold/round my flowers. I use many tools from my sewing kit too and all my regular old cookie cutters. I do not have a clay gun, but I do have a cookie gun ($7) and I use it for fondant and modeling chocolate. Aside from all my tips, bags, and pans, most of my tools are homemade or repurposed. Hope this helps!

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