Best Decorating Secrets And Tips?!!!

Decorating By frog80 Updated 29 Jul 2013 , 9:43pm by Homemadebytz

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frog80 Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:11pm
post #1 of 83

I'm fairly new to cake decorating and as you can tell, very new to the site, anywho, I was just curious as to some of the pros best kept secrets and tips! I love learning about new and easier ways to do things. I was just wondering if any of you would mind sharing some of your tips! Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

82 replies
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Lisa Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:16pm
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My top 3 favorite cake deco "secrets" (not really secrets here at CC icon_lol.gif) are the paper towel smoothing/patterning technique, making my own edible images, and using Americolor gels to color my frosting.

Oooh...I have to add one more MMF (marshmallow fondant)!

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okred Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:23pm
post #3 of 83

I'm not a pro but some things I have learned (and you will learn something everyday) are to use a scale to weigh ingredients instead of measuring, to clean tips by putting them in a bowl of soapy water and putting them in the microwave even the metal ones, to make your own cake release with 1/3 oil, 1/3 flour, and 1/3 crisco and to use a silicone pastry brush to coat the pans with the mixture.

Just read all the old forum threads and you will learn a lot.!!

oh yeah and MMF also, best one yet

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poppie Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:26pm
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learn from Lisa she is the best. thumbs_up.gif

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tgirl22 Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:30pm
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Buttercream transfer!!! You can do ANYTHING with a buttercream transfer! Well, almost.....
Welcome to CC, you will soon be addicted...

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candyladyhelen Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:38pm
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When your cake comes out of the oven, immediately place a large terry towel on top & press hard all over. This levels the cake & it works!

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Lisa Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:43pm
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Originally Posted by poppie

learn from Lisa she is the best. thumbs_up.gif

Thanks poppie! That's such a nice thing to say icon_smile.gif To tell you the truth, I'm learning just as much from all of you!

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adven68 Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 10:48pm
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Plan every detail in advance....sketch out your cake and make notes....colors, websites that you got ideas from, details of the recipient, like phone numbers and email addresses, serving sizes, pan sizes, flavors, etc....

When you do larger or more complicated cakes, having a sketch in front of you is invaluable......even set a timeline of when you will shop, make decorations that need to dry, bake, decorate, and deliver...

My husband laughs sometimes but I will never forget to do something if it's written down on my calendar.

Most of all....HAVE FUN!!! The minute you don't enjoy doing this is when it becomes work!

And to second the motions...Lisa is great...and MMF rocks! Don't be intimidated....just try it once or will get the hang of it. I am now making a batch in about 6 minutes with only one bowl!!!!

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dodibug Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 11:07pm
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I completely agree with adven68!! I finally learned to draw everything out and it has been such a time saver-no last minute "what the heck am I supposed to do???" feeling!

Also when making a tiered cake, push the dowels all the way into the tier then use tongs to pull them back up some to give your fingers room to get out of the way. I finally figured out to use tongs so it doesn't destroy the icing.

I also started using the jumbo ziploc bags to store my clean cake pans! They are wonderful!

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lsawyer Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 11:22pm
post #10 of 83

Don't do everything in one day! Bake on Wed., make frosting on Thur., decorate on Fri. Many flowers can be made weeks/months in advance; keep a few in stock.

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Samsgranny Posted 14 Jun 2006 , 11:51pm
post #11 of 83

Wow, reading over everyone's tips is like getting a PhD in Cake! Welcome to the Board, you will love it here!

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Rodneyck Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:03am
post #12 of 83

Get yourself a cake turntable, it makes a world of difference and makes it so much easier to decorate. If you do not have the resources, then use an large stainless steal or any bowl with a flat bottom. Turn it upside down, place a large enough plate on top of it that allows for spin. Wahla, a makeshift turntable!!!

Also check out egullet (.com), a professional chef forum and also home baker with lots of tips and recipes. I have pulled a lot of useful stuff from their topics.

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frog80 Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:07am
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WOW!!! These are great tips! I knew this was going to be a great idea! Not only can I benefit from these tips, but so can everyone else reading the post! Thanks everyone for your help.

Oh, I haven't posted one of my tips, I have found that the Crusting ButterCream (Faux Fondant) II recipe found on this site works GREAT and is sooooo easy to smooth. Also, I have found that using an egg carton works great for MMF flowers that are to be cupped or have to stand up (like roses). Thanks again everyone for your posts!! icon_biggrin.gif

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DRose Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:12am
post #14 of 83

Have some extra cake & icing ingredients on hand, just in case something should go wrong with one of your layers or your icing doesn't turn out as expected.

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rogers8702 Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:35am
post #15 of 83

just wanted to say great post im learning alot!!!!

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Kazoot Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:36am
post #16 of 83

Frog-one time I stored royal icing drop flowers in a cardboard egg carton and the next time I went to use them, they tasted just like the cardboard!!!!! Use styrofoam egg holders!!!!!! I'd be lost without my turntable--I did not like wilton's. I returned it and I got an Ateco. Get things done in advance if possible. I use dental floss to level my larger cake pans. I just take a serrated knife and just cut the edge all around, insert the floss and zip! It is done! Most of all, remember you are your own worst critic!!!!!!!!! Just have fun with it.

God Bless, Donna

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patton78 Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 12:50am
post #17 of 83

Bake your cakes in advance and freeze them! I always get comments on how moist my cakes are. I believe freezing the cakes locks in the moisture. Frost them while they are still cold and there will be a lot less crumbs and they will be easier to smooth.
"Doctor" up your cake box mixes by adding a box of instant pudding, replacing the water with milk or buttermilk, adding vanilla flavoring.
And of course, MMF! It is the best, I never use Wilton Fondant, it is so gross!

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leily Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 1:01am
post #18 of 83

My best decorating tip/secret. Is this website. Everyone here is so helpful and no matter what time of day there is someone one who is willing to help with an answer or an idea!

Ok... so the tips i use in my kitchen the most.

After my BC has crusted I use a wooden roller to smooth it out (ok so i first heard this in my cake classes, but since have seen it a few times on the boards)

Microwave my tips/couplers/nails on clean up (saves me SOOO much time as I AM the dishwasher)

Chew gum or have fruit in a dish in the kitchen so when i want to snack on the cake i am making, i have something to stop me. (my down fall is the cake, i would be happy if i never had another bite of frosting in my life)

Welcome to CC, you'll be home in no time!


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spottydog Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 1:02am
post #19 of 83

What a great idea for a post. Thanks

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adven68 Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 2:29am
post #20 of 83

Right...turntable...a must...

I got my for $6.00 from IKEA.

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mookey Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 2:40am
post #21 of 83

this is the best website. i love all the pictures and reading the forums. and i especially love getting these tips! thanks to all of the experienced people for passing all of you wonderful knowledge to us "newbies"! mentor us oh great ones! icon_biggrin.gif

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debilou68 Posted 15 Jun 2006 , 4:09pm
post #22 of 83

hi, everyone,, I totally agree with all,, this website is the best,, I've never taken any classes but have learned a whole lot just reading old threads,, I did discover something the other day,, I've always bought my icing, and saved the plastic containers,, mainly because I'm a pack rat. I now make my icing thanks to CC and thought these containers would be great to use to store homemade icing.. thanks everyone for all the great ideas..

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darkchocolate Posted 16 Jun 2006 , 2:49am
post #23 of 83

I am slowly investing in tools to help me decorate cakes. I have recently bought some AmeriColor food color, Magic Line 9 x 13 pan and some baking strips. One of the things I want next is a turntable. My question is this, do you use the turntables for your sheet cakes? Everytime I look at one in the store I keep wondering if the 9X13 or 11X15 cakes are too big to use.


Here is my tip. Make your icing dam at least 1/4" in from the outside of the cake. I learned the hard way to do that. First of all my cake slid and I had a noticeable icing bulge (9" layer cake) in the center of the cake from the dam. I don't really think I used too much filling, but next time I will dowel a cake when I use the fruit filling again.

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joanmary Posted 16 Jun 2006 , 3:08am
post #24 of 83

candyladyhelen -

I got your tip on cc - only it was to put paper towel over cake and press on it with cutting board - what a great tip!!! icon_biggrin.gif

leily -

I'll have to try chewing gum. I always want to suck the BC off things - even though it means extra washings.

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cakemommy Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 3:15pm
post #25 of 83


One thing I just decided to do the other day and couldn't believe I haven't been doing it all along......... icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif I used my large icer tip to apply my ganache filling to my sheet cakes! It's perfect!!!!!!!! icon_smile.gif I just squeeze rows of filling and viola!!! I am done! No spreading necessary! I really love that!!!!!!!!!


oh oh oh.....Another thing. I'd been wanting to try the spackling knife technique but didn't want to go out and buy one. I used my pastry cutter and it works perfectly! I can't believe I haven't tried that before now either!!!! icon_confused.gificon_razz.gifthumbs_up.gif

Amy usaribbon.gif

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txdragonfly Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 4:17pm
post #26 of 83

I tried a search for this recipe and it found no results...anyone have the recipe for this?

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

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txdragonfly Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 4:18pm
post #27 of 83

Crusting ButterCream (Faux Fondant) II is the recipe I'm looking didn't include the subject! lol

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adven68 Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 12:37am
post #28 of 83
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cakesondemand Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 3:29am
post #29 of 83

My secret to smooth icing is using a paint trimmer about 10" long.

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fearlessbaker Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 1:35pm
post #30 of 83

Clean as you go. Visulize one of your friends dropping in unexpectingly and being flabergasted at the mess in your kitchen and then taking a picture of it for posterity!

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