So, you decided to bake a cake. And not just any cake—a cake that you want to elicit oohs and aahs from your peers. The only problem? By the time you go to the grocery store, prepare the batter, whip up a batch of frosting, and do the dishes, you have no energy left to decorate it.
For this reason, finishing a cake often becomes an afterthought. It’s easy to reason that if it tastes great, appearance doesn’t matter. And that’s true—for the most part. Ideally, we want the appearance of our work to reflect its quality; that’s what will attract people to it in the first place, after all. In that vain, here are a few easy ways to elevate your cake’s style, so that it looks as good as it tastes:
When in doubt, rely on Mother Nature. Herb wreaths, like rosemary and lavender, flowers, like peonies and ranunculus, and greens, like pine and bay laurel, are some of the easiest ways to make your cake look special and incredibly elegant. Go with what’s seasonal and complementary to the setting it will be served in, and you won’t go wrong.
When it comes to especially festive events, like birthday and bachelorette parties, it’s all about embracing color and whimsy. Once you’ve coated the cake in buttercream, cover its sides with sprinkles or a pattern of your favorite candy. For small decorations, like sprinkles, place the cake over a rimmed baking sheet so that the excess can collect neatly below for easier cleanup.
It’s always nice to hint at what flavors lie beneath your cake’s pretty exterior. Nuts, shredded coconut, a dusting of warm spices and powdered sugar, or fresh fruit make beautiful albeit straightforward garnishes. And like all cake decoration, they are great ways to cover any imperfections the cake may have.
Published on June 12, 2016