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10 Tips for Next Level Cakes

Posted April 8, 2019 by Squires Kitchen Shop

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Sometimes, the difference between a good cake and an amazing one can be as simple as technique. Designer Cake Decorating features step-by-step tutorials from 12 top cake makers and within them, the designers break down their techniques into simple, achievable steps to help you learn new skills and achieve your goals. Here are just a few of our favourite tips from the book to get you started.
1. Be prepared
trimming cake crusts

When preparing sponge cakes for a wedding or other special occasion, bake the cakes so they are 2.5cm (1”) bigger in size than you need so the darker crusts can be removed before covering.

2. Gain depth
covering a fruit cake

Fruit cakes are best baked to a depth of 7.5–10cm (3–4”). If you’re baking a traditional fruit cake and need it to match the height of layered sponge tiers, sandwich a separator between two cake boards and place them underneath the fruit cake before covering.

3. Cover flawlessly
painted cake by Emily Hankins

When coating a very deep tier, the sugarpaste can tear easily. Drape the sugarpaste over the cake carefully and secure the top edges straight away. Work quickly to smooth the paste down the sides, taking care not to pull the sugarpaste down from the top edge.

4. Maintain consistency
blue dust food colour

If you’re using liquid or paste food colours to achieve a strong shade, add dust food colour at the same time to maintain the consistency of the icing or paste.

5. Get better coverage
Squires Kitchen Silver Metallic Lustre Dust Food Colour

When dusting colour onto a cake tier, use a cosmetic brush reserved solely for sugarcraft. It has lots of fine hairs and holds more dust colour for better coverage.

6. Strengthen lace
spreading Flexi-Ice edible lace on a mould

If cake lace feels flimsy, allow the first layer of Flexi-Ice to dry then add another coat. The result is a much stronger lace.

7. Make a prototype
glazing a sugar leaf

Steaming and glazing can alter the colour of a dusted leaf or petal. It can be helpful to steam and glaze one before continuing with the rest to make sure that you are happy with the final look.

8. Correct mistakes
piping with royal icing

Use a clean, damp brush to push piped royal icing into place if it’s not quite the right shape. If it’s completely wrong, carefully remove the icing with a sharp knife. Clean up the sugarpaste with a damp brush and wait for it to dry before piping on it again.

9. Perfect ruffles
cake ruffles

It’s best not to attach a long strip of ruffles around the circumference of a cake in one go as it will be difficult to handle and can tear. Instead, use a few strips, overlapping them carefully to disguise the joins within the ruffles.

10. Layer paints
painting flowers on sugarpaste

When painting with edible paints, build up the layers, starting with the lightest tones first and finishing with the darkest tone. Use big strokes, being careful not to overwork the layers. Don’t worry about being too precise; you need to incorporate movement and energy into your painting for the best results.

Discover more
Designer Cake Decorating book

Designer Cake Decorating is the must-have book for anyone looking to step up their sugarcraft game and make their cakes look as polished and professional as possible. Take a look inside!