Lets Get Tricky
Hello and Welcome!
Below you will find my top 10 cake tips and tricks I use for every cake I make.
10. Refine your ideas before you start. I definitely do not do this enough! This leads to me spending more money on aspects that I never even put on the cake. Such a waste of money!
9. Scrapers are the best invention. These help with every cake and is one of the best investments. For a fondant cake, they help get it nice and smooth, and for a messy cake, they can help refine the mess just enough.
8. Get the base perfect before you decorate. Covering a cake with fondant takes time, and if you don't have a good base the cake will never be perfect no matter what you do. This is the same with a messy or naked cake - there is only so much decorations can hide.
7. If it's not working take a break! I cannot stress this enough! If I am stressed about a cake and it's not working how I would like generally I end up yelling and pretty much chucking a tantrum because it's not working! Recently, I've learned to pick up when I'm starting to stress and panic and I immediately walk away. Stress never helps anything.
6. It's okay to change recipes.
People always say baking is a science and things need to be followed 100% but that's a lie. If you don't add in essential ingredients then you might have an issue but if there is too much sugar or you don't have an ingredient, don't be scared to reduce the amount or substitute it for another ingredient. Unless you forget key ingredients like the flour, it will be okay!
5. Cut cakes down.
I made this mistake recently, I left cakes the original size (9 inches), and had boards the same size (9 inches). Now when covering a cake with fondant I want a decent layer of icing and I want it smooth, now because the boards and cake were the same size there was a part of the cake that hung over the board slightly. When I was adding icing and using my scraper against the side of the cake there wasn't enough of a layer of icing which meant I couldn't get it smooth and the cake started to crumble the more I tried to work with it. Lucky the cake didn't have to be exactly smooth as it had texture on the fondant, but if this was to happen with a cake without texture on it, it would have showed through the fondant.
4. Alcohol is your best friend!
Particularly if you're working with fondant. It can help clean up cornflour, it can help fix mistakes if you're painting and it can help with texture. Get friendly with it because it can save your cake.
3. Use everything in your kitchen!
I have used so many random things to help me with shapes and decorations. I've used shot glasses, vanilla bean tubes, buckets, balls, ice cubes, stencils and toys on cakes or to make decorations! Don't think it needs to be specifically made for cakes!
2. Don't be scared to ask for help!
I have had friends help me with cakes so much. I was asked to make a dragon ball z cake, now I have no clue what that is and what it looks like, yet one of my friends is OBSESSED with all things anime! Google was zero help because every photo I looked at was different, different colours, different shapes and different sizes so I didn't know what to do. This friend of mine helped me find toppers for the cake, helped me with my colours and helped me refine my ideas.
1. Don't be scared to try things!
Some of my best cakes or best features of cakes have been from absolute accidents. Like pouring cake batter in a certain way like the photo below, or just playing around with isomalt. You're never going to learn without trying.