A Piece of Cake

Cakes are the centerpiece of a party, so they should be unique, eye catching and reflects the theme or purpose of the occasion. Of course, you can buy a cake ready-made, but a personalized cake baked at home sends a more personal and “special” message.

Of course, what gives a cake it’s “personality” is the icing and decoration.  So here are some tips to get a professional look to your home-made cake.

Getting a perfectly smooth icing seems tricky, but there are methods to make it easier:

  1.       Place the cake on a serving board or turntable.
  2.       Thin the icing with 3-4 Tablespoons of corn syrup so it spreads easier.
  3.       Keep crumbs out of your icing by gliding your spatula over the icing. Don’t let the spatula to touch the cake surface.
  4.      “Crumb coat” layers by lightly icing the cake first, allowing a light crust to form, and then adding a top icing cover.

Use concentrated food coloring paste to give vivid or deep colors without changing the consistency.  Add paste color to the icing in small amounts, using a clean toothpick or spatula. Add the color to the icing 1 to 2 hours before decorating.  Use paste food colors in larger amounts for colors such as black, brown, or red – as much as 1 oz. of paste      food color per one cup. Use darker colors for accent only.

After the cake is decorated, keep in a cool room and out of direct light. Sunlight or fluorescent light will cause colors to fade. Use milk rather than water for mixing and preparing  butter cream icing,  as water causes color changes. If the recipe has lemon juice or cream of tartar as an ingredient, omit it as they will cause colors to change.