You really don’t need a special occasion to decorate a cake, but some events that can be made unforgettable and extra special with a decorated treat are holidays, birthdays, graduations, religious occasions, showers, weddings, and other personal special events.
Here are some cake decorating ideas that will help you make any occasion special:
New Year’s Champagne Toast
Bake one 9-in. round and one 9×12-in. rectangle cake.
Cut the round in half. Use one half for the top of the champagne glass.
Cut a 2 or 3-inch long strip for the stem of the glass and a 2 x 4-inch section for the base of the glass. Piece them together to form the champagne glass. To be sure all the pieces stay together, lightly frost each piece separately before you piece them together.
Place the pieces on a cake board. Ice the top part (straight edge) of the half-round cake and the stem and base sections in white icing. Ice the bottom part (rounded edge) of the half-round cake in light yellow or light pink icing to resemble champagne.
Easter Egg Hunt (So easy kids can do it!)
Bake 6 large muffins. Cool and frost them with green icing. Generously sprinkle green shredded coconut* on top of the frosting to resemble grass. Place colored jelly beans within the coconut so they are half-hidden. Place small bunny toppers on the top of the muffins so they look as if they are finding the jelly beans.
*To tint shredded coconut, place coconut in a plastic bag. Add a few drops of food color. Knead color into coconut. Dry on waxed paper.
Spooky Halloween Brownies (Let the kids help!)
Bake your favorite brownies. When cooled, cut into 3-inch circles, using a cookie cutter or a pattern and sharp knife. Place a Halloween stencil (available in most stores) in the center of each brownie. Sprinkle the stencil with confectioner’s (powdered) sugar. Remove the stencil. Edge the top and the bottom of brownie with tip 14 white icing stars.
Shiny Christmas Ornament
Bake a one or two-layer round cake. Ice the cake smooth with white icing. Pipe tip 5 white icing lines across the top at 1-inch intervals. Vary the shapes of the lines, making one straight, one zigzag, one curvy, etc. to resemble decorations on an ornament. Randomly pipe tip 5 icing balls and tip 16 stars between the lines also to resemble decorations.
ADULT BIRTHDAY / SPECIAL OCCASION
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Bake a heart-shaped cake and a heart-shaped mini-cake. Ice the larger cake smooth with pink icing. Place the mini-cake in the center of the larger cake. Cover the mini cake in tip 16 red icing stars. Add a tip 14 red icing shell border at the bottom of the mini cake and a tip 16 red icing shell border at the top and the bottom of the large cake. Write your message in pink with tip 3 on the mini-cake.
Bake four mini-loaf cakes. (about 3-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches each.)
Ice each one smooth – one with red icing, one with blue icing, one with green icing, and one with yellow icing. Use the cake iced in red as the engine: Make a smokestack for the engine with 2 large marshmallows. Frost them together with green icing. Attach the marshmallows to the top of engine with a toothpick. Using green icing, attach a piece of white curly ribbon or candy on the top of the smokestack for smoke and attach two white or yellow gum drops to the front of the engine for headlights. With a spatula, place a small mound of yellow icing on top of the yellow car; add small chocolate chips to resemble coal. Place two or three small plastic cars on top of the blue car. Stick small stick candies, such as licorice pieces on top of the green car to resemble metal parts. Decorate the sides of the cars with various small hard candies for decorations. For wheels: With icing the same color as the car, attach 4 large candy discs, such as peppermint swirls, to the bottom of each car. Connect the cars with one-inch licorice whips or pretzel sticks.
Up! Up! And Away
Bake two each: tulip, flower, butterfly and dragonfly cookies (eight total) and a 9×12-in. rectangle cake. Ice the cookies smooth in various pastel colors with thinned royal icing.** Decorate the iced butterfly cookie with tip 3 colored icing dots.
Ice the bottom half of the 9×12-in. cake smooth with green icing and the top half smooth with light blue icing to resemble grass and the sky. Place two small mounds of white icing on the blue half for clouds. Pat down “the clouds” with your fingers dipped in cornstarch. Place the tulip and flower cookies in the “grass” and pipe tip 3 green stems and leaves, if necessary. Place the one butterfly cookie near the flower cookie and the other butterfly cookie and the dragonfly cookies in the “sky.” Write your message on the cake with tip 3 white icing.
**Royal Icing Recipe
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 scant tablespoons meringue powder
3 tablespoons water
Beat all the ingredients a low speed until the icing forms peaks.
(Makes about 1-1/2 cups)