Image by ‘Sugar Daze’
Baking; it’s a real labor of love, taking hours to prepare and perfect the perfect cake…. well, actually, if you’re me, this isn’t really the case, there are far too many good shows on the telly, and who wants to wait that long to eat the cakes anyway?
I am a self-confessed lazy baker. I want my cakes to look fantastic, but I don’t really have the time/drive to craft individual petals out of icing, I want my cake, and I want to eat it now, thanks very much!
But luckily for me, and all you lazy bakers out there, there is another way.
1. Back to basics
Make sure your recipe is tried and tasted! There’s nothing more disheartening then spending time decorating cakes that no one wants to eat.
If baking really isn’t your thing, then fear not my lazy friends! You can always cheat and buy some ready-made cakes from the supermarket. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone…
2. Dress it up
Once you have your cupcakes it’s time for the fun part! Icing is the first step on the road to adorable cupcakes. Buy a butter cream mix, it’s quick and easy and tastes great. Use food coloring or gel to change it into whatever color your heart desires (or your stomach).
Now it’s time to decorate. You can make your cakes look amazing without having to attend a pro-baking class. Here are a few ideas:
- Shimmer and sparkle. If you want your cupcakes to really stand out, then you can purchase edible glitter in a variety of different colors. Simply add some into your icing mix, or sprinkle on at the end. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and use real glitter ladies and gents, it will taste disgusting and is probably not digestible.
- What a snow stopper! Pipe or spread some glittery white icing onto your cakes, then sprinkle with coconut shavings. Your cakes will look like little sparkling winter wonders, that definitely won’t receive a frosty reception!
- Sugar and spice. For super sweet cupcakes, add gummy or sugary sweets with hundreds and thousands. Lovehearts are a great idea for this, especially if you feel like treating your sweetheart!
- In bloom. Most supermarkets will sell miniature icing flowers that can be easily placed onto your cakes in a matter of minutes. Just try not to mention that you found them in aisle 10.
- Fondant fancy – Fondant comes in a variety of colors and makes for a quick and easy way to craft some wonderful creations. Make sure you roll it out to about 3mm thickness, then get shaping
To make a simple bow, cut out a rectangle, fold the two ends into the middle and pinch with your finger and thumb, then wrap a tiny strip around the middle. You can also make strips of ribbon, just cut two thin pieces the same length, and at one end of each cut out a V-shape. Now you have a beautiful little bow to finish your cakes with.
Other easy and fun shapes to try are stars and hearts, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try making shark fins. They look brilliant poking out of blue icing, and will be an instant hit with kids.
3. It’s all in the presentation
By this point you should have some pretty snazzy looking cupcakes, but don’t underestimate the power of presentation! There are several ways to show off your creations:
- Cupcake stands – tiered cupcake stands are a simple way to make your cakes look the part. They come in all different shapes and colors, and can be re-used again and again.
- Cellophane wrapping – Place a cake in cellophane, twist the top and secure with a bow. Instantly you have a beautifully wrapped gift.
- Cupcake boxes– never underestimate the power of the cupcake box; few boxes will ever cause so much joy or delight (very similar to the reaction created from the humble donut box). Try decorating a plain box yourself for that real ‘homemade feel.’
The possibilities really are limitless, and even the laziest of bakers can produce a cupcake masterpiece. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just have fun and play about with colours to produce something wonderful.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Author Byline: Shannon Tucker is a baking fanatic; she loves to blog about food, cooking and all things food design. She writes for party specialists Wedding and Party Store.