Cake Decorating 101: Tips + Tricks

There are endless ways to decorate a cake, and knowing where to start can be overwhelming! We’re sharing some decorating tips and tricks with you, plus a few recipes to get you started.

First thing’s first: the cake…

— 2 sticks butter 

— 2 cups sugar

— 1 teaspoon vanilla 

— 4 eggs

— 1 cup milk

— 2 ½ cup flour 

— ½ teaspoon salt

— 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder


— Preheat oven to 350°

— Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in bowl and set aside

— Whip butter + sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides and turn mixer to low. Slowly incorporate eggs, one by one.

— Scrape down bowl + incorporate wet to dry. Add flour mixture in 4 parts and milk in 3 parts. Alternating starting dry with wet until just combined. 

— Scrape batter into prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes.

Next, you’ll need icing. Here’s a delicious buttercream recipe you’ll love:

— 2 sticks butter

— Bag of powdered sugar

— 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

— 1 teaspoon salt

— 3-4 tablespoons milk 


— Whip butter on high until pale + fluffy

— Add in half bag of powdered sugar, salt, vanilla + 2 tablespoons of milk. Whip until combined + fluffy. 

— Add last half of bag + remaining milk. You may need an extra tablespoon or so of milk depending on the consistency you’d like to achieve. 

If you want to add a little flare to your cake, we suggest a white chocolate ganache drip (drool worthy + delish!):

— 1 ½ cups white chocolate

— ½ cup heavy whipping cream 

*Always maintain a 3-to-1 ratio, so you can manipulate how much you need


  • Microwave on 50% power at increments of 30 seconds. Stirring thoroughly after each increment until the desired consistency for drip or ganache coating.

Lastly, here are some tips + tricks for decorating your cake:

— Apply a very small amount of buttercream to your cake board to act as glue for your first cake round.

— Place first round on cake board. Add a large spoon full of buttercream to middle of cake. Place icing spatula down onto  buttercream and flatten out as you spin your cake stand. Once it is smooth and spread out, add your next round. 

— With second cake round added, apply buttercream to seal between layers. Then repeat step above, with large spoonful of buttercream onto cake and smooth and spread. 

— Repeat step and place buttercream in seal of cake rounds. 

— Add spoonfuls to top of cake and smooth down while spinning. The buttercream will spill over the top edges a bit, smooth it down along sides. 

— Apply buttercream all along the sides of cake until fully covered. 

— Once covered, hold smoothing scraper perpendicular to side of cake. While slowly spinning, keep spatula steady and smooth down cake until perfectly smooth. This may take 5-10 minutes of smoothing but be patient, it’ll be worth it!

*Blog post content contributed by Pine Cone Bakery

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