pro tips n' tricks

Wonder how the pros do it? Check out these helpful tips and tricks for making your ** chef’s kiss ** cake masterpiece.

frosting

  • Before you start. Before using a piping bag filled with frosting, remove bubbles and gaps by pushing the frosting toward the open end and gently twisting the empty space at the top of the bag until the bag is taught. As you pipe out the frosting, repeat this step to make sure the frosting fills all the space inside the bag. Click here for a demo.
  • Keep the pressure on! When applying frosting with a piping bag, apply even downward pressure, readjusting your hands as necessary to continually apply the same amount of pressure and ensure the frosting is pushed toward the tip at an even pace.

  • Too cold. Make sure the frosting is at room temperature before you pipe it. If your frosting feels too stiff or is difficult to push through the open end, gently massage the piping bag with your hands to warm it up. If you're using a piping tip, make sure to do this BEFORE you remove the twist tie near the tip of the piping bag. 

  • Too warm. If your frosting is soupy or not holding its shape, pop it in the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Funky color. If your colored frosting has a slightly separated look, gently massage the piping bag with your hands to remix the color.

  • Multicolored frosting. Squeeze a row of each color of frosting into the large, empty piping bag. Twist the piping bag to close it and push the frosting toward the tip. Try to avoid smooshing the piping bag, which may cause the colors to bleed together. Click here for demo.

  • Rosettes. To pipe a rosette, hold the piping bag straight up and down over the center of the area you wish to decorate and apply even pressure to the piping bag as you move from the center to the outside in a swirling pattern. Click here for a demo.

  • Trees. To pipe a tree using a 1M tip, hold your piping bag over the center of the cupcake (or desired location on a cake). Like a swirl of soft-serve ice cream, in one continuous motion, pipe a spiral starting in the center and moving outward. Layer a slightly smaller spiral on top of the first one, and repeat with each swirl getting smaller as you move upward. When you get the top, gradually release the pressure on your piping bag and pull up to form a point on top of the tree. Click here for a demo.

fondant

  • Before you start. If your fondant feels a little stiff or difficult to use, roll it between your hands to warm it up. This makes it more pliable. 

  • Roll it out. Begin by rolling the fondant into a ball with your hands. Use a fondant roller to apply even pressure from the center of the ball outward, until you have rolled out the entire surface area. If you don’t have a fondant roller, you can use a rolling pin coated in powdered sugar or cornstarch. Or squash the fondant with your hands or a flat surface, like the bottom of a large bowl coated in powdered sugar or cornstarch. Click here for a demo using a fondant roller.

  • Keep it moist! Cover your fondant with plastic wrap or in its container when not in use to keep it from drying out. If it dries out, try mixing in a little frosting, vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening.

  • Sticky icky icky. If your fondant is too sticky and difficult to roll or cut out, apply a light dusting of powdered sugar to the surface of your working area or cutters. This will prevent sticking.

  • Water = glue. Use a little bit of water to glue fondant together.

  • Using fondant cutters. If your fondant sticks to the cutter, try pushing it through with a toothpick around the edges of the cutter. You can also coat the blade of the cutter in powdered sugar or cornstarch to help prevent sticking.
  • No mat, no problem. Roll out your fondant on a nonstick surface, like a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. You can also use a dusting of powdered sugar, flour, or cornstarch on your working surface to prevent sticking.

  • Marbling fondant. Marbling fondant creates a fluid, multicolor look. Begin by making snakes out of each fondant color. Then twist the snakes together, fold, and repeat until the colors are mixed in a random pattern but not fully blended. Click here for a demo.
  • Fondant bunny butts. Click here for a demo on how to make a fondant bunny butt.
  • Fondant shark head. Click here for a demo on how to make a fondant shark head using fondant and custom cutters.

sprinkles

  • They’re so small! To apply small sprinkles to a specific area of the cake, press the tip of your index finger into the sprinkles until several stick. Then gently press your sprinkle-covered fingertip against the frosted cake in the desired location. You can also get your fingertip slightly wet to help the sprinkles stick to it.

gold leaf

  • NO TOUCHY! Gold leaf will adhere stubbornly to most surfaces, making it impossible to pry off. To prevent your gold leaf from sticking to something other than your cake, only use a nonporous tool to pick up the gold leaf. DO NOT TOUCH GOLD LEAF WITH YOUR FINGERS or any other surface. Click here for a demo.

  • You can do it. To apply gold leaf, gently pick it up with a toothpick, the bristles of a paintbrush, tweezers, or other nonporous tool. Hover the gold leaf near the areas of frosting you wish to highlight, bringing it closer and closer until it sticks to the frosting. There is usually no need to press the gold leaf into the frosting.