Cake is the perfect treat for any occasion, be it a birthday, graduation, new job, or just because it’s Tuesday night and you can really use a pick-me-up. No judgment here. While we have many delicious cake recipes, including Ruby Slipper Cake and Chocolate Intrigue Cake, there’s nothing wrong with using a handy-dandy box mix, especially if you want to spend a little extra time decorating! Check out this article on how to upgrade your boxed cake mix with just a few easy steps. Once you have your cake squared away, go ahead and read this list full of brilliant decorating hacks!
Keep Cake Moist
Here is a brilliant hack that I know I’ll be using all the time. If your cake turned out a little on the dry side, or if you’re transporting your cake and want to ensure it’s going to be nice and moist when you get to your final destination, try this trick! Make simple syrup and sprinkle over your layers of cake, making sure to get around the edges where the cake tends to dry out the most.
Simple syrup is easy to make – just add equal parts sugar and water into a sauce pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. You can add fruit or an orange peel for different flavors, but plain simple syrup works just fine!
This first trick involes a little math, but if you’re working on layered cakes, it’s worth the extra thirty seconds to figure out even layers! If you don’t have a kitchen scale, go ahead and skip to the next tip. Those who have a kitchen scale, go ahead and weigh your mixing bowl first and write down that number. Then, make your cake batter and weigh the bowl & batter, subtracting the weight of the bowl to get the total weight of the batter. Divide that number by the number of layers you’re making. Then, put your cake pans on the scale, tare the weight, and pour in your batter!
Anchor The Cake
Before decorating your cake with decadent layers of frosting, it’s important to secure your cake in place. There’s nothing worse than a cake that slips out of place, especially a cake you’ve spent a lot of time on! This may seem like a silly step, but trust me, it just takes one mishap to ensure you’ll be doing this for every cake from now on. For this hack, you just have to put a dollop of frosting down on the cake plate and anchor the bottom layer of your cake on top. That’s it!
Have you ever made a beautiful chocolate cake with white frosting? Maybe you noticed little crumbs of dark cake mixing in with your lovely white frosting. This has happened to me multiple times. I used to think it had something to do with me not letting the cake cool down enough before frosting, but now I know about the crumb coat! This is a thin layer of frosting applied to the cake that catches all of those crumbs. After applying the crumb coat, chill your cake for a bit and then apply your frosting as normal.
Did you know you can store a cake for up to a month? Whether you’re prepping for a lot of desserts for a big event, or just want to savor a delicious cake in a few weeks instead of immediately, you can keep your cake fresh in the freezer if done properly. First, put the whole cake directly into the freezer for thirty minutes to set the frosting. Then, wrap at least two layers over the entire cake – frosting, plate, and all. This is to protect the cake from moisture that could potentially form and freeze. Take the cake out 24 hours before you want to eat it.