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Help me 'cheat' with a good cake decorating idea

  • m

This weekend we're taking lunch and a mobile mini 'pre-party' to the home of our super-cool aunt and uncle who will soon be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They're not foodies and don't like a fuss, but I'm going to make a lemon layer cake w/creme cheese frosting to make lunch more festive.

I'm a decent baker, but I flunked 'cake decorating.' I'm no good w/a pastry bag or fashioning any sort of flower out of gum paste!

Any ideas for ways to decorate my cake that are idiot proof? Obviously I'm thinking gold and I have some gold dragees, but they won't make enough of an impact on their own I don't think. Or I could instead get some small yellow gerber daisies to put in the middle of the cake....

Any ideas welcome. Thanks so much!

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  1. How sweet of you to do this! I opt for nice geometric designs because I'm no artist either. Just simple squeezes of frosting (little pointed mounds) in concentric circles or stripes, that sort of thing. The candies within the pattern. (Will your aunt and uncle's teeth hold up to dragees?!) Paper thin slices of lemon would be pretty too, stood on edge. But fresh flowers can't be beat, daisies! Small marigolds?

    1. Can you pipe lines? If so, pipe even parallel lines across the top. Gently drag a toothpick perpendicular though the lines. You can use lemon curd. Along the side, pat on nuts or crushed cookies. Or, pick up a cake decorating comb and draw lines in the frosting.

      Or, really simple--just cut a slice of lemon, Cut it up to the center, twist and add to middle of cake. You could make candied lemon slices and use them on the side of the cake along the base. But then gerbera daisies would be pretty, too (if it's a concern, you might check that they aren't poisonous or grown with pesticides that were toxic).

      1. Candy some spring flowers by dipping them in beaten egg whites and sprinkling them with sugar. Let them dry on a rack overnight. Use these to decorate your cake with the option of piping the outline of green leaves. Alternatively you could candy flower petals and then place them around the gold dragees which would come to resemble the stamen of the flower.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          even better to use are dried egg whites than fresh ones. Reconstitute, dDip a paintbrush in and thoroughly paint the petals then gently sprinkle superfine sugar over top, let dry. Pansies and violets, cut early morning close to the calyx (you can hold the mini-stem left over with tweezers) hold up best. And lighter to mid-tone flowers work better than very dark ones, such as deep purple pansies.

        2. 1. White chocolate leaves. Melt white chocolate and paint the underside of edible leaves with it. Let cool. Use as top border.

          2. Marzipan roses?

          3. Raspberries and candied mint. The latter is painted with egg whites and then dipped in sugar (ala Jung Mann's method with flowers abobe). Arrange raspberries and mint to resemble flowers and leaves on top. This will require smoothing out the icing on top.

          1. Press chopped "something" (nuts, coconut, even finely crumbled cake crumbs) into the sides of your frosted cake. It dresses up the presentation and, if you made a mess of the icing job like I frequently do, it hides the evidence.

            I sympathize with you. I always say my cakes taste great but look like someone sat in them.