Cooking Basics

Cake decorating ideas

By Melissa Ingold
Info Guru,

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Do you need to bake a cake, but you're not sure how to make it special? Here are 7 fresh ideas to make your cake a winner.
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7 cake decorating ideas to give your creativity a boost.

Baking and eating cakes for special occasions, like birthdays, showers, and weddings, is a tradition in our culture, and coming up with new and creative ideas for decorating them is challenging and fun.

Here are a few cake decorating ideas to try:

1. Theme cakes. These are cakes that follow a theme like, the 50's, tea party, space, dinosaurs, under the sea, and sports. Try picking one thing that sticks out in your mind from a particular theme, like a tea pot from the tea party theme, and create a cake to look like it.

2. Character cakes. If the recipient of the cake has a favourite character like Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, Clifford, Care Bears, or even NASCAR or golf. Use either a cake pan, or cut pieces from a 9 x 13 square cake to create your own design.

3. Animals. Turn a favourite animal into a cake, like frogs, bears, horses, or even snacks.

4. Vehicle cakes. Trains, buses, cars, fire trucks, army vehicles, boats, airplanes, and tractors can all be transformed into cakes.

5. Holiday cakes. Santa Claus's head, the Easter bunny, a heart for Valentine's Day, a pumpkin for Halloween, and a horse shoe for St. Patrick's Day are all examples of the different designs you can do for cakes.

6. Food cakes. Cakes can be created to look like candy, hotdogs, drinks, and even pizza.

7. Create your own. Come up with your own unique cake idea based on something that the recipient loves or enjoys. Like cell phones, a bowling ball, a box of crayons, or musical instruments, etc. Decorating and creating your next cake doesn't have to be stressful, get creative and try something new.

The following is an interesting tidbit from the history of cake decorating by April Drake (

"The first wedding cakes were made during the days of the Roman Empire. They were very thin and resembled bread more than the cakes we see today. The "cake" was broken over the bride's head by the groom. Guests of the wedding would try and pick up pieces of the broken cake to keep for good luck. Since the cake crumbs continuously found their way into the bride's hair, the veil was eventually created to prevent this occurrence.

Besides being seen as a charm of good fortune, the cake was also a symbol of fruitfulness. Luck itself represents a sense of culture. If people feel the small bits of cake held some superstitious rite that granted good luck, it is obvious that the tradition of breaking the cake was important to the culture.

In addition, the cakes were, in many instances, baked in the shapes of birds and grain. This represents how the cakes were not only symbolic discourses, but iconic discourses as well. The cake took on the form of real objects that held the fertility and freedom that the cake symbolized.

Moreover, the wedding cake has traditionally been found in the color white. This color is representative of purity to the people who use it on wedding cakes. The color was appropriate for a wedding cake because a wedding is supposed to be a bond between a pure woman and man. As time has passed, the color white in weddings has seemed to lose some of it's meaning, but they still use white in both wedding cakes and wedding gowns, very often.

Tiered cakes are a symbol of prosperity. A tiered cake is a cake that is made of two or more layers of different sizes. This symbolic representation began in the Anglo-Saxon times. Guests of the wedding were expected to bring a small cake and put them all in a big pile. The bride and the groom were then expected to kiss over top of the heap of cakes.

As time went on, and technology and health inspections advanced, the tiered cake was developed in France. The cakes were stacked successively from largest to smallest. Around 1902, the tiers of the wedding cake began being separated by columns, which were usually disguised pieces of broom handle. It is said that by using columns to separate the layers of the cake, it kept the higher layers from sinking into the lower layers. It was a way for the more skilled bakers to show off their elaborate cakes and their engineering skills. Using the tiers to represent the hierarchy of the English monarchy definitely is a representation of their culture through the cakes."

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