How to Decorate a Cake: Frosting Swirls & Decorative Edges

Learn to make bakery-worthy cakes. Watch as Parents contributor Jenna Helwig shows you how to create frosting swirls and decorative edges.


Hi. I??m Jenna Helwig. Personal chef and Parents contributor. Today, I??m going to show you how to decorate a cake so it looks like it came straight from a bakery. First thing, make sure that you have a crumb coat on your cake. This will help trap anyway crumbs. I already have that here, that??s the thin layer of frosting. Second, I??ve tucked in some strips of parchment paper just under the cake to help protect the cake quite. All right. So, now we??re ready to frost. I??m going to use an offset spatula and I??m gonna take a big dollop of frosting. Do not be shy. You want a lot of frosting. Do not be shy. You want a lot of frosting. So I??m gonna spread it across the cake, definitely adding more, and will go down the sides. Don??t worry about getting a professional smooth look here. The idea is that it??s okay to have some ridges and some swirls because it will make it look even more appealing. Another good tip to remember is don??t ever let your spatula touch the cake itself. Keep your spatula in the frosting. So I??m mounting the frosting in the center and then I??m pushing it out to the sides. Okay. Make sure I covered everything. So now, I??m ready to decorate. Just a little bit. This is very simple. Just take a regular teaspoon and using the back, make some nice swirls and ridges and pretty designs, and remember there are no rules to this and no pattern. Just the way however you want. Okay. And now, for the final touch, I??m going to use my clean hands and put some crushed nuts on to the sides of the cake. You could use nuts, you could use cookie crumbs, you could use cake crumbles, whatever you want. So just put them in the palm of your hand like this and press. Yes, you will get a little frosting on your hands but-- and for the final reveal, we??ll remove the parchment. And there you have it. A cake that looks like it came straight from the bakery.

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