17 answers

Icing Tips/recipes for Homemade Birthday Cake

Hi Moms- I am making my daughters 1st birthday cake this weekend and I am very inexperienced. I was wondering if any of you have some special tips on how to spread the icing so it does not look streaky or rough. I am making a very simple/small castle cake with a square base. Is there a good recipe I should use to make my own icing or should I just buy containers from the grocery store? I also want the icing to be pink or purple- any tips on how to dye it?

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Thank you SOOOOO much for all of the cake decorating/icing advice I received. I made the castle cake for my daughters 1st birthday and I think it turned out super cute. I used a combination of everyone's advice and for my first attempt, the icing came out looking pretty smooth. I used the Wilton buttercream icing recipe and instead of using vanilla extract, I used peppermint and iced a chocolate cake. It was a good combo. I got many visual ideas from the website Coolest Birthday Cakes and I actually posted mine there to help "pay it forward" to other moms looking to make a castle cake. If you responded to my request and want to see your advice put into action, check out the cake at http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/coolest-princess-ca... Again, thanks so much for your responses, they all helped so much!

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I had to make a cake last minute and I needed black and hot pink frosting... I went to the bakery at my local grocery store and bought their frosting they use for cakes.. they died it for me and everything, and it was very inexpensive and easy to spread!

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As a few people alrady suggested, Michaels has the Wilton colors for cake decorating. They also have the pre-made frosting. It's pretty thick which makes it good for decorating but to spread easier I would thin it out.
They also have fondant in this section. You buy it in these little tubes and you can roll it out and use it to cover the cake. No worries about streaks and a lot of it comes pre-colored. I used hot pink fondant to make a "dress" for a Barbie cake. It was so much easier than frosting the entire thing. It was my first time using it even though I decorate cakes as a hobby and side income for friends. It was very easy to use, rolled out simple and the end result looked very nice. You may need to packages depending on how big the cake is and how thin you roll the fondant.

Good Luck!

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You can buy white icing in a container from the store and use food coloring to dye it. The box will tell you what color to mix and how many drops to make purple. I imagine with pink you would just add a little red. Also if you whip the icing in a bowl you can double the volume, thereby making it easier to spread, easier to mix the food coloring, and you use less (which means less sugar). You could also find a pretty simple butter cream frosting recipe (powder sugar, butter, and milk) on line. You may want to invest in a special knife made for frosting cakes (you can find them at Michael's), they're flat and long, so that'll help with making smooth lines. Good luck, have fun, and happy birthday to your little one.

D.

1 mom found this helpful

I had to make a cake last minute and I needed black and hot pink frosting... I went to the bakery at my local grocery store and bought their frosting they use for cakes.. they died it for me and everything, and it was very inexpensive and easy to spread!

1 mom found this helpful

If you are looking for pink icing and concerned about taste, my kids love the Betty Crocker cherry flavored icing. It expecially goes well on a cherry-chip cake. Happy Birthday to your little one!

1 mom found this helpful

At Smart and Final in the freezer section they have the whip cream frosting. Thaw and whip up. Very easy the name is Frostin Pride. Add food coloring to color. Can use sugar cones from the store (small ones) for the tops of castle. Sounds fun!! As for the spreading finding a good utensil is key maybe michaels they would have the coloring also but dip you knife in warm water to smooth it out!

If you are going to Michaels anyway, the Wilton colors dye the frosting to deeper shades quicker and easier. If you get the guts to try the little stars, their premade frosting is a good texture for that. Go for the thin texture of frosting for smoothness, then wet your knife down with water to smooth it even more. Good luck!

After frosting your cake, dip a palette knife or small spatula into hot water and wipe. Then slide the heated knife over the cake, it'll melt the icing just enough to make the surface smooth and shiny.

make thelayers first. cool completley, then freeze, cut the shapes out form the frozen cake . then put a thin layer of thinned out frosting on starting at the sides then the tops. freeze again then use your decorating frosting. butter cream works really well and you can add or take out powdered sugar to adjust the consistency. i like to use paste colors because they dont dilute the frosting and make it runny. when you get to frost, put a few pieces of wax paper under the bottom layer. make sure the pieces overlap so that you can pull them out after you finish forsting ( cake plate stays clean) there are several variations of frosting i use, the one that uses crisco only turns out like the bakery frosting doesnt really taste that well but it wil give you very white frosting that wont change the colors of your dyes. butter cream using butter has better taste but you will get a beige looking frosting and it may change the colors a bit. cream cheese frosting is delicious but you have to paly with the powdered sugar to get the right consistency. the easiest and fastest frosting i make is to take one can of vanilla whipped frosting, one box of cream cheese that is room temperature, and powdered sugar. beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, add the canned frosting and beat some more slowly add powedered sugar until you get the right consistency. divide the forsting depending on what colors you will use the most. frost the forzen prepared cake doing the sides first then the top. use a deocrating bag to pipe decorations on it. i like to use heavy duty freezer bags, i put the nozzel into a corne and cut off the tip of the bag. i insert the decorating tip over that and then screw the whole thing down. i use different ones for each color. good luck

As a few people alrady suggested, Michaels has the Wilton colors for cake decorating. They also have the pre-made frosting. It's pretty thick which makes it good for decorating but to spread easier I would thin it out.
They also have fondant in this section. You buy it in these little tubes and you can roll it out and use it to cover the cake. No worries about streaks and a lot of it comes pre-colored. I used hot pink fondant to make a "dress" for a Barbie cake. It was so much easier than frosting the entire thing. It was my first time using it even though I decorate cakes as a hobby and side income for friends. It was very easy to use, rolled out simple and the end result looked very nice. You may need to packages depending on how big the cake is and how thin you roll the fondant.

Good Luck!

Hi - welcome to Sedona. Use a spatula and spread the icing as best you can. Then dip it in water to smooth it out. Let it dry about 4 hours.

To color it - you can use food dye, there are directions on the package.

I had gotten this from www.wholesomebabyfood.com

Whipped Cream Frosting

Makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer cake
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions:

1 In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Sugar-Free! Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosts one 2-layer cake

½ cup apple juice concentrate - 1 pound light cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract - ½ cup finely chopped raisins
1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin

1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate.
2. Process the remaining juice concentrate, the cream cheese, vanilla, and raisins in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Stir the gelatin into the 2 tablespoons juice concentrate in a small saucepan; let stand 1 minute to soften. Heat to boiling and stir to dissolve gelatin.
4. Beat the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture until well blended. Refrigerate just until the frosting begins to set, about 30-60 minutes. Frost the cake

Looks like you have ideas for all the recipes already, but one tip I didn't see is make (or buy) extra frosting. This way if you need extra to make it smooth at the end you are not "stealing" some from the other side of the cake. Have fun!

Hi J.! I have just gotten into cake decorating in the last few years. My girls love the cakes I have made, and don't care at all about my mistakes (just remember this the night you are making it!) I have found a ton of cake websites that I go to for ideas, recipes, tips, etc. Here are a few of them. The cake central is my favorite, but you have to join- it is free, but a great site!
http://www.baking911.com/decorating/101_intro.htm
http://www.wilton.com/decorating/
http://www.cakeworkscentral.com/
http://www.cakecentral.com/index-cake-decorating.html
A hobby store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, even Joanns, usually have a ton of cake supplies. It is very easy to make your own frosting (my favorite is the decorators cream cheese recipe I found on cake central), but buying the cans is easy, too. The canned kind just might not crust- if you even want it to. The hobby stores will have a lot of colors you can use, also, for coloring your frosting. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message, but have fun and I know your daughter is going to love it!

Cool baked cakes completely. Place on waxed paper or parchment paper and trim/brush off all uneven edges and crumbs. Cover top with waxed paper and wrap layers in plastic; then, freeze. A frozen cake is easy to handle and won't fall apart being frosted. This is the way wedding cakes are done. Buttercream icing works best. You can make your own - I'm sure the receipe is available online or you can use store-bought. Store bought icing can be stiffened by adding more powdered sugar. Beating the frosting until smooth is important. The best tools for icing are long and short spatulas. Use icing like glue to assemble your parts. Good luck! M. Pooyouma

Hey there,
I bake cakes as a hobby (would like to open my own business some day). Anyway, I have never had any issues with the Better Homes and Gardens version of Buttercream icing. Do you have the red cookbook? If so, use that...One more thing, I really like the gel food colors, they give the most vibrant colors. Michael's has them.

Yes! Ice it on WAY thicker than you think necessary, to help avoid the crumblies. Chocolate flakes off into frosting way worse than yellow cake, so if you use chocolate cake and are worried about that, a chocolate frosting is probably your best bet. Then, the secret is to bet a tiny spray bottle and give the frosting about three squirts before smoothing it out with the icing spatula. Good luck!

Hi J.,
I use the Wilton recipe for icing - it is on their website. I also use the Wilton cake recipe because ifyou buy the store box brands, they are not as firm and are more difficult to ice. I took a cake decorating class and I purchase the bags and tips which are helpful. One way is to purchase a large bag to fill with icing and a large tip that is about 3 inches long where the icing comes out in lines. You squeeze the bag and the icing flows out - start at the edges and go around the edges first. Then go over the top of the cake. Now take a spatula )metal one) and using wax paper on top of the icing, flatten the icing with the spatula. This will close up the seams and make a smooth cake. If you don't want to buy the tip.....put on the icing with the spatula with a lot of icing and spread around, not touching the cake with the spatula (or crumbs will get into the icing. To colorize the icing, I only use Wilton gel colors that you get at Joanns or Michaels. You only need a little bit to colorize and they are more brilliant colors.
Good Luck

Hi! I don't do professional cakes any more (except for rare instances, ie friends & Family}. First of all, sure you can use canned frosting, unless you want to do fancy edgings or flowers, etc. Usr a long bladed metal spatula. Buy Wilton coloring. It's more expensive but will last for years and is worth the extra monty. Try Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc for your needs. If your cake has a "crumby" finish, water down some icing and spread it evenly. It doesn't matter if crumbs show thru. Let it dry and repeat if necessary but chances are you can apply regular frosting. If you are very interested in cake decorating, look for a Wilton's catalog. They also have a web site. You can buy one or two tips, which will do a variety of flowers or borders. The catalog shows which tip to use to make a particular edge or flower. It isn't hard to do but make take a bit of practice. Make your flowers in advance and place them on a parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet in the freezer. When frozen, gently remove and put in a container for later use. Good luck. If you want any more tips, write me.

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