Wedding cakes purchased from a professional baker are extremely expensive. With some practise, and the right tools, you can bake and decorate your own wedding cake – saving yourself a great deal of money. Decorating the cake is the most difficult part, but it’s not a goal that’s out of reach. Here is a list of tools you’ll need in order to practise your techniques.
Icing (or frosting) and Fondant
Of course icing is a required element and the foundation of the decorations that you wil create. Icing varieties can included various flavours of buttercream, whipped cream, and royal icing. Fondant is a mixture of powdered sugar, shortening, and corn syrup that is rolled out with a pin and draped over each layer of cake. Fondant is available for purchase premade or you can make it from scratch.
When you want to make flowers, ribbons and other designs, you will use piping bags to hold the icing. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, some are reusable, others are disposable.
These are affixed to the end of a piping bag and the icing is extruded through the different shapes to achieve different effects such as flowers, ribbons, stars and rosettes. Other designs include ruffles and basketweave.
Cake Stands and Turntables
The purpose of the cake stand is to hold the completed cake. They come in a wide range of sizes and materials. The cake can be decorated directly on the stand, or it can be placed on a turntable and decorated, then transferred to the cake stand. Cakes that will be decorated extensively are usually placed on a turntable.
Spatulas and Spreaders
The spatula is used to transfer the icing from the bowl to the cake, and then to smoothly cover the entire cake so that further decorating can be completed. Different types of spreaders can be used to create smooth finishes or textures.
Flower Making Tools
Cake flowers can be made from gum paste or fondant and require flower and leaf cutters that look similar to cookie cutters. Flowers can also be made from icing which can be piped onto a flower nail. A flower nail is a flat round piece of metal with a nail-like handle which allows for greater control and easy transfer of the flowers onto the cake.
Don’t feel that you can’t learn several basic techniques and use them to create a truly lovely wedding cake. There are countless numbers of books on the subject of cake decorating, and with some instruction, and some practise, you can do it!