The art of cake decorating has come a long way, and today it is a huge industry. In fact, decorating a cake is not difficult, and yet it can be time-consuming and often a step-by-step process that requires planning ahead. So, here is a list of cake decorating recipes that I think every cake decorator should have. Since, whether you are a beginner or advanced cake decorator, you can turn your next celebration cake into a work of art.
I remember when I started cake decorating, one of my big challenges was to know what is each ingredient in the recipe.
Often, I'd look at the videos on YouTube and wonder what is she spreading on the cake? And, is that piping gel, or is that edible glue? Is that chocolate ganache, or is that chocolate buttercream? Also, how do you make perfect buttercream? And, what buttercream should I use for this cake? And, where can I find these recipes for cake decorating?
These are just a few of the many questions I've had to answer to myself by using trial and error.
However, those days, no one was ready to share recipes, tips, and tricks. Fortunately, these days, it's easy to find a lot of useful and helpful information. In fact, the problem today is information overload. And that can lead to confusion and waste of time.
What will you find in this post?
So, today, I decided to write a post and share with you these cake decorating recipes. And, also give you a few general guidelines that might help you in your search.
This list is based on my experience as a cake decorator from self-taught to professional over these years. In fact, these are cake decorating recipes I have been using as a professional and I think everyone will find useful. In addition, I have tried to explain as much as I can in detail. And yet, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I'd be happy to answer.
- Basic Cake Decorating Recipes (6)
- Layer Cake for Cake Decorating (link to 30+ cake recipes)
- Frosting Recipes for Cake Decorating (8)
- Fondant Recipes for Cake Decorating (6)
- Ganache Recipe for Cake Decorating (5)
- Modeling Chocolate Recipe for Cake Decorating (2)
- Gumpaste Recipes for cake decorating (2)
- Basic Cake Decorating Recipes (4)
- Advanced Cake Decorating Recipes (5)
- Cake Filling Recipes (5 plus links to more)
- Sugar Cookie Recipes for Cake Decorating (6 plus links to more)
- Cupcake Recipes for Cake Decorating (3 plus links to more)
50+ Cake decorating recipes for every cake decorator
Now that you have my list of cake, cupcakes, and cookies recipes what more do you need? Following is a list of recipes that I've prepared for you, followed by more detailed explanations. If you still have any questions you can always ask me in the comments section below. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
Can you use any cake recipe out there? Technically you can. And yet, sometimes it is easier to use a butter-based cake as compared to an oil-based cake.
While I have in this blog more than 30 layered cake recipe and even more coffee cake recipes, I have linked only six very basic ones below. Those are the ones I consider must-haves for any cake decorator. These you will need whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cake decorator.
All my cakes are baked from scratch. I have no cake recipe on this blog that uses a cake mix. Having grown up with a cake baker for a mom - cake mix was a big no-no in my family. I have nothing against cake-mixers of course, just that I have still not got myself to using them.
Sponge Cake - Vanilla and Chocolate
One Bowl Vanilla Cake Recipe
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake Perfect for Carving
Two in One Chocolate Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe
Perfect Sphere Cake Recipe Vanilla or Chocolate Sphere Cake Recipe
My layer recipes usually fall into two categories, one is an oil-based cake while the other is a butter-based cake. There are times when one is better than the other, right?
For my wedding cakes, cakes that need to travel or in summer, I usually go with my butter-based recipes. And yet, my small cakes, single-tier cakes, two-tier cakes and in winter, I usually use my oil-based cakes. I love the moisture component that oil-based cakes bring. And I also love the rich flavor component that butter-based cakes bring. While I want to serve delicious cakes to my customers, I also want a do it with less stress. These small details can make a huge difference.
Can you have enough frosting recipes? I think not. But, buttercream Recipes can be confusing when you just start off as a cake decorator. Which buttercream recipe should I use? What are the different types of buttercream? (American, Swiss, Italian, French, German).
There are many different flavors, which can be made from any of these types of buttercream. So, you can have a caramel buttercream using any one of the above types of buttercream.
I have explained in detail the differences between the different types of buttercreams in this post - 30 plus buttercream recipes. You will also find here all my buttercream recipes and flavors. Here I will list just the basic 8 that I use most often as a cake decorator
American Buttercream Frosting
Swiss Meringue Buttercream SMBC
Italian Meringue Buttercream
French Buttercream Recipe
German Buttercream Recipe
The Best Stiff Buttercream frosting for Pipping Buttercream Flowers
Bakery Style Vanilla Frosting
Bakery Style Chocolate Frosting
If you buy commercial fondant then there is not much to say other than that you have to experiment and figure out which works best for you. I use Satin Ice when I want to use a commercial fondant for decorating my cakes. While you can use commercial fondant it is always a good idea to have a few good fondant recipes on hand in your cake decorating recipes. Never know when you may need it.
Fondant has come a long way. Every project requires different fondant. Below are my best recipes. Whether you are a cake decorator or a mom making your first fondant cake for your child's birthday, there is a recipe that is perfect for you.
As a suggestion, I'd encourage you to make a small batch and test to see if this is the right recipe for your project or your weather conditions.
The BEST Homemade Fondant Recipe
The Best Homemade Marshmallow Fondant
Homemade Vegetarian Fondant from Scratch
Homemade Chocolate Fondant Recipe
Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant
Perfect Homemade Black Fondant Vanilla or Chocolate
How many of you have tried ganache frosting on your cake and realized it does not work for fondant cake? Of course not! You cannot use any ganache under fondant. And definitely not in countries with high humidity. You need to have the right ratio.
So, there are many ganache recipes out there, all claim to be the best and all with different ratios. That's very confusing. I know. Which is why I have four different recipes for the ganache in this blog. And they tell you exactly what you should use them for.
Two of them are made for fondant, and just for cake decorators. The other two, are for all other uses.
So now you don't have to guess which ganache goes under fondant. Learn how to ganache a cake from scratch.
Chocolate Ganache - frost, drip, glaze or pipe
Cake Decorators Chocolate Ganache Recipe
White Chocolate Ganache
Cake Decorators White Chocolate Ganache
How to flavor Ganache aka Ganache Flavor variations
Modeling chocolate recipes
Modeling chocolate recipes have become valuable in cake decorating. It is used to make chocolate roses, modeling figures or in sculpting decorated cakes. I have listed both the dark modeling chocolate as well as the white modeling chocolate recipes for you along with how to make chocolate roses.
Modeling Chocolate - Candy Clay
White Modeling Chocolate - Candy Clay
Well, there is gumpaste for those of you that make flowers. You can buy commercial gumpaste of course but it can also be easily made at home. Gumpaste is used not just for sugar flowers but also for cake toppers and a very important cake decorating recipe to have on hand.
I have two gumpaste recipes in my post. One for sugar flowers made with egg whites by Nicholas Lodge, and the other that is made with meringue powder, which I usually use on kids cakes. We all know how kids love to eat sugar paste and hard sugar paste is candy.
You can also find here some of my sugar flowers tutorials using these recipes.
Gumpaste Recipe for Making Sugar Flowers
Homemade Gumpaste Recipe (Edible)
Basic cake decorating recipes
Sugar syrup for your cakes - Always brush the cakes with sugar syrup. Basic sugar syrup is just two ingredients. And yet, it can make a huge difference when used as an ingredient in another recipe like drinks, cocktails, and cakes. Here, I will show you how I make my simple syrup, enrich it, flavor it and use it. And I use the same recipe with different ratios for different uses and different outcomes. Here is everything you need to know - how to make sugar syrup or simple syrup.
How to Make Simple Syrup
Piping gel - This homemade piping gel is so simple, quick and easy to make you will never have to go without it again. It has become an important aspect of cake decorating form glue to sticking flowers. In this post, I share with you two recipes one with gelatin as well as a vegetarian with lots of possibilities. I have two different recipes one made with gelatin and the other made with cornstarch, for those of you that need a vegetarian option. This can be used as glue - read more on the blog.
Homemade Piping Gel - Two Recipes - Gelatin or Vegetarian
Rice Krispy Treats for cake decorating - I think most of us have used this at some point for cake toppers or gravity-defying cakes.
Rice Krispy Treats in Cake Decorating
Advanced cake decorating recipes
Sugar lace is a recent addition to cake decorating recipes and being more popular these days. My homemade edible sugar lace is for those of you that have not had success with commercial brands. Yes, this one works better. And of course, it's good for those of us that want a homemade option. Edible lace has always been an intricate part of cake decorating. And yet, now it has become a massive trend. This is a simple homemade edible sugar lace recipe. It can be applied to any cake, from simple buttercream to naked ganache or a decorated fondant cake. So, have fun and explore new possibilities with this easy to use homemade lace recipe.
Homemade Edible Sugar Lace Recipe Eggless and Vegetarian
The latest of the recent trends is now Edible fabric for those of us who love to try something new. No one believes this is edible. Soft, silky smooth and beautiful. The latest trend in cake decorating has been these edible fabric sheets also called edible silk. Surprisingly this homemade edible fabric recipe is easier than you can imagine. It takes no more than 10 minutes to make one sheet of homemade edible silk.
Homemade Edible Fabric Recipe aka Edible Silk Recipe
Bean paste recipe for sugar flowers - This is a new cake decorating recipe that still has so much left to explore. Almost every cake decorator today wants to explore this new medium of making flowers for their cakes. This is the bean paste recipe for sugar flowers that you will need if you plan to explore this new trend in cakes.
Bean Paste Recipe for Sugar Flowers or Korean Bean Paste
Candy Gems - this is often used as a substitute for Isomalt. Isomalt can be tricky to work with, expensive, nor is it readily available. This simple, easy and effortless recipe uses sugar candy as a substitute for Isomalt gems. It makes a great treat for kids' cakes as kids can eat candy instead of isomalt. And it can be used for fashion-inspired cakes or sugar shoes.
Candy Gems as Isomalt Substitute
Marzipan has been a popular cake decorating recipe for generations not so much in the US. Those of you in Europe use marzipan to cover your cakes before you use fondant. And I have shared a few marzipan recipes with you, as well as my a detailed Marzipan 101 about the different way to use marzipan, store it, tips, etc.
Homemade Marzipan Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Marzipan Recipe
Cake filling recipes
Take your cakes to the next level by offering your customers more than just buttercream and ganache. Fill your cakes with sweet fillings such as fruits fillings, caramel, butterscotch, curds. Here are just a few of my favorites you can find more here - Filling Recipes.
Strawberry Filling for Cakes Tarts and Desserts
The BEST Cherry Filling
No-Fail Orange Curd Recipe
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
If you are a cake decorator, then you also get cupcakes orders. Which means you need a few good cupcake recipes. You can find a list of all my cupcake recipes, from a simple one bowl cupcakes for a quick last minute order, to a rich cupcake with wonderful flavors your customers will love you for.
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes (one bowl)
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes (one-bowl)
Vanilla Sour Cream Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Buttercream
Sugar cookie recipes
Every cake decorator must have at least one good sugar cookie recipe in her list of cake decorating recipes. I have listed a few sugar cookie recipes below that work perfectly every single time. I have quite a few sugar cookie recipes that are very popular on this blog from the best vanilla sugar cookies to warm flavors like no-spread gingerbread sugar cookies.
The Best Sugar Cookies Recipe
The Best Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe
No Chill Sugar Cookies
No-Spread Sugar Cookies
Eggless Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Eggless Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Royal Icing Recipe - 5 Recipes
Royal Icing Recipe with Meringue Powder or Egg White Powder
Black Royal Icing Recipe
Save these recipes on Pinterest for later. Tried my recipe? Share it with me, please.
Share a picture of your work with me by uploading an image here below my Image on board.
You can find a collection of my tutorials and recipes here on Pinterest.
Your blogs are brilliant. I visit them time and again from ideas to recipes. So a big thank you from me. Incidentally do you have books/dvds I can purchase?
Hey K. Thank you for the lovely comment. So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes and tutorials.
Currently, I am only posting everything on my three blogs - I used to have an online shop which I discontinued. But now everything is free so no one needs to purchase anything.
A book is on my mind because many are requesting that I write one but not in the works yet.
Thank you so much for your support.
Hello Veena, I am looking to make tour Apple and caramel for a 50th birthday celebration. Could I freeze this cake?
Hey K - This Apple Caramel cake? It's absolutely delicious and yes, can be frozen.
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
I've been looking for some decorating tips for cake! I need to get back into my baking, these are fantastic tips and recipes.
Thank you, Eden. I'm glad you find these useful
I am terrible at decorating cakes. But this is such a great resource, so I am sure I can pick up lots of tips.
Thank you, Dannii.
Such an informative post on cake decorating. Great information to have and all of your cakes are so gorgeous.
Thank you, Stephanie.
WOW this post is definitely a keeper! Such great tips and recipes!
Thank you, Natalie.