30+ Cake Decorating Recipes for Every Cake Decorator
The art of cake decorating has come a long way, and today it is a huge industry. Decorating a cake is not difficult, and yet it can be time-consuming and often a step-by-step process that requires planning ahead. Here is a handy list of cake decorating recipes I think every cake decorator should have access to. While you can create a very simple birthday cake with just cake and frosting, you can make a work of art by spending a little more time and with attention to details.
Whether you are new or a seasoned cake decorator you will appreciate this list of cake decorating recipes used by master cake decorators. I remember when I started cake decorating, one of my big challenges was to know what is each ingredient in the recipe.
I’d look at the videos on YouTube and wonder… what is she spreading on the cake? Is that piping gel, or is that edible glue? Is that chocolate ganache, or is that chocolate buttercream? How do you make perfect buttercream? What buttercream should I use for this cake? Will Swiss meringue work for me in the summer? Can I pipe flowers with this buttercream recipe? 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 simply figuring it out using trial and error.
You see back in those days, no one was ready to share recipes, tips, and tricks. These days it’s easy to find a lot of useful and helpful information. Seems like the problem today is information overload, which again can lead to confusion and waste of time.
What will you find in this post?
So today I decided I was going to write a post to share with you these cake decorating recipes. And also give you a few general guidelines that might help you in your search. If you are looking just for the recipe links – scroll down to the list below.
This list is based on my experience as a cake decorator for over 10 years. These are cake decorating recipes I have been using as a professional and I think everyone will find useful. 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.
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 four very basic ones below. Those are the ones I consider must-haves for any cake decorator. These you will need whether you are new 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.
Layer cake recipes
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.
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.
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.
30+ Cake Decorating Recipes for Every Cake Decorators (Save/Pin)
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.
Classic Sponge Cake Recipe - Vanilla or Chocolate.
A good sponge cake is a is a must-have recipe on hand for every cake decorator. It’s often the base for many variations and uses. From perfect tired cakes to novelty cakes or even dessert cakes dressed in cream or frosting. It’s ideal for children’s cakes or any tea time treat. One of the easiest cakes to make and a great recipe to start if you are new to baking.Continue Reading
Chocolate Cake perfect for Carving - The Best Sculpting Cake Recipe
One of the most important things necessary to sculpt a novelty cake is a perfect base. A cake that can be cut and manipulated without falling apart. A cake with a soft crumb and yet taste delicious. This chocolate cake perfect for carving will prove the best sculpting cake recipe for you.Continue Reading
Chocolate Vanilla Sheet Cake - Half and Half Recipe - Video Recipe
Having more than one flavor is always a treat in cakes just like this chocolate vanilla sheet cake. This simple, easy and effortless recipe makes two flavors in one pan, half chocolate and half vanilla cake with just one recipe. Here, I am making half chocolate and half vanilla cake but the same can be applied to many other flavors and variations.Continue Reading
Sphere Cake Recipe Vanilla or Chocolate Sphere Cake
Making a shaped cake can be intimidating especially, a sphere. Having the right sphere cake recipe can be a great place to start. Here I share my two go-to recipes: Vanilla sphere cake recipe and chocolate sphere cake recipe. I use them when I bake my sphere cakes, such as a sports ball cake, teapot cake or even a Cinderella carriage cake.Continue Reading
30 Plus Homemade Buttercream Frosting Recipes
Need a buttercream recipe in 5 minutes? Have a buttercream related question? Wondering what buttercream to use for your cake? It’s all here in one place. 30 plus homemade buttercream frosting recipes for you to explore. With recipes, tips, trick, and troubleshooting, as well as popular questions, answered.Continue Reading
Cake Decorators Chocolate Ganache - for decorating cakes
The perfect chocolate ganache for decorating a cake is one that you can use to cover a cake with fondant and I call it the Cake Decorators Chocolate Ganache Recipe. One that adds stability to the sculpted cake when working on a novelty cake and stays firm when stacked into a tiered wedding cake. My chocolate ganache is like my rock for me as a cake decorator.Continue Reading
Cake Decorators White Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Learn to make a perfect batch of white chocolate ganache with this step by step tutorial for a cake decorators white chocolate ganache recipe. Today I share with you all the tips, tricks, and troubleshooting so you will never have to throw valuable ingredients again.Continue Reading
How to flavor ganache – Ganache flavor variations
One of the fun things about ganache is that you can flavor ganache a million different ways. These simple, easy and effortless recipes to flavor ganache can make a huge difference to the final outcome of your cake. Here are a few ways on how to flavor ganache or rather a few ganache flavor variations that I love and are popular with my customers.Continue Reading
Velvet American Buttercream Recipe (ABC)
My velvet American buttercream is the most requested recipe from customers as well as here on the blog. It has a glossy sheen due to the unique method I use in making it. This simple, easy and effortless recipe makes a delicious velvety smooth textured buttercream that’s not grainy, easy to make in minutes, and melts in the mouth.Continue Reading
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) - No-Fail Recipe
Learn to make the best Swiss meringue buttercream with my no-fail recipe. Swiss meringue buttercream is usually less sweet and creamier with a velvet-like silky smooth feel on the tongue compared to an American buttercream. This simple, easy and effortless recipe with progress pictures and video tutorial will help you succeed in making the easiest most delicious Swiss meringue buttercream EVER. Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, macarons and more.Continue Reading
Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe (IMBC)
Italian meringue buttercream is made with egg white and boiled sugar syrup instead of powdered sugar. So it’s usually less sweet, more creamy and has a velvet-like silky smooth feel on the tongue. It’s Aabit more complicated than making Swiss meringue. And yet, the stability of the meringue is much better and remains fluffy longer.Continue Reading
Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder
The buttercream I used on these cupcakes is a meringue buttercream made with meringue powder. The reason is that there are some customers, especially pregnant women, who like meringue buttercream but don’t want to take the risk of eating raw eggs. This simple, easy and effortless recipe uses powdered egg whites instead of raw egg whites.Continue Reading
Stiff Buttercream frosting for cake decorating - Buttercream Flowers
If you plan to pipe buttercream flowers the first thing you need is a stiff buttercream frosting recipe for piping flowers. One that will pipe perfect buttercream flowers for you and will taste as delicious as it looks. This simple, easy and effortless recipe will give you a stiff buttercream frosting for cake decorating you will ever need.Continue Reading
The Best Homemade Fondant Recipe - from Scratch
If you looking for the best homemade fondant sugar paste recipe that’s affordable and tastes good. This is it. This homemade fondant recipe is soft, elastic, works great in any weather and unlike store bought, this one actually tastes delicious. This recipe is so simple, easy and effortless, it will have you making fondant for all your cakes and if you are a novice you will be surprised how easy it is to roll and cover your cake.Continue Reading
Homemade Vegetarian Fondant Recipe from scratch - Vegan & Parve
This homemade vegetarian fondant recipe is a fondant recipe without gelatin. This simple easy and effortless recipe uses agar-agar which is plant-based. The recipe is adapted from my most popular recipe homemade fondant recipe from scratch. This vegetarian fondant is also vegan, eggless, dairy-free and Parve and can be used to cover cakes, cookies or cupcakes.Continue Reading
Best Homemade Marshmallow Fondant Recipe
What could be better than a fondant that tastes like candy and smells of marshmallow? This Homemade marshmallow fondant recipe is a must-have for kids cakes. This simple, easy and effortless recipe for marshmallow fondant uses only three ingredients and has an incredible stretch that covering a cake becomes easy peasy.Continue Reading
Homemade Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant Recipe
This homemade chocolate marshmallow fondant is a delicious sugar paste recipe with the taste of marshmallow and chocolate. This simple, easy and effortless recipe is made with real chocolate and cocoa powder for that rich chocolate taste. Whether you cover a cake, cookies or cupcakes this chocolate fondant is always a real treat.Continue Reading
Perfect Homemade Black Fondant Recipe
Coloring fondant black can be trick and even a nightmare sometimes. But my method will help you make perfect homemade black fondant recipe every single time. It’s an easy and full proof method whether you use my recipe Black Chocolate Fondant or Black Vanilla Fondant recipe.Continue Reading
Homemade Marzipan Recipe in 5 minutes
Marzipan or almond paste is an absolute treat. This simple, easy and effortless recipe for homemade marzipan takes 5 mins and needs no special skills or equipment. Use it in baked pastry or decorating a cake. Try making traditional treats like marzipan fruits or chocolate truffles for Christmas and marzipan Easter eggs for Easter.Continue Reading
Homemade Chocolate Marzipan Recipe in 5 mins
Chocolate and marzipan is always a perfect combination. This simple, easy and effortless recipe makes a scrumptious homemade chocolate marzipan in less than 5 minutes. Use it to make treats around holidays such as bars and truffles, or traditional chocolate marzipan Easter eggs and bunnies. These make perfect holiday gift ideas too.Continue Reading
Homemade Gumpaste Recipe for Sugar Flowers - Gum Paste
Sugar flowers are made with a special sugar dough called gumpaste recipe made with edible gums such as Tylose or CMC. These make the petals hard enabling us to roll the paste really thin thus creating lifelike sugar flowers. Making gum paste recipe at home is a simple, easy and effortless process and I have given you two recipes here that will be the answer to all your cake decorating and gum paste flowers.Continue Reading
Modeling Chocolate Recipe - NO-Fail Method
Modeling chocolate has become a valuable ingredient in cake decorating. This simple, easy and effortless recipe is a no-fail method to making dark modeling chocolate whether you use dark, milk or semi-sweet chocolate. Use this modeling paste for chocolate roses, modeling figures or in sculpting decorated cakes.Continue Reading
White Modeling Chocolate Recipe - Fail Proof Method
Modeling chocolate has become a basic cake decorating recipe with so many possibilities. White modeling chocolate can be a bit tricky, but this simple, easy and effortless recipe will give you the perfect ratio for the best modeling paste as well as the right method, tips, and trick you need to master and use white modeling chocolate paste.Continue Reading
Homemade Piping Gel Recipe - Two Methods
This homemade piping gel so simple, quick and easy to make you will never have to go without it ever 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.Continue Reading
How to make Simple Syrup or Basic Sugar Syrup
Isomalt can be tricky to work with, expensive, nor is it easily available. This simple, easy and effortless recipe for isomalt gem substitute 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.Continue Reading
Rice Krispy Treats in Cake Decorating - Rice Krispies for Cake Sculpting
Rice Krispy treats in cake decorating can be a huge blessing. This simple, easy and effortless recipe can be made in minutes and can be used in any part of cake decorating. Whether you want to create a small section, to elevate the cake, or use for cake sculpting a whole section defying gravity. The possibilities are endless with these delicious treats that can be enjoyed by kids as well as grown-ups.Continue Reading
Royal Icing Recipe Three Different Methods
Royal Icing Recipe is a quick and easy icing that dries hard. It’s very sweet because it’s mostly powdered sugar and egg whites. It has endless uses in the cake and cookie decorating world. Once you learn the right method to make it and the right consistency that works for you, it can be a fun experience.Continue Reading
Homemade Edible Sugar Lace Recipe - Vegetarian & Eggless
Edible lace has always been an intricate part of cake decorating. And yet, now it has become a massive trend. Here’s 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.Continue Reading
Bean Paste Recipe for Sugar Flowers - Korean Bean Paste
The flowers made with bean paste are the current trend in sugar flowers after gum paste sugar flowers. Almost every cake decorator today wants to explore this new medium of making flowers for their cakes. Here is the bean paste recipe for sugar flowers that you will need if you plan to explore this new trend in cakes.Continue Reading
Homemade Edible Fabric Recipe aka Edible Silk Recipe
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.Continue Reading
Save these recipes on Pinterest for later. Tried my recipe? Share it with me, please.
As promised I’ll explain in brief but feel free to check on links for more information.
Basic Cake Decorating Recipes
- Sugar syrup for your cakes – Always brush your 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.
- 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.
- Rice Krispy Treats for cake decorating – I think most of us have used this at some point for cake toppers or gravity-defying cakes.
- 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.
Buttercream Recipes – This 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.
Ganache Recipes – 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 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.
Cake Filling Recipes
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.
- Most popular – The Best Homemade Fondant recipe from Scratch made with whipping cream – yup you heard me.. whipping cream and butter – it’s yum compared to most other fondants and has good flexibility.
- Homemade Vegetarian Fondant recipe from scratch made with agar-agar instead of gelatin.
- Homemade Chocolate Fondant recipe – A variation of my homemade chocolate fondant from scratch. So it’s also made with whipping cream and butter.
- Perfect Homemade Black Fondant Recipe – Those of you that attempted this one know how hard it is to get a black (not grey, not green ) fondant. This one is a variation from both my fondant from scratch as well as the chocolate base. So if you need a vanilla black fondant or a chocolate black fondant – both are there.
- The Best Homemade Marshmallow Fondant recipe – A great recipe for those who want a quick fondant that uses three or fewer ingredients.
- Last is my The Best Homemade Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant recipe – This one again is a variation of my vanilla marshmallow fondant only made with real chocolate and cocoa powder.
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.
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.
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.
For the Adventurers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Cake Decorating Business
If cake decorating is your profession then here are a few posts that you might find very useful.
- How to start a cake business from home.
- And, How to start a cake website (DIY Cake Blog)
- How much should you charge for your cakes?
- Also, How to find your cake decorating style
- Where to find inspiration for cake decorating?
- How many cake orders can I take?
- My Camera Bag – The photography equipment I use.
- and My Cake Room – Tools I use for cake decorating