This little witch’s hat cupcake topper is fairly simple to make...
When it comes to cake decorating, it seems like sometimes no matter what we do something doesn't turn out quite how we expected. Of course, with practice comes both experience and the knowledge to brainstorm in even the most difficult situations. But really, when it comes to the somewhat unpredictable world of cake decorating your best offense is a good defense. If you can learn how to prevent disaster before it occurs you'll be much better off!
Here's a few tips to make sure your next project is a success:
1. Be sure to organize and plan ahead.
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your list, ingredients, tools, and decorations needed for your cake. It's usually a good idea to bake your cake the day before decorating so it has time to firm up overnight in the refrigerator. That way, all of your energy the next day will be focused on decorating the cake. If you're running around trying to get everything done within a short time span of just a few hours your cake will most likely reflect your state of frenzy.
2. Consider where your cake will be served.
Buttercream just doesn't hold up well to temperatures higher than 78 degrees F. If your cake is going to be served outside on a hot day fondant might be a better choice. If the celebration is going to be held indoors on a hot day, you may want to ask the host to have the air conditioning running before you and the cake arrive.
3. Play nice with fondant.
If you're working with fondant, remember that it can dry out pretty quickly. Keep any pieces that you're not working on well-wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in a container. If your fondant seems dry or cracks and rips when you place it on the cake, DO NOT ADD WATER. Since fondant is comprised mostly of sugar, the water will dissolve it and make your situation even worse. Instead, patch the area with a more pliable piece of fondant or use a bit of shortening to smooth out the cracks.
4. Let the cake cool completely.
Before you try to remove the cake from the pan, make sure its cooled completely, otherwise you'll be dealing with a deep crack or worse, a cake that falls apart. Also, a cake usually cracks when transported from its decorating spot to the presentation tray or board. So, if possible it's usually a good idea to decorate on those same surfaces to begin with. If you want to keep your presentation surface looking nice, simply lay strips of waxed paper along the base of your cake before you begin decorating. When you're done the strips will easily pull out from underneath the cake.
I use this cake batter with fruit puree and fresh fruit filling, along with some whipped cream, for a super-light, summery cake.