Cake decorating is something I find absolutely fascinating - one of my favourite YouTube channels is How To Cake It; there's something so satisfying about watching some eggs and flour and sugar be transformed into an edible igloo or a watermelon or a mailbox.
Alas, I don't have the patience to be very good at cake decorating myself, so it's an art that I admire from afar! When it comes to making birthday cakes, I tend to keep my baking in its natural form.
If I can't get my fondant or buttercream completely straight, it makes me feel a little bit twitchy, so for this tutorial I decided to decorate an already-iced white celebration cake. You can buy them at any big supermarket, and it's a quick way to create a fun cake.
- A plain white celebration cake
- Black fondant icing
- A rolling pin
- Letter stamps
- A paintbrush
- A small amount of water, gin, or vodka
- White icing (find icing pouches here)
- Colourful sprinkles
You'll also need to choose a Bible compliment! I used "You put the stud in Bible study" because my husband is a vicar, and I wanted to use him as a model (much to his delight) -- keep reading to see pictures!
Start with stamping out your fondant letters
It's easiest to start with your phrase when it comes to decorating your cake. If you start with the piping, there's a risk that you might accidentally smush the icing when you add the letters.
Roll out your fondant using a rolling pin and plenty of icing sugar so it doesn't stick to your chopping board or work surface. Once you've got a flat, even sheet of fondant icing around the thickness of a 20p, you can cut out your letters using your alphabet stamps.
Then add them to your cake
Once you've got all your letters, put them carefully on your cake and move them around until you're happy with the spacing and layout. Now you know where you want your letters to be, use your paintbrush and your water/gin/vodka to stick the letters to the cake. You won't need very much at all, but handle your letters with care and a small palette knife so that they don't get misshapen.
Once you've moistened the back of the letters, press them (very gently) onto the cake.
It's likely that your fondant will have remnants of icing sugar on it, so once you've glued all your letters to the top of your cake, brush over them with your water/gin/vodka to get rid of any powdery patches. The alcohol will evaporate as the letters dry.
I decided to keep the decor simple given my lack of decorating skills, so I went with a simple piped finish with a star nozzle around the top edge of the cake as well as around the bottom. It created a nice neat finish and made it look a bit more fancy than a plain ASDA cake!
Once I'd done that, I sprinkled some colourful sprinkles around both sets of piping to add a pop of fun.
This cake goes really well with the Biblical compliment biscuits we've made, so if you're celebrating Valentine's Day with a party at church or in your small group, you could go compliment-mad and kit the table out with all manner of niche cultural references.
Just kidding, I'm rubbish at limericks.