August 10, 2017
To make or to buy? This is the question on every party hosts mind as the big day approaches. Cakes aren’t just a food item at a party. They’re a centrepiece, a way to reinforce your theme, and a reason for kids to stop their activity and celebrate the birthday girl or boy. Price may sometimes make the decision for you, but if you don’t have the budget for an extravagant professionally baked cake don’t despair. No matter what your design, there are simple hacks to creating the perfect cake for every birthday soiree using a plainly decorated store bought cake. By removing additional trim, fruit or extraneous decoration and smoothing over frosting with a knife or spatula you afford yourself a blank canvas. And with a little imagination, a home decorated store bought cake can be the star of the show, and the ideal compliment to your child’s party.
Cake toppers are easy to find online and available in every conceivable variety. As an added bonus, they are usually fairly inexpensive. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can also craft one at home: these simple ideas look stunning and can be augmented to suit your theme. Alternatively, theme specific, customised toppers are available in a myriad styles, colours and textures.
Mini figures can be a life saver for amateur cake decorators. If you are lucky, your child may already have small toys or figurines of the characters from their chosen theme that can be easily placed as decorations on the cake. For themes that are not character specific, or if don’t have mini figures in your toy boxes, there are still plenty of options. Themes such as Dino roar and Jungle Safari lend themselves to readily available and inexpensive cake decoration, with plenty of options available online or in local craft and toy stores.
A very simple idea that creates a stunning effect is to use fresh floral buds or flowers. Be sure to use organic, pesticide free, food safe flowers; peonies, freesias, sweet peas, amaranths and roses give a striking (and impressive) look with very little effort. Balance the eye catching impact of larger flowers by placing smaller ones underneath.
Candy is a sweet and enticing way to decorate a store bought cake. Your child’s favourite candy is always a good starting point: think of gourmet milk shake creations for inspiration, and consider using various heights for effect. Popcorn is on trend as a cake decoration. For added impact, use caramel or coloured popcorn.
Some things never change and kids still love sprinkles. Put a modern twist on a nostalgic favourite by embellishing the cake with large sprinkles on the side and top, or pick up geometric pattern trends by adorning a diagonal part of a circular cake with sprinkles. A simple tip for decorating success; take a piece of wax paper, lightly spray it with cooking spray and then pour the desired amount of sprinkles on it. Gently pick up the piece of paper, place against cake and lightly rub- this will transfer all your sprinkles right onto the cake without the huge mess.
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