Cake Decorating Basic

Tips for Baking a Great Cake

Since starting off with a great cake is so important when you are trying to become a great cake decorator, here are some fool-proof tips to help you create the perfect cake to be your blank canvas:

Temperature Matters

If you don’t know how accurate your stove is, or you have an older oven that hasn’t been serviced in many years, buy an oven thermometer to make sure that the oven is really the right temperature before putting the cake in.  Sometimes, oven temperature readings can be off by as much as 75 degrees and that can mean the difference between a great cake and a mediocre one.

Use High Quality Pans

When your cake pans start to get old, burned, or are in bad shape, throw them out and get new ones. The shinier the pan, the more heat it will reflect. That will effect how the cake bakes and eliminate uneven heating that may occur with old, scratched up and dull pans.

Blend flavors in your ingredients when you can – If you are making a chocolate cake, then use cocoa powder instead of flour to grease the cake pans.  That way, you won’t get a white mess on your cake and you will be blending more chocolate into the flavor.  When making a white cake or vanilla cake, use powdered vanilla that coffee shops use on their coffee drinks instead of flour to add a light dusting of vanilla flavor to your cake.

To Get A Better Cake Texture

If you want to get a finer, lighter texture for your cake, use buttermilk instead of regular milk in the cake recipe.  When using buttermilk, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of buttermilk to the dry cake ingredients in order to make the cake come out better.


To make chips, nuts, raisins, or other items that you are putting into your cake suspend in the cake batter more and not settle at the bottom of the cake, toss them in flour before adding them to the batter.

Making Chocolate Whipped Cream

If you are using whipped cream on a chocolate cake, put 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar in a chilled bowl and whisk in heavy whipping cream. Whip until frothy and refrigerate until set.

Cleanly Section A Layer Cake

If you need to section your layer cake, take a long strand of unflavored, waxed dental floss and pass it through the center of the cake. Pull the edges where you want the sections to be. The dental floss will make clean slices and sections without sticking to the cake.