Pretty, tasty-looking treats are so fun to oogle. To make? Well...that depends. Not all of us are blessed with the skills - or the time and budget to get the fancy details perfect. But that shouldn't stop us. I feel like I'm very hit or miss with my decorating skills, but I've figured out a few sure-fire ways to get good enough results to be able to "bake it cute".
Use fun molds. Shaped cake molds & pans give a cute base to work from with minimal effort. There are a lot of choices out there too. To make my sweetheart cottage cakes, I used this mini-house silicone mold (from Wholeport) with basic cake mix:
I just made sure the molds were really greased up and added some extra time to the baking. The molded details are easier to just trace than trying to free hand designs.
Or if the details don't turn out or the mold is simpler, just go the outline route to define the shape more:
Think Cheap. I also go basic with my pastry bags: zip top quart size freezer bags. Just snipping off the corner and then sticking in the tip assembly is easy & cheap, scoop in some spoonfuls of frosting and you're good to go. When done, just remove the tips and toss the bag. Especially handy when short on clean-up time.
Get A Great Tip. I've found the small round and star shaped tips to be pretty versatile and easy to use, even when you've got no decorating training (ahem me). Going a little wavy with a star gives nice scalloped shapes like this roof top:
Swirling the same tip on a cupcake and adding some sprinkles/nonpareils looks really nice too. It's pretty hard to goof-up, so even when you've got kids underfoot or just have a couple of minutes, they'll turn out right.
When In Doubt, Candy It Out. I'm not so hot at doing tiny details with a pastry bag, so I just do the basics in frosting and then add some colorful candy or shaped sprinkles. Using them as accents on the roofs and sides of the houses gave them a nice Valentine's feel without worrying I was going to wreck anything at the end. It must have worked, because I had 3 kids and a husband leaning over my shoulder waiting to eat these as soon as the pics were taken.
Do you have any tips, tricks or ways you decorate goodies?
Share them in the comments!
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