If you don’t want to use cream to decorate your cake, you may wonder, "How can I decorate a cake at home without cream?"
Although most people love the taste of a creamy cake, a cream frosting isn’t always the best option. Although cream is the easiest option for cake decoration as it can be colored in numerous shades and piped into different shapes and designs quite easily; sometimes, cream is not an option. For someone with limited knowledge about cakes, this might mean a dead end. Is it possible for one to decorate a cake without cream?
You can most definitely decorate a cake without cream and ensure that your cake tastes equally delicious, if not more. Some of the options you’ve got are fondant, candies, fruits, icing sugar, nuts, caramel, flowers, and sprinkles, among others that make your cake look beautiful and taste delicious!
Seasoned bakers have sufficient experience to know that cream isn’t the only option when it comes to decorating cakes. They can play with ingredients and experiment with new things, but that’s not something beginners can do. They’ll soon realize that cream isn’t always the best option for the cake they’re planning to make, and that’s when they’ll start to panic because they don’t know if they can decorate a cake without cream. If you’re one of those, you should sit back and relax because there’s not one or two but plenty of ways you can decorate a cake at home without cream!
A good cake is one that looks and tastes good. A cake that looks gorgeous but tastes bad or vice versa can never win hearts. Although cream makes a cake taste divine, you can still make cakes that ring the right strings on the very first bite without cream. We’ve got years of experience in making cakes, and we can assure you that you can decorate cakes without cream and still make them look gorgeous and taste absolutely the best!
Why Isn’t Cream Always the Best Option?
Cream is the most common option when it comes to decorating a cake. There are plenty of reasons for it. Firstly, cream is white in color, and it can be colored in literally any color. Then cream is very easy to handle and use during cake decoration. It comes out of a piping bag very easily and can be piped into various shapes and designs. Whether you want to make stars or rosettes, cream can be made into anything!
But even after all the good things, we don’t think cream is the best option. And there are some reasons for it too.
Finishing is Poor
The finishing of the designs you make using creams is quite average. The designs are not sharp and vibrant. If you look at fondant cakes, you’ll know exactly what we mean. Let’s say you want to make a graduation-themed cake. The most you can do with cream is draw a graduation cap on your cake. The design options with cream are limited.
Can’t Be Made Into 3D Shapes
Cream can’t be made into 3D shapes and designs. Taking the same example of a graduation-themed cake, the most you can do with cream is draw and color a graduation hat and a degree. The possibilities with cream are limited. However, when you use fondant for decorating a cake, you can make a 3D character wearing a graduation cap and holding the rolled degree. Unlike cream, the finishing is absolutely fine in this case.
The cream melts very quickly. Unless you keep the cake with cream decoration refrigerated, it doesn’t retain the shape you make it into for too long.
Short Shelf Life
Cream has a very short shelf life. You’ve got to consume a cream cake within 3 to 5 days. Otherwise, the cream will go bad.
How Can I Decorate a Cake Without Cream?
So, if you don’t want to use cream to decorate your cake for whatever reason, you might be interested to know what options you’ve got. What can you use to decorate your cake that will not only meet the aesthetic requirement but will also ensure the cake tastes great?
Well, you’ll be surprised, or should we say shocked, when you get to know there are so many possibilities. Cream isn’t the only option for cake decorations after all, and you’ll soon know the endless possibilities that you’ve got!
If you’re a regular baker, you’ll have icing sugar in your pantry. You can make an enticing cake using icing sugar without doing much work. You won’t even miss the cream dollops on the cake! You can dust icing sugar all over the cake’s surface, or you can cut shapes out of paper and use them as molds for making shapes with icing sugar on your cake.
If you think dusting icing sugar over the cake will make the cake look messy (which it doesn’t, by the way), you can make icing sugar paste using water, icing sugar, and flavored extracts and use them for cupcakes or cakes as you like!
Fondant is the most popular option today. All the fancy-themed cakes that you see (graduation-themed, bridal shower-themed, baby shower-themed, etc.) that have got 3D edible objects on the cake are all made of fondant! Fondant is definitely the best way to decorate a cake at home without cream.
You can make incredibly creative cakes using fondant. Fondant retains the shape extremely well and also ensures the cake underneath stays fresh and is good to eat for longer. Although fondant doesn’t taste as good as cream, it makes the most beautiful cakes!
Candies and Chocolates
Are you making a cake for a birthday party but don’t want to decorate it with the regular cream frosting? If yes, you can top your cake with candies and chocolates. You can cover the entire surface of the cake with colorful candies or simply sprinkle them. You can also use candies to make the initials of the birthday boy or birthday girl you’re making the cake for. Not only do candies add the right pop of color to the cake, but they also add the perfect sweetness and crunch to the cake.
Coconut Cake Topping
If you want to make a cake that doesn’t taste overly sweet, coconut is your best bet. Coconut makes savoring cake that isn’t loaded with unhealthy calories. Coconut is healthier than most options on our list and is also quite versatile. It can be easily added to different flavors like lemon, chocolate, and vanilla. You can even add coconut shavings to your cake to make it look more elegant and tempting!
Another way you can decorate a cake at home without cream is with fruits! Fruit toppings on a cake not only make the cake look beautiful, but fruits are also quite healthy. This is especially a great option in summers when the fruit options are plenty. The many berries and fruits that are available in summer can take the flavor and aesthetics of your cake to an all-new level!
In winter, you always have dry fruits to decorate your cake. The crunch of toasted walnuts and nuts will make you enjoy every bite of the cake. The combination of chocolate and walnuts is one of the best in cakes. Nuts have got their own distinctive taste that you’re going to love!
The best thing about decorating cakes with fruits is that you’re actually increasing the nutritional value of your cake!
Nothing beats the beauty of colorful sprinkles over an otherwise plain cake. The color just pops out beautifully. Make a plain cake and top it with colorful sugar sprinkles. You can coat the entire cake with sprinkles or use paper cutouts to make shapes out of sprinkles. The sprinkles will make your cake look like an absolute sight, regardless of how you decide to use them to decorate your cake.
We can’t stop fancying a caramel-coated cake. All you’ve got to do is make a super-smooth cake and then pour smooth caramel sauce over it. If you want to give your cake a more finished look that doesn’t have the pouring streaks, you can always use a flat knife to coat the top of the cake with caramel neatly. And don’t even get us started on how amazing a caramel-coated cake tastes!
Did you know some flowers are edible? Well, that makes them an option for decorating cakes! When cakes and flowers come together, you can’t stop magic from happening. Decorate your cake with petals of real, edible flowers and see your cake come to life! The elegance and beauty of flowers will radiate profoundly, making your cake look a sight to behold. This idea is perfect for wedding cakes.
Hand Paint Your Cakes
If you’re one of those artistic and creative souls, you can hand paint your cake using edible food paints. Painting cakes is not something everyone can do because it requires a certain skill set, but if you think you’ve got that in you, you can most definitely try this option out. A little practice will help you master the skill, and when you do, we can only tell you how gorgeous your cake will look. You’ll see it when you do it!
Balloon-Shaped Cake Toppers
If you are looking for something quick and simple, you can decorate your cake with balloon-shaped cake toppers. Make a cake in whatever flavor you like, top it with some colorful sprinkles or fruits, and finally, add the balloon-shaped cake topper. This would make the perfect birthday cake.
You can always top your cake with glaze if you want to keep things simple. The glaze is simply sugar and milk. It adds an extra sweet punch to your cake and makes it look super sophisticated yet tempting. Glazed cakes are perfect for evening snacks!
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore