You may be wondering what kind of cake is best for decorating, and there are certainly many options to choose from, which can make it difficult to decide.
With the multitude of options available, you may feel like opting for the wrong cake will make your decorations look good but make your cake taste plain and basic.
By choosing a sponge cake, you ensure that the flavors do not clash and that you’re able to get very creative with your decorations. The best option for you may be a sponge cake, which has a neutral flavor and can turn into something spectacular after you’re done with the decorations.
However, since there are so many types of cakes available, this may be a matter of choice for many, which is why we've added some other alternatives for you to consider. If you truly want to create the best decorations for your cake, we have added some tips for which decorations to include. Let's start with our favorite option, and we'll give you other ideas so you have some options to choose from.
We've diligently researched and considered many options to find the best one for impressing your guests. Sometimes, simplicity is the best way to go, and you'll learn more about this in the coming sections.
Decorating a Sponge Cake
Sponge cakes are so popular because of their sponge-like texture, making them a favorite of many, especially when decorated with whipped cream and berries.
This soft and moist cake can be decorated in many ways, using chocolate cream and powdered sugar, allowing you to transform your plain sponge cake into an artistic design.
Many people argue that cakes need to only be delicious, but adding decorations can increase the visual appeal and is sure to win your guest's approval if you spend the time to create a masterpiece.
You are limited only by your creativity since there are so many routes to take with decorations.
A plain and basic sponge cake can easily transform into a luxurious cake that is fit to be served at any party or social gathering, and the best part is that it is not very difficult to make.
It is also an opportunity to get the children at home involved so that it provides a fun and exciting atmosphere in your kitchen.
Let’s dive into some decorations you can implement on your sponge cake.
Sugar And Fruit
This is the simplest option that you should not underestimate because it can take your plain sponge cake to another level.
By decorating your cake with some of the freshest fruits you can find, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, you ensure that your cake is no longer an unhealthy dessert but an enticing option for health nuts.
Slice up your strawberries and peaches, and decorate them on the top of your sponge cake so that it looks organized and aesthetically appealing.
For this to work, you must buy the highest quality of fruits that are not too ripe so that there is a tanginess that balances out the sugary aspect of this dessert.
Many people make the mistake of making their cakes way too sweet, which can make the cakes feel heavy, especially when complemented with whipped cream.
You can add whipped cream between two sponge cakes to create a double-decker sponge cake with a moist and creamy filling in the middle.
Using confectioner's sugar to drizzle onto the fruits, you add a visual element to your cake and enhance its flavor.
Since there are so many fruits to choose from, including kiwis, oranges, and those mentioned above, it is unlikely that your dessert will be underwhelming after a delicious meal.
You will encounter no objection if you choose to add a touch of chocolate to your sponge cake, and it can certainly make your dessert stand out, depending on the type of chocolate and any other decorations you use.
In terms of flavor, chocolate is perhaps the number one ingredient that can take your cake to the next level, and many people prefer munching down on a sponge-ey chocolate cake that is not too heavy but still delicious.
It is also a popular choice with children, who love the texture of sponge cakes and cannot resist the layers of chocolate spread evenly around the cake.
You can easily make your chocolate at home by simply mixing your favorite cocoa powder with milk and sugar.
That way, you control the sweetness and quality of chocolate by choosing the best ingredients possible.
Just because something is simple does not mean it will be underwhelming.
If you've got a large sponge cake, you can easily cut it horizontally across the middle to have a double-layered cake.
Use a knife to spread your chocolate icing in the middle portion of your cake, and do the same on the top.
Use 75% of your chocolate icing on the outer layer of the cake and 25% in the middle.
This helps balance out the flavor since there is more surface area to cover on the outside.
Add some rainbow sprinkles on the top to add a bit of excitement to your cake, and let it cool down for a couple of hours before serving it to your guests.
This can also be an excellent birthday cake if you decide to decorate it with some candles.
One of the most delicious flavors you can create for a cake includes using buttercream, which is easily made at home by mixing heavy cream, butter, milk, and sugar.
Blend the mixture to form a smooth texture, which can be spread over your cake (as much as you want!) so that your cake is simple, decorated, and delicious.
Put your cake aside to cool down before serving it to your guests, and maybe make some cappuccino at home to complement the dessert.
People sometimes complain that heavy cream makes them feel lethargic, so you can serve the caffeinated drink to create the perfect combination.
Best Cake For Decorating With a Fondant Icing
Fondant icing is a popular choice at formal events and weddings, and there are some difficulties encountered that can affect your cake’s integrity.
The cakes may be too sweet or dry and may not be sturdy enough for the fondant icing.
We have discovered the best cake you can bake at home for your fondant icing through trial and error, and you can even change the flavor according to your preferences.
The base ingredients for this type of cake include eggs, sugar, oil, and flour.
You can also add yogurt or buttermilk, depending on the flavor you are going for.
An alternative to yogurt and buttermilk is egg liquor, which is used a lot in Germany.
If you wish to turn it into a chocolate cake, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and two tablespoons of liquid to the mixture.
This ensures that your cake is light and not a full-on chocolate gateau, making it ideal for a filling chocolate cake.
Instructions For Baking a Cake
Since fondant-style cakes are of different sizes, you will have to choose a suitable pan for your baking needs.
Some of the pan sizes you may opt for include a 7, 10, or 12-inch diameter.
Let’s now look at the instructions in detail.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius so that your oven is sufficiently hot and ready to be used once the batter is prepared.
- Make sure your pan is well lubricated with butter, and sprinkle in some flour so that it is evenly distributed and sticks to the buttery surface.
- Add eggs and sugar to a large bowl, and use a mixer to create a light and frothy mixture.
- Add half of the oil and yogurt/buttermilk/egg liquor to the bowl, and mix it all.
- Add the remaining oil and yogurt and mix it to achieve the right consistency.
- In a separate dish, mix flour and baking soda to create a mixture, and sieve it into the ingredients bowl.
- If you're aiming for a chocolate cake, add the cocoa powder and two extra tablespoons of yogurt to the mixture.
- Stir the mixture until you reach the desired consistency, add it to the pan, and bake it for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Separate the cake, let it cool completely, and fill it.
What Filling to Use For Your Cake?
Buttercream is an excellent option for your fondant cake, and you will find it to be a perfect choice if you're making a tiered cake that requires stability.
However, if your fondant cake is smaller, you can use any filling you like because structural integrity is not an issue.
The golden rule when using a filling for your cake that isn’t buttercream or ganache is to ensure that none of it touches the fondant because it can ruin it.
Most fillings are simply too wet and will ruin your cake.
If you make sure the filling does not make contact with the fondant, your cake will turn out perfect.
Tips And Tricks For Using The Right Cake Ingredients
Since all cakes have similar base ingredients, you may be wondering what are some tricks and tips you can employ to bake the perfect cake at your home.
If you’re planning on decorating it, you must ensure that it turns out perfectly.
How can you achieve this?
Well, there are some things you need to consider when selecting the right ingredients for your cake.
Let’s consider the recipe for a soft vanilla cake.
Flour: The best options for flour are the plain or all-purpose variety, which are superior to cake flour because they allow the butter and vanilla flavor to pop out much better. They also ensure that your crumb is velvety in texture and retains some of its moisture. It's also best to avoid self-raising or gluten-free flour.
Eggs: You must whip your eggs to aerate them, which is a golden rule if you want your cake to be light and fluffy.
Baking Powder: It's best to avoid baking soda, which is an alternative that many people use, but it doesn't rise as well. Using baking powder ensures that your cake rises well and achieves the perfect shape for decoration.
Milk: Although you can choose to use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, you will get the best results from full-fat milk because it rises much better. It’s best to avoid non-dairy milk or buttermilk, which will not produce the best flavor for the vanilla cake.
Sugar: You want to choose caster or superfine sugar because it dissolves easily in eggs. Using standard sugar can also work, but you may end up with some spotting on the base of your cake.
Oil: Since cakes have a shelf life of 4 or more days, you can add no more than one tablespoon of oil to the cake to bring out some of the moistness. Avoid adding more because it doesn't rise as well.
Vanilla Extract: Use the best option and avoid wasting money on vanilla beans because it is unnecessary.
When choosing the best cake for decorating, you must decide the flavor before finding a recipe that works.
Decorating your cake can be a fun activity, and if you’re serious about impressing your guests, you will do well to choose the right type of cake that produces the best results.
Many people think that they need to create a complex cake for it to be worth decorating, but this is not the case.
Simplicity is key, and the main pointers that you need to keep in mind are to bake a cake that's sturdy enough for your decorations and one that maintains its moistness.
About THE AUTHOR
Karen Sladyk has been studying and teaching cake decorating topics and culinary crafting projects for over 30 years. She has multiple awards-including first place finishes-in a variety of shows and conferences. She has made and or sold hundreds of dessert-themed gifts, masterpieces, and crafts. She enjoys the challenge of problem-solving chocolate issues in show pieces and making chocolate accessible to all people.Read more about Karen Sladyk