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Decorating Learn howtotocreate create beautiful cakes Learn how beautiful cakes Learn how to create beautiful cakes

ICED COOKIES Learn 3 essential piping skills, step by step

GET CREATIVE Make colourful sugarpaste circles in 4 easy steps

Butterfly Cupcakes

Create beautiful celebration cupcakes using your Small Butterfly Cutter and Pink Glitter!




Inside your magazine...

Learn how to create beautiful cakes

Use e arg u o y r L r fly e t t Bu er Cutt

Mini Cakes


DOTTY BUTTERFLY COOKIES: Master three essential piping skills, step by step, and decorate delightfully Dotty Butterfly Cookies.

Essential Equipment


COOKIE CUTTERS: The lowdown on this most useful of baking tools. Find out what types of cutters are on offer and the pros and cons of each.

Decorating Masterclass


ICING FOR BEGINNERS: An easy reference guide to the six main types of icing, plus learn how to make royal icing, step by step.

Cakes for Kids


FUN CIRCLES CAKE: Create a colourful cake in four easy steps using tools found in your kitchen cupboard. Perfect for a child’s birthday party!


Classic Recipes


VICTORIA SPONGE: Find out how to make the perfect Victoria Sponge – an afternoon treat and the classic base for your cake decorations. Use ll ma u o y r Sr and e t t Cu ter* Glit

Special Occasions


BUTTERFLY CUPCAKES: Learn how to create decorative glitter butterflies and pipe the perfect swirl on your celebration cupcakes. *Pink sparkle glitter is classed as non-toxic but should not be consumed. Therefore we recommend that you use them sparingly on edible decorations that can be removed before serving.

IT’S EASY TO CONTINUE YOUR COLLECTION: • Ask your newsagent to reserve future issues for you to collect. • Receive your issues by post. Ring the order line for information: UK and Ireland 0844 493 5400 Australia (03) 9872 4000 New Zealand (09) 308 2871 South Africa (011) 265 4304 MISSED AN ISSUE? Ring Customer Services: UK and Ireland 0844 493 5440

Decorating Shop See page 23 for details.


Sugar Cookies.......................... 6 Victoria Sponge.........................9 White Chocolate Cupcakes........15 Royal Icing................................18 Chocolate Sponge Cake............ 21


Outlining Cookies..................... 4 Flooding Cookies...................... 4 Piping Dots............................... 4 Icing with Buttercream............. 14

Binder Offer! Organise your magazines in these beautiful binders! TO PLACE AN ORDER: Go online and visit: or call 0844 493 5440 for details

PICTURE CREDITS Original Photography by Clive Streeter. p7 Shutterstock/Nayashkova Olga; p9 Stockfood/Devereux Imagery; p10 Stockfood/Arras, Klaus; p11 Photolibrary/George Coppock; p15 Shutterstock/Andre van der Veen; p16 Stockfood/ Smith, Russell (holding image); Shutterstock/ RexRover (bottom right); p17 Shutterstock/Ruth Black (top left, bottom left and right); Redphotographer (top centre); Monkey Business Images (top right); p21 Shutterstock/Santiago Cornejo. OUR EXPERT Zoë Clark is the cake designer and consultant behind the projects in this issue. She owns Editorial and Design by Luma Creative All rights reserved © 2013 De Agostini United Kingdom Ltd Battersea Studios 2, 82 Silverthorne Road, London SW8 3HE ISBN 978-1-4439-2057-5 N01 13 03 06 Printed in the EU

Mini Cakes

Dotty Butterfly Cookies You can create this deliciously dotty design in six easy-to-follow steps and you’ll learn three essential piping skills in the process. Use your Large Butterfly Cutter to get started.


reatively iced cookies are more popular than ever before, and they look beautiful, too. The basic techniques needed to make these Dotty Butterfly Cookies are much easier to achieve than you think and comprise three key piping skills. These skills form the basis of many future projects for both

cakes and cookies. Once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be able to create a variety of gorgeous confections for your friends and family – and with every issue we’ll teach you more creative skills. Turn the page for your first step-by-step lesson in the art of beautifully iced cookies.


Mini Cakes

Beautiful Butterflies S

ugar cookies and pastel iced butterflies make a tempting teatime combination. To create these dotty delights, you need three key piping skills: outlining, flooding and dotting. See our Key Skills box (below) to find out more and follow the steps on the right to discover how to master them.


12 SUGAR COOKIES page 6) (see Essential Recipe, FOR THE ICING: , purple, blue • 3 food colours: green gar (see page • 450g royal icing su n royal icing) ow ur 18 to make yo • Water

Equipment • Mixing bowl and metal spoon • Cocktail sticks • 6 disposable piping bags • Scissors • Small round hole icing nozzle

Decorating time: 1 hour (plus 4 hours drying time in between Steps 4 and 5)

Key Skills OUTLINING: Piping an outline around your cookies prevents the icing from dribbling over the edges and gives the most professional finish. Outlining can also be used on cakes, and for creating your own unique or bespoke icing decorations and shapes, called ‘run-outs’. USE IT FOR: Giving a border to cookies, cake decorations and run-out shapes.


FLOODING: This technique is used to fill in or ‘flood’ inside an outline with icing. It can be used on cookies, cakes or inside run-out shapes. The icing consistency for flooding is quite runny and gives a smooth finish. (See page 18, Royal Icing Consistencies.) USE IT FOR: Filling inside the outlines of cookies, cakes and run-outs.

DOTTING: This handy technique, done over hardened icing, is great for practising your control when working with a piping bag and an icing nozzle – the more you squeeze the bag, the larger the dot. To remove unwanted peaks from dots, pat down with a damp brush. USE IT FOR: Practising with a piping bag and creating simple decorations.

Step-by-Step Icing Butterfly Cookies



2 Expert Tip After you’ve spooned your icing into the bag, fold down the end of the bag a few times to prevent the icing from oozing out. As you ice, your hand will hold the folded end in place.

5 1. Sift 150g of royal icing sugar into a bowl and add

a little water. Use a cocktail stick to add a tiny dab of blue colouring and build up colour gradually. Mix well with a metal spoon. Your icing should be soft peak – soft enough to pipe but not runny. (See page 18, Royal Icing Consistencies.)

2.Place your icing nozzle inside a piping bag or snip a small hole in the end of the bag. Spoon three teaspoons of blue icing into the bag. Holding the bag close to the tip, use gentle, even pressure to pipe an outline around the inside edge of each cookie. Let your index finger guide the bag and use your other hand to help you if you need it. If you make a mistake, wipe clean and start again.

3. Thin down the remaining icing with a little water to make it runny enough to flood inside each outline. (See page 18, Royal Icing Consistencies.)

6 4. Half fill a clean piping bag and snip a hole in

the end – you don’t need a nozzle for this step. Flood inside the outlines, starting at the edges and working towards the centre for a nice, even finish. Allow to dry for four hours.

5. M ake up your other two icing colours as

described in Step 1. Spoon some soft peak green icing into a piping bag and snip off the tip. Squeeze a large dot for the head and a second dot for the body, dragging the tip of the piping bag through the icing to create a pointed tail.

6. Place your icing nozzle in a new piping bag and

half fill it with purple icing. Pipe small dots onto each butterfly wing, gently squeezing until you get the right dot size (as described in Key Skills, Dotting, opposite). Leave to dry, then repeat the steps to create green and purple butterfly cookies.


Mini Cakes

Decorative Ideas R

eal butterflies are wonderfully varied and there’s no reason why your cookie designs can’t be, too. Look at the internet and at decorations in your local supermarket for inspiration. Here are two decorative ideas to help you get started.

Pretty Paisley Flood your butterfly with icing and, while it’s still wet, drop in dots of runny icing in a different colour. Use a cocktail stick to drag the icing towards the butterfly’s body and create a ‘teardrop’ paisley shape.

Silver Wings Silver dragée balls are widely available to buy and are an easy way to add a special touch to your cookies. After piping on dots in Step 6, simply press a single dragee into each dot – the icing will hold it in place.

Essential Recipe

Sugar Cookies

This recipe makes around 18 to 20 cookies, giving some spare to practise on.

You will nee d • 125g unsalted

• 125g caster su • 1 medium egg



• 1 tsp vanilla ex

tract • 250g plain flour

Lift your butterflies out carefully to make sure they maintain their shape. • In a bowl or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. • Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix together. • S ift half the flour into the bowl and mix it in, then sift in the other half and mix again. • K  nead the dough until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.



Decorating Shop

• Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF. • R  oll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 4mm thick and use your Large Butterfly Cutter to cut it out. • Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Allow to cool before decorating.

Visit to buy tools and ingredients. See page 23 for further details

Essential Equipment

Cookie Cutters These kitchen essentials are among the most useful tools in a cake decorator’s drawer and you can never have too many of them. Find out here which ones are best for you.


ookie cutters are a brilliant tool – they not only lend a professional finish to your project in an instant, but they also come in so many shapes that you can find one for almost any occasion or event. From wedding dresses and stiletto shoes to wintry snowflakes and animals, there’s probably a cookie cutter out there to suit your needs. Use them to help you create the perfect blank canvas for your designs. Find out more about cookie cutter types overleaf.

Expert Tip You probably have many items in your kitchen that can double as cutters, but make sure you give them a thorough clean before use. Why not try plastic jar lids, drinking glasses, bowls or ramekins to make different-sized circles?

Bright Idea Don’t stop at using cookie cutters for cookie dough. You can use them to cut out shapes in sugarpaste, to make cute sandwiches for children’s parties, and to transform a larger sponge cake into several small ones. You can even use them to cut out jelly and soft fruit, like melon.


Essential Equipment

Types of Cookie Cutters T

his handy guide will help you understand the pros and cons of the many different types of cookie cutters that are on the market and which ones work best for you.

Metal Cutters

Plunger Cutters

These are the most widely available type of cutter. They are most commonly made from food-grade aluminium, though you can also find them in copper or stainless steel. Resin-coated metal cutters look good and hold their shape well. Metal cutters come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, and the smaller ones can be used to make sugarpaste decorations.

These can be made from plastic or metal and have a normal cutter shape at one end with a plunger handle. They’re used to cut out sugarpaste rather than cookie dough. Place the cutter over the sugarpaste and plunge the handle down. Plunger cutters often have details on them, such as leaf veins, which imprint the sugarpaste with an embossed design.

PROS: Lots of variety, easy to use and they give a good, clean dough shape. CONS: Thin uncoated cutters can bend easily and prevent you from getting uniform dough shapes.

PROS: An easy way to add detailed decorations, especially if you’re a beginner. CONS: Expensive compared to standard metal cutters; more prone to breaking due to small parts.

Plastic Cutters

Embossing Cutters

Though most plastic cutters are brightly coloured and for kids, many professional sugarpaste cutters come in plastic and are used for cutting out small decorations, such as specific types of leaves and flower petals. Generally, the thinner the plastic, the cleaner the cut.

Also known as 3D cutters, these plastic cutters have a plastic or silicone top. When you press the cutter into the dough, the top of the cutter leaves an impression. After baking, you can then use the embossed details as a guide for your icing. Smaller versions are available for cutting out sugarpaste decorations.

PROS: Standard plastic cutters are safe and easy to use with kids, but won’t always give a pro finish. Specialist cutters are great for detailed cake decorations. CONS: Pricey. Specialist cutters can cost up to £15.


PROS: A fun way to get a professional finish; helpful to have lines to follow when icing. CONS: Only a small variety of designs available.

Classic Recipes

Victoria Sponge With the right recipe and technique, a Victoria Sponge will make the perfect base for your decorative cakes – not to mention how good it tastes, too.


f you haven’t had much success with sponge cakes before now, this foolproof recipe will help you create a deliciously moist cake that’s ready to decorate with your beautiful designs. It makes a great alternative to heavier fruitcakes and is a real crowd pleaser. This great basic cake should be in every creative cook’s recipe file. Here’s how to get it right, every time.

d You will nee gar

su • 200g caster

lted • 200g unsa

butter, softened

or 3 • 4 medium

large eggs g flour

isin • 200g self-ra


po • 1 tsp baking


(opt • 2 tbsp milk


• Electric mixer or mixing bowl and wooden spoo n • Sieve • Greaseproof pape parchment and sc r or baking issors • Two 20cm (8 in) sandwich tin s • Angled pale tte knife or spoo n


Classic Recipes

Step-by-Step Victoria Sponge


3 1. P reheat your oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF

and prepare and line your cake tins (follow the instructions below).

2. In an electric mixer or using a large bowl

and wooden spoon, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.

3. Add one egg at a time, beating well until the mixture is smooth.

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold it into the mixture. Add a little milk if it feels dry.

5. Divide the mixture between the two tins and use an angled palette knife or the back of a spoon to level the mixture out.


6. Place both tins in the oven and check after

20 minutes. The cakes are ready when you can insert a skewer into the centre of each one and it comes out clean.

7. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack, peel off the greaseproof papers, turn over and leave to cool completely before decorating.

Recipe for Succes


If your ingredients are too cold, your cake mixture may curdle. Get ev er ything out of th e refrigerator in advance so that it’ s at room tempera ture before you start baking.

How To Prepare Your Cake Tin A well-lined tin will ensure that your sponge has an even surface and doesn’t stick to the bottom. • • • •

To line your tins, place one on a sheet of greaseproof paper and draw around the base with a pencil (see a, opposite page). Cut around the inside of the circle to get a snug fit inside the tin. To line around the inside edge of your tins, cut a long strip of paper that’s a few centimetres wider than the depth of the tin. Fold all the way along one edge of the strip – the fold should be a couple of centimetres wide. Snip from the edge of the paper up to the fold – do this every few centimetres (b). • Lightly grease the inside of each tin with a little butter to help the greaseproof paper to stick. • Place the long strip around the inside edge of the tin, with the snipped edge folding onto the base. • Pop your greaseproof circle into the base of the tin (c), and repeat the process for your second tin.



Classic Fillings


illings will give your sponge cake an extra boost of flavour and some added moisture, too. Here are three mouthwatering approaches to Victoria Sponge fillings: The most famous and popular Victoria Sponge filling is a generous slathering of whipped double cream topped with a layer of halved summer fruits. Some cooks warm up a large dollop of red jam and pour it over the fruit before layering it over the cream. To finish, sandwich your second sponge on top and dust with icing sugar. Vanilla buttercream makes a good alternative to whipped cream (see buttercream recipe, page 14). To create the cake shown on page 9, spread a layer of buttercream on top of your bottom cake and top with a generous layer of raspberry jam. Sandwich on your second sponge and spread another layer of buttercream over the top of your cake. Finish by decorating with raspberries. Try strawberry jam and fresh strawberries instead for a delicious alternative. For something completely different but equally as flavoursome, try a Chocolate Sponge Cake (see recipe, page 21). Fill it with cherry jam and buttercream to give it a Black Forest twist and cover the top with a layer of buttercream and stoned cherry halves. If you’re feeling very indulgent, add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to your buttercream mixture for a rich, chocolatey finish.



Expert Tip If you’re icing your sponge or covering it with sugarpaste, avoid thick fillings, which can make your cake uneven. Aim for a 3mm layer of buttercream topped with a thin layer of jam.

c 115

Special Occasions

Butterfly Cupcakes Use your Small Butterfly Cutter and Pink Glitter to create these pretty cupcakes, topped with sugarpaste butterflies. Plus learn how to pipe the perfect swirl, step by step.


IL CASES 12 CUPCAKES IN GOLD FOge 15) pa e, cip Re (see Essential : FOR THE BUTTERFLIES ste • 100g white flower pa • Food colour: claret • Your Pink Glitter* • 50g royal icing sugar ke your own (see page 18 to ma royal icing) M: FOR THE BUTTERCREA • 350g icing sugar tter, sof • 175g slightly salted bu


• 2 tbsp water • 1 tsp vanilla extract


• Cocktail stic ks

• Non-stick bo ard or greaseproo f paper • Smooth rolli ng pin • Your Small Butterfly Cutte r • A4 white ca rd • Flat brush • 3 disposab le piping

• Scissors


• Large open star pi

ping nozzle • Bowl and te aspoon

Decorating time: 1 hour plus drying


*Pink sparkle glitter is classed as non-toxic but should not be consumed. Therefore we

recommend that you use them sparingly on edible decorations that can be removed before serving.

time. (We recommend you make the butterflies a day in advance and allow them to dry overnight before decorating.)

Step-by -Step Butterfly Toppers 1. F irst make your light pink butterflies. Divide your flower paste into two

50g sections and use a cocktail stick to dab a tiny amount of pink food colour onto one section. Knead it in well until it’s pliable and pale pink.

2. O n a smooth, non-stick surface (you could use greaseproof paper

taped down) roll out the pink flower paste thinly to around 1 or 2mm thick. Using your Small Butterfly Cutter, cut out 12 butterfly shapes. Press down firmly to get a clean edge on your butterfly. If they stick inside the cutter, gently push them out.


3. Score and bend your white card to create a concertina shape. Line

each ‘V’ in the card with folded strips of greaseproof paper. Place your butterflies inside the ‘Vs’, gently folding their bodies to create a crease down the middle. This will help their wings to hold their shape and dry upright, so that they look as if in flight. Leave to dry.

4. W hen your butterflies are dry, gently sweep over their wings with a

slightly damp, flat brush dipped in your Pink Glitter. Tap the brush on the edge of the pot before use to ensure that it isn’t too overloaded.

5. S poon 25g of royal icing into a bowl, add a little water and mix until it


is soft peak (see page 18, Royal Icing Consistencies). Tint the icing pale pink to match your light pink butterflies.

6. S poon two teaspoons into a piping bag and fold down the open end

of the bag. Snip a hole in the tip of the bag and pipe a head and body onto each butterfly. Pipe a large dot for the head and a second dot for the body, dragging the tip of the bag through the icing to create a long, tapering Store your flower paste in small tail. Repeat the steps above plastic bags when you’re not using to create your magenta it to prevent it from drying out. butterflies.

Expert Tip

Try This

Instead of using folded card, dry out your butterflies on a clean cooling rack. Place each butterfly’s body in the gap between two bars and gently push down using the blunt edge of a knife, so that the butterfly wings point upwards. Leave them to dry overnight.




Special Occasions

Step-by-Step Icing with Buttercream


or our butterfly cupcakes, we’ve piped on swirls using a large open star nozzle. It’s one of the easiest icing nozzles to use and gives your cupcakes an instantly appetising look. Look out for Issue 2, when we’ll give you three essential icing nozzles.


Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the softened butter. Mix them together using a fork or electric mixer, then add the water and the vanilla extract. Mix all the ingredients together well until pale, soft and fluffy.


Place a large open star nozzle inside a piping bag (you’ll receive one with Issue 2 of Cake Decorating) and spoon in the buttercream until the bag is half full. Twist the end of the bag to stop the buttercream oozing out.


 Hold your cupcake in place and carefully pipe a swirl around the outside edge of the cake, piping inwards and then upwards at the centre of the cake.



 To attach your butterflies, lift each one carefully off the greaseproof paper and place onto the buttercream.


 Gently push the bodies down so that they nestle into the cream. Vary where you put them, so they look like they’ve just landed.

3 Recipe for Success Set a cupcake aside to practise your piping skills on. If you make a mistake, simply clear the top of the cake with a palette knife and start again. The more you practise icing with buttercream, the easier it gets!

Bright Idea Save time on this project by skipping Steps 3 and 5 on page 13. Once you’ve cut the butterflies out, slice them in half down the middle and leave the wings to dry on a sheet of greaseproof paper. When dry, decorate them with glitter and push them into the buttercream next to each other, so that they look as if in flight.


Sit the wings snugly next to each other in the buttercream and you’ll barely notice that there isn’t a body.




Presentation Butterfly Cupcakes make a wonderful gift – whether for a birthday celebration, baby shower or a housewarming party. Present them prettily in a patterned cupcake box in complementary colours. You can get hold of these online, from specialist cake decorating stores and from some large supermarkets for a very reasonable price. They usually fit four to six cupcakes per box and are a great and very attractive way to transport your cakes without causing damage.

Essential Recipe

White Chocolate Cupcakes This recipe makes 12 cupcakes or 18 smaller fairy cakes.

• Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF and line a 12-hole muffin tin with gold foil cupcake cases. • In a bowl or electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. • Add the beaten eggs and then the vanilla extract and mix together well.

You will nee d 12 5g unsalted bu


• 125g caster suga

• 2 medium eggs,

• 1 tsp vanilla extr


lightly beaten


• 125g self-ra isin

g flour

• 75g white choc

olate chips

• 1 tbsp milk (opt


• S ift the flour into the bowl and fold it into the mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chips. • T he mixture should have a soft, dropping consistency. If it feels a little dry, add a tablespoon of milk. • Spoon the mixture into the cases. Each case should be two-thirds full. • Bake for 12 to 20 minutes until a light golden brown. • Leave to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before decorating.


Decorating Shop

Visit to buy tools and ingredients. See page 23 for further details


Decorating Masterclass

Icing for Beginners The many types of icing on the market and what finish they’ll give to your cakes can be confusing if you’re a beginner. This handy guide will help you understand the basics.


etting the right finish on your bakes is quite literally the icing on the cake. But it’s important to know which type of icing will work best for your projects and look great, too. In this beginner’s guide to icing we cover six main icing types. On page 18, we show you how to make royal icing, step by step, and how to achieve three icing consistencies that you’ll use time and time again.

Glacé Icing This is the easiest of all icings to make – it’s just icing sugar mixed with a little water. This is the kind of icing you have probably used to decorate fairy cakes or to drizzle over a lemon cake, for instance. It’s easy to colour and flavour, so it’s great for kids to use, but it doesn’t give the professional finish of other icings and it doesn’t hold colour as well.


Royal Icing


Fondant Icing

You can buy ready-made royal icing sugar from any large supermarket, to which you just add water, or you can make your own (see page 18). It has a sweet taste and sets hard and crisp, making it perfect for cookie decorations, piping on details and creating bespoke icing shapes or ‘runouts’ – a technique we’ll cover in a future issue. Royal icing holds its colour well and can keep for weeks.

This is very versatile – once kneaded, it’s smooth, pliable and easy to colour, model and emboss with textures. You can also cover cakes with it. Sugarpaste is too soft for delicate models and won’t hold its shape, so professionals add to it ‘gum tragacanth’, which makes it more durable. Some brands call sugarpaste ‘rolled fondant’ or ‘regal icing’, which you can buy ready to roll from supermarkets.

Poured fondant icing gives your cakes a smooth and satiny finish – exactly like a fondant fancy. It’s used for pouring over cakes or you can dip mini cakes and cupcakes into it. It can be made at home or bought in a ready-mixed powdered form. Find out how to make it in a future issue.

Flower Paste This is a form of sugarpaste which is very elastic. It can be rolled out finely and dries hard. It’s ideal for creating flowers (like those shown on the left), leaves and models with fine details. It can be mixed 50:50 with sugarpaste to make a pliable but durable mixture. It is available from specialist cake decorating retailers and is sometimes called florist’s paste or petal paste.

Buttercream Easy to make and deliciously sweet, buttercream is perfect for cake fillings, cupcake icing and for piping simple details, decorations and lettering. It can also be spread over large cakes to create an even base for icing over. (See recipe, page 12.)

In Issue 2... You’ll receive three Icing Nozzles, two Couplers

and three Piping Bags with your magazine, and in Decorating Masterclass, you’ll learn useful piping techniques and skills, including piping lines, loops, scallops and dotted trails.


Decorating Masterclass

Step-by-Step Stiff Peak Royal Icing


hese instructions are for making stiff peak royal icing because it’s the best basic icing to start with – it’s easier to water stiff peak icing down to achieve soft peak and runny consistencies than to try and stiffen up from runny icing.

1 1. Sift the icing sugar into a clean, grease-free mixing bowl.

2. Add the egg whites or the egg powder mix and the lemon juice, and beat together.

3. If using an electric mixer, mix on a low speed for 4 to 5 minutes; 6 to 7 minutes for a handheld.

4. The consistency should look

smooth and shiny. If it looks dry, add a drop of lemon juice and mix for a minute or two.

2 5. W hen your icing makes a stiff peak, it’s ready. Look at the visual guide below for help.

6. If you’re not using the icing

now, spoon it into an airtight container, cover with a damp, clean cloth and close the lid to stop it from drying out.

7. Royal icing is best used fresh

but will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Beat it back to the right consistency when you get it out again.



• 500g icing sugar • 2 medium egg whites OR egg white powder and 15g dried water (recommended if you pre raw egg – follow instru fer not to use ctions on pack) • 1 tsp lemon juice

Royal Icing Consistencies Stiff Peak

Use this for piping small details, like flowers and leaves. It also makes a good glue for sticking on decorations and for sticking cake tiers together.


Soft Peak

Just add a little water to your stiff peak icing – a drop at a time – to make a softer consistency. Soft peak is used for outlining borders and piping patterns.

R  unny

Thin down your stiff peak icing with a little more water than for soft peak icing to make a runnier consistency. This is used for flooding inside outlines for a smooth finish.

Cakes for Kids

Fun Circles Cake This colourful Circles Cake is ideal for a child’s party and is a great cake to create if you’re new to decoration. The layered circles are quick and easy to achieve using sugarpaste.


right colours work brilliantly against chocolate, and concentric circle patterns are so easy to build up. We tinted a mix of half sugarpaste and half flower paste with six different colours to achieve this fun and cheerful layered pattern. For the cake, we covered a 20cm (8-inch) two-layered chocolate sponge with a ready-made sugarpaste,

flavoured with chocolate – we’ll show you how to cover cakes with sugarpaste in Issue 5. For a simple alternative, you could cover a sponge cake with chocolate-flavoured buttercream or even purchase a ready-made, ready-iced chocolate cake to work on. The circle design will look great on both. Turn over to discover how to create this cake in five easy steps.


Cakes for Kids

Step-by-Step Fun Circles Cake ill need YouCOw RATES 1 CAKE DE

OLATE CAKE 20CM (8IN) ICED CHOC ge 21) (see Essential Recipe, pa FOR THE CIRCLES: • 50g white sugarpaste ste (see Expert • 50g white flower pa Tip) on yellow, ruby • 6 food colours: lem ice blue, purple red, orange, green, •

25g royal icing


• Smooth rolli ng pi


• Circle cutter s (w ramekin, a shot e used a small open end of an icglass, and the ing nozzle) • Small piping bag


Decorating time: 40 minutes

1. M ake a 50:50 mix of sugarpaste and flower paste by kneading it

together, then divide it into six equal parts. Knead colour into each one and roll out your first ball of paste to around 1mm thick.

2. Using circle cutters in three or four different sizes, cut out several


circles from each ball.

3. To help your circles stick to the cake, dot the backs of each one

with a small smear of stiff-peak royal icing or a dab of buttercream (if you’ve covered the cake with chocolate buttercream).

4. Randomly place your large circles on the cake and hold each one

in position for a few seconds – particularly the circles on the sides. If you’re adding a circle that folds over the edge of the cake, gently smooth it down. Don’t use too much pressure or you’ll stretch it.

5. Layer on your second and

third circles in the same way. Try to vary the colours between your circles as much as possible and layer each circle slightly off centre to make your design look random and fun.


3 Expert Tip You can use only sugarpaste, but by mixing it with flower paste, you’ll be able to roll thinner circles and get a better finish.

Circles make fun cupcake toppers, too. Build up a mini concentric circle design using just two or three layers of circles, let it dry out, and place it on top of piped icing.

Try This


Decorative Ideas Use these fun ideas for cake designs to inspire you to do something different with your sugarpaste circles – all of them are easy to achieve and can be tailored to suit any occasion.

Retro Polos

Polo circles look fun and are easy to make – simply cut out large circles and then cut out smaller circles inside each one. Thick polos keep their shape better and are easier to handle. Alternate polos with solid circles for a retro ‘mod’ cake. This design looks great in just two colours.

Radiant Flower

Instead of placing your circles randomly, use them to build up a pattern on the top of your cake. Lines of circles that get gradually smaller or larger make a simple but striking design. Try the circular flower design, above. Start at the centre with small circles and work outwards, using circles that get gradually larger.

Rainbow Dots

Polka dots look especially good if all the sugarpaste circles are the same size. Rainbow polka dots against white sugarpaste look fresh and modern and are perfect for children’s birthday parties when you don’t want to be too girl or boy-focused. They look great on mini wedding cakes, too.

Essential Recipe

Chocolate Sponge Cake This recipe will fill two 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins. • Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF.

You will nee d •

• C  ream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

225g unsalted

• Add the eggs one at a time, beating them into the mixture. • S ift half the flour and cocoa into the bowl and fold it in with a wooden spoon. • Sift in the rest of the flour and cocoa and fold in well. Add water if the mixture feels dry. • D  ivide the mixture between two tins and smooth it down with an angled palette knife or the back of a spoon. • Bake for 15 to 25 minutes.


Decorating Shop

butter • 225g caster sugar • 4 medium eggs • 175g self-ra ising flour • 50g cocoa powder • 1 tbsp war m water

• The sponges are ready when you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean. • Leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

When your sponges are cool, spread the top of one sponge with a 5mm layer of chocolate buttercream. Layer the second sponge on top and smooth buttercream all over both sponges with a palette knife.

Visit to buy tools and ingredients. See page 23 for further details


Cakes for Kids

Sweet Surprises I

t’s easy to create fun circle designs using sweets from your local shop or supermarket – and kids are sure to love them, too. Here are two cute and colourful ideas to fire up your imagination.

Rainbow Bright Sugar-coated chocolate sweets will give your cake a fantastic rainbow pop of colour! • Divide your sweets by colour into separate bowls – it will make life easier later. • The top of the cake is a spiral, graduating through several colours – lay your design out before sticking it down. • When you’re happy with it, stick the sweets down with a dot of royal icing. • Now work your way round the side of the cake, sticking on the sweets so that they’re random but evenly spaced. This design looks great with little sugar-coated jelly sweets, too.

Try This

Chocolate Dots This cute white chocolate button cake is perfect for little girls’ birthday celebrations. • Starting at the bottom of your cake, stick on a row of white chocolate buttons, using tiny blobs of melted chocolate as ‘glue’. • Now work your way up the cake, one row of buttons at a time. Make sure each new button lines up with the one below it. • Decorate the top of the cake with rainbow sprinkle buttons, starting at the outside and working your way in. • Finish off by wrapping a pretty ribbon around the base in a matching colour.


Why not try this cake design using giant milk chocolate buttons instead?

Try This



For tools and ingredients, visit our...

Decorating Shop

Exclusive offer for Cake Decorating readers. Visit our one-stop Cake Decorating Shop at to find everything you need in our fabulous range, ­from ingredients that include sugarpaste, and cake-decorating tools to baking pans and cake mixes.

SAVE U TO 41% P on the RR P.


This cake kit is essential for all bakers, including as it does that master tool for covering your cake with fondant, THE MAT. Only with THE MAT will you be able to attain the professional finish achieved by master bakers. But the kit also includes a multi-purpose tilting turntable that will enable you to decorate those cakes to a high standard, rotating as you go, as well as a Palette Of Petal Dust Number 1 with 9 Colours, a hard-wearing and heavyduty non-stick rolling board, a handy roll of 100 disposable piping bags, and a 9-inch rolling pin with spacers.

THE MAT, the ultimate fondant tool Roll of 100 piping bags – 12 inches Petal dust set – palette of 9 colours Non-stick HDPE rolling board Multi-purpose cake decorating tilting turntable 9-inch fondant rolling pin

To order

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Supply of kits and other products is subject to availability. Kits and other products may not be for sale in some countries. Postage charges apply. The supply of kits and other products is subject to terms and conditions, which can be viewed on the website at

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 Use your Alphabet Embossers to create a Patchwork ABC Cake and cute personalised cookies.  Follow our step-by-step guide to levelling, trimming and layering your cakes. Discover how to use templates to make stunning Bollywood Swirl Cakes.

26 Alphabet


Cake Decorating