Thursday, June 25, 2015

Step-by-Step Cake Decorating (Book Review)

Twice a year, when my kids' birthdays roll around, I have visions of making amazing homemade birthday cake creations. More often than not though, I end up buying a cake or making a simple round cake with a plain icing.

I guess I'm a bit intimidated (okay, more than a bit) by cake decorating. Fancy cakes look so complex, and I imagine the decorating takes some artistic talent. For inspiration for future birthdays, I ordered these two DK cake decorating books.

A collection of cakes for all ages and occasions, Step-by-Step Cake Decorating outlines everything from the tools and equipment needed for baking, assembling, cutting shapes, piping and painting to frosting and filling recipes and techniques. The decorating techniques chapter details how to make a template for your 3-D design, building with fondant and even using crisp rice shapes.

On top of that, Step-by-Step Cake Decorating includes beautiful cake projects from award-winning cake designers. There are floral designs, children's cakes, cupcakes, novelty cakes and elegant cakes that are fancy enough for a wedding or other special event.

I admit that when I first browsed through the book I thought, "I will never make one of these cakes." I believed they would be too difficult, too time-consuming and likely wouldn't turn out looking so great. But my children were browsing through both of the cake decorating books recently and they were so excited about the designs. It got me thumbing through the recipes again and feeling more inspired to give some of the simpler designs a try. Some of the creations made with cupcakes, for example, would make a great starting point.

Step-by-Step Kids' Birthday Cakes explores more than 50 cakes, cupcakes and cake pops to wow guests at your child's special parties. With themes to suit any child or teen, there are incredible designs based on monsters, fairies, hot air balloons, space exploration, undersea creatures and more. There is even a section on 10-minute transformations - transforming a basic cake using store-bought toys and candies. That's a good section for me, I'm thinking.

What little girl wouldn't love this prima ballerina cake? I don't think I'm quite ready for making a fondant ballerina yet, but maybe I could put a doll on top of this cake?

For the more experienced cake decorator, this circus big top cake is truly outstanding. I think I'm going to start with the owl made of cupcakes or a white fondant cake that children can doodle on with edible pens. So many fun ideas!

Do you decorate your own cakes? Would you be brave enough to tackle the big top circus cake?

Where To Buy:

Step-by-Step Cake Decorating (Canada)

Step-by-Step Kids' Birthday Cakes (Canada)

Step-by-Step Kids' Birthday Cakes (U.S.)

Step-by-Step Cake Decorating (U.S.)

Check out more great books in the DK Food & Drink boutique.

*This post contains affiliate links.


  1. I made a fancy (for me) castle for your brother, of which I was proud. I served it in the sunny backyard. Before long the icing softened and the ice cream cone turrets started slipping down the sides. After that it was cakes shaped like animals.

    1. That's like my "ice cream" cake that wasn't cooled enough and became lava cake. I'm sure the kids don't mind!

  2. I would like cake right now, any kind of cake. Oh the famous MacDonald sweet tooth.

    1. Yes, sometimes I wish I could escape the sweet tooth for a day.

  3. I have the same vision in my head every time Ruby's birthday rolls around. The cake usually ends up looking like something you'd see on a Pinterest Fail website. Haha. Doodle's first birthday is in a month so I'll have a chance to try again. :)

    1. Ha ha. Well, I'm sure all the kids see is that it's cake! These "fails" make for the special memories, right? Good luck on the next one. :)

  4. The birthday cakes I made for my kids when they were little were always decorated and special but did not look like these! If I want something professional looking now I can ask my daughter to try....she worked as a cake decorator for awhile. It is back breaking work!

    1. Good for her! I can imagine it's very difficult work. I'm having trouble thinking about making one cake, never mind doing it every day! ;)


 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye