How to Ice a Cake

4 Easy Cake Decorating Techniques You Need to Know

4 Easy Cake Decorating Techniques You Need to Know

This post is perfect for those looking to expand their knowledge of cake decorating techniques, regardless of their experience in pastry-making. With the help of four techniques that will be discussed below, you can bring your cake sketches to life and unleash your creativity. Don’t worry about being a professional pastry chef – these techniques are accessible and easy to master with a bit of practice. So, read on and discover how to take your cake decoration skills to the next level!

Cake Decorating Techniques

Here are the 4 cake-decorating techniques you need to know…

1. Airbrush Cake Decorating Techniques

the image displays an airbrush as one of the cake decorating techniques

Cake decorating airbrush

Airbrushing your cakes allows you to experiment and produce impossible effects with the other methods of colouring and decorating. You may create colour gradients and hues, play around with forms and patterns, and even create intricate 3D effects using gel food colour with a food airbrush.

For this technique, you will need the following

          Your cake

          Airbrush Paint (any food colours of your choice)

          Airbrush Gun

          Empty bottle for mixing the colours


Three factors determine if you will be successful in airbrushing your cake. They are:


Spray the cake from a 45-degree angle to completely cover it. Spray at a 90-degree angle to produce more definite features and crisper lines.


The ideal distance to airbrush a cake is between 6 and 8 inches. The air pressure from the food airbrush gun can ruin your cake if you hold it too closely. On the other hand, the food paint will spray everywhere if you retain it for too long.

Pressure Spray:

Since the pressure you provide impacts the colour intensity, pull back the trigger on your airbrush gun about halfway for a constant spray. Additionally, you ought to verify your air compressor’s settings. It would be best to do this to prevent the speckled colour that results from low pressure.

Before you begin airbrushing the cake, prepare your work surface. You can cover your countertop with plastic sheets or newspapers. Then follow these steps:

  1.             Fill your airbrush with your desired colour. Remember, we are dealing with food colour. A few food drops can go a long way, so be mindful of how many you put in.
  2.             If you want to create shades on your cake, mix different colours in your airbrush

iii.            Use a turntable so that you can evenly apply the ink on all sides of the cake

  1.           Work in slow circular motions
  2.             Start with a lighter shade of colour for your cake. If you want a bright-coloured cake, spray the colour in layers, leaving room for rest between each paint layer.

2. Hand Painted Cake Decorating Techniques

cake decorating techniques image

Hand painted cakes

Did you know you can hand paint beautiful floral art onto a cake using buttercream frosting or fondant, food colouring,  palette knives, and paintbrushes?

If you didn’t, well, now you know.

Other tools you would need include:

          Your chilled and frosted cake (can also  be a fondant cake)

          A cake turntable

          Acetate Food Grade Paper (optional)

          Bowls or baking sheets for mixing buttercream and food colouring.

Painted Cakes: Fondant or Buttercream

You can either use fondant cakes or buttercream. But if you choose buttercream, ensure the cake is properly chilled. The cakes need to be in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm up the buttercream.

Swiss Meringue, Vanilla, and Lemon Buttercreams are perfect for hand painting.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Mix the colours with the buttercream frosting of your choice on a plate or bowl
  • Use water-based colours for a water colouring technique. If you are using food gel colouring, mix it with water or vodka to thin it out
  • Sketch out your design with your palette knife.
  • If you are satisfied with your design, proceed to paint on a very well-chilled cake
  • Add other cake decorations like sprinkles, sanding sugar, sugar pearls, etc.

3. Piping Cake Decorating Techniques

cake decorating techniques image

Piping techniques

Cake piping techniques are fabulous, incredibly complex, creative and challenging.

Here is what you need

          Piping bags


          Buttercream filling or royal icing

          Your cake (can already be fondant covered)

**If you are piping on a fondant, it is better to use royal icing because buttercream can melt on the fondant.

**If you are piping on Swiss meringue or buttercream, you can use buttercream icing.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Fill the piping bag. You can place the piping bag inside the glass to fill it easily
  2. When you are done, place the bag on a flat surface, then twist the bag to hold the icing.
  3. Press a little of the icing to remove any bubbles.
  4. Make the bag into a cone
  5. To maintain a good hold, you must place your other hand as close to the nozzle as possible.
  6. Proceed to make your design.

4. Sugar Craft Cake Decorating Techniques

cake decorating techniques image

Cake decorating techniques

Sugarcraft is a creative, three-dimensional cake decoration. It includes various styles, characters and models made from sugar paste or fondant to amazingly lifelike and botanically correct sugarcraft flowers.

What do you need?

–          Water

–          Granulated gelatine


          Edible glycerin


          Icing sugar sieved

          Vanilla or another essence

          Food colouring

Cake decorating comes with so many exciting techniques. Cake decorating can be a rewarding and downright creative vocation to pursue. You don’t need a perfect beginning time; you start and let your creativity flow.


Mastering cake decorating techniques can take your baking game to the next level. You can elevate your cake designs and impress your guests with the four techniques we discussed. The airbrush cakes technique is a great way to add depth and dimension to your cakes, while hand-painted cakes allow you to create intricate and detailed designs. 

Piping techniques allow you to add texture and patterns to your cakes, while sugar craft techniques help you create beautiful and edible decorations. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker, these four techniques are worth adding to your decorating arsenal. So, get your tools ready and start practicing – your cakes will look and taste amazing!


How To Ice A Cake

How To Ice A Cake

Compiled and written with love from our editorial team.

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