Before you start to decorate, you need to prime your cake. Spread a thin layer of of frosting to seal in the crumbs—the pros call this a “crumb coat.” Let the icing harden for 30 minutes in the fridge. Add a topcoat, and let the fun begin.
1. For a sparkly finish, scatter coloured coarse sugar on top of the cake, gently pressing down so it sticks.
2. Chill until icing is dry to the touch but still soft, about 5 min.
3. Pour more sugar onto a baking sheet.
4. Holding the cake stand stem in one hand, carefully tilt stand over the baking sheet.
5. With your other hand, scoop sugar onto the side of the cake, slowly turning the stand as you go, pressing gently.
A version of this article appeared in our April 2016 issue with the headline “Piece of cake”, p. 51.
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