7 Cake Baking and Decorating Tips | Reader's Digest

7 Cake Baking and Decorating Tips

Make your own cake pans, instant frosting and more!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Aluminum Foil

  • Make a teddy bear birthday cake, a Valentine’s Day heart cake, a Christmas tree cake, or whatever shaped cake the occasion may call for. Just form a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil into the desired shape inside a large cake pan.
  • No pastry bag handy? No problem. Form a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a tube and fill it with free-flowing frosting. Bonus: There’s no pastry bag to clean — simply toss out the foil when you’re done.

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Apples

Want a simple and effective way to extend the shelf life of your home-made or store-bought cakes? Store them with a half an apple. It helps the cake maintain its moisture considerably longer than merely popping it in the fridge.

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Dental Floss

Use dental floss to cut cakes, especially delicate and sticky ones that tend to adhere to a knife. Just hold a length of the floss taut over the cake and then slice away, moving it slightly side to side as you cut through the cake. You can also use dental floss to cut small blocks of cheese cleanly.

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Marshmallows

You’re already mixing the batter for the cupcakes when you realize you’re out of frosting. No problem — if you happen to have some marshmallows on hand. Just pop a marshmallow on top of each cupcake about a minute or so before they come out of the oven. It will make a delicious, instant, gooey frosting.

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Sugar

You used sugar to sweeten the cake batter; now use it to keep the finished cake fresh and moist. Store the cake in an airtight container with a couple of sugar cubes, and it will stay fresh for days longer. Store a few lumps of sugar with cheese the same way to prevent the cheese from molding.

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Wax Paper

You made a special birthday cake, and now comes the moment of truth: Can you pipe out the lettering in frosting on the first try? Not many of us can, so try this trick to make it easier. Cut a piece of wax paper the same size as your cake, using the cake pan as a guide. Then pipe the name and the message onto the paper and freeze it. After just half an hour it should be easy to handle. Loosen the frosting and slide it off onto the cake using a spatula. Everyone will think you’re a cake-decorating professional!

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