Browsing Tag

cake decorating

15th July 2014 // 1 Comments

Tutorial: Intro to Royal Icing… Piping Polka Dots!

Last week we kick started our ‘Intro to Royal Icing’ tutorials with our go-to royal icing recipe and a tutorial on how to pipe a lovely and delicate pearl border! Now it’s time for us to show you how to pipe polka dots (or random dots if you like) onto cakes, cookies and cupcakes. This technique is wonderful and perfect for adding texture to decorated treats; piping royal icing dots into a polka dot formation also adds a very subtle vintage feel to a finished cake!

Polka dot icing tutorial by Juniper Cakery

This week we’re also going to show you how to create a parchment cornet /cone used for piping royal icing designs. We use a combination of both parchment cornets and disposable piping bags and personally haven’t noticed too much of a different between the two. One notable thing is that the smaller parchment cornet is better if piping smaller or more ‘fiddly’ detail due to the way you end up holding it and also due to the size. Using a parchment cornet is generally great for writing, string-work or lace.

How to make a parchment cornet / cone

You’ll need…

  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Piping tip
  • Small round piping tip (we used a 2.5 writer tip by PME
  • Royal icing (find our recipe here) the consistency of toothpaste


Step 1: Take a roll of parchment paper and cut a square portion from this.

Step 2: Fold corner to corner to form a triangle and cut down the fold.

how to make a parchment cone for royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 3: Think of each corner as being marked with a letter. The middle point should face you and be corner B. The outer points should be A and C. A being the left and C being the right.

Step 4: To form the cornet bring point A to point B to form a conical shape.

how to make a parchment cornet by Juniper Cakery

Step 5: Take point C and bring this to point B. This should, in a sense, double up the cornet shape.

Step 6: Take your piping tip and fit into the bottom of the cornet as with a disposable piping bag. You can adjust the points to fit the tip.

Step 7: When all points meet rip two notches parallel to each other and fold this to hold the bag.

Step 8: Fold the piping bag at the points a few times to secure.

Step 9: Fill with a little royal icing.

how to make a parchment  piping bag by Juniper Cakery

Step 10: Fold the parchment cornet in on itself from the sides and then from the top a few times and you’re ready to pipe!

Royal icing dots tutorial by Juniper Cakery

How to pipe royal icing polka dots

 You’ll need…

  • Parchment cornet/cone filled with royal icing and fitted with a small plain round tip
  • Cake, cookie or fondant/sugarpaste covered cupcake
  • Food safe paintbrush
  • Icing sugar
  • Dressmaker’s pin (optional)

How to pipe dots with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 1: When you’re relatively new to piping out polka dots or a design made up of small royal icing dots it’s a good idea to mark out your design or pattern with pin pricks. Use a clean dressmakers pin to do so.

Step 2: With your parchment cornet/cone filled with royal icing and fitted with a seamless (this is important as a seam can send your royal icing out crooked and hard to control) small round piping tip and position yourself at a good height to your cake or cookie. For cakes work from the direct front and for cookies or cupcakes work from directly above.

Piping dots with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 3: Apply a little pressure to add a small dot of royal icing. Don’t pipe for too long if you need a larger dot as this will create ridged spots that won’t look too elegant, instead swap to a large round tip if needed. Another tip is to not place the piping tip too close to the surface or else you’ll be left with flat spots instead of nicely rounded dots.

Step 4: Don’t worry if you’re left with a bit of a tip to each dot. This is fairly normal; if you’ve the perfect consistency dots do ‘settle’ after a few seconds and without spreading out. If you do have tips that don’t settle you can flatten these slightly with a food safe (only ever used on edible items) paintbrush dipped in a  little icing sugar. You’ll need to work fast  as royal icing sets quickly. It may be frustrating but don’t be tempted to pipe out all your dots before tapping the tips down because they’ll have dried before you have the chance!

Royal icing dots tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Keep practising! It takes a little time to get any technique perfected especially when it involves royal icing. If you’re feeling adventurous why not edge a cake with the pearl border we showed you how to create last week and decorate with this week’s dainty polka dot tutorial! Next we’ll be showing you how to use royal icing to stencil designs on your cakes and cookies!

17th October 2013 // 37 Comments

Review: Step by Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan

When we were asked to review Step by Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan we jumped at the chance. As professional bakers and cake decorators we have amassed an impressive collection of cooking and baking books.

In order to review Step-by-Step Cake Decorating we decided to be hands on and re-create a playful and seasonal cake from within the book… the fun jack o’ lantern! We put our own spin on this cake and added candy corn (a bit of an addiction in the Juniper Cakery office) which we made using strips of coloured sugarpaste / fondant. We also decorated our cake board with wood effect painted fondant. The pumpkin cake itself was created by following the book’s instructions step by step.

Pumpkin Cake by Juniper Cakery

Step by Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan is a great beginners guide where novices will find an array of cakes to re-create. The instructions for this fun, ‘fangtastic’ cake were clear and concise and prove to be a prime example of how accessible other tutorials are in the book. Whilst the tutorial is simple and straightforward you’ll still be eased into learning some handy terminology throughout. There are a good few pages dedicated to introducing the decorator to a selection of tools and equipment with explanations of use where needed. These tools range from basics such as scrapers and turntables to specialist items such as airbrushing machines and florist tape. The difference between a cake drum and cake board is also discussed as are other basics such as how to fill and cover a layer cake.Step by Step Cake Decorating BookStep-by-Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan, published by DK, £16.99 at

For advanced cake decorators this will still become a reference book where quick ideas, tips and tricks of the trade are at the ready as we all have our ‘designer’s block’ days. Though the jack o’ lantern cake is one of our personal favourites, and a fitting choice for this time of year, there are still plenty of projects to take you though winter, spring and summer too! There are also great ideas for children’s birthdays including, but certainly not limited to, a pirate ship, dinosaur and a train.

Pumpkin Cake by Juniper Cakery

Step-by-Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan is a book filled with fun and vibrant projects. This book a great introduction to those eager to begin learning the craft and the book even includes and a collection of basic cake, icing and buttercream recipes ready for you to get creating!

Pumpkin Cake by Juniper Cakery

If you’d love to get your hands on a copy of Step-by-Step Cake Decorating by Karen Sullivan why not try your luck at entering our giveaway! We have two copies ready to send out to two lucky winners. All you need to do is comment on this post! Entrants must reside in the UK and have their comment submitted by November 1st. The two lucky winners will be chosen at random and will be announced via our blog and social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram) on November 4th. Good luck!


3rd September 2013 // 1 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make a Sugarpaste Owl!

Yay! It’s now September which means that the lovely cosiness of Autumn (or Fall depending on where you are) is just around the corner! Autumn and winter are our favourite seasons here at Juniper Cakery and we get excited when they arrive every year. What’s not to love… lovely vibrant crisp golden leaves, cooler weather, bundling up in mis-matched knitwear, hot cocoa, spiced cakes, Halloween festivities and of course Christmas. With all this in mind this week’s tutorial is an adorable autumnal owl in fetching seasonal shades of browns and rust orange. This little creature will sit perfect on top of cupcakes and forest themed cakes!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

What you need for this tutorial…

Sugarpaste / fondant in three complimentary colours
Round piping tip (use the large bottom for cutting)
Blade modelling tool
Ball modelling tool
Scallop and comb modelling tool
Circle cutters

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step one: Use your chosen base colour to mould what we would describe as an upside down tooth shape as pictured above. Use your finger and thumb to pinch two ‘ears’ for your owl and smooth any stretches/cracks with your fingers.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step two: Using a small circle cutter and the end of a piping tip cut one small and two extra small circles out.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step three: Slice the small circle into two halves. Into one of the halves create a ‘feathered’ pattern using the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step four: Now stick the two extra small circles in place as eyes and the half circle in place as a chest. For extra detail why not cut out smaller circles in an opposite colour and place them on top of the extra small circles, this will add extra dimension to your owl’s eyes.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step five: Using the piping tip again cut out three circles and add feathered detail using the scallop end of the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step six: Pinch two of the circles with your finger and thumb to create a tapered ‘wing’.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step seven: Begin sticking the circles in place overlapping them as you go. Stick the tapered circle on last as this will finish your owl’s wing off nicely.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eight: Using a contrasting colour to your owl’s body make a chunky teardrop shape. Use the blade tool to make two slits at the non-tapered end, mould with your fingers to get rid of any sharp/rough edges. Repeat this once more and you now have your owl’s feet!

Step nine: Make a similar, but smaller, shape pinching the edges to get a triangle. Stick between the eyes, poke in two small holes and your owl now has a beak!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step ten: Stick in place using edible glue by simply sitting your owl on top of them. The weight will secure them and help the glue set.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eleven: Roll two small balls of fondant, make an indentation in your owl’s eyes, and press in the two small balls for pupils!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Now you’ve made your very own sugarpaste owl! This can be made in any colour for any occasion and your little owl can be nestled atop a cake and cupcakes!

2nd September 2013 // 0 Comments

CAKE101: Chill Your Cakes Beforehand if Blow Torching

Blow torching the sugared toppings of some cupcake flavours creates a delicious crunchy caramelised texture, but the buttercream underneath can be easily melted away by the heat. Our tip is to utilise your fridge or freezer to chill down the frosting.

CAKE101 Chill your cakes before blow torching

“Before caramelising and blow torching the tops or toppings of cupcakes leave your cakes to sit in the fridge until chilled and firm. You don’t want your buttercream to melt so begin with cold frosting.”

26th August 2013 // 0 Comments

CAKE101: Make Your Own Cupcake Wrappers

Sometimes you may need to custom decorate your cupcakes with something extra. Creating cupcake wrappers for themed celebrations is quick and fun! All you need are some cupcakes, doilies, scissors and double sided tape!

CAKE101 Make Your Own Cupcake Wrapper

“You can create your own lovely cupcake wrappers out of doilies. Simply create a template around your cupcake and cut to size. To fasten use some double sided tape or ribbon tied around your cupcake.”