Yes. It’s that time again! Every time we hit three #reels in a season or collection we feature them on our blog. Not everyone is on Instagram (crazy, but true). So we try to keep things updated on here too. It’s November and we are in the festive spirit! Here’s our recent Christmascake decorating tutorials via Reels! You can pipe pretty snowflakes or add cute edible trees to your holiday treats in no time.
We used a rich deep green buttercream to pipe our tree onto a cupcake. You can pipe larger versions onto cakes or add lots of them to make a forest! This tutorial works really well with a stiffer consistency royal icing too. This way you can pre-make rows of them to use on your next homemade sweet. OR why not use this tutorial with your own go-to meringue recipe?
We went doughnut crazy for this fun Christmas cake decorating tutorial! You can, however, use this quick tutorial to pipe onto cookies, cupcakes and more! It’s actually pretty easy too. Also, make this match your own decorations or table settings by swapping the colours. Try adding sprinkle mixes or candy to decorate.
For this we used a closed star piping tip and a petal tip to create the cute bow. The sizes depend on the treat you’re working with. So if you want to pipe small royal icing transfers then you’ll need much smaller sized piping nozzles.
Speaking of royal icing transfers (we briefly mentioned them above… how fun are these? These royal icing snowflakes make the sweetest festive touch to seasonal bakes. You can add to cupcakes, cookies, marshmallows, brownies etc. Also, they’re easy to customise with different sprinkles or colours. We have a handy blog post that can take you step by step too.
Some of the tools needed include… a 03 piping tip by Wilton. Go for a 04 if you want your snowflakes a little thicker. Washi tape to stick your sheet down is also a good idea.
With the winter and Christmas season fast approaching we’ve had a few people ask how to pipe royal icing snowflakes. Surprisingly, it’s really not that hard. Plus if you’re scared of royal icing you can also use melted white chocolate instead. These cute winter-y decorations are perfect for cupcakes, cookies and even to make a batch of brownies super festive. For this how-to we’re going to pipe our snowflakes in a pink colour. This is so you can see the process better. Trying to photograph and then view white on white in a tutorial is pretty frustrating. Also, opting for a more unique colour is fun! Anyway, make sure to check out our tutorial and tips below!
Note! Royal icing can take a while to set so make sure you plan and create these in advance. If you are pressed for time or making these last minute try using melted white chocolate instead!
1: You can print out some cute snowflake designs via google, but make sure they are the right size. Around 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter is great. Also, make sure not to opt for snowflakes that look complicated or heavily detailed. When you start to pipe them you’re going to regret it. Go for something simple yet effective.
Tip! Try searching for snowflake fonts too. This can bring up a variety of more simplified designs that might be easier to pipe as they tend to be clear and more graphic looking.
2: Lay your chosen template down on a cookie / baking tray. This is handy in case you need to move your snowflakes later because they need to be on a flat and sturdy surface while they dry so they don’t crack. If you know you won’t have to move them to another surface then feel free to tape and work directly on top of your counter. Over your template lay out and tape sheet of parchment paper or your silpat mat using some washi tape. You should be able to see your snowflake shapes easily from underneath.
Tip! Make sure you create a few extra snowflakes as these are still delicate to handle.
3: Bag up your royal icing with a number 3 piping tip by Wilton. This is the tip we used for this tutorial. You can use finer tips for more delicate work, but the thinner the snowflake the more likely it is to break!
Here’s a quick guide to the consistency you need to pipe your royal icing snowflakes!
We recommended and used what is called a 15 second consistency. This just means that when you drag a knife through the middle of your royal icing it should take 15 seconds to meet and ‘mould’ together again. It’s generally not too runny and not too stiff. So you should have smooth snowflakes without rough peaks in them.
4: Now following your template pipe out your snowflakes!
Tip! You can use melted chocolate to make your snowflakes instead. Chocolate sets a lot quicker so that’s a plus. However, melted chocolate is going to be more fluid or runny so you may need to take it slower piping the snowflakes.
Tip! If you’re going to add extra decorations to your snowflakes make sure to opt for sprinkles or decor that is small. This is so that you can still see the overall shape of your snowflake.
Easy royal icing snowflakes tutorial!
6: Leave your royal icing snowflakes to set! This can take overnight or a full day depending on where you live. The more humid or ‘wet’ your weather is the longer they’ll take to dry out. Generally you’ll know if they’re drying out when they begin to look less wet.
Tip! Here’s a pretty handy tip that means you’re not going to ruin a snowflake testing if it’s set. When you’re done piping your snowflakes pipe a few lines or blobs of royal icing down the side of your greaseproof paper. Every time you need to check them lightly poke one of these ‘blobs’ to see if it’s dry.
7: To remove your royal icing snowflakes the best move is to gently peel the silpat or parchment paper instead of forcing the snowflakes. You can use the edge of a table to help ‘roll’ or peel the the paper / mat away too.
Now you can use your royal icing piped snowflakes to decorate all kids of cute treats. We used our pink snowflakes to make our fluffy marshmallows ready for Christmas. Nestle on top of buttercream swirled cupcakes for a festive finish. Add to freshly flooded cookies for quick decorations. Or why not gently press around the bottom of a holiday cake to impress the family!
With the second lockdown under way here in the U.K. we’re pretty sure everyone is looking for a project to busy themselves. With that in mind we thought we’d put together a handy post about all the different cake icing tools there are. There’s so much choice, but you only really need a few good staples. Obviously, it depends what you are comfortable with. We have drawers upon drawers of different smothers, spatulas, palette knives! Ultimately, we have our go-to pieces. Read on to find out more about cake icing tools and how to use them!
Perfect for mixing batter, buttercream, whipped cream and macarons! If you like novelty items or a bit of colour you can easily brighten up a baking day with some cute spatula designs. They’re usually a bendable silicone or rubber and come in a few different shapes. For baking and decorating you should be looking for the second spatula shape in the above graphic. Not only is it great for mixing ingredients, but it can easily scrape icing out of your mixing bowl. You can even use it to roughly cover your cake with buttercream or whipped cream. Amazing if you don’t want too many tools to clean up afterwards!
The spatula we’ve included in the link comes as a set, BUT they’re all rainbow sprinkle patterned. Perfect for a little bit of fun. Plus you’ll get to test each style and see which you really like.
We’ve spotted palette knives labeled or called spatulas at times. We’re not entirely sure why. Maybe it depends on location or what’s available? However, palette knifes are different to the spatulas above and tend to come in three main styles.
Standard, which doesn’t bend out at the handle and usually ends as a rounded rectangular shape. These are great for scooping and dolloping fillings or buttercreams onto your cake.
Cranked, offset or angled, which bend out at the handle. These are perfect for smoothing buttercream, royal icing or ganache. Why? Well, the offset shape makes them easier to handle when spreading coverings onto a cake.
You can also get tapered palette knives that look a lot like some of the tools you can get for oil painting. These are perfect for then adding texture to softer icing finishes (buttercream, whipped cream, etc). You can add pretty lines or a messy look to your cake. You can also ‘oil paint’ with buttercream or royal icing using these too.
Cake coverings like fondant or sugar paste tend to get called icing too, just like their softer counterparts (buttercream, royal icing etc). This is where icing smoothers come in. They kind of look like flat pieces of plastic with a small handle-like grip. Once you’ve iced your cake with your paste you use icing smoothers to refine the look… literally smoothing it. Icing smoothers are also perfect for rolling out even ‘ropes’ of fondant or sugar paste to decorate cakes with.
These are thin and incredibly bendable yet sturdy pieces of plastic. They’re so handy for super sharp edges on cakes. You can also use them just like icing smoothers if you prefer too. They really help you get close to the cake and really see your edges. Back in the day these weren’t all that available so everyone ended up using food safe acetate sheets to achieve sharp edges. Those were insanely thin, flimsy and see-through, which made them a bit of a pain. Thankfully, flexi smoothers came along!
Though this tool isn’t a cake icing tool that comes in direct contact with cake coverings it is still an essential! A good turntable can make or break a cake especially when it comes to smoothing it with buttercream or ganache. This one is the exact model we use by Ateco and it is beautiful. It’s sooo sturdy too. You need to look for one that spins smooth on its own AND with a cake on it so that you can get the most even and smooth icing.
Handy icing scrapers are there to help you get the smoothest possible finish to any buttercream, semi-naked or ganached tiers. This is ideal when it comes to covering your cake with fondant. Why? Well that fondant or sugar paste covering is going to take on whatever the surface is underneath. Rough and bumpy ganache? Then you’ll end up with a rough and bumpy fondant iced cake!