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Cake decorating is an enjoyable hobby. Once you have decorated one, you’ll be looking for occasions to do it again. Start out simple and in no time you will advance in your new found talent. First things first; if you don’t already have icing decorator bags and tips, go to your local hobby shop and purchase these.
This basic cake decorator icing recipe will yield great results.
1 bag confectioners’ sugar
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon almond extract
Beat this icing mixture on low speed about one minute to combine, then on high speed for an additional 3 minutes. If the icing is too thick, add a couple drops of water; but just a few, as you don’t want a thin icing that will be near impossible to decorate with.
Never substitute butter or margarine for the shortening, or your icing will be an off-white color. Also, don’t bother with liquid food coloring. Using colored paste will give richer colors and won’t cause your icing to thin out.
When you spread the icing on the cake, use a long bladed knife to ensure smoothness. Afterward, there are usually a couple areas that need further smoothing out. Dip a clean knife into very hot water and run the blade over the rough areas of icing with a light hand.
Animal shaped cake pans are popular with children and easy to decorate as well.
Here is an elegant pattern used by beginners as well as experts — After smoothly icing the sides and top of the cake, let sit for at least 4 hours, allowing the icing to slightly harden. Lay a paper doily onto the cake. Sprinkle colored sugar crystals over the doily; carefully remove the doily. All around the edge of the top and bottom, decorate with small stars using a star tip. Whenever decorating the bottom and top edges with a shell border, stars, etc., the border on the top should be smaller in comparison to the bottom. Now show off your lovely cake!