A variety of simple decorations can dress up any cake, from layer cakes to simple butter cakes to even — on a smaller scale — cupcakes. If you’re decorating a cake with a flavored item, like nuts, choose a flavor that complements the cake and adds extra visual interest. Plain cakes can be served as is or dressed up with easy, modest adornments.
|To decorate a frosted cake with chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls and shavings as described here — you can use dark, milk or white chocolate, depending on your preference. Place the shavings directly on the frosted cake or, alternatively, apply them as you would the nuts (below).|
|To decorate the top of a cake with raspberries, blackberries or hulled strawberries, place the berries, stem ends down, in the frosting or glaze, arranging them in concentric circles or in a decorative arrangement.|
|To decorate the sides of a frosted cake with chopped toasted nuts, fill a shallow pan with about 2 cups of nuts. Hold the cake over the pan with one hand. Press the nuts into the sides of the cake with the other hand, rotating the cake as you work.|
|A light sifting of confectioners’ sugar is an easy way to add a finishing touch to a cake. Just before serving, place the cake on a cooling rack. using a fine-mesh sieve, sift 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar over the top of the cake, gently tapping the sieve while moving it to apply a light dusting. For a festive touch, place a stencil on top before sifting.|
|Make your cake even more delicious with a drizzle of flavored glaze (vanilla and citrus are both good choices). Place the cake on a cooling rack set on a half-sheet pan. Dip a whisk, fork or spoon into the glaze and drizzle over the top.|
|Fit a pastry bag with a plain or fluted tip. Use smaller tips for buttercream and larger tips for whipped cream. Hold the bag in one hand and fold down the top, forming a cuff. Use a rubber spatula to fill it half full.|