How to Decorate a Cake Using Different Types of Icing

How to Decorate a Cake Using Different Types of Icing

The hard part is over. You’ve mixed the ingredients, set the oven, and your delicious batch is ready. But now you need to learn how to decorate a cake.

In this article, we will cover:

1. How to ice a cake

2. How to pipe a cake

3. How to decorate a cake with different icing types

4. How to make buttercream

5. How to make whipped cream

6. How to make royal icing

7. How to make cream cheese frosting

8. How to make meringue

9. How to make fondant

10. How to decorate a cake with fresh fruits

We’ll also recommend some cake decorating equipment to make your job easier and help you create bonafide masterpieces every time.

How to Ice a Cake:

1. The first step is to allow your cake to cool completely before attempting to ice it. A warm cake means warm icing, which leads to melted, runny and unusable icing. Try to wait at least two to three hours.

You shouldn’t even attempt to mix your icing before your cake has cooled. Otherwise, the icing will harden and you may not be able to melt it back.

2. The second step is icing your now-cooled cake. How you apply your cake icing depends on the type of icing you choose to use. You may require a piping bag and nozzle, maybe a rolling pin, and possibly even a palette knife. We’ll discuss all these methods later in the article.

Cake decorating is tricky business, especially when icing is involved, so you should always take your time. In most cases, if you make a mistake, you can just wipe it away and try again. But in the case of fondant and royal icing, you’ll need to work quickly to prevent it from drying out and hardening. 

There is no special trick to icing cakes other than keeping a steady hand and taking your time.

How to Pipe a Cake:

Piping tubes can be incredibly messy. But if you know what you’re doing, the process becomes far easier.

1. The first step is choosing the right size. Different-sized piping tubes will allow you to cover large surface areas or create intricate designs. For more delicate lettering and designs, choose a smaller bag. When filling, choose a larger one.

2. Cut a small hole at the end of your piping bag and place a piping nozzle at the end to achieve your desired look.

3. Then, use a spatula to fill your piping bag. Don’t fill anything over 3/4.

4. Finally, twist the top of the bag to create pressure that allows you to push the icing out. This also allows the icing to stay in the bag, but be careful of pushing too hard.


How to Decorate a Cake with Different Icing Types

Cake icing is a broad term for a range sugary coating for your confection. Icing can be made using various methods to achieve different consistencies, flavours and textures. 

There are six main types of icing:

– Buttercream

– Whipped cream

– Royal icing

– Cream cheese frosting

– Meringue

– Fondant

These types have different properties that make them ideal for certain types of cakes, and not all of them require a piping bag and nozzle to apply.

How to Make Buttercream:


Buttercream is a soft, light type of icing that can be spread between your cakes as filling or used to top cupcakes and create crumb coats.

The main downside to buttercream is that it is very reliant on temperature, so must be kept chilled to hold its form and prevent melting. 

Buttercream is made from sugar and butter, hence its susceptibility to melting. 

Buttercream can last for up to two days at room temperature before spoiling.

We think you’ll love these products:

How to Make Whipped Cream:

Whipped cream is another light and fluffy type of cake icing that is susceptible to melting.

So, it is best used on fresh chilled cakes that are likely to be consumed within a few hours, lest the cream begins to spoil. 

Since whipped cream is made mostly from refrigerated ingredients, it can only be left at room temperature for two hours before melting and deteriorating. 

Whipped cream can last for up to two hours at room temperature before spoiling.


We think you’ll love these products:

How to Make Royal Icing:


Royal icing is different from the other types of cake icing on this list, as it changes consistency when dry and cannot be applied with a piping nozzle.

Royal icing is made primarily from icing sugar and egg whites, which causes it to harden when left to dry. 

As royal icing is one of the only types of cake icing that changes consistency, it’s important to work quickly. 

Royal icing can last for up to two weeks at room temperature if in an airtight container before spoiling.

We think you’ll love these products:

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

Cream cheese frosting is most often used for slightly more savoury cakes, like red velvet and carrot cake, as this type of cake icing is heavier than the others and far thicker in consistency thanks to the cream cheese. 

A piping nozzle can be used to achieve different piping styles to create very interesting-looking cakes. 

Cream cheese frosting can last for up to eight hours at room temperature before spoiling.


We think you’ll love these products:

How to Make Meringue:


Meringue is light, frothy, and crispy and is often used to counteract the pleasant bitterness of tarts.

There are three main variations, French, Italian and Swiss, but they’re quite difficult to master due to the vitality of temperature and timing.

Meringue can be piped onto goods and can be left at room temperature for up to two days before spoiling.

Meringue can last for up to two weeks at room temperature before spoiling.

We think you’ll love these products:

How to Make Fondant:


Fondant is different from all other types of cake icing in that it cannot be spread or piped.

Fondant is rolled to size and placed over cakes or sculpted using carving and decorating tools. 

The main characteristics of fondant are its ability to stretch without tearing, its stickiness when coated with water, its firmness when left at room temperature, and easy dying capabilities.

Fondant can last for up to two weeks at room temperature before spoiling.

We think you’ll love these products:

How to Decorate a Cake with Fresh Fruits

Decorating with fresh fruits can be tricky, as the longevity of particular fruits combined with their juices can lead to messy-looking cakes. When decorating cakes with fruit, it’s important to place a barrier between the fruits and the cake and protect the fruit from spoiling. 

The best way to protect your fruits and your cake is to lightly glaze the fruit with microwaved jam. Apricot jam is great for yellow and orange fruits, whereas, redcurrant is preferable for red fruits, to compliment their flavours. 

When stored in the fridge in an airtight container, cakes decorated with fruit can only be stored for up to two days before the fruit becomes overripe and its juices soak into the cake. One of the cardinal rules of cake decorating is that no decoration should make your cake soggy. So, be careful to monitor your cake and assess its condition before eating it.

We think you’ll love these products:


Cake Decorating Equipment at Creeds Direct

If you require cake decorating equipment for your home or business, choose Creeds Direct. With our high-quality equipment sourced from a variety of reputable brands and next-day delivery, you’ll be making masterpieces in no time. And now you know how to decorate a cake, why not invest in the best tools on the market to do so?

View our stock to find the right tools for you. Additionally, if you have any questions concerning any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with our bakery specialists.