arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

Blog & News from Icing Sugar Towers

5 Secrets Only Professional Cake Decorators Know

Here are the top 5 cake decorating secrets from our Le Dolci Culinary Classroom's cake experts, you might want to try some of them out on your next cake decorating project!

5 Secrets Only Professional Cake Decorators Know

What secrets do only cake decorators know?

In addition to having the right cake decorating tools, professional cake decorators have secrets and tricks to help them achieve impossibly perfect cakes and to avoid cake disasters.

Here are the top 5 cake decorating secrets from our Le Dolci Culinary Classroom's cake experts, you might want to try some of them out on your next cake decorating project!


  1. Using Hot Water for an Extra-Smooth Finish

If you’ve decorated a cake with buttercream or frosting, you’ll know that creating perfect, smooth sides on a cake is quite the achievement! The right tools will do most of the work but you can also use hot water for an extra-smooth finish.

Simply chill your cake for ~30 minutes once you’ve finished masking your cake. At this point the only remaining change should be to perfect the texture on the outermost surface of the masking layer. Run your bench scraper under hot water (or dip it in hot water), then dry it off and employ as usual for a few final turns with a cake turntable. The bench scraper should be hot to touch – the heat will help to melt away any tiny imperfections.


  1. Frozen, Not Fresh Cakes – (yes you read that right)

Professional cake decorators prefer to use frozen, defrosted cake when decorating.

When working with a fresh baked cake, there are more crumbs to contend with than when working a frozen, defrosted cake. There’s something about the freezing/defrosting process that makes a cake’s texture less crumb-y. These crumbs have a habit of showing up in buttercream and frosting – cake decorators use a ‘crumb-coat’ to try to avoid this but using a frozen, defrosted cake means less crumbs in the first place.


  1. Cakes and Syrup

Unfortunately, when using frozen cakes rather than fresh (see Frozen, Not Fresh Cakes, above), they inevitably lose some of their moisture. Also, some especially ornate cakes can take multiple days to decorate, giving cake layers a chance to go stale.

For this reason, many professional cake decorators use syrups to moisten cake layers. This will keep cake layers moist, even over multiple-day storage in the fridge. Syrups can also be used to layer or combine flavours.


  1. Cake Architecture

Building a tall, multi-tiered cake involves some cake engineering and architecture!

Every multi-tiered cake contains a hidden support structure inside. This usually involves sturdy plastic tubes or sometimes even wooden dowels/rods.

Cake decorators who build very tall cakes also often have a leveler in their toolkits to make sure that all the weight of the cake and icing is built to be level to the ground. This ensures that the cake will hold its structure during transport, refrigeration and display.


  1. Warning Clients About Bright Colours

What looks great on a cake doesn’t always look great on someone’s teeth! Intense, vibrant colours from food colouring in cake finishes and decorations can stain people’s teeth temporarily.

Warn clients about the potential for red or blue stained teeth if they want intense colours on their cake and they are planning to take lots of smiling photos of guests at their event!


Eager to get hands-on cake decorating experience and try out some of our ‘5 Secrets Only Cake Decorators Know’? Join our in-person Cake Decorating Classes at Le Dolci Classroom & Studio located in Toronto, Canada. Our classes are suitable for all levels of cake decorators, from total beginners to pro cake decorators who are looking to perfect their technical skills (BONUS: we do the prep, baking and the cleanup so that you can focus on cake decorating!).

Don’t live nearby or caught the cake decorating bug? Join our Online Cakes & Buttercream Course for structured video tutorials where you will learn how to build and mask a cake step-by-step, all about cake science and how to make our favourite cake, syrup and buttercream recipes.


We can't wait to see you in class! We have classes every weekend and on weeknights, virtual classes and more! xoTeam Le Dolci Culinary Classroom