We celebrated my daughter’s First Communion this weekend I made her cake, of course. I thought I’d share a few cake-decorating tips that I’ve picked up over the years, but please know that I am a cake-decorating amateur and everything I know, I’ve picked up along the way, so don’t expect too much. ☺

Rachel Divider
My husband holding my daughter’s hand. The next time she wears a white dress & veil, she’ll be holding his arm. ♥


Use Wilton Cake Release. Forget greasing & flouring cake pans. Cake Release works infinitely better & an 8 oz bottle costs $5.00 and lasts for years.

Always level cakes before frosting them. I use a serrated knife & eyeball it. Close enough for jazz.

Purchase frosting at a grocery store that contains its own Bake Shoppe. Making decorator icing isn’t difficult, but it’s time-consuming and messy. I purchase my frosting from the grocery store and it tastes as good as homemade, if not better and actually costs LESS than making it myself.

Drop a dollop of frosting on the presentation board & spread it like peanut butter before putting the cake on top of it. This anchors the cake to the board & prevents the cake from sliding off it.

Place strips of parchment paper or waxed paper underneath the edges of the cake on the presentation board. This ensures a clean-looking presentation board ultimately. Remove the paper just prior to piping the bottom border of the cake.

Always crumb coat or “dirty ice” the cake. Cover the cake with a thin layer of icing without regard for how many crumbs the icing picks up. Allow to dry before frosting the cake with the finishing layer. The dried crumb coat locks in cake crumbs & prevents them from mixing into the frosting you see in the finished project.

Crumb coat can be seen underneath the final layer of icing in this photo.

Use a Viva paper towel to smooth icing. After icing has dried slightly, use a paper towel, with no funny waffling or texture and simply use your hand or an offset spatula to smooth the icing.

Mark cake lightly with a ruler or other straight edge where some degree of precision is required. Writing or piping in a straight line on a cake free-hand is not within my skill set. I take the help wherever I can get it!

These simple tricks can make a cake look a little more professional for special events.