My favourite birthday cakes are the simple ones, adorned with nothing more than thick swirls of frosting and a small scattering of sprinkles. I make a lot of cakes, sometimes for birthdays and sometimes just to celebrate making it through a tough week to Friday, and I almost always default to my standard decorating methods (though sometimes I can get really creative, especially when it comes to an extra special occasion).
What helps me out every time is my basic cake decorating tool kit. As long as I have the ingredients for the cake and frosting, the rest comes together easily because I’m always prepared.
Here are the five things I always have in the house in order to make cake decorating a breeze.
I keep lots of sprinkles on hand and stock them in assorted sizes and colours. My favourite sprinkles come from Sweetapolita’s Sprinkle Shop, and I usually place an order once a year or so.
My personal favourites are the tall, skinny tapered candles, but I keep number candles, standard candles and sparkling candles on hand, too.
Gel Paste Food Colouring
This is what I use to tint my frostings. Food colouring works fine, but these are better and deliver nice colours. Experience has taught me that we tend to gravitate to the same colours over and over, so don’t worry about stocking 26 different tints. I keep 8-10 on hand, and with some clever mixing I can achieve most colours I desire.
Piping Bags and Tips
I have a small assortment of both on hand for piping borders around the top and bottom of the cake, and writing ‘Happy Birthday’ messages in icing.
I have a few different colours hanging around the house and sometimes use it to make a hanging bunting for the top of the cake, or wrap it around the middle for a subtle decoration.
Do you like to make your birthday cake or do you prefer to buy them? If you’re a fan of baking, we also have a guide to birthday cake baking basics that you might find helpful!