Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Amazing Tip of the Day: Birthdays

My brother's birthday cake, name artfully airbrushed to protect the aging
The weekend festivities included my brother's birthday, and since I normally am not able to celebrate  with him, that called for cake. (One of the Boys came into the kitchen while I was baking and asked if carrot cake was Uncle's favorite. "Nope," I told him. "It's mine. Cook's prerogative.")

Anyway, after lo, these many years of baking and decorating birthday cakes, the internet had an amazing tip to make the clean-up easier. Persons of the XY-chromosonal variation probably are not aware of this fact, but cake decoration is a messy, messy process. Tint the buttercream frosting for the lettering. Fill piping bag with lettering color. Pipe lettering. Change to star tip, pipe flowers. Clean out piping bag, change back to lettering tip. Fill piping bag with stem color. Pipe stems. Change to leaf tip. Pipe leaves. Clean out piping bag. Clean out...  Well, you get the idea. It's messy, is what I'm saying, and the person who can get through this without splattering blue frosting all over the kitchen deserves to squirt some buttercream into a spoon and eat it straight, no chaser.

But then I stumbled across an amazing and life-changing video. Check this out.

If you don't have the inclination to watch a video about cake decorating, allow me to summarize. After you've mixed your icing, blop a spoonful onto a sheet of Saran wrap, twirl it up into a neat little package, drop the package into a piping bag, cut off the end the end of the Saran wrap twirl, decorate, pull out the Saran wrap, toss. And you are DONE. No clean-up. (Well, minimal clean-up, compared to the usual suds-fest required to get rid of all the greasy residue--they don't call it buttercream for nothing.)

So that's the first tip of the day. Friends, if you ever decorate cakes, DO THIS.

I will add a bonus tip of the day, one I have discovered after lo, these many years of putting age-identifying numbers on birthday cakes. The tip is that these wax numerals aren't cheap  and past the age of 12 or so, no one cares what numbers are on the cake. Hence, Uncle's cake lists him as 28 but I'm pretty sure that's not his actual age. He didn't mind the misrepresentation, and since I'm eight years older, that would make me 35.


You're welcome.


  1. I am not the cake artist you are, but I've made it even easier. I have tips that fasten onto plastic bags or saran wrap--I skip the piping bag altogether.

  2. Love the bonus tip about the numbers on the cake! Very clever and funny.

  3. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! That is the very best tip ever!!!!! And just in time for the run of birthdays in our house - 4 in 42 days! :)