Years back my friend Kathy and I took a Wilton cake decorating class. It was really fun, but if you don’t have time or money to attend a class, I’ll pass on the helpful hints on how to do a simple decorated cake.
1. Success begins with the cake. A firm cake is easiest to work with (both for handling and for decorating). I combine a pound cake with a regular box cake mix. You can use a box pound cake mix, but your favorite pound cake recipe will taste better. The box cake ensures moistness…you simply can’t beat a box cake for this! Also, a white or yellow cake mix is best for beginners because of the crumb factor…I’ll talk about this later when we get to icing the cake. If you are combining a chocolate cake mix with your favorite pound cake recipe, you will need to add cocoa and vanilla so that the cake stays dark brown and chocolaty.
2. Over-fill your cake pans. The goal is to get the cake to rise above the rim of the pan (without over flowing into the bottom of your oven) so that you can cut the top off, and have a thick layer for your cake. (I fill a little above 3/4 of each pans). Also, the Wilton cake pans tend to be deeper and this makes a prettier cake.
3. Let your cake sit for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto foil or your surface of choice. Let them cool completely. They will be easily picked up to place on your serving dish, because of the sturdiness of the pound cake. If you want to torte your layers (cut them in two across the middle to create four layers of icing) you may want to freeze the cake. They are much easier to cut when frozen. Torting makes the cake taller, and obviously increases the icing to cake ratio. Because I prefer the cake to the icing, I don’t often torte the cakes. My exception is for the topsy turvy cake because I’m going for as much height as possible. (It also makes for a prettier slice).
*The picture above is my cake with it’s top cut off. The kids love cake top! It is the best part of the cake. 🙂