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Cake Decorating Ideas

Get creative this half-term and enjoy some cake!

Half-term is looming, it’s great in a lot of ways because we get to spend some quality time with our kids. So, we’re sure you’re deciding what you should do, and where you should go this half-term. Sometimes you can’t go anywhere, so a staycation is in order. There’s nothing wrong with staying at home for half-term because the kids need time to relax too, you just need to make sure they stay entertained.

You may not want them to sit on their phones, or play video games the whole time. It’s nice for them to live in the real world, even if it’s just for a few hours. What do you do to entertain the kids? We have a wonderful suggestion to get their creativity flowing; get them to decorate cakes. You’d be surprised about how creative this activity can be, and it can be a great way to get younger children interested in creating a masterpiece, because they get to eat some delicious cake at the end.

Obviously, you can bake cakes yourself, there are some great recipes out there, but it can be time consuming, you’ll have to get all of the ingredients in as well. You have to mix the cake, bake it, wait for it to cool, make the filling, and assemble the cake. Again, if you have kids that are a little older this could be a great thing for them to get involved in and it is actually slightly educational (but don’t tell them that!). Measure the ingredients is maths, and combining the ingredients is chemistry when you see the result of how they all react together.

If you don’t have the time, or patients to bake the cakes yourself then you could just buy one. Sponge has a great selection of cake flavours, and if you have a dietary requirement, it’s a lot easier to buy a cake rather than make one yourself. Gluten free cakes, vegan cakes, and gluten and dairy free cakes can be tricky to get right. We’ve spent a long time perfecting our recipes for our dietary requirement cakes, as we wanted to ensure they taste just as good as our standard cakes. And all of our cakes can be delivered straight to your door.

Let's get down to business and talk about decorating cakes. Essentially, there are no rules to cake decorating, you can do what you want when the cake is for you, which is why it’s a great thing to get the kids to do. It can actually take a few hours to decorate a cake, so it can keep the kids busy for a long time.

There are several ways to decorate cakes, the trickiest is probably decorating a cake with fondant icing – if you want to fully “ice” a cake with fondant it can take a fair bit of practice. Here are some tips; lightly sift cornflour onto the surface you are rolling the fondant on to (don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste it. Don’t have the cake on a turntable when you are lifting the fondant on to the cake – it's more successful when your cake is just on a cake board on the same surface as the fondant as it will stretch less. Smooth the fondant with your hands and gently pull the fondant away from the bottom of the cake while smoothing to completely cover the cake with icing. Those are the top tips we have for fully icing your cake. After that’s done, it’s a little bit like working with playdoh, you get cutters for the kids to cut shapes out with and then they can be stuck on the other fondant with a little bit of water.

Buttercream is another way to decorate with the kids, our best tip for this is make a big batch of buttercream and then split the mixture and add some food colouring to create lots of different colours of buttercream. Here’s a top tip, if you add a little too much colouring and the icing becomes a little bit runny, add a little bit more icing sugar to stiffen it. You can also place it in the fridge to stiffen the mixture too. When piping you want the buttercream you want it to be at room temperature to get the best result. Too much handling or too much heat in the room can cause the buttercream to run so just bear that in mind. The great thing about having a variety of colours of buttercream is that they can create any design they want to!

This is our last idea; you could get a photo cake made. Now, hear us out, we know what you’re thinking “How is that a decorating idea?”, well, you can find a colouring template of your kid's favourite thing online, and then upload that to our photo cake design tool. You can get that printed on a cake, and get some icing pens in various colours, and it becomes a fun way for them to practice colouring in the lines.

For final flourishes there is an array of different edible decorations you can get to create your masterpieces, from candy eyes and mouths, glitter, wafer flowers, smarties, buttons, there are so many options the list could be almost endless.

We hope we’ve given you some ideas and inspiration for a fun half-term activity and you’ll all be getting creative this half-term!