A decorated Valentine Cake is a delightful way to say “I Love You” to sweethearts, husbands, parents and children. Your cake can be baked in a heart-shaped pan or in just a round pan and then decorated to be like a heart.
If you make your own cake, be sure and allow it to cool completely before frosting it. To give added stability to the cake, you may even freeze it before frosting and decorating it. This will ensure that you are less likely to tear the cake when frosting it. If you don’t have time to bake your own cake, purchase a ready –made cake from your local bakery and frost and decorate it yourself. To avoid having to make the frosting you can purchase ready-made frosting in the baking products section in your supermarket.
If you want to tackle the job of making your own frosting and decorating your own cake, please read on. For instructions on mixing and baking your cake, please see our previous article on ‘Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day – Cakes”. You will find a Buttercream Frsoting Recipe under our Recipes Section.
Make your frosting ahead and have it ready before following the steps below. If you are going to decorate it, be sure that you have the equipment that you will need also. Listed below are the items that will make frosting and decorating your cake easier to do.
Pastry Brush– for brushing off any excess crumbs
Off-set Spatula – for frosting the cake
Decorating Bags – the bags will hold the frosting and the couplers will allow you to switch tips without having to prepare another bag or empty out the one you are using.
Cake Board – to put the cake on
Foil – for covering the board
The first step in frosting and decorating your cake is to prepare a cake board to place your cake on. Choose a board that is the same shape as your cake and at least 1” larger in diameter. The board may be covered with plain aluminum foil or colored foil that can be purchased in your local craft or cake decorating store or even at a florist’s shop.
Step Two is to brush off any loose crumbs that may be on the cake.
Step Three is to crumb coat the cake. This will entail, taking a small portion of frosting (about 1 cup) and thinning it out so that you will be able to smooth a very thin layer of frosting on the cake.
Step Four is to give the cake its final coat of frosting; you want to make sure that the frosting is as smooth as you can make it – to do this have a glass of warm water handy and use it to dip your spatula in. This will help to smooth the frosting. Keep a paper towel handy, in case your spatula gets too wet and also to wipe off excess frosting as you are working with it.
Step Five is to decide how you want to decorate your cake. If you are going to use colored frosting, decide how many colors you want and estimate approximately how much you will need of each color. Place each color in a separate bag that has been fitted with a coupler and decorating tip.
For decorating ideas, please see my photo page. You will see cakes that have been decorated by parent/child teams at last years’ Valentine Cake Decorating Class. For different decorating techniques you can find on-line help.
If you are making a cake that has been baked in a pan that has designs molded into it, you will want to skip the crumb coating and top coating steps. Instead, you will simply decorate right from the beginning using star tips to fill in the various segments. Star tips come in many sizes and in open and closed form. If you have never done cake decorating before, it would be easier to use the open star tips rather than the closed star tips. The open star tips, allow for more ease in squeezing out the frosting for decorating.
If you want to keep it simple, use cupcakes and frost them in a swirl effect and then top them with candy hearts. The delight from your family will be almost the same and these take very little time. Allow your children to help with the decorating or cupcake frosting. When it seems to you like it would be too much trouble to have the children help, just remember that you are teaching them skills and creating family memories that will last a lifetime.
‘Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Cake Decorating! We would love it if you would show us your finished products. You can e-mail us at [email protected]
For gifts that say ‘I Love You’ try making food items to give to your closest friends and relatives. Cookies, jellies, muffins and/or fresh herbs can be used.