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Get All The Answers To Your Cake Decorating Questions

Common Cake Decorating Terms

If cake decorating is new to you, then you may be befuddled by the numerous cake decorating terms. Cake Decoration It is possible that these phrases may be intimidating at first, but, if you take the time to get familiar with them, then you will approach them with assurance. These are some of the most common cake decorating terms, and what they mean.


Airbrushing a cake is a rapid method to add a scene or background onto a cake's surface using food coloring. Airbrushing uses an artist's paint gun that uses an compression air pump.


The border of a cake is a continuous thread of icing that decorates the top, sides, and/or bottom edges of a cake.


Buttercream is a rich icing created by mixing together either butter or shortening (or both) with icing sugar, and beaten until smooth. Buttercream is an all-purpose icing, easily made, that can be used to both cover and decorate a cake.

Decorating Bags

Decorating bags are also called icing bags, frosting bags, or pastry bags. Decorating bags are small, triangular shaped bags that are made from cloth, plastic, or parchment paper. The bags are fitted out with decorating tips and filled with icing and used to pipe decorative items such as icing flowers, edges, scrollwork, and lacework patterns.

Decorating Tips

Decorating tips are also called decorating nozzles. Cake DecoratingDecorating tips are used to create decorative items such as basketweave designs, icing flowers, and shell edges. Tips come in different shapes, and are applied with an icing or pastry bag filled with icing. When the bag is pressed, the frosting or cream is piped out in the shape of the tip. Drop flowers are produced with a single squeeze of the frosting bag, while rose petals are produced with practiced maneuvering of the tip and icing.

Flower Nail

A flower nail is shaped like a nail with a large, oversized head. A flower head is used for piping royal icing and buttercream flowers that are transferred to a cake after drying.


Frosting and icing are often switched for each other. Those in the US tend to use the word "frosting" for the creamy, sugary substance that covers a cake, while individuals in other English speaking countries tend to use the term "icing". In the U.S.A., "frosting" commonly refers to the icing that is spread over the cake, while "icing" typicallyrefers to decorative icing, such as piped borders and icing roses.


Fondant is also called sugar paste. Fondant is an icing sugar dough that can be manipulated in much the same way as pie dough. Fondant can be rolled into smooth sheets, then draped on top of cakes, creating a smooth, flawless finish.


Ganache is a velvety smooth frosting. It is produced by melting either dark or white chocolate, then mixing it with heavy cream.


Gumpaste is an edible, clay-like dough. It is created by blending glycerin, gum Arabic, and icing sugar. Gumpaste is used to mold edible flowers and figures. Gum paste can also be rolled exceedingly thin and used to make complicated ribbons and lacework, as well as delicate flower petals.


Marzipan is a doughy almond substance. It is made from the identical ingredients as almond paste, though marzipan has more sugar, less almonds, and has a smoother consistency. Marzipan is frequently used for modeling cake decorations, and as a base covering underneath fondant.


Piping is a decorating technique where a decorating bag or tube is filled with icing and outfitted with a decorating tip. Piping happens when the bag isgently squeezed to make shaped dots and ribbons of frosting toembellish cakes and other baked goods.

Royal Icing

Royal icing is a sweet white icing that is created by whipping icing sugar with either fresh egg whites or dried egg whites and meringue powder. Royal icing creates well-defined icing borders. It is perfect for piping complicated writing, borders, scrollwork, and lacework on cakes. Royal icing dries very hard and keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place, but is susceptible to softening and wilting in high humidity.


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