How to Decorate Sides of Cake

Are you looking to learn how to decorate the sides of a cake? Decorating the sides of a cake is not only an opportunity to showcase your creativity and personality, but it also adds dimension and visual appeal to your baked masterpiece. In this article, we will explore various techniques, tools, and tips for creating beautiful and professional-looking cake side decorations.

When it comes to cake decorating, the sides are often overlooked, but they can make a significant impact on the overall appearance of the cake. Whether you are a seasoned baker or just starting out, mastering the art of decorating cake sides can take your baking skills to the next level. From adding texture and depth to incorporating flavors and colors, there are countless ways to elevate your cake decorating game.

In the following sections, we will discuss choosing the right tools and supplies for decorating cake sides, preparing the cake for decorating, techniques such as piping and fondant application, adding texture and depth with ruffles and swirls, troubleshooting common issues, and tips for creating professional-looking cake side decorations. By embracing creativity and enjoying the process of cake decoration, you can turn any ordinary cake into a work of art.

So let’s dive in and start exploring the wonderful world of cake side decoration.

Choosing the Right Tools and Supplies for Decorating Cake Sides

When it comes to decorating the sides of a cake, having the right tools and supplies can make all the difference. The first step in choosing the right tools is to assess the design you have in mind for your cake.

If you’re planning on using fondant, you’ll need a smooth rolling pin, a sharp knife or pizza cutter, and fondant smoothers. For piping designs, consider investing in a variety of piping tips and pastry bags of different sizes.

In addition to tools, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand. This includes a good quality buttercream or ganache for frosting your cake before adding decorations. If you’re using fondant, make sure you have enough on hand to cover the entire cake. It’s also essential to have food coloring gels and edible decorations such as sprinkles, edible pearls, or edible flowers if you want to add extra flair to your design.

Finally, having a turntable can be incredibly helpful when decorating the sides of a cake. A turntable allows for smooth and even application of frosting or fondant around the entire cake without having to constantly rotate the cake by hand. Invest in a sturdy turntable that can support the weight of your cake.

Tools for DecoratingSupplies Needed
Fondant smoothers, piping tips, pastry bagsButtercream or ganache, fondant, food coloring gels
Sharp knife or pizza cutterEdible decorations like sprinkles or pearls

Preparing the Cake for Decorating

When it comes to decorating the sides of a cake, one of the most important steps is preparing the cake itself. A smooth surface is essential for achieving professional-looking cake decorations. To start, make sure that your cake is completely cooled before you begin any decorating process. This will prevent any frosting or fondant from melting or becoming misshapen.

Once your cake has cooled, it’s important to level it off if there are any uneven areas. You can do this by using a long serrated knife or a cake leveler to create an even surface.

After leveling your cake, apply a thin layer of crumb coat frosting to seal in any loose crumbs and create a smooth base for your final decorations. Chill the cake in the refrigerator to allow the crumb coat to set before proceeding with additional decorating.

In addition to these steps, consider using a turntable when applying frosting or fondant to ensure an even application around the entire cake. This will help you achieve a smooth and uniform surface that is perfect for adding decorative elements like piping, fondant accents, or edible decorations.

Preparing TipsDetails
Cooling CakeCompletely cool before decorating
Leveling CakeEven out any uneven areas
Crumb Coat FrostingCreate an even base and seal in crumbs
Use of TurntableTo achieve an even and smooth surface

Techniques for Decorating Cake Sides

When it comes to decorating the sides of a cake, there are numerous techniques that can be used to create beautiful and eye-catching designs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, mastering these techniques can take your cake decorating skills to the next level. Here are some popular methods for decorating cake sides:

  • Piping: Piping is a versatile technique that involves using a piping bag and various tips to create intricate designs on the sides of a cake. From simple borders to elaborate lace patterns, piping allows bakers to showcase their creativity and attention to detail.
  • Fondant: Fondant is a smooth, pliable icing that can be rolled out and applied to the sides of a cake for a flawless finish. It can also be used to create sculpted decorations such as flowers, bows, or other embellishments to adorn the sides of the cake.
  • Buttercream comb: This technique involves using a special tool called a buttercream comb to create textured patterns on the sides of the cake. It’s a simple yet effective way to add visual interest and depth to your cake design.

Each of these techniques requires practice and patience, but with dedication, you can achieve professional-looking results that will impress your friends and family.

Remember, when it comes to decorating cake sides, the possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and incorporate your own personal style into your designs. Have fun with the process and embrace your creativity – after all, the best part is enjoying the delicious results.

Adding Texture and Depth to Cake Sides

When it comes to decorating the sides of a cake, adding texture and depth can take your creation to the next level. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to impress your friends and family, incorporating ruffles, swirls, and edible decorations can make your cake visually stunning. Here are some techniques for adding texture and depth to cake sides:

  • Ruffles: Create beautiful ruffled textures on the sides of your cake using a piping bag fitted with a petal tip. Simply pipe overlapping rows of ruffles around the perimeter of the cake, working from the bottom up. This technique adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any cake.
  • Swirls: Add whimsy and charm to your cake by piping delicate swirls along the sides. Use a star tip for this technique, applying gentle pressure to create uniform swirls. You can vary the size and spacing of the swirls for a more dynamic effect.
  • Edible Decorations: Enhance the visual appeal of your cake sides with edible embellishments such as edible flowers, chocolate shavings, or fresh fruit slices. These decorative elements not only add texture but also contribute to the overall flavor profile of the cake.

By incorporating these techniques into your cake decorating repertoire, you can elevate your creations from ordinary to extraordinary. Experiment with different styles and combinations to discover what appeals most to your artistic sensibilities.

Remember that practice makes perfect – don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as planned. With time and patience, you’ll develop the skills needed to create professional-looking textured and dimensional cake sides that will delight anyone who sees or tastes them.

How to Decorate Sides of Cake With Chocolate

Incorporating Flavors and Colors Into Cake Side Decorations

When it comes to decorating the sides of a cake, incorporating flavors and colors is a crucial aspect of the process. Not only do these elements add visual appeal, but they also enhance the overall taste and experience of enjoying the cake. By choosing the right flavors and colors for your cake side decorations, you can create a stunning and delicious work of art that will impress your friends and family.

Flavorful Options

When deciding on the flavors to incorporate into your cake side decorations, consider complementing or contrasting with the flavor of the cake itself. For example, if you have a vanilla cake, consider adding lemon or raspberry flavored decorations to add a citrusy or tangy element. If you have a rich chocolate cake, opt for coffee or caramel flavored decorations to enhance the decadent nature of the dessert.

Colorful Creations

The color palette you choose for your cake side decorations can dramatically impact the visual appeal. Consider using natural food coloring options such as beetroot powder for red, matcha powder for green, or turmeric for yellow. These natural options not only provide vibrant colors but also add subtle hints of flavor to the decorations. Additionally, think about incorporating edible flowers, fresh fruit slices, or colored sprinkles to add pops of color and texture to the sides of your cake.

By intentionally selecting flavors and colors that complement each other and harmonize with the overall theme of your cake, you can elevate your decorating skills and create a visually stunning and delicious masterpiece that will leave a lasting impression on those who enjoy it. Remember that experimentation is key when it comes to incorporating flavors and colors into your cake side decorations – don’t be afraid to get creative and try out new combinations.

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Decorating Cake Sides

Issues With Uneven Frosting

One common issue when decorating cake sides is dealing with uneven frosting. This can result in a lumpy or bumpy appearance that detracts from the overall look of the cake. To troubleshoot this issue, it’s important to start with a smooth and level base layer of frosting.

If you notice any bumps or imperfections after applying the frosting, use a bench scraper or offset spatula to gently smooth out the surface. Make sure to work quickly before the frosting sets.

Difficulty Achieving Sharp Edges

Another issue that may arise when decorating cake sides is difficulty achieving sharp edges. This can occur when using fondant or attempting to create clean lines with buttercream. To troubleshoot this issue, consider investing in a good quality fondant smoothers and shaping tools for more precise results.

When working with buttercream, ensure that the cake has been properly chilled before attempting to create sharp edges. Additionally, practice your technique on a small section of the cake before applying it to the entire surface.

Trouble Adhering Decorations

Decorating cake sides often involves adding edible decorations such as sprinkles, edible glitter, or fondant cutouts. However, one common issue is trouble adhering these decorations to the cake surface. One solution is to lightly brush the area of the cake where you want to place the decoration with a small amount of water or clear piping gel.

This will help create a sticky surface for the decorations to adhere to. Additionally, consider using royal icing as an alternative adhesive for heavier decorations or for securing fondant pieces in place.

Tips for Creating Professional-Looking Cake Side Decorations

Creating professional-looking cake side decorations takes practice and patience. While it may seem daunting at first, with the right techniques and tips, you can achieve a beautifully decorated cake that looks like it came from a professional bakery.

One important tip for creating professional-looking cake side decorations is to ensure that your frosting or fondant is smooth and even. Any imperfections on the sides of the cake will be magnified once you start decorating. Take the time to properly prepare the surface of the cake before you begin adding your decorations.

Another helpful tip is to use a turntable when decorating the sides of a cake. A turntable allows you to easily rotate the cake as you work, ensuring that your decorations are applied evenly and consistently around the entire circumference of the cake. This is especially useful when using piping techniques or applying fondant to the sides.

Lastly, paying attention to detail is key when aiming for professional-looking cake side decorations. Whether you are piping intricate designs, adding edible decorations, or creating textured effects, taking your time and focusing on precision will elevate the overall appearance of your cake. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempts aren’t flawless – keep experimenting and refining your skills.


In conclusion, decorating the sides of a cake is an important element in creating a visually stunning and delicious dessert. It not only adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the cake but also allows for additional flavors and textures to be incorporated into the dessert. By choosing the right tools and supplies, preparing the cake properly, and utilizing various techniques such as piping and fondant, it is possible to create professional-looking cake side decorations at home.

One important aspect of decorating cake sides is embracing creativity and enjoying the process. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, colors, and textures to add a personal touch to your cakes. Decorating cakes can be a fun and rewarding experience, so take the time to enjoy it.

Incorporating flavors into your cake side decorations can also elevate the taste of your dessert. Whether it’s adding a complementary flavor or using edible decorations that enhance the overall flavor profile, don’t overlook the opportunity to make your cake not only beautiful but also delicious.

Troubleshooting common issues with decorating cake sides is part of the learning process, so don’t get discouraged by mistakes. With practice and patience, you can master the art of decorating cake sides and create stunning works of edible art for any occasion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Decorate the Sides of a Cake?

Decorating the sides of a cake can be done in various ways, depending on the desired outcome. One common method is to use a frosting comb or scraper to create textured patterns along the sides of the cake. This can give the cake a professional and polished look.

How Do You Sprinkle the Sides of a Cake?

Sprinkling the sides of a cake is a fun and easy way to add some extra flair to your dessert. To do this, simply hold the cake over a baking sheet and gently press sprinkles against the sides of the frosted cake until they adhere. You can use different colors and sizes of sprinkles for added visual interest.

How Do You Decorate the Sides of a Cake With Nuts?

Decorating the sides of a cake with nuts adds both texture and flavor to your dessert. Start by pressing finely chopped nuts onto the bottom third of the frosted cake using your hands or a spoon.

You can use one type of nut or mix different varieties for a more dynamic look. Just make sure to gently pat them onto the frosting so they stick properly.

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