How to Use Bought Icing to Decorate a Cake

Decorating a cake with store-bought icing can be a convenient and time-saving option for both beginner and experienced bakers. In this article, we will guide you through the process of using bought icing to create beautifully decorated cakes. From selecting the right icing to adding decorative accents, we will cover all the essential steps to help you achieve professional-looking results.

Using bought icing to decorate a cake is a great way to streamline the baking and decorating process, especially for those with busy schedules or limited experience in cake decorating. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color, intricate designs, or simple accents to your cake, store-bought icing can be a versatile tool that simplifies the decorating process.

By following our step-by-step guide, you’ll not only learn how to use store-bought icing effectively but also discover tips on color mixing techniques, basic decorating methods, and troubleshooting common issues. So, grab your favorite store-bought icing flavors, gather your tools, and get ready to create beautiful cakes with ease.

Choosing the Right Store-Bought Icing

When it comes to selecting the right store-bought icing for decorating your cake, there are a few key factors to consider. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the consistency of the icing. Different types of icing have varying consistencies, such as buttercream, royal icing, or fondant.

Buttercream is smooth and ideal for spreading and piping decorations, while royal icing is great for detailed designs and firm decorations. Fondant, on the other hand, provides a smooth finish perfect for creating a polished look on cakes.

Another crucial aspect to consider when choosing store-bought icing is the flavor. It’s essential to select an icing flavor that complements the taste of your cake. Some popular flavors include vanilla, chocolate, cream cheese, lemon, and almond. Make sure to taste-test different options before committing to one for your cake project.

In addition to considering consistency and flavor, you should also take into account the color options available in store-bought icings. Many brands offer a range of colors that can be mixed or matched to create custom shades for your cake decorating needs.

When selecting store-bought icing based on color options, think about the theme or color scheme of your cake design in order to achieve a cohesive and visually appealing final product. By paying attention to these factors – consistency, flavor, and color – you can ensure that you choose the best store-bought icing for your cake decorating project.

Preparing Your Cake

Baking Your Cake

Before you can start decorating your cake with store-bought icing, you’ll need to bake a delicious cake as the base. Follow your favorite cake recipe or use a boxed mix for convenience. Make sure to preheat your oven, prepare the pans properly, and mix the batter according to the instructions. Once the cake is baked, let it cool completely before moving on to the decorating process.

Cooling Your Cake

After baking your cake, it’s crucial to allow it enough time to cool down completely before applying any icing. If you try to decorate a warm cake, the icing may melt or not set properly. To speed up the cooling process, you can transfer the cake from the pan to a wire rack.

You can also place it in the refrigerator for a bit if needed. Remember that patience is key when it comes to ensuring a smooth icing application.

Leveling Your Cake

Before you start decorating your cake with store-bought icing, consider leveling it for a more professional appearance. Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler tool to even out any domed or uneven areas on top of the cake layers. This will not only make your cake look neater but also provide a stable base for adding icing and decorations. Once your cake is leveled, you’re ready to move on to the fun part – decorating.

Basic Tools You’ll Need

When it comes to decorating a cake with store-bought icing, having the right tools on hand can make all the difference in achieving professional-looking results. Here is a list of essential tools that you will need for perfecting your cake decoration:

1. Piping Bags: Piping bags are a must-have tool for applying icing to your cake. They come in various sizes and materials, such as disposable plastic or reusable cloth, allowing you to choose the best option based on your preference and comfort level.

2. Piping Tips: Piping tips are attachments that are fitted onto the end of piping bags to create different designs and patterns with the icing. There is a wide range of tips available, from round tips for writing to star tips for creating intricate designs.

3. Spatulas: Offset spatulas are essential for smoothing and spreading icing on the surface of the cake. They come in different sizes, making it easier to work on both small details and larger areas of the cake.

Incorporating these tools into your cake decorating process will not only help you achieve professional-looking results but also make the experience more enjoyable and efficient. Experiment with different piping tips, practice using piping bags proficiently, and master the art of spreading icing with spatulas for beautiful cakes every time.

Piping BagsEssential tool for applying icing to cakes
Piping TipsAttachments used to create different designs and patterns with icing
SpatulasOffset spatulas for smoothing and spreading icing on cakes

Color Mixing Techniques

One of the easiest ways to create different icing colors is by using the “three-drop rule.” This rule involves adding three drops of your desired food coloring (e.g. blue) into a small amount of white icing and mixing it thoroughly.

If the color isn’t vibrant enough, continue adding one drop at a time until you reach your desired shade. Remember that you can always add more color, but you can’t take it away, so start with a minimal amount and build up from there.

Another useful technique for mixing icing colors is called “ombre,” which involves creating a gradient effect by blending different shades of the same color. To achieve this look, prepare multiple bowls of white icing and gradually add increasing amounts of food coloring to each bowl, creating a light-to-dark progression. Once you have your ombre effect prepared, you can use it to frost your cake in layers or create stunning swirls for a beautiful visual impact.

Color Mixing TechniquesInstructions on Mixing Icing Colors
Three-Drop RuleAdd three drops of food coloring into white icing and adjust as needed
Ombre EffectCreate a gradient by blending different shades of the same color in layers

Mastering these color mixing techniques will give you the confidence to experiment with various shades and create eye-catching designs on your cakes. Whether you’re going for a subtle monochromatic look or an array of bright colors, understanding how to mix and blend icing colors effectively is key to successful cake decorating.

So don’t be afraid to get creative with your store-bought icing and explore the endless possibilities that different hues can offer in enhancing the visual appeal of your dessert masterpiece.

Simple Decorating Techniques

Decorating a cake with store-bought icing can be a fun and creative way to add flair to your baked masterpiece. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, knowing how to use bought icing to decorate a cake can elevate your dessert presentation to the next level. One of the easiest ways to start is by mastering some simple decorating techniques that can make a big impact on the overall look of your cake.

Decorated Cakes

Piping borders is a classic technique that can frame your cake beautifully and give it a polished finish. To do this, fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with your desired icing color. Hold the piping bag at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the cake and gently squeeze the bag while moving it in a continuous motion around the edge of the cake. Practice will help you achieve even and consistent borders around your cakes.

Creating rosettes with store-bought icing can add an elegant touch to your cake design. To make rosettes, use a star-shaped piping tip in your piping bag filled with icing. Start in the center of where you want the rosette and pipe in a circular motion, working your way outward until you have a beautiful flower-like design. Experiment with different pressure on the piping bag to create larger or smaller rosettes for variation in your decoration.

Writing with icing is another way to personalize your cakes for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Simply load up a small round tip with icing and practice writing on parchment paper before transferring your message onto the cake. With these basic techniques, you can bring your store-bought icing decorated cakes to life with professional-looking designs that are sure to impress.

Adding Decorative Accents

When it comes to decorating a cake using store-bought icing, adding decorative accents can take your creation to the next level. Sprinkles, edible pearls, and other decorations are simple yet effective ways to enhance the overall appearance of your cake. These little touches can add color, texture, and visual interest to your dessert, making it visually appealing.

Here are some tips on how to effectively use sprinkles, edible pearls, and other decorations on your cake:

  • Choose a variety of sprinkles in different shapes, sizes, and colors to create a dynamic look on your cake.
  • Use edible pearls or dragees to add an elegant and sophisticated touch to your cake. These small decorations can be strategically placed to create a beautiful design.
  • Experiment with edible glitter or shimmer dust for a touch of sparkle on your cake. These decorations can give your dessert a magical and eye-catching appearance.

It’s important to consider the overall theme and color scheme of your cake when selecting decorative accents. For example, if you’re making a birthday cake for a child, colorful sprinkles and fun-shaped decorations might be more suitable. On the other hand, for a wedding or anniversary cake, subtle accents like edible pearls or gold/silver sugar beads could complement the elegance of the occasion.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your decorative accents. Whether you’re creating a simple design with sprinkles or experimenting with intricate patterns using edible pearls, adding these finishing touches will make your store-bought icing-decorated cake truly stand out. With the right combination of decorations, you can transform a basic cake into a stunning masterpiece that will impress all your friends and family.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When using store-bought icing to decorate a cake, it’s important to be prepared for some common issues that may arise during the decorating process. From air bubbles in the icing to texture problems, troubleshooting these issues can help ensure your cake turns out as beautiful as you imagined. Here are some solutions to help you tackle these common problems:

  • Air Bubbles in the Icing: Air bubbles can sometimes get trapped in the icing when piping or spreading it on the cake. To avoid this issue, make sure to knead the icing gently before using it and then use a toothpick or needle to pop any air bubbles that appear on the surface of the icing.
  • Texture Issues: If you find that the store-bought icing is too thick or too thin for your liking, you can easily adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of water or confectioners’ sugar. Gradually mix in the additional ingredient until you reach the desired texture for easy spreading or piping.
  • Color Bleeding: When decorating with multiple colors of icing, there is a risk of colors bleeding into each other and creating a messy look. To prevent color bleeding, allow each layer of icing to set before adding another color on top. You can also use a stiff consistency icing to create barriers between different colors.

By being aware of these common issues and having solutions at hand, you can confidently use store-bought icing to decorate your cakes without any hiccups. With a little practice and patience, you’ll soon master the art of cake decorating and create stunning desserts that will impress everyone at your next celebration.


In conclusion, using store-bought icing to decorate a cake is a convenient and accessible way to add creativity and flair to your baked creations. By following the tips on choosing the right icing, preparing your cake properly, and acquiring the necessary tools, you can easily elevate your cake decorating skills with store-bought options. With color mixing techniques and simple decorating instructions at your fingertips, you’ll be able to create stunning cakes in no time.

Experimenting with different decorative accents like sprinkles, edible pearls, and other adornments can take your cake from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, using store-bought icing opens up a world of possibilities for customized cake designs. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new techniques like piping borders, creating rosettes, or even writing personalized messages with icing.

So next time you’re gearing up for a baking project, consider utilizing store-bought icing for your decoration needs. With the right guidance and practice, you’ll soon discover just how easy and fun it can be to use bought icing to decorate a cake. Embrace your inner baker, unleash your artistic side, and let store-bought icing help you turn simple cakes into works of edible art.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Decorate a Cake With Store-Bought Icing?

Decorating a cake with store-bought icing is definitely possible. While it may not be as customizable or versatile as homemade icing, store-bought options can still be used to create simple designs or add a pop of flavor to your baked goods.

How Do You Make Store-Bought Frosting Stiffer for Decorating?

If you need to make store-bought frosting stiffer for decorating purposes, there are a few tricks you can try. One option is to add powdered sugar gradually until you reach the desired consistency. Another method is to mix in a small amount of cornstarch or meringue powder to help stiffen the frosting.

How Do You Use Shop Bought Icing?

Using shop-bought icing is quite straightforward. Simply open the container, scoop out the desired amount of icing, and spread it onto your cake or cupcakes using an offset spatula or piping bag.

You can also get creative by adding food coloring, sprinkles, or other decorations to customize the look of your baked goods. Remember to have fun and experiment with different techniques when working with store-bought icing!

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