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Cake and Dessert Decorating 101

New to decorating? Help starts here! These basic instructions will guide you to decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more like a pro.


Using the proper icing (frosting), made to the correct consistency, is essential for beautiful decorating. Create impressive and delicious desserts with these simple tips and techniques.

buttercream icing recipe

Buttercream icing

Our buttercream icing recipe is perfect for spreading or decorating.

icing chart

Icing Chart

Not sure which icing is best for your project or looking for helpful icing tips including coloring and freshness information? View our Icing Chart.

color mixing chart

Choosing appropriate colors for your cake will help you capture just the mood you want for the occasion. Customize your colors with our icing color mixing chart.

icing consistency

Cupcake, cookie & cake decorating tips for icing consistencies

The right buttercream consistency makes a difference in your decorating results. Learn which consistency works best for your cake decorating or other dessert projects, plus easy ways to adjust consistency.

how to color icing

How to color icing

Have fun using rich, bright colors or different color combinations—including how to decorate with two-tone icing colors.

Decorating Bags & Decorating Tips

The decorating bag is the container that holds the icing and tip together so that you can create all sorts of beautiful cake decorations or other magnificant desserts. Select the bag type and decorating tip that is most suited to your cake decorating or other dessert project or preference.

how to choose & use decorating bags

Choose the right cupcake, cookie or cake decorating bag

Plastic or parchment? Reuse or decorate and dispose? Each bag has its own unique appeal.

using couplers

Use couplers to change cupcake, cookie & cake decorating tips

There's no need to fill a separate bag for each decorating tip. Learn more about a two-part device called a coupler that lets you change decorating tips without changing the bag.

how to choose & use decorating tips

These small metal cones help you produce your favorite cake decorating or dessert decorating techniques—life-like floral arrangements, shell borders, basketweave designs and more!

filling the cake decorating bag

Techniques for filling the dessert or cake decorating bag

Find out how to fill the bag with just enough icing to maintain consistency for decorating cupcakes, cookies and cakes and avoid seepage.

Cake Preparation

Think of your cake as the canvas on which you will create beautiful icing decoartions. These steps to preparing and icing your cake will result in a smooth decorating surface for your work of art. Proper cake preparation is a key to your cake decorating success.

leveling a cake

Leveling a Cake

Give your cake a more professional look by leveling the cake before icing.

cake filling

Filling a cake

Add extra height, drama and taste to your cake by using icing, pudding or fruit as cake filling.

no more crumbs

Icing a cake

See the tricks of the trade for icing a cake with an immaculate, crumb-free surface every time.

shaped or character cakes

Decorate a shaped or character cake

See step-by-step decorating ideas for shaped cakes in buttercream icing or rolled fondant. Cake decorating couldn't be easier.

Decorating with Buttercream

We'll put you in the proper position for decorating cupcakes, cakes and cookies, with step-by-step instruction on holding the decorating bag and squeezing with perfect control. When you're well prepared, it's easy to concentrate on mastering a new cake decorating or dessert decoratingtechnique!

pressure control

Master pressure control for decorating cakes & more

The amount of pressure you apply to the decorating bag controls the size and uniformity of your decorations. Once you've mastered the art of pressure control, cake decorating and dessert decorating becomes natural.

transferring patterns for cake decorating

Transfer patterns to cake decorating surfaces & more

Learn two easy ways to transfer patterns onto your cake decorating surface.

correct decorating bag position

Hold bags at the proper angle for decorating cupcakes & more

See step-by-step how to hold bags at the proper angle and direction for decorating cakes, cupcakes and other desserts.

easy buttercream decorating techniques

Easy buttercream icing techniques

A special celebration deserves a special cake! Create impressive and delicious desserts with these easy buttercream decorating techniques.

Decorating with Fondant

How do you cover a cake perfectly smooth, without wrinkles or air bubbles? The flexibility of fondant is your secret weapon for perfectly-decorated cakes.

easy fondant decorating techniques

Easy decorating techniques using fondant

A special celebration deserves a special cake! These easy-to-do fondant techniques can transform even the most basic cake into a show-stopping cake.

cover a round cake with fondant

Cover a round cake with fondant

Learn how to cover a cake with fondant that's perfectly smooth, without wrinkles or air bubbles. See our easy step by step instructions.

fondant recipes

Recipes for Fondant

More than just a smooth cake covering, the dough-like consistency of Rolled Fondant is a great medium for many types of cake decorating.

add color and flavor to fondant

Add color and flavor to fondant

Fondant can take on any shape—but you'll also love the way it adapts to new colors and flavors. Give your fondant cake a special touch with color and flavoring.