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    28 Easyish Ways To Actually Make Your Cakes Look Professional

    Prepare the buttercream!

    1. Coat your pans with a DIY pan release paste so not even one tiny bit of your cake sticks to the pan.

    2. Keep the edges of your pan a little cooler while it bakes with fabric bake-even strips so you never baked a domed cake again.

    3. Or, if you struggle to level cakes with a knife, you can always use a cake leveler to shave off that extra dome and get to frosting in no time.

    4. If your cakes always seem to need extra time — or if they always come out overdone — an oven thermometer will help you actually keep your oven at the recipe's required temp.

    5. Always let your cakes cool *completely* before you even THINK about frosting them, so your frosting doesn't melt all over the place. And use. a. cooling rack.

    6. When it's time to decorate, a basic turntable's essential, whether you're spreading your perfecting a frosting swirl or deciding exactly where you want to pipe your rosette.

    7. And if you're decorating directly on your serving plate (which you can set on the turn table), put down strips of parchment paper first then set first layer on top of that. It'll protect the plate or cake stand from sticky stray swipes.

    8. Use a cake lifter to move large rounds of cake around without worrying they'll accidentally crack.

    9. No matter how many layers you're stacking, flip the top piece upside-down to get a perfectly square edge in your finished cake.

    10. Completely control your buttercream whether you're working on a crumb coat or your final frosting with an inexpensive and easy-to-use offset spatula.

    11. Always pop your cakes in the fridge or freezer after the crumb coat, so everything has time to set.

    12. An icing smoother/decorating comb can coax six colors into a gorgeous ombré and swirl splotches of accent icing into a mouthwatering watercolor sunset.

    13. The decorating comb's also one of several tools to use if you want to make buttercream look (almost) as smooth as fondant — although the secret's in the actual fondant smoother.

    14. If you don't see yourself using the other edges of a decorating comb, you can swap in a multipurpose bench scraper for the same smoothing job.

    15. You'll automatically be able to pipe prettier decorations when you upgrade from a plastic-bag-with-the-corner-cut-off to an actual piping tips starter set.

    16. Fill your piping bags without making a mess: fit them over the rim of a cup.

    17. You'll have better control of your piping if you use two hands: one to push the frosting out, and one to guide the tip.

    18. For writing that's neat AF, make little dots in the top layer of frosting with toothpicks, then trace over that template with little stars.

    19. Pipe all the little flowers your heart desires without hours and hours of practice using the extra-large Russian piping tips.

    20. And if you really want to hone your piping skills, take an online class that'll teach you everything you need to know.

    21. Keep pesticides — and other nasties that linger on fresh flowers, floral wire, metal/wooden picks, and whatever else you want to stick into your cake — OUT of the cake people will actually eat with this blend of food-safe waxes and oils.

    22. When you hear a glorious mirror-glaze cake calling from your future, get the bright and intense shades using gel food coloring.

    23. Or follow this chart turn buttercream literally any color your heart desires, using your regular old RYBG food coloring.

    24. Dress up a simply-frosted cake with almost zero effort using a playful ~sprinkle medley~ can.

    25. Start perfecting your fondant skills with a mat, roller, and cutter set plus some basic vanilla fondant.

    26. Add on a set of cutters, molds, and tools to start topping your cakes with whimsical decorations limited only by what you dream up.

    27. Put a little vegetable shortening on your knife when you go to cut off excess fondant so it doesn't stick while you cut.

    28. If you really want to start working with fondant frustration-free, you might want to try a class for that, too.

    Now that you're prepared...

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