Skip To Content

    25 Cake Baking And Decorating Tips For Anyone Who's Taken Up Baking Right Now

    Never underestimate the power of a food scale.

    We asked professional bakers of the BuzzFeed Community to give beginners their best cake baking and decorating tips, and their responses were super helpful. I also included some tips from a past post that could help your cakes out.

    1. Invest in a good digital food scale and weigh all your ingredients.

    Getty Images

    "Measuring all the ingredients in grams will give much more accurate results as compared to cups. Invest in a decent weighing scale. It ain't steep."


    Get a digital food scale from Target for $19.79.

    2. Always use room-temperature ingredients (like butter and eggs) unless otherwise noted in the recipe.

    Getty Images / BuzzFeed


    "If the recipe says an ingredient is supposed to be room temperature, make sure it’s room temperature! Eggs are particularly important for this rule — room-temperature egg yolks break more easily and incorporate better into whatever you’re mixing."


    3. Avoid clumps in your batter by sifting all your dry ingredients.

    Getty Images


    "This is especially important for powdered sugar when making buttercream, because you want the butter and powdered sugar to mix seamlessly."


    4. Never pack flour into a measuring cup; always spoon it in and gently level.

    Garymilner / Getty Images

    5. Grease your pan and line it with parchment paper to prevent any sticking.

    trinitystreats / Via

    "For cakes, cut out a circle the size of the bottom of the pan and put it in after greasing the pan. For square pans, have it overhang on the side so you can grab it and lift your brownies/blondies/whatever straight out. It makes life infinitely easier and things almost never get stuck in pans."


    6. Fill your pan three-quarters of the way to avoid overfilling. Anything past that will cause your cake batter to rise up and over the pan and straight onto your oven floor.

    u/haverdee23 / Via

    "Fill them three-quarters of the way... It never hurts to take a measuring cup and scoop the batter into each pan one at a time."


    7. Allow your oven to fully preheat before using it, invest in an oven thermometer, and make sure you're not constantly opening and closing it.


    "When you put something in the oven to bake, it's very tempting to peek inside. Try to do this as little as possible. When you open the oven door, all the hot air escapes, thus lowering the temperature of your oven. It's OK if that happens a couple times, but if you keep checking, it's going to take FOREVER to finish. Finally, invest in an oven thermometer to know the true temperature of your oven. Some ovens just aren't accurate when reading temperature."


    Get an oven thermometer from Target for $6.99.

    8. Let your cake cool down a bit before you remove it from its mold.

    Getty Images

    "Don't try to unmold it right away. It might break."


    9. Don't forget to level your cakes if you're going to stack them.

    Tasty / Via

    "Level your cakes!! When cakes come out of the oven, the tops are going to be slightly domed. Leave the top one domed if you want, but before stacking, level the bottom ones. You can buy a cake leveler, or you can put your hand on top and just use a knife. (Plus, leveling gives you a tasty snack!)"


    10. And if you want to flatten the top without cutting it off, use a damp cloth to get rid of the dome while the cake is still hot.

    trinitystreats / Via

    "When a cake comes out slightly domed, while it's still hot, take a damp cloth and gently press down the dome center without actually squashing your cake. This will level your cake without having to cut the top off."


    11. Allow your cake to cool completely before decorating it. Doing otherwise will result in a big, drippy mess.

    Chowhound / Via

    "Just stop. Be logical — if you apply icing to a hot surface, it will melt. The cake should at the very least be room temp or even cold if you are doing more intricate decorating."


    12. Put a bit of buttercream on your cake board so that your cake will stick to the board.

    Sugar Geek Show / Via

    "It's like yummy glue."


    13. Always make a crumb coat prior to frosting your cake.

    Denise Erickson / Getty Images

    "Apply a thin layer of frosting on your cake (smooth it out just like it is your final product) so it can catch all the crumbs that would otherwise ruin the beauty of your finished cake."


    14. It helps to then chill the cake a bit after applying the crumb coat so that those pesky crumbs are locked in place.

    Getty Images / BuzzFeed


    This tip is especially useful if you're working with a buttercream frosting.

    15. Invest in an offset spatula and bench scraper. Both will save you a migraine and tons of time.



    Get a two-piece icing knife set from Target for $15.99 and a bench scraper for $9.99.

    16. It's also important to clean your spatula every time you lift it off your cake.

    CupcakeJemma / Via

    17. For maximum smoothness, dip your bench scraper and spatula in hot water.

    Getty Images

    18. Make easy buttercream flowers by using a large star tip.

    Tasty / Via

    "If you want flowers on your cake but you've never made buttercream flowers before, use a large star tip with a piping bag and just pipe circles by spiraling from the center out. It looks like a lovely, swirly rose, but it's super easy!"


    Get a 12-piece decorating set, which includes the star tip, from Target for $8.99.

    19. Invest in piping bags, since using ziplock bags can lead to unpredictable results.

    Getty Images

    "No matter how many recipes say you can use a ziplock bag to pipe icing, it’s really so much better to just buy a piping bag! They’re not very expensive, they’re washable, and they’re much more sturdy. Nothing is worse than trying to pipe a dainty cupcake and having your icing explode all over it 'cause your bag popped."


    20. If you want to make black frosting, use chocolate frosting as the base, add black food coloring, and then let the color develop over night.

    Jenn Johns / Via

    "If you want/need to make black frosting, start off with chocolate frosting. The darker the cocoa powder, the better. Add black coloring (will look dark gray) and let it sit for a night or two in the fridge. The black color will develop over time!"


    21. If you can, use gel food coloring with your frosting.


    "Liquid [food coloring] can thin it out, and gel is so much more pigmented."


    Get a four-pack gel food coloring set from Target for $3.99.

    22. Avoid piping mistakes by using a toothpick to draw guides first.

    Getty Images

    23. Go easy with the cornstarch when working with fondant since too much can cause it to dry out and crack when stretched.

    Allrecipes / Via

    24. Transfer fondant safely by rolling it onto a rolling pin and laying it on top of the cake.

    Tasty / Via

    25. Finally, if you don't have access to dowels and need to stack cakes, put three straws in a triangle shape to help hold it up safely.

    Howcast / Via

    Now it's your turn! What cake baking and decorating tips do you have? Share yours in the comments below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post and/or video!

    Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.