February is the month of love, so create decorated cakes that reflect this. Offer designs for both the romantic and playful nature of this holiday.
by Shirley Ryan Rose,
Decorating Ideas editor
Pipe different sizes of red, pink and white roses using tips No. 104 and 125.
Mark a heart-shaped cake into squares. Airbrush every other square pink.
Use plain round tip No. 8 to pipe a slight 's' curve to create a cat's body. Add a nose, legs, head, ears and tail using the same tip.
Outline the plastic heart twice with white icing overpiped with red piping gel. Pull a spatula through the outlines to create a bursting effect.
Create a cupid figure using tip No. 8. Pipe a fat apostrophe for the head, and bubble pipe the arms and legs.
Pipe a red heart on top of a quarter sheet cake. Smooth the heart with a damp spatula, and create a ribbon border using tip No. 18.
On top of cupcakes, pipe large, fluffy hearts using tip No. 30 and a pastry bag striped with pink and white icing.
While February is traditionally a slow month for bakeries, the bright spot is Valentine's Day, which is one of the biggest decorated cake, cookie and cupcake holidays of the year. These products make it easy for customers to show others how much they care, and attractive packaging can help promote your bakery. Try some of these decorating ideas to boost your Valentine's Day sales.
Heart-shaped cakes are a must for Valentine's Day, and the designs are almost limitless. For the pink heart cake, base ice a heart-shaped cake with pink icing. Pipe a bottom ruffle border using rose tip No. 104 and white icing. Add a top ruffle border with rose tip No. 125 and pink icing. Pipe a wide, white ribbon of icing across the top of the cake with tip No. 104. Extend the ends of the ribbon halfway down the sides of the cake. Smooth the ribbon with a damp spatula.
Cover most of the ribbon with piped roses. Use pink, red and white icing and tips No. 104 and 125 to pipe different sizes of roses. Add small, red hearts to the sides of the cake using plain tip No. 4. Cut a small 'v' tip on a paper tube, and pipe small green leaves among the roses. Overpipe the bottom border with red icing, and add an appropriate message also using a cut paper tube.
Another great idea for heartshaped cakes is the checkerboard design. Base ice the cake with white icing, and carefully mark the lines of the checkerboard using a knife. Airbrush every other square pink, and leave the rest white. You may want to use a stencil while airbrushing to ensure crisp, clean squares. Use tip No. 4 and white icing to outline each of the squares. In each pink square, pipe small red roses with tip No. 104, and place plastic picks in each of the white squares. Use star tip No. 18 to pipe top and bottom scallop borders. Overpipe the borders with red icing and tip No. 4. Pipe a simple loop design around the sides of the cake using tip No. 2. Place small red dots made from royal icing around the sides of the cake.
Play with words
Valentine's Day also allows decorators to have fun with affectionate phrases. The cat's meow cake was inspired by a plastic pick of a cat holding a "Be Mine" sign. Base ice a round cake with white icing. Add two white kittens at opposite sides of the cake. To create the kittens, use plain round tip No. 8, and pipe a slight 's' curve for the body. Add the pointed nose, head, legs, tail and ears.
Use tip No. 8 to pipe white shell top and bottom borders and scallops around the side of the cake. Stripe a pastry bag with white icing, and fill it with red icing. Use rose tip No. 104 to pipe red roses around the top border of the cake. Add green leaves using a 'v'-cut paper tube. With red piping gel and a cut paper tube, add red hearts on the top and down the side of the cake. Also, use red piping gel to overpipe the bottom border and side scallops and to add the cats' facial features.
Ornaments from suppliers can speed production while still offering wonderful designs. The teddy bear cake includes a plastic heart and bear figurine. Base ice a round cake with white icing, and place the plastic heart in the center. Use tip No. 10 and white icing to outline the heart twice, and add a bottom border. Overpipe the heart outlines and bottom border using a cut paper tube and red piping gel.
With a spatula, pull the piping gel on the outlines out to the edge of the cake. Do the same along the bottom border. This creates a nice bursting effect. Pipe white scallops and bows around the sides of the cake using rose tip No. 104. Overpipe the scallops and bows with red piping gel. Along the bottom border, add white roses using rose tip No. 104. Pipe green leaves using a cut paper tube.
Another popular design for Valentine's Day is a cupid cake. Base ice a quarter sheet cake with white icing. Airbrush a pink heart on the top of the cake, and outline the top and bottom borders with pink. Pipe a cupid in the center of the cake using tip No. 8. Create the head by piping a fat apostrophe and a slight 's' curve for the body. Then, bubble pipe the arms and legs. With a cut paper tube, add the wings and hair to complete the cupid.
Use rose tip No. 103 to add a top border and scallops along the sides of the cake. Pipe a white scallop bottom border using star tip No. 18, and overpipe the bottom border using red piping gel and a cut paper tube. Outline the pink airbrushed heart by piping a white ribbon along the outside edge using rose tip No. 103. Use a cut paper tube and red piping gel to pipe hearts along the ribbon outline and around the sides of the cake. Stripe a pastry bag with white icing, and fill it with red. Use rose tip No. 104 to pipe roses on top of the cake. Add green leaves using a 'v'-cut paper tube. Place plastic elf rings on the cake to complete the design.
Cupid's arrow is another design that works well for Valentine's Day. The plastic arrow is available from suppliers. Base ice a quarter sheet cake with white icing. Lightly airbrush the cake pink. Pipe a large red heart on the top of the cake, and smooth it with a damp spatula. Place the plastic cupid arrow in the heart. Outline the heart using white icing and tip No. 18.
Use a cut paper tube to add white details inside the heart. Add scrollwork around the top edge of the cake with red icing in a cut paper tube. Pipe a bottom border using tip No. 18. Stripe a pastry bag with red icing, and fill it with white icing. Use rose tip No. 104 to add a scallop top border and scallops around the sides of the cake.
Festive cookies, cupcakes
Cookies also are great Valentine's Day treats, and a unique idea is a cookie-man. The figure is made from three different sizes of heart-shaped cookies. Attach all the cookies to a quarter-sheet cake board with dabs of icings. Use one large heart for the trunk of the body, medium-size cookies for the head, arms and legs and small cookies for the hands and feet.
Ice the cookies all the same color. I chose pink to retain the festiveness of Valentine's Day. Pipe the details on all the cookies using a cut paper tube and various colors of icing. Use royal icing dots for the eyes, nose and mouth.
Cupcakes make wonderful desserts for any Valentine's party. Base ice the cupcakes with white icing. Then stripe a pastry bag with pink and white icing. Pipe large hearts on the cupcakes using star tip No. 30. At the base of the hearts, pipe small red roses or rosebuds. Accent the roses with green leaves piped using a 'v'-cut paper tube.
Valentine's Day is a perfect time to try some fun, new designs. Since it is a time for both romance and playfulness, offer a variety of different designs to meet all your customers' desires.