Yhup! I’m finally doing it y’all, I’ve started blogging. I’ve been holding this off for the longest time. Firstly because I’m not the best writer and secondly because “uhm” it’s a lot of work. But we are finally here and I have so much in store for you. 🤸🏾♂️
Anyway, so you’re probably here because you want to find out how to decorate the “perfect” drip cake as my title suggests. Well, I’m pleased to inform you that its actually quite easy, all you need to know are a few tricks and you’re good to go. For starters, drip cakes are great because they give a lot of opportunities to hide some flaws. If you go ahead and add a bunch of other stuff to the cake like sprinkles or chocolate in this case, it allows for even more imperfections to be hidden. Now…hold on, I’m not here to teach you to be lazy, quite the contrary actually. I’m here to show you that if you focus your energy on the right steps, you can get a seemingly perfect looking cake almost all the time. I say almost because some days are just hell and things don’t go as you wish, but if you follow these steps even the ‘bad’ days won’t be too bad.
I thought it would be much nicer to include a short video on how to decorate this cake and so I did. If you’d like to watch it, you can click the link below and check it out. You’d have to read on after because I go into detail and give great tips on how to get the look.
YOU WILL NEED:
- Your cake layers (of course)
- Cake filling of your choice
- A soft Buttercream (comment below if you’d like my recipe)
- Piping bags (preferably disposable)
- A cake scraper
- A turn table
- An offset spatula (angled spatula)
- Chocolate ganache for drip
- Assorted chocolates for decoration (or toppings of your choice)
- Cake toppers (available at https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product-category/caketoppers/)
- Sprinkles (available at https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product-category/themixes/)
First of all! Please pardon me, your girl was crusty on this day, this was my last cake of the day and I was over it. Lol
STEP 1: Gather all your equipment
The right tools make a huge difference when it comes to making the perfect cake. You don’t need too much actually, for this cake you’ll need to collect:
- A good turn table
- A tall scraper
- An offset spatula (angled spatula)
- A cake board
You don’t need specific tools to decorate cakes, but I’d recommend you get good quality products because they work better and they last longer.
STEP 2: Prepare your cakes and your buttercream
Preparing your cakes is the most important step. To get a level cake you have to start with well leveled cake layers. This means cutting the “hump” that cakes normally have when you bake them. Even if your cakes bake relatively flat it’s still important to go ahead and level them slightly to make them perfectly level. To level my cakes I use a long serrated knife or a cake leveler.
When you’re frosting a cake you have to make sure your buttercream has a good consistency. Regardless of what frosting you use, you need to make sure it is easy to spread and can hold its shape without being too runny. If your frosting is too hard it will be difficult to get smooth sides. At the same time if your frosting is too runny you won’t be able to easily stack your cakes and it also makes for an unstable cake throughout your whole process. For this cake I use my simple vanilla buttercream recipe (comment down below if you’d like a blog post about it).
If you happen to make your frosting ahead of time make sure you whip it quickly before you use it, to smoothen it out again. Before you apply the frosting to the cake you should stir it to get rid of air bubbles.
STEP 3: Crumb Coat and Chill
A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream you add to your cake to seal in all the crumbs before you add your final/outer layer of buttercream. Some bakers don’t crumb coat their cakes but I highly recommend you do. Even if your cakes have relatively little crumbs its better to crumb coat. This way all your crumbs end up in your first layer of buttercream and never your final layer.
Of course before you do your crumb coat you have to stack and fill your cakes. When making this cake I only filled my cake layers with buttercream in a cake-buttercream-cake manner. If you happen to have a filling such as ganache, curd, jam and so on, you can go ahead and add it in cake-buttercream-filling-cake manner.
To add a crumb coat, spread a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake with an offset spatula, filling in all the cracks and holes (like in between layers).
Use a cake scraper to get rid of all the excess buttercream.
Use your offset spatula to level off the top, smoothing the outsides of the buttercream crown toward the center of your cake.
When you’re done, it should look like a semi-naked cake that’s pretty close to level on all sides and the top. Stick it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to let it firm up a bit before adding your final layer.
STEP 4: Apply your final layer of buttercream
To apply my final layer of buttercream I pipe the frosting around the cake. I find this method better than using a spatula to add the frosting as it makes for an even layer of buttercream around the cake. This makes it much easier and quicker to smooth the cake.
Start at the bottom and work your way up to the top, piping the buttercream as you rotate the turntable. When you get to the top, fill the center in with buttercream. Start by smoothing the top first using an offset spatula trying to make it as level as possible.
Next take your cake scraper and use it to smooth the sides of the cake. Hold the scraper vertically straight and at an angle of about 45 degrees toward the side of the cake and begin scraping. Be very delicate while you do this as you do not want to scrape too much buttercream off the cake and have to reapply it (speaking from experience, lol). Each time as you go around the cake be sure to frequently get rid of all the excess buttercream that collects on the scraper.
As you go around the cake you will notice gaps, fill those in with buttercream and keep scraping.
The cake will now start to look very nice and smooth. You may still have tiny air bubbles or lines from the scraper. To get rid of them, hold the scraper as close to the cake as possible and scrape very lightly.
To finish off this step all you have to do is get rid of the icing that gathers at the top of the cake to get a nice clean edge. Use your offset spatula to level off the top, smoothing the outsides of the buttercream crown toward the center of your cake.
Pop the cake back in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to let the buttercream set.
STEP 5: Drip Drip Drip
Ganache! To get a nice consistency ganache, I use a 1:2 cream to chocolate ratio. This ratio is good for cake drips, its just right. For thicker drips I use 1:3 and for thinner drips I use 1:1. For this cake I wanted thin drips but not so thin that they run down to the bottom of the cake.
There are different ways to apply ganache to a cake and they all offer different looks (I will talk more about this in another blog post). For this cake you’re going to have to add your ganache to a piping bag and cut a tiny hole at the tip for the ganache to flow through. I recommend you start with the drips and then ganache the top of the cake incase you run out of ganache. If you happen to have more than enough, you can start whichever way you wish.
Before you go ahead and add drips to the whole cake, I recommend you try it out first with only one. This is a test drip which will allow you to see if you like the consistency of the ganache or check if its too hot or cold (if you have a side of the cake you’d like to be at the back use this side to test your drip).
Hold the piping bag close to the cake and let the ganache flow. If you do not like how it flows you have a chance to change it.
Once you like the way your test drip looks, you can go all in and do the whole cake. To get longer drips allow a little more ganache to flow out. Alternate the lengths to get a nice look. When you’re done adding the drips, go ahead and ganache the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the ganache and level the top.
STEP 6: Apply your toppings
Now that we’re done with the drip. It’s time for the fun part, the actual decorating of the cake. Before you begin, gather all your toppings. For this cake you will need;
- “Happy Birthday” Cake Topper (https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product-category/otherproducts/birthdaycaketoppers/page/3/)
- Star shaped toppers
- Gold number candles (https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product-category/cake-topper/other-toppers/page/2/)
- Mini oreos
- Sneakers chocolate (sliced)
- Chocolate balls
- Gold luster dust (https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product-category/lusterspetals/lusters/)
- “Golden Girl” sprinkle mix (https://www.missmiaskitchen.com/product/golden-girl/)
- Chocolate coins
Luckily we have some of these products available on our website so you don’t have to spend too much time looking, click the links above to purchase.
Anyway, since you’ve gathered everything you can go ahead and start adding your toppings. I suggest you start with the “Happy Birthday” cake topper as that helps give you perspective on where you can add everything else. After adding the large topper, add the star toppers, the candles, and finally the chocolate balls, Oreos and chocolate coins.
At the bottom of the cake add the decorations in a sequence, start with the sneakers slices, make one vertical and another horizontal, then add a chocolate ball dusted in Mia’s Kitchen “gold luster dust” and finally a mini Oreo (I split them in half, optional).
Repeat this process until you cover the entire bottom of the cake.
STEP 7: Add your finishing touches
This step is one of the most important steps and it is overlooked by a lot of bakers. This is the time you cover up mistakes you haven’t already fixed or add little touches to make your cake look even better. In this step your macgyver skills and artistic side come out to play.
When making this cake I smudged one of the drips in the front of the cake accidentally and I didn’t want to leave it like that.
So, I grabbed one of my favorite Miss Mia’s Kitchen sprinkle mixes, “Golden Girl” and used one of the gold hearts in it to cover it up.
It worked but it was a little out of place because it was alone, so I added the little hearts all over the cake.
Finally I used Mia’s Kitchen gold luster dust to add gold highlights by dusting some of the chocolate and Oreos with it.
If you are recreating this cake, go ahead and add the hearts and the highlights. You can also make any additional adjustments needed.
And voila! We are officially done. With these seven steps we have decorated the “perfect” drip cake.
STEP 8: Photos! Photos! Photos!
The only thing left is to take amazing shots of your masterpiece. Do not, I repeat, do not overlook this. It is important that you take the best possible pictures of your final product. I will explain how and why in another blog post as I have so much to say on this. For now, pick the best set-up and flex those camera skills.
We are done! If you recreate this cake or use these steps in any of your creations you can tag me on intsagram @miss_mias_cakes and @miss_mias_kitchen, I’d love to see and share them.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions on what you’d like to see next, leave a comment down below. Thank you for reading, I hope this was helpful and insightful. Please share this with your friends and family. Till next time my loves.
Xx 💋Miss Mia.