It can be intimidating for home bakers to get the perfect look for their desserts, especially when decorating everything from cookies and squares to cakes and pies. Don’t let that hold you back! Take your baked goods to the next level with these five easy hacks that will make dessert the centrepiece of your next celebration.
Craft your own piping bag
Do not let the lack of professional baking tools stop you from adding frosted flourishes and frills to your cakes and cookies. Take that parchment paper from your pantry and roll and fold it to create a cone you can use as a piping bag. In the absence of parchment paper, a sandwich or freezer bag can be easily converted into a piping bag by cutting out the bottom corner. Additionally, you can clean up in a jiffy if you’re using vibrantly coloured frostings. Give it a try by baking adorable, lemony cupcake tops.
Reinvent a classic
Although a simple plate of cookies or a tray of brownies would be welcome on any dessert table, a celebration calls for some festive flair. Duncan Hines® EPIC™ Baking Kits were made for those occasions, helping you to elevate a classic dessert with just a few easy steps. Each kit contains pre-portioned mix and toppings, so amateur and pro bakers will both appreciate how easy it is to transform cookies and brownies into beautiful desserts that guests will want to snap a picture of before they take a bite. The EPIC™ Cookie Dough Cookie Kit takes humble chocolate chip cookies and turns them into decadent, cookie dough-filled sandwiches. Their EPIC™ Cookies & Cream Cookie Kit starts with rich, chocolatey cookies, sandwiches a creamy filling between them, and finishes them off with playful sprinkles. With the EPIC™ S’mores Brownie Kit, you can give a dessert lover’s favourite square a campfire-inspired twist.
Make your sprinkles stick
Can you ever have too many sprinkles? We don’t think so. It’s no secret, however, that if you’ve ever decorated a cake, cupcake or other frosted treats with these colourful candies, you know that more end up on your work surface or serving dish than on the dessert itself. To keep those sprinkles in place, use a small spray bottle filled with water, and spritz the frosting a couple of times to create the perfect hold. Try this hack for yourself by making a festive confetti sheet cake with dreamy pink pastel frosting and an assortment of rainbow-hued sprinkles.
Cookie-cutter your decorations
Making impressive decorations for your cakes, pies, cupcakes, and cookies doesn’t require you to be a skilled artist or even know how to work with fondant. All you need are some cookie cutters. Use a star-shaped cutter and vibrant fondant to create a pattern that you can arrange on a buttercream-frosted cake. Cut out heart shapes from mango slices and delicately place them on coconut cupcakes. Or roll out your pastry and cut out whimsical leaves before topping your favourite fruit pie, like this summery strawberry-rhubarb dessert.
Add other sweet treats
In a hurry, but want to give your dessert a special touch? Try adding other sweet treats! Use candy-coated chocolates to create a rainbow on a frosted sheet cake. Finish a layer cake with creatively arranged macarons. Slice brownies into bite-sized wedges and use them as cupcake toppers, or top cookies with mini peanut butter cups. The possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for inspiration, try making fun layer cake and filling it with your favourite candy for a piñata surprise.