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How to Decorate Cakes Like a Pro

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Homemade cakes are baked with love and decorated with…good intentions?

My favorite part of birthday parties and weddings is cake time, and not just because I’m a frosting fanatic. I’m fascinated by beautifully-decorated cakes, but I always assumed that learning how to pipe roses or create artfully swoopy finishes would require spending hours in an expensive pastry class. That’s why I was so eager to check out The Best of Martha Stewart Living Cakes & Cupcakes special issue, on newsstands and iPad now. The issue’s charming Cake Decorating How-To videos demystify frosting and piping techniques with straightforward instructions and helpful details, like what size pastry tip to use for each step.

Discover how to create a garden full of frosting flowers, like chrysanthemums (above), pansies, daises, roses, poppies, sweet peas, and anemones.

Get the lowdown on assembling and frosting a professional-looking layer cake, from applying crumb coats to covering a cake in fondant to tinting buttercream. By the way, did you know that gel color is a better choice because liquid food coloring can dilute the thickness of the frosting? (I didn’t.)

Cheers and happy decorating!

For more technique tutorials plus a collection of our most delicious recipes, inspired decorating ideas and test kitchen tips, look for Cakes & Cupcakes on newsstands now and as in-app purchase within the free-to-download Martha Stewart Living iPad app.

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