"Sometimes, you just want to make a batch of cupcakes and make them look stunning without spending hours cutting out hundreds of sugar paste decorations. Maybe you enjoy baking celebration cakes but struggle with inspiration when it comes to decorating them. Now with the selection of ready-made sprinkles and cake decorations rapidly growing, there is always something out there to provide great inspiration and take the pressure off making your own all the time."
When it comes to decorating cupcakes, the range of decorations available online and in cake decorating stores is huge and even the supermarkets are rapidly expanding their selections. You can buy everything from silver balls to footballs and chocolate beans to jelly beans, with everything else in between.
Some of the good old traditional decorations, such as hundreds and thousands, coloured sugar strands and silver balls are timeless and still popular today, but the range has been expanded to include much more. Now you will find all colours and sizes of shiny edible balls, every colour of sprinkle imaginable and a load of jelly decorations stretching far beyond the traditional jelly diamond. You can also get a variety of sugar shapes, such as hearts for Valentine’s Day, flowers, butterflies and stars.
One hugely popular addition to cake decorating is edible glitter. As the name suggests, this is a fine glitter powder that can be sprinkled over cakes and cupcakes to add a pretty sparkle. It comes in many different colours but be warned, a little goes a long way! It is easiest to apply it by taking a small amount on the tip of a teaspoon, holding it fairly high above your cake and gently tapping the handle of the teaspoon. This will ensure you have an even spread of glitter.
Wedding cupcakes can be jazzed up with gold and silver dragees, which are available in all shapes and sizes – hearts are especially popular. There are also sparkly edible gems available, which add instant bling to your wedding cake or cupcakes. These are made from sugar and need to be handled with great care as they are affected by humidity. It is best to add them to your cakes at the last minute and handle them with tweezers to prevent them from becoming cloudy. Edible gems are available in different colours and sizes to suit your wedding theme.
Sweets make brilliant cupcakes toppers and it pays to think outside the box and be imaginative with what you can buy. Mini marshmallows are great decorations for children’s cupcakes, as are chocolate buttons, dolly mixtures, mini fudge chunks and colourful chocolate beans. You can also buy chocolate bars, cut them into slices and place them on top of cupcakes with large swirls of chocolate buttercream. Chocolate footballs placed on a field of piped green buttercream make fabulous cupcakes for a little (or big!) boy’s birthday parties.
If you are looking to decorate a celebration cake but are not skilled in sugar modelling then you can buy cake toppers for all occasions. Sugar models, such as brides and grooms for wedding cakes and teddy bears for christening cakes, are readily available and can often be made to your requirements. If you’re not keen on making delicate sugar flowers, then these are available to buy too.
No matter what the occasion or cake, you are bound to find the perfect ready-made decoration out there to fit the bill.