Happy turkey day!
It may not be thanksgiving yet, but it’s never too soon to search for easy Thanksgiving cake decorating ideas. This year’s festivities might be a little different, but whatever happens, you’re sure to want to serve cake. Who doesn’t love cake?
To turn your thanksgiving celebrations up to eleven, there are a few things you should bear in mind for your cakes. Follow our tips and tricks, and there’s every chance that even the most devoted pie-lover will be calling for a second slice of cake!
Keep It Simple
Okay, I know how that sounds. The idea isn’t that you could buy a box mix from the supermarket and go with that, but rather than that there are ways to make gorgeous cakes without having an incredibly convoluted, picturesque design.
The best way to do this, without breaking the bank or taking crazy classes, would be to get some kind of custom-shaped baking tin. The classic example, of course, is the bundt cake, which has an almost spiral-like appearance, with sharp points at the edges. This could be a great way to jazz up the serving table while also maintaining the simplicity that you’re hoping for in easy thanksgiving cake decorating.
While the bundt cake is a bit of a classic shape, there are also many more elaborate cake molds out there that could also make a splash at dinner. For example, in the drawer in my kitchen cupboard, I’ve got molds the shape of hearts, and others the shape of dinosaurs. While they might not be great at thanksgiving, a crazy mold could spice up your table, while also meaning you can stick to your classic sponge-cake recipe.
Have A Theme
This is an idea that I can’t really give you too much guidance on for easy thanksgiving cake decorating, instead, it has to come from your your knowledge about the likes and dislikes of your family members. For example, have you got a niece and nephew who love Harry Potter? Make a magic-themed cake!
The reason this is a great idea is it allows you to maintain simplicity while giving the impression of complexity. If you offer a larger spread of themed cakes, the thought that you’ve put into it is evident, and the simplicity of the cakes is not only forgiven – it’s celebrated!
Let me give you some examples using the magic theme I just put forward. You could have a large, possibly even multi-tiered main cake, as well as a number of different, smaller cakes. I’m sure you’re aware of the different school houses in the Harry Potter movies; you could apply those houses to your small cakes. Simply make a large batch of plain cake batter, divide it in four, and add food dye to the smaller batches appropriately.
You could even apply the same school of thought to your main cake, especially if you’re making a multi-tiered cake. It could be a spin on the classic rainbow cake, having four layers, each of them being dyed a house color. Then, each slice is a cross-section of the houses. To complete the theme, perhaps you could use fondant icing that’s a burgundy color, the same as the color of the hogwarts crest.
Of course, this is a very specific example of a theme, but it could also be a great one. Tailor the theme that you pick to your family, and you can’t go wrong. Have you got a soccer-crazed family? Make a rectangular cake the shape and color of a pitch, and have a fleet of cookies decorated like soccer balls.
Do Simple Things Well, Instead of Difficult Things Badly
The truth of the matter at thanksgiving is that you won’t be judged on the intentions of your cake-baking, instead you’re likely to be judged on the final product. Therefore, you’re best off picking a simple, easy concept, and absolutely nailing it.
A great example of this could be the easy thanksgiving theme of ‘fall colors’. This is an easy theme to nail, as you’ve got a lot of wiggle room. Going back to the bundt idea from earlier, you could color a bundt cake to be the color of a branch on a tree, perhaps even flavoring it with chocolate and cinnamon. Then, you can apply simple fondant icing leaves to the top, in those beautiful oranges and reds.
The temptation would be to go a little overboard and start to ice intricate patterns onto the cake, as well as perhaps making the leaves small cookies, or even little macarons. Instead, you’d be better served by picking one or two simple ideas, and doing them well.
For example, let’s say you pick the cinnamon and chocolate cake idea, and the fall leaves idea.
For the cake, you can make small batches of cake batter in advance, and test out a few flavor combinations. How do cinnamon and chocolate really taste together? Would it be better with a little orange zest, or ground cardamom? In your experimental phase, that’s when you can find out. The worst case scenario would be to bake a cake and serve it on thanksgiving, only to have people tell you it doesn’t taste good. Instead, you can test a few combinations and be sure you’ve got a winner.
For the leaves, you can also do some experimenting. Is your best bet fondant icing, or would it begin to melt and droop after it’s been served? Perhaps your best idea could be rice paper, sliced into shape with a thin knife? This is the time to find out, so use that period wisely. For the leaves in this situation, the aesthetic is much more important than the flavor, so bear that in mind.
Whatever easy Thanksgiving cake decorating ideas you decide to do for thanksgiving, your friends and family are sure to enjoy it – especially if they know that you made it. There are plenty of recipes online for a simple sponge cake recipe, so take one of those and be a little creative. Good luck with whatever you choose to make for thanksgiving, and happy baking!