Simple Baking Tips for the Cake Decorating Newbie

You'll be piping beautiful buttercream flowers in no time!

IMAGE Riell Santos

Buttercream frosting is pretty straightforward: you only need a handful of ingredients to whip it up, and then you can smother all your cakes and cupcakes with sweet and silky-smooth frosting! The basic buttercream recipe made from powdered sugar, butter or shortening, and vanilla is perfect for beginners.


Renowned pastry chef Peachy Juban, who teaches The Wilton Method cake decorating classes over at Gourdo's Workshop in Alabang Town Center, shares a few nuggets of wisdom when it comes to decorating cakes at home.




1 Use shortening instead of butter.


When you hold your buttercream-filled piping bag, heat will transfer from your hand to your buttercream, causing it to soften or melt. Shortening is more heat resistant, so if you're just starting out and need a little time to practice piping frosting onto your cakes, replace butter for shortening.


2  Use gel food coloring.


Water-based food coloring has the tendency to make your frosting a little too soft for piping. If you add too much of it, you will have to adjust with more icing sugar to combat the bitterness from liquid coloring-and it may also make your frosting a tad too sweet. Gel food coloring does the trick without affecting the consistency of your frosting.  

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3  Double-check the consistency of your frosting.


Your buttercream needs to be spreadable but still firm enough to hold up its shape. If there are bubbles on your frosting when you try to smoothen it out with an offset spatula, it means that it is too stiff. Adjust by adding a teaspoon of water into the mix, then start again.



In Manila, Wilton Classes are held at Gourdo's World Market, Alabang Town Center, with The Wilton Method-certified instructor chef Peachy Juban heading the classes. The next Wilton Workshop at Gourdo's Alabang Town Center is scheduled for May 6 and 7, where chef Peachy Juban will give lessons on how to work with buttercream frosting, gum paste, and fondant. Every class is beginner-friendly and comes with all the materials and ingredients that you need to get started.


For more details on The Wilton Method workshops, call the Gourdo's 24-hour hotline at 812-3022 or log on to


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