Cake decorating - the busy girl's way
Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cake decorating - the busy girl's way

Written by Katy Pearson

Fancy trying your hand at cake decorating, but don't have time to faff?

In her new book The Busy Girl's Guide to Cake Decorating Ruth Clemens (finalist on the orginial series of The Great British Bake Off) shares her secrets in creating speedy but gorgeous cakes and biscuits.

Homemade treats all round then?



 Butterfly kisses

Butterfly kisses

These pastel butterfly cookies are stunning and easy to make too – why not whip up a batch for someone special?

Get it together… you will need

  • 12 butterfly cookies
  • Sugarpaste: romantic colours of your choice e.g. peach, pale peach and pink
  • Cutters: butterfly cookie and small butterfly
  • Edible gold lustre dust


1 Roll out your chosen colours of sugarpaste to a 3mm (1/8in) thickness. Using the butterfly cookie cutter, cut out 12 butterflies in different shades.

2 Brush the top of each cookie with a little water and attach the sugarpaste butterfly in place, pressing down lightly to secure.

3 Using the back of a knife, mark the veins on the butterfly’s wings.

4 Roll out a complementary colour of sugarpaste to a 3mm (1/8in) thickness and cut out 12 smaller butterflies.

5 Mark the veins with the back of a knife and place on top of the larger butterfly, securing with a dab of water.

6 Roll out a small ball for the head and a tube for the body and position on top of each small butterfly.

7 Add a little sprinkle of gold lustre dust for an extra hint of sparkle.



Buttercup bites

Buttercup bites

These cute cupcakes feature a sugarpaste covering that overhangs the edge of the cupcake case to create a pretty and novel effect. Ensure that your base sheet of sugarpaste is thick enough to begin with. The rolling required to inlay the coloured blossoms means it will end up much thinner than you started with.

Get it together… you will need

  • Six cupcakes baked in silver foil liners
  • Sugarpaste: white, bright yellow and golden yellow
  • Cutters: medium and small blossom, 8cm (3in) fluted circle
  • Buttercream


1 Roll out the bright yellow and golden yellow sugarpaste to a 2mm (1/16in) thickness and cut out a variety of blossoms in each colour.

2 Roll out the white sugarpaste to a 5mm (3/16in) thickness to form a large rectangle. Take the cut-out blossoms and randomly place onto the white sugarpaste to create a sheet of floralpatterned paste.

3 Roll gently over the sheet with your rolling pin to thin the paste to 3mm (1/8in) and to inlay and seal the yellow blossoms into the white sugarpaste.

4 Coat the tops of the cupcakes with a layer of buttercream.

5 Cut out six fluted circles from the patterned sugarpaste and place on top of each cupcake with the edge of the circle evenly overhanging the cupcake case.



Buttoned up

The beautiful patterns on the button embellishments on these cupcakes are created by embossing the paste. The peachy petals create the perfect foil.Buttoned Up

Get it together... you will need

  • Six cupcakes baked in orange gingham paper cases
  • Buttercream
  • Sugarpaste: orange, white and red
  • Round cutters: 2.5cm (1in) and 4cm (11/2in)
  • Edible gold lustre dust
  • Variety of objects for embossing e.g. texture mat, lace or buttons
  • Pencil


1 Begin by making the buttons for the centres of the flowers. Roll out the red sugarpaste to a 3mm (1/8in) thickness and emboss the surface using a piece of lace, the face of a pretty button or a texture mat. Make sure the imprint is deep enough. Cut out six 2.5cm (1in) circles.

2 Indent the centre of each circle with the flat end of a pencil. Using the end of a paintbrush, punch two holes through the sugarpaste to create the centre of each button. Set the buttons to one side to firm up.

3 Once the buttons have set, dust each one with a little gold lustre dust using a soft brush.

4 Roll the white and orange sugarpastes into long, thick sausages. Position the rolls side by side and squeeze together gently. Fold the long sausage in half and then in half again. Roll out this ball of striped sugarpaste to a 3mm (1/8in) thickness. The marbling effect is created as you roll out the paste.

5 Using the 4cm (11/2in) cutter, cut out 24 circles. Take each one and pinch together across the circle, approximately one-third of the way in from the edge, to create a petal. Repeat with the remaining circles until you have created all 24 petals.

6 Cover each cupcake with a layer of buttercream. Position four petals on the top of each cupcake. Apply a dab of water to the back of a button and position centrally onto the petals.

The Busy Girl's Guide to Cake Decorating, £14.99, is on sale now at

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