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Milly's Summer Catalogue

Milly's Cake Decorating FAQs with Lex

We have some incredible cake decorators here at Milly's who can both create spectacular cakes like this extraordinary creation and help you with any questions or advice you require for your next decorating marvel. Lex, our resident cake decorating expert at the Ponsonby store. For those of you who can’t make it in to see her, we asked for a few of her FAQs and hacks for perfect cake-decorating with what’s new and hot, here they are.

1. Sno crème vs butter
Consider what flavours you’re after, what environment the finished result will be in and what look you want to acheive. Our Wilton method Instructors work with Sno crème (vegetable shortening) in classes because it gives you perfectly white icing that you can mix with icing colours for a true colour match, plus it allows for a more stable buttercream that is not so vunerable to heat and/or humidity. When working with Buttercream made with actual butter you need to allow for the “slightly yellow” start colour of your icing when mixing in colour gels but it does have a lighter consistency and a creamier texture.


Hacks: Sift your icing sugar. Use a food processor to mix Sno crème buttercream, it is quicker on this denser mix creating fewer air-bubbles and making for a smoother finish. Use a stand mixer for butter based buttercream, making it lighter and fluffier. Add Wilton meringue powder to your icing mix, it brings more stability in heat and humidity plus your buttercream “crusts” for a smoother finish and sharper effect when dried. Add Wilton White White to reduce the yellow tint in a butter based buttercream.


JEM Twist Twist Nozzles


2. One stop tips for quick easy looks
Whether you’re a novice or professional decorator these tips are the go-to for an incredible finish with very little fuss and bother. We have the Russian tips, where you can pipe a whole flower in one step, available in sets of 7 different flower effect tips for a variety of looks. Plus the new Jem Twist Twist nozzle sets, where you can create a stunning ruffle effect straight or serrated in one simple step.


3. Have fun with colour.
Magic colours give you an incredible new colour spectrum which complement the Wilton range of colours and make the possibilities endless in your decorating. They also have the fabulous sparkle paste, where you can paint solid colour on royal icing, fondant, gum-paste, chocolate and meringue saving you having to colour everything individually as you can simply paint the colour directly where it’s needed.


4. How do you quickly dry fondant hard?
When creating flowers, unicorn horns and ears or decorative effects with fondant you often want it to dry hard quickly and for this you’re best to use Tylose powder. You will need to work quickly when doing this so make sure to have everything you need ready to go before hand, like rollers, cutters, presses etc. Take the fondant you’d like to use and colour it, then microwave for approx. 10secs and mix with Tylose Powder (approx. ½ teaspoon of Tylose Powder to 250gm of fondant), knead and work in to the desired shapes quickly as it will dry hard in about 3hours.


Magic Colours Lustre Dust


5. How to achieve the perfect metallic finish
You often have a feature in your decorating that you want to make ‘metallic’. Consider what you’re decorating and how metallic you want the finish to be, then decide which option is best for your needs;
Magic Colours Edible metallic paint: Water based paint, simply brush on directly to anything you’re working with royal icing, fondant, meringue, macaron (not suitable however for chocolate or buttercream). You get a flat gold or silver etc look but it’s a colour rather than a finish.
Magic Colours Edible Lustre Dust: When you want the actual metallic finish and look, where you’ll literally have a sparkle. You can use it as a dust, by sprinkling over your decorating for an all-over lustre. Alternatively, mix your dust in to a drop or so of clear alcohol and paint on where you need it, for a sparkling metallic painted finish that’s suitable for fondant, chocolate and more with a truly metallic finish.
Edible Gold and silver leaf: The real deal, an incredibly fine sheet of edible gold or silver leaf. Use it on everything, simply remove one of the backing sheets and touch on where desired.


 Macaron with Gold Leaf