Below we have compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked cake decorating terms, if there is a term you would like us to add, please contact us and we will add to our glossary of terms.
A rounded tool used to shape and soften the edges of sugar petals and leaves. Can also be used for forming ruffles and figure modelling.
A decorative technique where a piped royal icing outline is brushed inwards using a paintbrush. Brush strokes are left behind leaving a fabric effect finish.
Fine coloured powders used for dusting sugar flowers or dry surfaces to add variation of colour. Can also be used to colour sugarpaste. Also known as petal dust or dusting powder.
A beaten mixture of butter and icing sugar, used to fill and cover/crumb coat cakes.
Long round plastic or wooden pillars which are pushed into cakes to add support for tiered cakes.
Used for thinning down food paste colours or blossom tints to make an edible paint. Can also be used to secure soft sugarpaste decoartions to soft icing.
Used for dusting work surfaces prior to rolling out pastes to prevent sticking. Finer to use than icing sugar and must be used sparingly.
A base coat of icing, usually buttercream, to seal in the crumbs on a cake and provide a good base for sugarpaste.
A tool used for drawing veins on sugar leaves and petals. One end of the tool is fine and one wide. Can also be used for figure modelling.
Used in sugarcraft as a glue when making flowers and modelling. Usually made by mixing one part CMC powder to thirty parts water. Can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.
Used for making sugar flowers, but can also be used for any other delicate decorations that require the strength of this hard setting paste. This paste can be rolled paper thin, which is ideal for making realistic flowers.
Used for taping the stems of sugar flowers to secure them in place and strengthen them.
Soft pliable paste which is used for covering cakes and making decorations. It can be easily coloured.
Made by adding hot cream to chocolate. Can be used as a filling for cakes and as a coating prior to covering with sugarpaste. Sets firmer than buttercream so is ideal if you are trying to achieve a sharp edge on the sugarpaste.
GEL / PASTE COLOURING
Can be used for colouring buttercream, royal icing and all pastes. Use sparingly and build up the colour to achieve the desired shade. Can also be diluted with cool boiled water or clear alcohol for painting onto icing.
Used to stiffen pastes such as modelling and flower paste. Only a small amount is needed. CMC or Tylo powder is a manufactured form which is a cheaper alternative.
Used for dusting work surfaces prior to rolling out pastes to prevent sticking.
A paste made from icing sugar, ground almonds and egg. Mostly used as a covering for fruit cakes before they are covered with royal icing or sugarpaste. Must not be kneaded too heavily as overworking can cause the oil to be released from the almonds leaving the marzipan greasy. Also known as almond paste.
Primarily used for making hand modelled figures. It contains gum tragacanth for strengthening and sets hard.
A paste that dries quickly and sets extremely hard. Perfect for making structural pieces such as decorative boxes.
A clear gel that becomes fluid when warmed. It can be coloured and is ideal for water or stained glass effects.
A mixture of egg whites and icing sugar which dries extremely hard. Traditionally used to cover and decorate fruit cakes. Also used for piping decorative detail.
A flat plastic tool used for polishing the surfaces of freshly sugarpasted cakes to leave a flawless finish.
These are the central parts of flowers. When making sugar flowers you can buy realistic artificial stamens in a wide variety of colours and shapes. White stamens can be used and coloured with blossom tints.
A mixture of equal quantities of sugar and water which is heated until the sugar dissolves. Primarily used for brushing onto layers of sponge cakes to add moisture and flavour.
A useful tool to have when decorating cakes, particularly when working with royal icing for coating or decorating cakes.
WHITE VEGETABLE FAT
Can be used when rolling out pastes; smear a thin layer on the your work surface prior to rolling out to prevent paste from sticking– use instead of icing sugar or cornflour. Can be kneaded into dry paste to make it more pliable. Can also be kneaded in to soft paste to take away the stickiness.