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How to Decorate a Cake with Strawberries

Some of the best cake decorations are the simplest ones, and you can't get any simpler (or tastier) than strawberries. They work great with just about any cake, including sponge cake, mousse cake, or cheesecake. The most traditional design uses strawberries and white buttercream, but you can also use strawberry or chocolate frosting.

EditSteps

EditFrosting the Cake

  1. Allow the cake to cool completely if you just baked it. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes first, then take it out of the pan. Allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack. How long this takes depends on the thickness of the cake as well as the temperature in the kitchen. It can take 15 to 60 minutes.[1]
    Decorate a Cake with Strawberries Step 1.jpg
    • If you wish to slice the cake so that you can fill it, do so after you remove it from the pan. A sliced cake will cool a lot faster!
  2. Spread frosting onto the first layer if you're making a layered cake. Scoop your desired buttercream frosting onto the first layer, then spread it around with a cake decorating spatula. Make the frosting layer between thick.

    • If you bought a pre-baked sponge cake, slice it in half or into thirds first.
  3. Add your desired fillings, then set the second layer on top. Jam and sliced strawberries work especially well for this, but you can also try other fillings, such as custard, a mixture of different berries, or mousse.

    • Spread the filling as close to the edges of the cake as possible.
    • For a richer cake, apply buttercream to the underside of the second layer, then sandwich sliced strawberries between the 2 layers.
    • Press down on the second layer hard enough so that it sticks to the filling, but not so hard that the filling oozes out.
  4. Apply the frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Scoop a thick layer of frosting on top of the cake, then smooth it out with a cake decorating spatula. Next, scoop more frosting onto the sides of the cake, and smooth them out as well.[2]

    • Run a cake decorating comb around the sides of the cake to give it more texture. The comb looks like a rectangle with teeth cut into 1 side.
  5. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. While the frosting is setting, get started on preparing the strawberries. By the time you are done washing, hulling, and slicing the strawberries, the frosting will be ready.[3]
    Decorate a Cake with Strawberries Step 5.jpg
    • There is no specific amount of time that the frosting should set. You just want it to be firm enough so that it can hold the strawberries.

EditCreating a Simple Design

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries, then cut them into thin, vertical slices. Choose nice, cone-shaped strawberries, and rinse them with cool water. Pat them dry with a towel, then cut off the leafy green parts. Slice the strawberries vertically, from pointy tip to flat bottom with a sharp knife.[4]

    • Make the slices about thick.
    • Save the nicest strawberry for the center! Rinse and dry it, then cut the leafy green part off.
  2. Make a ring of strawberries on top of the cake with the points facing out. Set the strawberries down side-by-side on top of the cake. You can place them so that the point touch the edges of the cake, or you can place them closer to the middle of the cake.[5]

    • If you leave space between the strawberries and the edge of the cake, you’ll be able to pipe buttercream scallops.
  3. Make another ring of strawberries inside the first one, overlapping it. How much you overlap the strawberries by depends what sort of design you want. The more you overlap the strawberries by, the more the ends will stick out. The less you overlap them by, the flatter the design will be.[6]

    • If you overlap the strawberries by more than halfway, the points will stick up and create a rose-like design in the end.
    • Make sure that the ends of the strawberries are pointing towards the edges of the cake too.
  4. Make more overlapping strawberry rings until you reach the center. Leave enough room for a whole strawberry in the middle. For a more unique design, overlap each ring of strawberries more and more the closer you get to the center. This will make it look more like a rose.[7]

  5. Place a final strawberry in the center of the cake. Insert the strawberry with the point sticking up for a rosebud design.[8] Alternatively, cut the strawberry into a rose first, then set it into the middle.

  6. Heat 1 cup (325 g) of preserves, then pour it over the strawberries. Measure 1 cup (325 g) of preserves into a small saucepan, then set it on the stove. Heat them over medium heat for a few minutes until they are smooth and liquidy, then pour them over the strawberries.[9]

    • The heated preserves will make the strawberries look glossy and help them stay fresh longer.
    • Raspberry, strawberry, or apricot preserves will all work great for this. If you have any heated preserves left, discard them or use them in another recipe.
    • If you left space between the strawberries and the edges of the cake, pipe buttercream scallops around the cake. Do this after you pour the preserves.

EditCutting Strawberry Roses

  1. Wash a large, cone-shaped strawberry, then cut the leaves off. Choose a large strawberry with straight sides that taper into a point; it should look like a cone when viewed from all sides. Rinse the strawberry, pat it dry, then slice the green leaves off.[10]

    • Don't use warped, blob-shaped strawberries. They won't make very good roses.
    • Don't hull the strawberry by driving a straw through it. You need the point intact.
  2. Make a cut into the side of strawberry, from the base. Set the strawberry on a flat surface with the cut side facing down. Use a sharp knife to slice straight down into the side of the strawberry, stopping from the base.[11]

    • The width of the cut will vary from strawberry to strawberry. It will happen naturally based on the way it's curving.
    • Start the cut about a third to half of the way up the side of the strawberry.
    • Make the cut horizontal and parallel to the cutting board.
  3. Cut 3 to 4 more slices around the base to complete the first row. How many you end up fitting depends on the circumference of your strawberry, but you should be able to fit at least 3 or 4 more. Try to start and finish all of the cuts at the same level as the first one.[12]

    • The cuts should be close enough so that they are almost touching. Don't leave large gaps between them.
    • Because of the strawberry's curved shape, these horizontal cuts will look like semicircles. When you peel them away later, they'll look like petals.
    • This completes your first row of petals.
  4. Make a second row of petals, staggering them between the first set. Start this row about 3/4 to 2/3 from the base of the strawberry. Position each petal between the 2 petals that are below it, sort of like bricks on a wall.[13]

    • Do not cut into the petals from the first row or you'll ruin them.
    • How many petals you fit will depend on the size of your strawberry. You should be able to fit 3 to 4 petals, however.
    • If you have enough room above the second row, you could make a third row of petals. You'll probably only be able to fit 2 or 3 petals, however.
  5. Slice straight down into the top of the strawberry, stopping at the petals. This will create the center bud of your rose. The cut can go horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, but try to place it within 2 petals, rather than the spaces between the petals.[14]

    • Just like the previous rows, don't cut into the petals below it.
  6. Pry the bud and petals apart. Set your knife between the 2 petals at the top of your strawberry and wiggle it to pry them apart. Repeat this motion for the other petals that you made. Start at the top of the strawberry and finish at the base.[15]

    • This completes 1 strawberry rose. Use this process to make as many as you want.
    • If you're making multiple strawberry roses, consider making them in different sizes. This will make the arrangement look more realistic.
  7. Use a dab of buttercream to stick the rose to your cake. If the cake will be sitting out for a few hours, heat up some jam in the microwave, then pour it over the rose first, before you place it on the cake. This melted-jam coating will help the strawberry stay fresh longer.
    Decorate a Cake with Strawberries Step 18.jpg
    • Raspberry preserves will work great for this, but you can also use strawberry or apricot. Alternatively, use red or pink piping gel.
    • For best flavor, match the buttercream to the one that you used on your cake. For example, if you used vanilla buttercream to frost the cake, use vanilla buttercream to adhere the strawberry.

EditCreating Other Designs

  1. Pipe vines onto a frosted cake, then add sliced strawberries to them. Frost your cake first using white buttercream. Pipe curlicue vines with green frosting onto cake. Slice mini strawberries in half, and add them to the vines so that they look like they're growing.[16]

    • Leave the greens on the mini strawberries. Alternatively, cut them off and pipe your own greens with green frosting.
    • Slice more strawberries in half, then arrange them around the bottom edge of the cake.
    • Alternatively pipe the vines onto parchment paper with melted chocolate first. Let the chocolate harden, then peel it off and set it on the cake.
  2. Fill the top of a cake with strawberries, then pipe scallops onto the edge. Cut the green parts off of the strawberries first, then arrange the strawberries on the cake with the points facing up. Use enough strawberries to cover the entire surface of the cake. Pipe buttercream scallops around the edge of the cake.[17]
    Decorate a Cake with Strawberries Step 20.jpg
    • Heat 1 cup (325 g) of strawberry, raspberry, or apricot preserves, then pour it over the strawberries for a glossy look.
    • This design works for cakes of any shape: square, rectangle, or round.
    • For a nicer presentation, choose strawberries that are roughly the same shape and size.
  3. Cut a V-shaped notch into the top of a strawberry, then cut it into slices. Make 2 cuts to either side of the green stem. This will not only remove the stem, but also create a V-shaped notch. Next, set the strawberry pointy-side-up on a cutting board, then cut it into thin slices. When you peel them apart, you’ll get hearts![18]

    • Make the slices about wide.
    • Arrange the hearts in whatever pattern you want on the cake. For example, you could scatter them randomly, or make a beautiful arc.
    • Place 2 hearts together with the points touching to create a butterfly!
  4. Arrange whole strawberries around the top edge of the cake. Just be sure to rinse the strawberries well first, and to cut the green stems off. For something fancier, pipe large stars all around the top edge of the cake first, then set the strawberries on top.

    • Place the strawberries as close together or as far apart as you’d like.
    • If you’re piping the stars, make them wider than the strawberries.
    • Alternatively, slice the strawberries in half, then place them cut-side-down onto the frosting. Make the points face into the cake.
  5. Place sliced strawberries around the bottom side edges of the cake. Rinse the strawberries first, then cut the green parts off. Cut them into halves or into thick slices. Press the strawberries into the sides of a frosted cake, with the flat edges facing down and the pointy ends facing up.

    • If you sliced the strawberries in half, press the cut side into the frosting so that the outside of the strawberry is visible.
    • Use strawberries that are all the same shape and size for a more processional touch.
    • The cake will be more colorful if you place the strawberries side-by-side, but you can leave up to gaps between each berry.
  6. Combine strawberries with other berries for a more colorful look. Arrange sliced strawberries in overlapping rings on top of the cake. Leave a cup-sized gap in the middle, then fill the gap with blueberries.[19]

    • Blackberries or raspberries will also work for this.
    • You can use other berries with other designs. For example, you could replace some of those strawberries with blackberries in the vined design!
  7. Create a scaled design by overlapping the strawberries sideways. Chop the green parts off of cone-shaped strawberries off, then cut them into thick slices. Arrange the strawberries in a ring on top of the cake, with the points overlapping the flat ends.

    • Create a more colorful design by adding more rings of strawberries within the first ring.
    • If you’re adding more rings, consider alternating the directions the strawberries point in: clockwise and counterclockwise.
  8. Make a chocolate dipped strawberry cake for a decadent treat. Frost the cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate, then chill them in the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for a few minutes. Pipe large buttercream rosettes around the top edge of the cake, then set the strawberries into them.[20]

    • Alternatively, frost the cake with strawberry buttercream, then pour ganache over it. Pipe buttercream stars on top, then add the chocolate dipped strawberries.[21]
    • For a richer treat, frost the entire cake with ganache. Place the dipped strawberries on top, then add some chocolate curls.[22]
    • Milk, dark, and white chocolate are all great choices. You could even dip the strawberries in 2 colors of chocolate, or drizzle melted chocolate on top.
    • Leave the green leaves on the strawberries; they will look nicer.


EditTips

  • For best results, use cone-shaped strawberries that are all the same size. Discard the sides, or place them on the cake with the cut side facing up.
  • Instead of leaving the green parts on, chop them off, then pipe edible greens using green frosting.
  • If you're slicing blob-shaped strawberries, slice across the thin side rather than the wide side. This will give you triangular slices.
  • You can make the cake a few days ahead of time. Wrap each layer separately in plastic wrap then store it in the freezer until you're ready to decorate the cake.[23]
  • Store the frosted cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will taste better the day you decorated it, however.[24]
  • You can keep a frosted cake at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, but after that, it should go into the fridge. If you leave it out on the counter for too long, the frosting may melt and spoil.[25]


EditThings You'll Need

  • Cake
  • Buttercream frosting
  • Cake decorating spatula
  • Strawberries
  • Parring knife or small, sharp knife
  • Cutting board


EditSources and Citations


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