Expert Q&A

Q. I have a great recipe for chocolate cake and I make it all the time for my kids’ birthdays. Is there a way I can decorate it for fancier occasions?

A. It’s really easy to dress up a plain cake for company. Here are some of my favourite ideas:

  • For an elegant presentation, press chopped walnuts into the frosting on the sides of the cake, leaving the frosted top bare.
  • If you’re celebrating Grandma’s birthday, arranging two or three fresh gardenias with glossy leaves on top of the cake looks lovely. Before slicing, remove the blooms (which are inedible) and float them in a bowl filled with water for a pretty centrepiece.
  • To create a festive look, try covering the top of the cake with big flakes of unsweetened coconut chips. They have a great flavour and look like fancy curls.
  • For a family party, give the top a heavy sprinkling of white chocolate, dark chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Expert Denise Vivaldo is the author of Do It For Less! Parties and Do It For Less! Weddings.

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