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Do you want to make a special birthday cake for somebody you love, but you don’t know where to start or how to decorate a cake?

These 11 must watch video tutorials will walk you through every step of the process from start to finish. And I really mean it! This includes the step by step process of stacking, icing, and decorating your cake with buttercream or fondant.

I wish I had kept a picture of the first cake my sister and I decorated for my mom for Mother’s Day. We were in our tweens. Funny enough, the cake bug was many years away from biting me.

To be honest, when I say, “my sister and I made a cake,” I really mean my sister. She made only one layer and iced it with white and yellow buttercream. Then she plopped it on a plate. Looking back I’m just so proud of her! That morning, my sister, my brother and I walked into my parents’ room singing a Dominican Mother’s Day song.

My mom, who had been baking our entire lives, was so proud of this cake. We didn’t slice it until the end of the day so that she could show it to everybody who came to visit. I think we my sister would’ve done a much better job if YouTube was available at the time. It would’ve been great to have guidance as she practiced what we had seen my mom do for years.

Omg, I sound so old… “back in the day when there was no YouTube…” lol!

Thankfully we’ve got blogs and YouTube “these days”. But there’s so much information out there that it’s sometimes easy to get lost in the search. Don’t worry though, I’ve already done the research for you. This is a compilation of posts and videos to help you bake and decorate a cake from start to finish.

TIP: If you would like to skip to the full list of videos, this link will take you to it. After almost fully writing this blog post, I realized that I didn’t have the recipes and video tutorials in list form. I was just so excited about all the great information I found! I included the list at the end of the post.

After this post, you can also read 14 Cake Decorating Tools to Design the Cakes You Dream Of to make sure you have the materials you need to get started.

Check out how to bake and decorate a cake from start to finish below!


Begin with the end in mind. What flavor cake do you think your loved one will like? What’s their favorite color? Is there a specific thing they’re into, like flowers or hearts?

While this sounds really basic, it’s important to have all the materials ready before you begin. There’s nothing worse than starting to bake a cake and realizing you don’t have something important, like sugar. There are times that you can improvise. But sometimes your only option is to stop in the middle of the process to go grocery shopping. This can be really annoying.

Will you decorate the entire cake with buttercream, or will you use fondant? While it’s easier to improvise with the design of a cake, it’s disappointing when you don’t achieve the design you want due to lack of appropriate tools. Make an inventory of the materials you’ll need based on the tutorials you will follow. Ensure you have all the tools and ingredients available at your disposal.

When I had my cake business, I would meet with the person ordering the cake before they placed the order. We would go over every detail of the cake. As we spoke, I would draw it out on a piece of paper or my iPad, so that they would have a visual representation of what we discussed. This included cake dimensions, colors, cake flavor, icing and filling flavors, and any other detail that was relevant to the order.

I adopted this practice after an instance in which I forgot a small detail on a cake that was of major importance to a customer. I tried to fix it, but they were clearly disappointed. That never happened again after I started drawing it out.


Once your cake has been baked and cooled, and the icing and filling whipped up, you’re ready to start stacking and filling it.


In general, when you bake a cake, a dome will form on the top. There are several options to remove the dome in a way that will give you a perfectly level cake.

You can use baking strips that you wet and place around the cake pan before it goes in the oven. Another option is to purchase a cake leveler to cut off the dome, leaving you with a perfectly straight and level top. The problem is that many people don’t have the strips or the cake leveler used to achieve that effect.

Is it really worth it to purchase either one of those tools? I purchased the cake leveler when I first started, but then stopped using it after a while because it was too small for some of the cakes I was baking. The truth is that you can achieve the same effect with the tools you already have at home, saving you some money.

This video from Sweet Bake Shop provides you with a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut, fill, and stack your cake. It includes the bonus of teaching you how to ice the cake too!


To get a more upfront view of how to ice a perfectly smooth cake, this video at Live Love and Sugar shows you how to do it through pictures AND in a video at the end of the post.


Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to ice a cake as perfect as you see online. It can take some practice. But knowing what technique to use is the first step to get there.

The consistency of buttercream is also a very important factor when you decorate a cake. If your recipe includes confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), sifting before mixing it makes the buttercream smoother.


If you want to decorate a cake with fondant, these are two excellent videos. The cake has to be frosted prior to putting the fondant on it to achieve the smooth effect. Otherwise, you’ll be able to see every lump from the cake underneath the sugary dough.

Duff, from Charm City Cakes, is the guy who inspired me to decorate less traditional cakes (I love him!). He teaches you how to cover a cake with fondant in this Popsugar video. He also shows you how to cut, fill, stack, and crumb coat the cake. Check out the cake filling on this cake…he’s a creative guy!

The Artisan Cake Company’s tutorial on how to cover a cake with fondant does it from a closer angle. It provides more detail and shows you how to combine two colors of fondant. This tutorial even uses a needle to take out bubbles underneath the fondant after the cake is covered. These bubbles can occur when there’s an air pocket between the cake and the fondant. Some air pockets can also form when kneading the fondant.


When it comes to decorating a cake, there are so many possibilities! Pretty much any idea you have can be incorporated into a design. The techniques used to decorate a cake with buttercream vs. decorating a cake with fondant are very different.

Decorate a Cake - piping tips and bags

The truth is that you can decorate an entire buttercream cake with only one or two piping tips! This video by Kitchen Conundrums shows you three very quick techniques to decorate with buttercream. You don’t even have to add flowers or other decorations if you don’t want to.

If you prefer the very smooth cake look that you can add different piping techniques to, check out The Topless Baker. This guy has a lot of energy and really makes this tutorial very entertaining! He actually is topless, lol. But don’t worry, he’s wearing an apron. What I like the most about this tutorial, is that he teaches you how to practice different piping techniques on paper.  This is a great way to try new techniques to make sure you end up with a cake you love.

To make different types of buttercream flowers, check out these three video tutorials:

  • The first one is from Man About Cake. He’s another one I learned a lot from by watching him in cake competition shows.
  • Liz Shim’s Buttercream Rose Tutorial does a great job of breaking down the process into very detailed steps, including how to prevent your flowers from sagging or losing their shape.
  • The last video tutorial shows you how to pipe beautiful buttercream tulips. This one is made by Wilton. This brand is responsible for teaching the majority of home bakers how to decorate their cakes. Craft stores like Michaels, have scheduled classes that teach you how to do all of this in a live setting.


It can be really exciting to decorate a cake with fondant because it’s like sculpting. Who didn’t play with Play-Doh at some point when they were younger? We’ve all been practicing how to decorate a cake with fondant since we were kids! Do you buy my theory???

Decorate a Cake - Cake with sugar roses

There are so many ways to decorate a cake with fondant too! If you have a circle cutter, you can add polka dots. With a ruler, you can create a quilted pattern. You don’t even need to have a specific cutter to decorate a cake with stripes! In this tutorial, you can learn a very simple way to make fondant roses, and you don’t even need any cutters.

I think it’s important to know some basic tips for decorating with fondant. This video goes over some of those basic techniques and ideas. One thing I like about this instructor is that she teaches children usually. Keep that in mind when you see her gestures and hear her voice. Besides, what’s the point of doing this if it’s not fun!


Congratulations! You can now decorate a cake from start to finish, whether you choose to decorate it with buttercream or with fondant. With the right tools and a little bit of practice, each of the recipes and videos in this post will provide you with the guidance and technique to create a beautiful design.

Here are the 11 Must-Watch Video Tutorials to Decorate a Cake from Start to Finish:


  1. Sweet Bake Shop’s Cutting, Filling and Stacking a Cake


  1. Live Love and Sugar’s Frosting a Cake


  1. Popsugar’s Covering a Cake with Fondant with Duff
  2. Artisan Cake Company’s Covering a Cake with Fondant


  1. Kitchen Conundrum’s Cake Simple Icing Decorations
  2. The Topless Baker’s Piping Techniques
  3. Man About Cake’s Buttercream Flowers
  4. Liz Shim’s Buttercream Rose Tutorial
  5. Wilton’s Buttercream Tulips


  1. Yener’s Cake Tips – Easy Fondant Roses
  2. Wilton’s Fondant Basics

Now it’s time to celebrate that event with the people you love and to show everybody your new skills. I hope this post has been helpful!

Leave a comment below to let me know if you try it, and don’t forget to sign up to get the “Fit and Healthy” Conversions Cheat Sheet, it’ll come in handy when you make your cake.

Must-watch Video Tutorials to Decorate a Cake from Start to Finish

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