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Simple cake decorations

Anitha Bennett

Decorating a birthday cake yourself can make it extra-special. Get a sponge cake and try these easy decoration ideas.

Quick ’n easy sugar icing

This icing is thin and makes a nice haphazard pattern on the cake.

Mix two cups of powdered sifted sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence and two tablespoons of milk.

Add more milk (little at a time) until it is thin enough to drizzle over a cake. Once you’ve iced your cake, it’s best to let it stand for one or two hours.

You can add liquid food colours to get different shades. Always remember to add one drop at a time and stir to get the right colour.

Once your icing is set, use piping cones to write ‘Happy Birthday’ on the cake. Or, just fix a toothpick with a flag that says so. You can also spell out words with plastic alphabets and remove them before the cake is cut.

Next, sprinkle white icing sugar on the cake or near its border. Add a little bit of cocoa powder here and there to give a contrasting effect. Sprinkle chocolate chips or chocolate shavings on the cake to achieve a dramatic effect.

Decorate your cake with fresh fruit bits. You could place a piece of pineapple on the cake and/or a cherry on it. It’ll look good and taste delicious too.

Day for others

Birthday trivia

In Canada, a birthday child is often cornered and her nose greased for good luck. The greased nose makes the child too slippery for bad luck to catch her!

In Israel, a birthday child often sits in a chair while grown-ups raise and lower it a number of times, corresponding to the child’s age, plus one for good luck.

No birthday in Mexico is complete without a piñata. Made of papier mache and in the form of an animal, the piñata is filled with sweets/chocolates and hung from the ceiling. The birthday child is blindfolded and encouraged to strike the piñata until it cracks open and she gets a goodies shower.

Last century most children in Japan celebrated their birthdays on January 1st, regardless of the day of the year on which they were actually born. But now, most of them celebrate their actual birthdays.

Children in Russia don’t cut a birthday cake. Instead, they are given a birthday pie! Russian birthday pies have their messages carved into the crust.

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