Written by Jenny McFarlane

Juliet Sear’s top cake decorating tips

Research by the Cake and Bake Show revealed cake is our top favourite bake, so we’ve whipped up some expert cake decoration tips from Juliet Sear, celebrity baker extraordinaire.

In case you weren’t aware, it seems we are in the midst of a baking resurgence with homemade marvels whetting our appetites everywhere we turn. From bragging rights on social media to the hype around Great British Bake Off returning to the box, it would appear that dusting down the aprons and getting to grips with grease-proofing is back in vogue.

So with that in mind, we spoke to Juliet Sear and found out her top cake decorating tips to ensure all your masterpieces get extra brownie points at any celebration.

cream layered cake with blackberry jam with icing in piping by Juliet Sear - cake decorating tips - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

Photo: Juliet Sear, Instagram

Do not rush

‘The biggest pitfall is attempting a cake design but not giving yourself enough time….always allow twice the time you think you need so you can be sure you won’t be pressured to rush. Cakes often need a bit of chilling or setting time particularly if they are a bit elaborate or tiered ones.’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juliet Sear (@julietsear)


‘It really helps to either have a sketch and double check you have everything you need… there’s nothing worse than realising you are short a cake board of the correct size or something that will make your cake look a bit less than perfect, so double check and plan exactly what you need.

If your cake is adventurous, for example, a 3D type of cake, it really helps if you can have something as a visual reference that is also 3D…for example a real shoe, bag or some kind of toy. To have an actual model rather than a picture can really help if you have a more challenging type of cake to attempt.’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juliet Sear (@julietsear)

Shelf life

‘Think about shelf life, and the type of cake flavour that might be best for your design. Some easy cakes like a basic single tiered one with a drip or sprinkle design are easy because you can do the whole thing in a few hours, so the type of cake like a fluffy vanilla cake will be fine.

However if you are attempting a birthday cake that you might need 2 or 3 days to work on, then go for a cake flavour/recipe that will last a long time, for example for my elaborate cakes I tend to try and steer towards a truffle torte cake or similar that I know will stay moist and fudgey for at least a week. Many cake sponges vary so always have in mind a cake that will still be tasting great if you need to work on it for a longer time.’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juliet Sear (@julietsear)

Don’t give up

‘Sometimes a cake might go a bit wrong but try not to give up, there are often ways in which to save your creations!

Sometimes just stepping away from it for a few hours is a good thing….come back with a fresh mind. There’s usually a way to strategically place a decoration or something.

Always attempt a cake that you feel confident about if it is a cake you feel under pressure for. I even recommend a practice run for important cakes… as long as you have people to share the cakes with… sometimes we have to make extra test cakes and we give them away to charity or to neighbours or friends.’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juliet Sear (@julietsear)

A must-visit for serial bakers and beginners alike, don’t miss this year’s Cake & Bake Show, which opens at ExCeL in London 1 – 3 October, where Juliet Sear will be taking centre stage at both the Cake and Bake Theatre and on the Sugar Craft Stage.

Cake and Bake Show 2021

What do you think of the Juliet Sear cake decorating tips? Do you have any to add? Share them by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.


read a free issue of good homes magazine