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Simply Spectacular Cakes
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307464552 0307464555

Learn how to decorate cakes and cookies for a lower cost than buying party cakes and cookies from bakeries. Peggy Porschen, a professional baker, provides cake decorating instruction and templates for cake designs, with recipes for cakes, cookies and frostings.

Cake decorating lessons

Simply Spectacular Cakes is like a cake decorating class in a 144-page book, with step-by-step cake decorating techniques. Cake decorations range from easy (polka dots) to more complex (damask designs).

The Cookie Decorating chapter teaches you how to make dogs, bows, Christmas baubles and silhouettes for sugar cookie decoration.

In the Mini Cakes chapter, Peggy Porschen shows you how to decorate cupcakes and small cakes to look like cameos, purses, cherry blossoms and ice crystals.

The Large Cakes chapter includes wedding cake decorations and instructions for making edible pearls, buttons and anemones for cake decor.

Tools for cake decorating

The Basics section of Simply Spectacular Cakes contains information on cake decorating supplies, including pastry bags, food colors and sprinkling sugars. It includes recipes for cookies, cakes and flavored sugar syrups.

Cake decorating instructions use photos and numbered steps to show you how to dip small cakes in liquid fondant icing, how to pipe royal icing and how to make paper pastry bags.

Numerous color photos by Georgia Glynn Smith depict cake decorating techniques, close-ups of cookie and cake designs, cake decorating equipment and beautiful cakes with decorations.

Edible pearl dust

A Glossary defines cake decorating ingredients, like edible luster dust, which is a non-toxic pearl dust that can be mixed with alcohol into a paste or applied with a brush.

In the Glossary, Peggy Porschen also describes cake decorating tools, such as the Dresden tool for fluting petals and making vein markings when making flower cake decorations.

How much frosting is needed?

A chart in Simply Spectacular Cakes tells you how much batter to put into different sizes of cake pans and how many portions you can serve from each pan size.

Another chart shows you how much buttercream frosting, rolled fondant and marzipan you need to cover cakes of different sizes.

Cake design templates

A Suppliers page lists phone numbers, addresses and websites for companies that sell cake decorating tools, supplies and equipment.

The cake decoration book has four pages of cake designs, which you can trace onto parchment paper and use a scriber needle to mark the designs into icing.

Sample recipes for cookie and cake decorating

Gingerbread cookies. Rich dark chocolate cake. Vanilla syrup. Belgian chocolate ganache. Royal icing. Buttercream frosting. Sugar cookies. Marble cake. Carrot cake.

Simply Spectacular Cakes: Beautiful Designs for Irresistible Cakes and Cookies


  • Cookies
  • Mini Cakes
  • Large Cakes
  • Basics
Quantity and Portion Guides


Peggy Porschen, the author of Pretty Party Cakes, teaches cake decoration classes. She and her husband, Bryn Morrow, operate Peggy Porschen Cakes in London, England.

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