Things You'll Need
Baking and decorating beautiful cakes is easy if you know the secrets professional bakers use to help them turn out a perfect product every time. One of the best tools in any baker's arsenal is parchment paper. It can help you make cakes without cracking, help keep your workspace clean and help you craft decorations that look beautiful. Found on large rolls in the same aisle of the grocery store as tin foil and plastic wrap, parchment paper is an inexpensive investment with a big payoff in the kitchen.
Tear off a sheet of parchment paper in approximately the size you need to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Place the pan on top of the parchment paper, and trace the outline of the bottom on the paper. Cut out the shape.
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Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter, and lightly flour the sides of the pan. The butter will help adhere the parchment paper to the bottom of the pan, and the flour will keep the baking cake from sticking. Place the parchment paper in the pan, add the batter and bake as directed.
Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack, which should be easy because of the parchment paper. Carefully peel the paper from the bottom of the cake, and allow the cake to finish cooling.
Flip the cake onto a cake board, and spread icing on it. Before icing the sides, tuck strips of parchment paper under the cake, so that the cake board is clean when you complete the task and remove the paper.
Spread a clean piece of parchment paper on a counter, and use a pastry bag of icing and decorating tips to pipe decorations such as flowers or scrolls onto the paper. Once the designs are dry, you can carefully pick up the decorations and place them on the cake.
If you are making many cakes in the same size pans, fold the parchment paper before tracing the outline of the pan. Then you can cut out all of the pieces needed at one time. If you make a lot of cakes, it is easier to spend a few minutes cutting out dozens of pan liners all at once than tracing and cutting each time you bake.