Prue Leith's Magical Tips For Decorating Baked Goods - Exclusive

Decorating baked goods is a skill that takes time and practice to get just right. However, avoiding some of the most common mistakes people make when decorating can help anyone — even beginners — create a nice-looking bake. Prue Leith, a judge on "The Great American Baking Show," has seen it all when it comes to decorating mistakes, and in an exclusive interview, she shared with us the most common mishaps and her tips for decorating baked goods.

Her first piece of advice is to do less: "One tip is not to do too much. A common fault is over-decorating." She explained that people often go overboard with toppings, frostings, and decorations, which becomes too much. "Very often, it will look cooler and better and more delicious if there's less stuff on top and it looks more elegant and neat and clean."

She also clarified that the excessive toppings happen predominantly because people try to hide an imperfection, but overdecorating worsens it. "Most people, especially if they're not really experienced, will try to cover up stuff with more stuff and make a mess."

Take your time and let simplicity shine

Another bit of advice from Prue Leith is to take your time, but not in the way you think. Leith has experienced many cakes and baked goods that have simply fallen apart because the baker didn't wait for their creation to cool down fully. "Most often, they're having to put chocolate or icing or buttercream on top of a hot cake, which means that the decoration slides off or it melts or it makes a mess." The residual heat from baking is too much for almost any decoration to handle. 

Leith's tips are as simple as they are magical. She acknowledges that decorating is difficult for amateur bakers: "If they're not trained chefs, they might not quite know how to make it look amazing." And while the average person may not be able to pull off stunning, professional-level decorations, both of her suggestions are simple and can be achieved by anyone for a clean-looking bake.

"The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holiday" is available for streaming on the Roku channel.