The Unexpected Way You Should Be Decorating Cakes

Cakes are simultaneously the simplest and hardest dessert out there to make. Sure, anyone can open a box of Betty Crocker cake mix and whip up a crowd-pleasing bake in under an hour or so. But when it comes down to really decorating a homemade cake, things can get incredibly intricate.

TV is a great place to appreciate just how elaborate cake can be, with shows like "Buddy vs. Duff" and "Is It Cake?" serving as proof that decorating a cake is a lot like sculpting a masterpiece. Whether it's a massive cake that towers over one's head like a modern-day Tower of Babel or a treat with painstakingly detailed fondant flowers, one can't help but wonder how such impressive desserts are made.

Of course, there are very easy ways to achieve these results without having to break the bank on fancy pastry equipment. A professional baker told Mashed their must-have tools to step up your cake decorating game, and they're as simple as piping bags and tips that you can reuse again and again. You can also read up on the many types of frostings and their uses, many of them relatively easy and inexpensive to prepare. More surprisingly, though, there's one item that you probably never expected help you decorate your cake — or any dish, for that matter — and it's not even a kitchen tool.

Use fishnet stockings to decorate your cake

Fishnet stockings? Are we making a cake for an upcoming party, or are we taking it out on the town? While the idea of using an undergarment to prepare a dessert is admittedly an odd suggestion, it's actually pretty useful if you know what to do.

According to Food Network, a pair of fishnet stockings can act as a "template" for a nifty design on your dessert. Simply stretch the stockings over a round object that fits over your cake, such as a springform pan, to create a grid-like design on top of the dessert. Sprinkle powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or even powdered freeze-dried fruit through it, letting the powder fall through the holes in the stockings. The end result should be a cake (or brownies, pies, and other desserts, for that matter) with an attractive grid pattern. One drawback, however, is that you should probably clean those stockings right away — unless, you know, you like smelling like powdered sugar. Of course, if using clothes to decorate cake isn't your thing, you could always opt for a similar idea using stencils instead.