makes the icing light and spreadable. Home bakers either use lard, butter, margarine or some combination thereof. Sprinkles are small firm pieces of sugar and oils that are colored with food coloring. In the late 20th century, new cake decorating products became available to the public. These include several specialized sprinkles and even methods to print pictures and transfer the image onto a cake.
Special tools are needed for more complex cake decorating, such as piping bags or syringes, and various piping tips. To use a piping bag or syringe, a piping tip is attached to the bag or syringe using a coupler. The bag or syringe is partially filled with icing which is sometimes colored. Using different piping tips and various techniques, a cake decorator can make many different designs. Basic decorating tips include open star, closed star, basketweave, round, drop flower, leaf, multi, petal, and specialty tips.
Royal Icing, Marzipan (or a less sweet version, known as Almond paste), Fondant Icing (also known as Sugarpaste) and Buttercream are used as covering icings and to create decorations. Floral Sugarcraft or Wired Sugar Flowers are an important part of Cake Decoration. Special occasion cakes, such as wedding cakes, are traditionally rich fruit cakes, or occasionally Madeira cake (also known as whisked or fatless sponge), covered with marzipan and either Royal Iced or sugarpasted, finished with Royal Iced piped borders and adorned with a piped message, wired sugar flowers, hand-formed fondant flowers or marzipan fruit, piped flowers, or crystallized fruits or flowers such as grapes or violets.