Some of the most difficult cakes to complete successfully are the ones with minimal decorations. I know you’re probably thinking, “Huh? That doesn’t make any sense! If there’s no decorations, it should be easy.”
Nope! The fewer the decorations, the fewer opportunities you have to cover “mistakes.”
For example, this cake was simply covered in white fondant and had a navy blue ribbon wrapped around the base of each tier:
If you’re out hiring a cake decorator for your wedding and you want to see what he/she is really capable of, ask to see a cake with little to no decorations. It’ll showcase his/her skill with buttercream/fondant alone, which is important because it’s one of the building blocks of a gorgeous cake!
And if you are a decorator trying to perfect your own buttercream/fondant skills, get a set of Styrofoam dummies and practice on them. That way, you won’t have to eat tons and tons of cake. You can practice, peel it off, practice again, etc. Of course, you’ll have to use more gentle hands with a real cake, but practicing on a dummy will at least give you the right techniques and get you more comfortable with the sugary medium.