The simplest of all garnishings is to sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar; strips of paper can be laid over the cake before it is dusted, so as to give lines or squares of white over the top; stencils for this purpose are easily cut, giving circles or diamonds.
Cover the cake with royal icing, and before it hardens sprinkle it with red and green colored sugar (see page 393). It may be put on in dots or sprinkled evenly over the whole.
Loaf cake may be iced in sections of alternate colors. To do this, place a strip of stiff paper upright between the colors while spreading them, and remove it carefully as soon as the icing is on. This will give a clean, sharp line. Cakes iced with chocolate or with boiled icing may be ornamented with fine lines of royal icing.
Place royal icing in a pastry bag having a tube with small opening. Press the icing through slowly, following any design one may have in view. Points may be pricked in the flat icing at regular intervals as a guide. It requires some practice to acquire the facility for making very elaborate designs, but straight lines, dots, and circles around the cake are easy to make, and with these a great variety of combinations can be made. Tubes of various-shaped openings are made to give different forms to the icing pressed through them. If one cares to practise making fancy decorations, draw a design on a paper or slab and follow the lines with icing; scrape off the icing when it is done, and repeat the operation until familiar enough with the design to be able to make it without a guide.