When I taught students how to bake cakes, many of them asked me to teach them how to decorate them too. It's easy to take for granted growing up in a house with an oven and parents who knew how to bake, so it was good to be reminded that knowledge of how to make frosting doesn't come naturally. One of the students also asked me if I had gone to school to learn how to bake. I thought it was a funny question until I realized that I was blessed with a mom who is an especially good baker, so my baking education was probably better than many other's might have been, even in the US!
We started out by making basic frosting with powdered sugar, water, and a little fresh lemon juice (the lemon juice helps to make the frosting get a bit more stiff when it dries). The students frosted the cakes with this white frosting, then we made different colors. I showed them how to make yellow with turmeric and brown with cocoa, then also how to use food coloring.
They did some serious decorating. We used little plastic bags with the tip of a corner cut off for piping the frosting.
And here are the happy decorators with their cakes:
Here are the final products. I told them they could put anything they wanted on the cakes and for some reason, I was the subject of some of the decorations. For example, here it more or less says "Congrats Sara".
Just so you know, NASA is a political party here; they're not talking about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration...
This one wished happy birthday to me and Harriet, one of the students, even though it wasn't really our birthday:
After this, everyone chowed down on the cakes. They managed to save some little bits to take back to fellow students in the dorms, but not much!