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Here's a tip from a reader who works in a supermarket bakery – and regularly makes wedding cakes. She let me know that more and more requests are for simple, glossy cakes in pretty colors. And, she was kind enough to tip me off on exactly how that lovely gloss is created on the icing.
For reals. She wrote that after icing the cake, she quickly blasts it with a hairdryer set on high. The heat from the dryer slightly melts the icing and leaves a glossy finish when it dries. She also pointed out that this makes icing any cake essentially foolproof. If you mess up, you simply use your icing knife (or butter knife) and resmear your icing – then blast it again. So easy, so cheap, and so chic!