Writing on cakes is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks to do. A beautiful cake can almost be ruined by sloppy writing. Some people have lovely penmanship on paper, but writing on cakes is totally different…..you need lots of practice.
Writing on buttercream cakes is a bit easier if your buttercream crusts over or if you could chill your cake in the refrigerator. This will help set up your icing. Practice your message on cardboard or parchment paper the same size as your cake, marking where to place the message. You can pipe in buttercream, royal icing or piping gel. When piping your message on a cake, mark a straight line to guide you using uncooked spaghetti or dental floss lightly pressing into the icing and then remove and write your message.
Another method to help you place the message on your cake is the Piping Gel Transfer. This is used for many patterns and can also be used for messages. Write or print your message on parchment paper, tape the paper with the message side down on a cookie sheet (message will be backwards). Pipe the message using decorating tip 1 with clear piping gel. Remove the parchment paper from the cookie sheet and turn the parchment over (piping gel side down) and place on your cake. Using a brush, gently trace over the gel lines. When completed, carefully lift the parchment paper straight up. Gel message will be transferred to the cake. Now you can overpipe your message in icing.
Another idea would be to use buttercream instead of piping gel as a transfer for your message. Pipe tip 1 in the same color buttercream as your frosting and follow the instructions as above to complete the transfer.
If you feel a little uncomfortable using buttercream to pipe your message, here are a few other ideas that allow you to have more control of the placement of your message.
- Fill the alphabet candy molds with melted candy, let set in refrigerator and then remove them from the molds and place on your cake. You can also use rolled fondant in the candy molds, just dust the molds with cornstarch and then press the fondant into the molds and release.
- Use rolled fondant and cut your message using alphabet cookie cutters.
- Use tinted royal icing and pipe your message with a round or star tip on waxed paper and let dry (overnight) and then carefully remove and place on your cake.
- Make a fondant or gum paste plaque or banner, let dry overnight, then write your message with icing or a fine tip FoodWriter™. Place plaque on your cake with mini marshmallows or sugar cubes supporting the plaque below.
- Try using FoodWriters™ to write on fondant, color flow or royal iced cookies, fondant plaques or color flow plaques.
My handwriting on paper is very nice but it’s not so good on cakes. I’m all for anything that makes my life easier so I make my messages with rolled fondant and cookie cutters on almost all of my cakes…..it saves me a lot of time and looks great!