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Posted: Sunday July 22, 2012 5:00 PM
As I have received so many questions about how I stencil onto buttercream with buttercream, I thought I would snap a few pictures along the way during this weekend's cake. First, you must start with a crusting buttercream recipe...no Italian Meringue and/or Whipped typed icings. It has to crust! You will notice in my pics that my white buttercream isn't "perfectly" smooth either...and while I could have gotten it close, with this particular stencil it didn't really matter because everyone's eyes will go to the pattern, not the white buttercream background! That's one great thing about stencils with a busy pattern
The stencil I used was a wall stencil I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Although it's non-toxic plastic, it is not the same material used in culinary stencils and cannot be claimed "food safe", but I wasn't too worried about that. I have may culinary stencils and the material is awesome to work with...not near as flimsy as this one was! So, I recommend anyone purchase a culinary-grade stencil first, as opposed to the one I used for this cake.
I also allow my buttercream to crust very well, and even refrigerate it for hours ahead of time to make "denting" the buttercream much less of an issue. You will need to use a very gentle hand when using stencils, etc., and be sure to rinse them after each-and-every application! Some black icing WILL get behind the stencil and muck-up your surface...but again, if you use care, you can keep this to a minimum, and they will be much less noticeable. My design was not perfect, but again, everyone's eye will go to the overall design, not the mess-ups!
Stencil1: Picture of the wall stencil I used, cut down to about 5.5" high
Stencil2: Picture of the stencil, small palate knife with slightly angled blade and black buttercream. I don't thin my buttercream. I find it easier to work with when it's a medium consistency
Stencil3: Picture of some of the buttercream applied to the cake. THIS IS AS MUCH AS I DO AT ONE TIME. No more than that or you will have a mess on your hands! It's a tedious process, but once you find your groove, it will go quickly!
Stencil4: Picture of the stencil with buttercream completely applied. You can see that most of the buttercream is scraped away and you can see the blue stencil thru it.
Stencil5: Gently pull the stencil off, taking care to make sure it does not slide around, etc.
Stencil6: Rinse the stencil using hot water to remove ALL traces of black buttercream. YOU MUST DO THIS AFTER EACH APPLICATION!
Stencil7: Dry the stencil thoroughly!!! VERY IMPORTANT! If there is any trace of water on the stencil, when you go to do the next section, the buttercream will be attracted to and seep behind the stencil!
If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask!