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Discussion Forum

Topic: Stenciling Technique....particularly buttercream-on-buttercream
cami5271 07/22/2012 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 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!

lmeade84 07/22/2012 5:32 PM
Cami, how do you add bling like you did? I know Wilton has the new jewelry mold. Would I add parallies to the mold first then place a piece of fondant or gumpaste in the back to adhere it to something so they will stay on the cake? Your stenciling work is great. I always end up putting it on too thick so it peels off in some places.
dead goose 07/22/2012 5:39 PM
cami Thanks for the info.We're going to try it for my neice's wedding inSept hopeit turns out. Yours is beautiful.
lexysexy 07/22/2012 6:02 PM
Thanks for sharing this, you are an inspiration.
pattieX 07/22/2012 6:24 PM
Beautiful, Cammie! I've done one stencil and it was such a simple pattern, it scares me to try anything as busy as this one. I refrigerated mine, too, and if I felt like the cake was softening up too much, I popped it back in and worked on a different tier.
cami5271 07/22/2012 8:34 PM
lmeade...the rhinestones on this particular cake were in ribbon form, and non-edible. You can see the 1/2" foamboard I use as my cakeboards, so after I stenciled, I just piped a thin line of buttercream and stuck the ribbon to that!
furball 07/22/2012 8:36 PM
Thank you so much for the instructions with pictures. I would love to try this one day. Your cake was gorgeous!
gmoakes01 07/22/2012 9:59 PM
Great pictures, thank you for taking the time while you were doing that stressful cake!
thecakediva40 07/22/2012 10:58 PM
cami5271, if you are stenciling a round cake and need to try to connect the design do you wait until the first design is dry or what?
cakedujour 07/22/2012 10:59 PM
My thoughts exactly, Gisele! Cammie, you were so stressed with this cake and yet you took the time to photograph and record each step of the stenciling. Is it any wonder we love you? That was really above and beyond! Thank you!
sweetgrandma 07/23/2012 6:48 AM
what a sweetie you are! thanks!! I've done this but working with black on white is intimidating! You make it look easy!!
jabrotz 07/23/2012 7:06 AM
Oh my goodness! Can't believe you had the presence of mind to take pics during such a stressful cake experience. Wow! Thank you so much, Cammie.

I too, have questions about stenciling on a round cake. The one I have for this coming weekend is the damask will be white stenciling on taupe-colored frosting 'background', buttercream on buttercream. Do you try and line up the stencil over a piece of what you just finished stencilling to get the repeat pattern aligned, and then just keep going? I am curious about round cakes, as most of the time that is what I end up doing. Thank you, in advance, for your help on that question.

I hope you have a quieter week this week to reflect and rejoice that it's over! Such a beautiful wedding cake with an elegant venue to showcase it! Such giftedness in you!
Teresa0401 07/23/2012 7:43 AM
Cami, thinks so such for all the time you give to us. Thanks that you still remenber all of us little bakers. Thanks for all of your help and support you give us. You don't have to share, be we are glad that you do.
cami5271 07/23/2012 1:16 PM
I'm so glad everyone is finding this helpful! I know it's not a youtube, but maybe some day

As far as stenciling on rounds. Remember, you will always have a "backside" to your tiers; so keeping that mind, I determine which side of my round will be the "back" and I start my stencil there and wrap it around the cake as I go. When you need to remove and reapply the stencil to the next section, just get it as close as possible and take caution not to smear the stencil you just finished. When you get to the backside, just go as far as you can with it. 99.9% of the time it will not lineup perfectly, so just go as far as you can and remove the stencil! HTH!
dietcokenoice 07/23/2012 1:28 PM
Cami - thank you thank you thank you. Your step-by-step pics and tutorial are wonderful. I'm definitely a visual kind of person and would love to try this. Do you remember the brand of stencil it was? I've looked at Michaels before at their stencils and they didn't have such large ones like you show. I would love to get one to play around with before investing in a better one that's food safe. Again, thank you so very much. You are always so helpful
jabrotz 07/23/2012 1:44 PM
Thank you so much. I hope I can 'pull this off' - quite literally! while stencilling for this weekend's cake.
cami5271 07/23/2012 4:42 PM
dietcokenoice...while this is not the pattern I used, this is definitely the brand I used! It's actually a wall/floor stencil and they are 20x20 that you have to cut down. can do it!
ginnyl 07/23/2012 5:17 PM
cami, must had my thanks kind of you to take the time to show us this magnificent technique...I plan to practice on a piece of fondant/gumpaste while I am on my trip...something small to get the hang of it..
dietcokenoice 07/23/2012 6:54 PM
Thanks cami. I'm definitely going to check into that.
cakelady56 07/23/2012 8:30 PM
Thanks so much for posting all this! I am going to practice before the wedding cake in September!