A home-baked cake is always well received, and personalizing the dessert makes it even more special. Follow these tips to help you write “Happy Birthday,” names, or any sentiment you like on top of your cake – so it doesn’t end up on CakeWrecks!
First let’s consider what you will use. Smooth, soft frosting in a contrasting color works perfectly for writing on cakes. If your cake is frosted in white, you can set aside a small amount and tint to a desirable color. Melted chocolate is also a good choice, as long as it has cooled enough to be slightly thick and not too runny, or else it will flow too quickly through your decorating tip or parchment cone. (Parchment cones are our tool of choice when using chocolate for easy clean-up. As always, fill cone half to two-thirds of the way and snip a very small hole in the tip. You can always enlarge the hole if needed). Regular whipped cream can be used on dark-colored cakes.
Practice definitely makes perfect with cake decorating. You can use a bit of the frosting you set aside or even vegetable shortening that has been stirred with a wooden spoon to soften. Place the cake pan that you used to bake your cake upside down on your work surface (after you have removed the cake, of course) and practice appropriately sized lettering and words right on the pan, scrape it up and do it again. Make sure you are well above your writing surface and try moving your whole body, not just your wrist and arm.
If you need more help, you can look up font styles on the Internet or in books and photocopy them, making them larger or smaller as needed – block-style, script, bold or delicate, you can find what you like. Then, place a piece of parchment over the page with the letters and trace with your frosting on the parchment.
The most common mistake when writing on cakes is making the letters too large or starting too far into the center and running out of room, so pace yourself. Make sure to ease up on the pressure applied to the pastry bag or cone when you come to a place in that particular letter where you might be going over a section twice (like in a cursive b, for example). We double up a lot with regular handwriting, but with cake writing, it yields a thick, ungainly looking letter. Even if your writing comes out a bit wobbly, there is still much charm in a homemade cake. Serve it with grace; your guests will love it.
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