Writing On Cakes....mine Look Terrible

Decorating By Trixyinaz Updated 9 May 2008 , 12:26am by jbnhayes

Trixyinaz Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:53pm
post #1 of 36

My writing on my cakes looks terrible. Is there a trick to making nice letters on your cakes?

35 replies
tonimarie Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:58pm
post #2 of 36

I use the plastic impression letters. Not sure the technical name, but it's much easier than free hand. If you free hand use a toothpick to "lightly" make the letters first. It also helps to thin the icing a bit so it flows. Good luck!

just_desserts Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:08pm
post #3 of 36

I've found that using smaller parchment bags & using my left hand to "steady" it also helps. (Along with thinner icing)

KathysCC Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:11pm
post #4 of 36

I think when it comes to writing freehand on cakes you either have it or you don't. I definitely don't "have" it so I avoid writing on my cakes. That's the easiest way out. icon_lol.gif

If someone absolutely has to have writing on a cake then you have two choices:
Go to calligraphy class icon_biggrin.gif

or cheat. Here's what I do: I used those Wilton letter things that you press into the cake OR you can make a backwards copy of what you want to write, put a piece of wax paper over it, trace the pattern with piping gel in a bag with tip one or smaller, flip that onto your cake. Now you have an impression of what you want to write that you can trace.

People with bad penmanship unite!! There is a way to do everything!! icon_lol.gif

Hope this helps. icon_biggrin.gif

smoore Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:11pm
post #5 of 36

HA! I just got the plastic stencils and tried it on a recent cake my writing still looked terrible! icon_smile.gif Welcome to the club. I do have better luck when I thin the butter cream down with corn syrup, but nothing's quite like a pen or pencil! I guess I just need to practice.

mcdonald Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:12pm
post #6 of 36

I'm with you Trix!! My writing is absolutely terrible. I have nightmares when I know I have a cake I have to write on!!! I just did a cake for school for TAKS that was supposed to be shameless publicity for me and I was so embarrassed, I didn't want to send the cake!!! I HATED IT!! There have been lots of tips on here and I just need to search them and see which one works for me.

I am curious about the plastic letters being talked about?? Who makes those?? Wilton???

mjballinger Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:16pm
post #7 of 36

Make sure that the icing in thinned down enough and relax. That's my best advice - relax. I used to get all worked up about it, and I have nice handwriting on paper, but I stressed so much, it looked horrible. Then I practiced a lot on some vinyl covered board and I relaxed. It worked!

I did see on Alton Brown the other night that you shouldn't move your wrist at all, only your arm.

mjballinger Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:16pm
post #8 of 36

sorry, posted twice by accident

joenshan Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:25pm
post #9 of 36

I have resigned to the fact that my writing actually ruins my cakes, so here is what I do...I bought edible markers and any writing goes on some decorative piece of fondant. It actually turns out quite nice. On one cake (the one in my photos), I made a banner. On another (not shown) I made it look like a little gift tag.

cheeseball Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:29pm
post #10 of 36

That not moving your wrist thing? Totally true. Same with the slightly softer icing. I think the main thing is that at first we try to write on a cake the way you write on paper and you can't - you've got nowhere to rest the heel of your hand. Try writing on a piece of paper with your hand off the paper and about halfway up the pen or pencil to get the feel of it (keeping your wrist locked and moving your whole arm) and then practice writing that way with your piping bag on waxed or parchment paper. Scrape it up, try it again. Scrape it up, try it again. You'll get it! thumbs_up.gif

BakingGirl Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:45pm
post #11 of 36

Same here, my handwriting is shocking so will surely ruin a cake. I use the Wilton letter press or the Tapit cutters which makes very nice letters out of fondant or gum paste.

becklynn Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:56pm
post #12 of 36

Make sure your icing bag is not overfilled! I finally realized that I had way too much icing in the bag to come out of a tiny #2 tip.

famousamous Posted 1 May 2008 , 7:02pm
post #13 of 36

My writing is so horrid that I have to use chocolate thinned down with shortening and write on parchment paper. Then when its hard I take a spatula and gentlly go under it to lift it off and just lay that on my cake. Even then I have to write the phrase at least 10 times cause its still messy! LOL

You can also print out some pretty font and put the paper under the parchment and trace over it with the chocolate...

cassi_g16 Posted 1 May 2008 , 8:06pm
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousamous

My writing is so horrid that I have to use chocolate thinned down with shortening and write on parchment paper. Then when its hard I take a spatula and gentlly go under it to lift it off and just lay that on my cake. Even then I have to write the phrase at least 10 times cause its still messy! LOL

You can also print out some pretty font and put the paper under the parchment and trace over it with the chocolate...





Could you maybe do something like this but with buttercream? Kind of like a FBCT. I have never tried it but it could probably work.

tonimarie Posted 1 May 2008 , 9:28pm
post #15 of 36

mcdonald-the letters I have I got from Wilton. You can even get words like Best Wishes, Congratulations, Happy Birthday that are all one piece and then you just press gently into the frosting to get the impression to follow with the thinned icing. I'm sure you can get them elsewhere if you search for them.

CakeDiva73 Posted 1 May 2008 , 9:31pm
post #16 of 36

I had to practice, practice, practice.....and make sure I didn't have too much coffee before doing so, lol. I would also print out whatever message in whatever 'font' or style and then look at it for reference.

I was watching Ace of Cakes the other night and one of the girls who is so good at writing was doing a cake and I noticed that she started in the middle and worked her way left and right. That makes sense so it is centered and you don't run out of space but WOW did that seem hard to do!

famousamous Posted 1 May 2008 , 9:54pm
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassi_g16

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousamous

My writing is so horrid that I have to use chocolate thinned down with shortening and write on parchment paper. Then when its hard I take a spatula and gentlly go under it to lift it off and just lay that on my cake. Even then I have to write the phrase at least 10 times cause its still messy! LOL

You can also print out some pretty font and put the paper under the parchment and trace over it with the chocolate...




Could you maybe do something like this but with buttercream? Kind of like a FBCT. I have never tried it but it could probably work.




Im not sure...I think I may have heard of someone doing this from CC.
If you try it dont forget to print in reverse. icon_lol.gif

aandecakedesign Posted 1 May 2008 , 10:38pm
post #18 of 36

I use both hands to write. I squeeze with my right and guide with my left, moving both arms ... no wrists. I actually write better on cakes then I do on paper. Its not perfect but doable.

my tip is to practice. Keep your style the same all the time. Go slow and make sure each letter goes as high and as low as the other.

Antgirl Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:53pm
post #19 of 36

I just had a cake with lots of writing and was having a fit with the script font I was trying to use. I ended up choosing a font where the letters weren't connected -- MUCH easier.

indydebi Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:00pm
post #20 of 36

My writing - horrible.
Move your whole arm, not your wrist - absolutely.
WIlton letter/word presses - priceless!

sweetcakes Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:20pm
post #21 of 36

gotta love the projector for perfect writing!!!

aswartzw Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:33pm
post #22 of 36

Same here! Sometimes it's fine and others.... icon_eek.gif . I do like the idea of doing the FBCT. That might actually be worth trying. I have a birthday cake this week so it'll be interesting to see what I end up doing.

shellzey Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:33pm
post #23 of 36

you can also use cookie cutter letters and use fondant. i've done that on a few. looks nice

punkinpie Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:33pm
post #24 of 36

If I can, I write on the cake board, that way if I screw it up it very easily comes off.

My Wilton instructor told us to eat a banana 30 minutes before decorating and that it would help steady our hands. I haven't tried it - not sure if it works but she swears by it.

msauer Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:46pm
post #25 of 36

I HATE to write on cakes!!!! As many times as I can, I paint on the greetings (even on buttercream) with my Americolor paste and a tiny paint brush...I seem to have more control over that than the icing tip some nights.

Another thing I tried was moving up to a tip #4 or #5. I think it comes out looking a bit "trendier" and I guess it seems to flow easier for me. (Maybe it's a mind over matter thing, but it works).

Good luck!

If all else fails, you can always resort to the option I pull out at 4 am....CURSING!!!! tapedshut.gif


-Michelle

Rhienn Posted 2 May 2008 , 4:07pm
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousamous

My writing is so horrid that I have to use chocolate thinned down with shortening and write on parchment paper. Then when its hard I take a spatula and gentlly go under it to lift it off and just lay that on my cake. Even then I have to write the phrase at least 10 times cause its still messy! LOL

You can also print out some pretty font and put the paper under the parchment and trace over it with the chocolate...




If I can't get away with fondant cut outs, then I do this chocolate thing too. Works well with any kind of chocolate and/or tinted candy melts.
I usually need about five goes at it before I get one I'm happy with. LOL

LiliS Posted 2 May 2008 , 10:56pm
post #27 of 36

I'm the opposite. Terrible handwriting but on cakes, not too bad. Print out some phrases with fonts you like an will use, and just practise practise practise.

it's the arm that moves, not the hand. Support your wrist and use a small piping bag with. Much easier to control.

I also use the writing gels that you can buy. it comes in a long tube and is MUCH easier to control than a piping bag.

brink317 Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:31pm
post #28 of 36

Today I had to do writing on a cake, I started with tip 3, SITTING at my kitchen table. After I wrote Happy Birthday, I hated the way it looked. thumbsdown.gif So I wiped it off the cake, and grabbed a tip 2 and STOOD at my kitchen counter and practiced on wax paper, then STOOD at my kitchen counter and wrote on the cake. It turned out better that way. You can see it in my photos, its the one with the red roses.

So, I think Im going to use tip 2 now and STAND up while writing. I think my arm was at a bad angle sitting at the kitchen table..... icon_eek.gif

Good luck!

Trixyinaz Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:55am
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassi_g16

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousamous

My writing is so horrid that I have to use chocolate thinned down with shortening and write on parchment paper. Then when its hard I take a spatula and gentlly go under it to lift it off and just lay that on my cake. Even then I have to write the phrase at least 10 times cause its still messy! LOL

You can also print out some pretty font and put the paper under the parchment and trace over it with the chocolate...




Could you maybe do something like this but with buttercream? Kind of like a FBCT. I have never tried it but it could probably work.




Casey - YES. icon_biggrin.gif I did do that for my daughter's bowling party cake and it did work good. However, b/c the letters aren't thick like a transfer, they thaw out FAST. So I actually had to put all the letters on the cake while in the Freezer. And not to mention the letters are fragile b/c they are thin. I'll try again and maybe do it differently/thicker

Thanks for all the replies! I've wondered if my writing would still suck even with those letters from Wilton that you imprint on the cake and then pipe over them. icon_lol.gif I'll have to try.

And the arm thing...huh, move the arm, not the wrist. I've been doing the opposite and actually thought my writting looked better when I move my wrist instead of my arm. I'll have to experiment again. I did some leters with Royal Icing a couple weeks ago on waxed paper, and those turned out awesome! But I didn't want RI as the writing so I switched to Buttercream and it didn't come out as nicely. And yep, I usually thin out my BC for writing....it really does make a difference.

Okay, I'm gonna have to print out some saying in a font I like and just practice, practice, practice! And, work on moving the arm and not the wrist. If all that fails, then I just won't write on my cakes.

wendydou Posted 3 May 2008 , 12:07pm
post #30 of 36

my writing is horrible too (gotta love being left handed!)

what I've done and found works ok, is to use the tiniest start tip and just do block letters.. the star tip makes it fancier than just plain old block lettering..

I've been thinking about getting an edible printer and using that for writing?? does anyone do that with success??

I love the idea of a gum paste tag or flag (I've actually bought cakes from a bakery that had that!). seems easier to correct !!!

Wendy

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