MrsMcTasha Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 11:24pm
post #1 of

Hi All,

I have the hardest time writing on cakes. It either ends up crooked, choppy, run-together, etc (I attached a pic). I have the stamp impressions but when someone requests a name I start to panic. Can anyone off a suggestion and/or technique?

Thanks!
Tasha

36 replies
jewels710 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 11:27pm
post #2 of

Cut them out of fondant!

QTCakes1 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 11:27pm
post #3 of

Believe it or not, writing is hard for EVERYONE. I hate it. But the trick to writing with icing is moving fast and fluid. If you take your time, you'll have scraggly writing. So next time try going really fast and you'll be surprised how much nicer it comes out.

Unlimited Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 12:17am
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMcTasha

Can anyone off a suggestion and/or technique?




Perhaps most people have a hard time with writing, but it comes easier for others. It's helpful to watch others write. HTH.

jennifercullen Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 7:41am
post #5 of

I was/am the same, I say that because if anyone wanted writing I would use a template and cut it out if fondant but it still didn't look great, so instead of piping I used an intruder to make a long string of fondant and then make the letter shapes out of it, then I bought some clickstix for little letters, but I couldn't stop them.leaving an imprint in the fondant so I shoved them to the back of the cupboard, but now I'm willing to try piping.

Eventually one if my friends ordered a christening cake (i say ordered, I'm not a business just a hobbyist, I only started decorating at the end of march, my first cake incidentally was a full piped design lol) she wanted the little girls full name, abd the date of the christening so I didn't have much choice but to pipe because it was the only way I would have enough room to write it, the letter cutters were too big. I practised what I was going to write a few times in the week coming up to the cake and when I actually did it I think it looked ok. I had to do it slow though to get it neat and straight rather than joined up and have piped on another cake since. It is really really hard, and I don't know how people manage it on the side of a cake but I think like most things it just takes practice! Once you build up your confidence in doing it it will come much easier. I also think you will learn to use royal icing better, I find its either too runny or not runny enough I need to get used to it one way or the other!

AnnieCahill Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 9:21am
post #6 of

You can try typing out common cake phrases and printing them, then have them laminated. You can use those as practice boards. The cool thing is that there are so many fonts that the possibilities are endless. Once you get good at it then you can start playing with other decorating tips.

One think I have trouble with is writing on the side of a cake. I have a ghetto Wilton trim and turn from the early 90s that I have been using. One day I will buy a nicer turn table haha.

SRumzis Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 8:47pm
post #7 of

I suck at piping, but my letters have been awesome ever since I changed my method. I print out my phrase, tape parchment paper over it, trace over it with royal icing, let it dry, then bam! Works great for me. Use small dots of ri to attach the letters to fondant, or just press them right on to bc. Hth!

SRumzis Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 8:54pm
post #8 of

I suck at piping, but my letters have been awesome ever since I changed my method. I print out my phrase, tape parchment paper over it, trace over it with royal icing, let it dry, then bam! Works great for me. Use small dots of ri to attach the letters to fondant, or just press them right on to bc. Hth!

loves2bake Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 8:27pm
post #9 of

Try using a # 3 with softer consistency bc and continued,, even pressure. Make sure to stop at time other than in the middle of a loop. Print out the name the you want to write and slip it in a ziplock bag. tape it to your counter and there is your practice dummy.

KoryAK Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:19pm

Practice, practice, practice!!!!!

diane Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:33pm

You have to have the right consistency of icing, holding the bag correctly, writing at a swift pace, and plenty of practice. You will only get better if you practice. Spend some time practicing every day...even if your not making a cake. Also, print out fancy writing and tape wax paper over it...making sure you can see it...and have at it! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

josilind Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 2:50pm

I had the same trouble too. I had to practice though. MY HEART WOULD JUST BEAT REEEEAAALLL FAST when i began to start writing and the whole time I was writing on the cake!! i hated writing and still do!

If you ever have icing left over from a cake, keep it, practice on a plate or something you can scoop the icing off of the surface and start over again. Practice basic words like, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Best Wishes, etc.

Another thing that worked for me is that as I got better , I had to thin my icing out a little more and use a smaller tip. i use to use a 3 , now #2 writes better for me...depending on what kind a contrast I am trying to get on the cake... and yep, write fluently and at a quick but steady pace, watch your icing as you write and the tip, sometimes you can tell when your icing is getting ready to clog up in your tip, almost like i can feel it a bit, squeeze it off in to a bowl, wipe the tip with a papertowel and keep writing...and funny thing, I hold my breath while i write, not intentionally, but it seems like when i do , I write better LOL.

One more thing I had started doing was, if I was trying to center a word, I would count the letters off , it there was a middle letter I would write that letter first in the center and then starting from the middle letter going to the left , i would finish the word backwards-dont know how old you are but kind like using the typewriter before computers and Word came on the scene- the counting off your letters technique.

But dont, worry, YOU WILL GET BETTER

emiyeric Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 3:22pm

Also, if you ever use fondant, it works really well to just directly PAINT your letters onto it with gel color. I can't pipe to save my life, but I can paint pretty well, it turns out ... cheating the system, hehe icon_smile.gif.

Sugar_N_Spice_Cakes Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 6:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifercullen

I bought some clickstix for little letters, but I couldn't stop them.leaving an imprint in the fondant




You have to roll the fondant or gumpaste PAPER thin to avoid the imprint.

cakegirl1973 Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 4:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRumzis

I suck at piping, but my letters have been awesome ever since I changed my method. I print out my phrase, tape parchment paper over it, trace over it with royal icing, let it dry, then bam! Works great for me. Use small dots of ri to attach the letters to fondant, or just press them right on to bc. Hth!




This is a great idea. I'm going to have to try this!

karukaru Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 5:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegirl1973

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRumzis

I suck at piping, but my letters have been awesome ever since I changed my method. I print out my phrase, tape parchment paper over it, trace over it with royal icing, let it dry, then bam! Works great for me. Use small dots of ri to attach the letters to fondant, or just press them right on to bc. Hth!



This is a great idea. I'm going to have to try this!




But what about a square cake? I have y first wedding cake in October and y friend wants a onogram in the middle (he designed it) and he also wants "FOREVER AND ALWAYS) written on the side of the bottom round tier

howboutbake Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 7:42pm

The only tip I have is to let the icing fall onto the cake and keep your pressure as even as possible. Once I started that my writing looked a lot better.

My problem is that I have terrible handwriting! I tend to print and write at the same time which doesn't make for pretty cake decoration icon_lol.gif

I'll have to try that royal icing transfer technique!

kakeladi Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 8:22pm

the shape of the cake makes little difference in writing on it.

I think you mean you want to know how to write on the sides of the cake. Best bet there is to write what you want on a 3 or 4" tall piece of wax paper. Pin it to the cake and trace over the writing with a toothpick, then after removing the paper, the writing will be embossed on the icing and you trace over it with icing.

erin12345 Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 8:46pm

The writing I do on my practice board is beautiful but it doesn't turn out as good on the actual cake. I've tried different angles, heights etc. without improvement. Anyone else have this problem?

karukaru Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 9:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

the shape of the cake makes little difference in writing on it.

I think you mean you want to know how to write on the sides of the cake. Best bet there is to write what you want on a 3 or 4" tall piece of wax paper. Pin it to the cake and trace over the writing with a toothpick, then after removing the paper, the writing will be embossed on the icing and you trace over it with icing.



What a great idea! I feel stupid for not thinking of that! Hahaha. I will try that. O am making a dummy as practice so I hope it will turn out Nice icon_smile.gif

AnitaK Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 11:24pm

When writing on cake, use piping gel mixed in thin consistency icing. Move the entire arm, rather than just the hand/wrist as you do in writing on paper. Practice, practice and practice again.

kakeladi Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 11:35pm

Oh, another hint I just remembered:

Whatever color your cake is iced in (base color) use that same color to write on the cake with a small round tip - like 2 or 3 - if it dosen't turn out you can just smooth it into the base color icing and start over. Once you are satisfied, use whatever color icing you want the writing to be over what you already piped.

B7jac Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 6:15pm

I have trouble with this too, I even resorted to printing out the phase on the computer, placing it on the cake and pin pricking the letters, then I iced over the pin pricks!! not the best solution but it worked!

CharE3 Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 4:15pm

I agree practice as I am new at this as well and am terrible at it.
I have resorted for some of the cakes to use the edible markers on Fondant, they work well just wish they were a little more vibrant color wise.

SweetcakesCT Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 6:05pm

I find that using those squeeze bottles that u can attach tips to works better for me than a piping bag. This way, I can hold it like a pen as I write. Also, I've learned that when writing in script, not to go back over lines like when u write with a pen. Instead, I stop and pick up again where I left off. That way the letters aren't fatter in some parts than others. HTH

Bakers_Wife_09 Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 8:34pm

When using bc, try writing with a tooth pick first, that way if you mess up you can just smooth it over and start again. Then just pipe over it.

emilyg Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 1:25pm

Tasha, you can use SugarVeil Icing and trace your letters by piping onto greased parchment. If you'd like a more dimensional piped line (which will also set dimensionally, too), refrigerate the piping bag for 20 minutes before piping. When set, the letters are flexible - you call peel them from the parchment and wrap them around the cake.
If you'd like a tool more comfortable to write with, you can also use the Icing Dispenser to do this (see http://www.sugarveil.com/icing_dispenser/index.htm), which you hold in your hand and feels more like writing with a pen than piping. When they are slightly set, you can build up the letters if you like, like the monograms on the two cakes at the bottom of the page here: http://www.sugarveil.com/gallery/wedding_cakes.htm. Thank you!

tripleD Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 2:20pm

I use a laser level to get a straight line to follow. Use a small icing amount so you have more control in your hands. Practice practice Practice.

rara1975 Posted 31 Oct 2011 , 12:32pm

I struggle with this alot, so I am really glad you asked the question! So many helpful tips from the lovely ladies on here. At the minute, if its a really important cake, I tried to pipe onto a fondant disk, so that if I make a mistake, I havent ruined the whole cake! That makes me feel less nervous!

Biya Posted 6 Nov 2011 , 11:50am

When I started decorating I would stack phone books under my elbow to steady my arm when I was piping. It does get easier with time. So practice is always the best advice. The consistency of the icing is huge and piping slowly does make it worse. good luck

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