Piping Words

Decorating By wickeddelish Updated 10 May 2014 , 8:40pm by whiteangel

wickeddelish Posted 8 May 2014 , 9:45pm
post #1 of 21

I am new to the business but not new to decorating. My issue is piping words onto cakes. I can do literally any other decorating techniques that involve piping, I can do trims, and lace designs, stained glass, royal icing and RI transfers...  It's not a steady hand issue because I can do all the other things well. I cannot for the life of me get my words to be in a straight line on the cake or be the same width/style. I have tried all the tricks I can find, I've tried tutorials, I've practiced like crazy. Any tips or wisdom you pros would like to share with me? 

20 replies
morganchampagne Posted 8 May 2014 , 9:59pm
post #2 of 21

APrint out a font and make RI transfers of the words. Alternatively Wilton makes an impression set of the alphabet. You can make an imprint on the cake Nd pipe over the line.

SweetP Posted 8 May 2014 , 10:09pm
post #3 of 21

AI always had a problem with my writing going up or down until I started using a small laser level. I just place it on something so that the laser hits the surface of the cake and use that as my line to write on. Also, the right consistency icing makes a big difference. I recently purchased a couple of PME round tips that pipe much smoother than Wilton.

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 10:28pm
post #4 of 21

if you notice the way our shoulders are designed--if we just swing an arm we would make arcs right? so my idea for you is to elevate yourself (your arm) so you have enough room to make the necessary change to defy your arms' natural inclination to follow it's own design--


so you need to hover over your cake like a crane--when i write i stand on a step and i pipe from the shoulder-- i hold the bag in one hand and help guide the piping bag with a finger on the other hand--i mean if you can comfortably and safely lower the cake down that would be work too --


the laser thing sounds great too, great ideas, mc, & sweetp


craftybanana Posted 8 May 2014 , 11:00pm
post #5 of 21


Originally Posted by SweetP 

I always had a problem with my writing going up or down until I started using a small laser level.

Love Love LOVE that idea!! I'm going to steal that and use if for painting, I can't ever get my letters straight without a line either.

lkern777 Posted 8 May 2014 , 11:50pm
post #6 of 21

I am also terrible at writing. My hands do shake a bit, which makes it bad enough, but I also cannot get things centered properly or my spacing between letters correct. It is so annoying.


I am definitely going to try to laser light to help with the straightness. What a simple, great idea.

MBalaska Posted 9 May 2014 , 12:04am
post #7 of 21

I thought about using the carpenters laser leveler thingie, but was thinking it would melt the icing.

vldutoit Posted 9 May 2014 , 12:37am
post #8 of 21

Take your offset spatula and very lightly make an indention with the side of it into the top of your cake (assuming you are using buttercream).  It is like a ruler for a straight line then use it as a guide for the bottom of your script.

SweetT14 Posted 9 May 2014 , 12:42am
post #9 of 21

AI seem to never get my icing thin enough for it to come out smoothly for tips 1 and 2. Then I'm going back to try and salvage straight lines using a toothpick.

drea88 Posted 9 May 2014 , 4:32am
post #10 of 21


Original message sent by morganchampagne

Print out a font and make RI transfers of the words.

I have done the same thing, except I used candy melts. Just make sure to make extras to allow for breakage.

wickeddelish Posted 9 May 2014 , 11:32am
post #11 of 21

AThanks so much... I think i'm gonna do some combination of all of these things! It really is strange the way everything else always works out fine but as soon as a customer says "and I would like the cake to say..." my stomach drops. I find decorating to be so relaxing and doing the writing spikes my anxiety because I have never delivered something with writing that I love. Has anyone tried the melted chocolate writing? I know above someone mentioned candy melts like RI, I've found a few tutorials on it and I love the way it looks. Alas, that's not for me either lol

-K8memphis Posted 9 May 2014 , 12:46pm
post #12 of 21

melted choc works great but you have the greater degree of difficulty to either get it the correct temperature or be able to handle the different rates of flow that you get with the different temperatures it will pass through as you work with it--plus in a metal tipped bag it gets hard quick--has to be kept warm--you can keep it on a heating pad for this--because if it does cool off in the tip and you get it flowing again --other chunks can come off from in there and mess you up--definitely use this medium but practice first to avoid the frustration of trying something new in production when you're trying to pop out a cake--


i use parchment bags for this and just cut the tip off then you can manipulate the tip of the parchment easier if it clogs too--it is tickier to use choco--but easy peasy after you get it --


also when doing most any buttercream piping--you want to stretch the icing out of the bag s-t-r-e-t-c-h it pull it --yank it out of there--just a better buttercream piping thought for you

wickeddelish Posted 9 May 2014 , 1:03pm
post #13 of 21

AThanks k8!

-K8memphis Posted 9 May 2014 , 1:18pm
post #14 of 21

welcome wd, and i thought of one other thing--when you keep a metal tip warm the choco will flow out--so i guess if you fold the heating pad up so you can set the metal tip facing up on there -- that should work --


when i keep my parchment bags warm, i squeeze the choco up into the bag and fold the tip up so i can keep it warm and it not flow out--then unfold to use it--


happy piping

cupadeecakes Posted 9 May 2014 , 1:46pm
post #15 of 21

I HATE writing on cakes!  If I have to write on them, I do it on a gumpaste plaque or cut the letters using the cutting machine.  I have used a laser level before, but it was more for piping bands of swirls:


wickeddelish Posted 9 May 2014 , 7:03pm
post #16 of 21


Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 

I HATE writing on cakes!  If I have to write on them, I do it on a gumpaste plaque or cut the letters using the cutting machine.  I have used a laser level before, but it was more for piping bands of swirls:


I do the same, I find any way possible to do the writing without just piping it. I'm a huge fan of just cutting out the letters. They're always perfect lol. 

-K8memphis Posted 9 May 2014 , 7:25pm
post #17 of 21

wanna get grossed out? read further-- i worked for this one place that had some kind of linoleum floor covering as the table top--it absorbed water -- if i remember correctly it also peed a little if you left something sitting on it overnight but i digress--


they would have multiple orders that needed those cut out letters and they just rolled them out wily nilly all freaking day instead of figuring out what they needed for the day's orders and doing them all at once--oh help me it was one of the worst places i've ever worked--'cause we rolled them out on 'the' table of course--hehehehe i didn't last there long at all


their tubes & tips were kept in two bait boxes with opaque lids that were all stacked up on top of each other amongst other boxes full of supplies including two baskets full of food color bottles and you had to walk all the way around this humunguous table behind all these people at close quarters to get over there, get someone to move out of the way, dig through the stacks of boxes, hope you got the right one because there's two of each find somewhere to open up the box you chose to get wth you needed--omg--it was nuclear disorganization--it was suzy homemaker cake deco overload from h--ugh

AZCouture Posted 9 May 2014 , 8:28pm
post #18 of 21


Original message sent by MBalaska

I thought about using the carpenters laser leveler thingie, but was thinking it would melt the icing.

Lol...MB, those things don't give off any kind of heat. [B]But[B]...I've seen where you can "jailbreak" them and increase the power output to a point where you [B]can[/B] burn things. The handheld laser pointer thingies,anyways. Guess it's the same innards as the levels too.

MBalaska Posted 9 May 2014 , 8:44pm
post #19 of 21

Whew :?   I'm glad you answered that question  AZ. 

Faradaye Posted 9 May 2014 , 10:31pm
post #20 of 21

AAnother option is to use a thread of cotton - I place it across the cake and tape it onto the table on each side so it stays in place.

Then I count my letters, work out the middle letter, and start with that in the centre of the cake. Then I can work forward and backward from there to make sure my writing is centred.

whiteangel Posted 10 May 2014 , 8:40pm
post #21 of 21

I can't seem to pipe lettering for the life of me.  I saw something the other night while watching Ace of Cakes that made me happy.  Even the professionals were doing it. 


The decorator had to make a very intricate lettering on a cake and she had it printed out, then taped on her cake with what looked like blue painters tape.  She then was using a push pin to transfer the design to the cake, just like you would do to cut out a fancy design on a pumpkin.  I was so tickled when I saw this as it made it super simple for me to pipe pretty script lettering. The holes from the push pin were covered with the b/c.

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