I've seen some amazing cakes on here that have an outline of a picture, and I have this picture of a dragon, all just black outline that I want to make for my husband for Father's Day. How do I get it traced onto the top of a cake?
some people use a frozen buttercream transfer, or FBCT, to achieve this. you take the picture, print it out in reverse, cover it with wax paper, and trace it with buttercream. freeze it and then peel it off and put it on the cake.
i have never done this with buttercream so there are probably other people out there better qualified to give this type of info! but i have done it with candy melts and it does work =)
welcome to cakecentral!
You can also use a piping gel transfer method. Lay waxed paper over your design and trace it with piping gel and a number 1 tip. Then lay it on top of your cake with the piping gel side down. You have to remember that your image will be reversed. Then use a brush or your finger and rub over the waxed paper to transfer the gel to your cake. Remove the waxed paper and then you can trace over that with your black icing.
You can also trace it on parchment paper with piping gel. Place the paper gel side down onto the cake and use a tiny paintbrush to press the gel into the top of the cake. The icing must be dry for the gel to stick. Peel the paper back and if the gel is not sticking, keep going over it with the paintbrush until you can see the outline. You can even tint the gel black so it will blend better.
If it's just the outline you're after (and if it's onto a fondant cake), the other way you can do it is by pinpricking. Just use a pin to prick holes into the outline, leaving you with a faint outline to pipe with buttercream on the cake. You can even pin the picture on to the cake in a couple of spots, so it doesn't move while you're pricking it - just be sure you pin it where the outline is so you don't have any extra holes in the cake.
Here's what i did on my last BC cake: Take the image and all along the outline poke through it (either with a pin or a toothpick). Turn the image over and place that on your crusted BC (so the bumby side is placed on the cake). Run your finger over the holes that you poked through - this will leave an indentation in your BC. You can then use your black icing to trace over this indentation.