How To Create a Frozen Buttercream Transfer


Frozen buttercream transfer is a method of transferring your art to your frosted cake. You are making a buttercream “plaque” to apply to your cake. It is similar to the more familiar method of transferring a design to a frosted cake with gel on waxed paper, and filling in the design with a star tip. It is also comparable to run-in (flood-work) sugar design work, and it will make a beautiful reproduction of your art in buttercream on small as well as very large cakes.1

Things You Will Need:

    • 1 batch Buttery buttercream Icing
      ( This is the preferred recipe, however you can use your own. Just use a buttercream recipe that is at least ½ butter to Crisco. This seems to peel away from the wax paper more cleanly. )


  • Wax Paper
  • Tape
  • Parchement cones or icing bags
  • A Flat portable surface such as a cutting board


1. Choose a graphic image and print it out in reverse/mirror image.
(Click here for a good place to search for coloring book images)2.Tape your picture down to a solid surface such as a cutting board.3. Tape a piece of wax paper over your image 4. Using your choice of outline color*
Trace the outlines of the picture.
*Outlining note: I use store brand (VON’S) fudge icing or Wilton’s Black. These are thicker and seem to not smudge as badly as homemade buttercream. The fudge seems to work better. I have found that name brand fudge icing is too creamy. The Wilton’s black will try to lift off of the wax paper. This must be used with care. %GOOGLE% 5. After completing outline. Begin coloring in. Think about your layers. For instance, in the sample picture, the white collar/cuff fur would cover the red jacket and bear fur. So I do this first.
6. Continue with your other colors thinking about layers as you go. 7. When you have finished coloring in your graphic, smooth the back while gently pushing without blending your colors underneath. This will settle your frosting into the grooves and create a smooth finished project. 8. Anything you have on the edges will show on your cake. Using the same color icing you will ice your cake with, edge the transfer and cover the back evenly. 9.Place in freezer on cutting board for at least 90 minutes. I have left it in for as much as 24 hours.10. Remove from freezer. Turn over onto iced cake. 11. Gently press transfer into icing.12. Carefully remove waxed paper 13. Enhance transfer and finish icing cake, as you desire

Other cakes by Dawn using this technique:

By: Dawn Griffin

Comments (69)


Thanks, for this, couple of questions - will regular food coloring "water down" the buttercream ? what do u recommend for coloring the buttercream? also instead of buttercream would store brand tub frosting (white) be OK to use in main sections - and again, is food coloring OK ? thanks for the help!


I'm not sure if I follow the recipe for the buttercream glaze. You say use the tinted buttercream and add equal parts of corn syrup. So is it safe to say that if I use 1 cup of buttercream, I should add a cup of corn syrup? It's sounds like it would really make it very " syrupy". Am I right in thinking that this is what you want us to do for the recipe.

it's just mixiing two ingredients together (buttercream and corn syrup). I'm excited about this and want to try it this weekend. Thanks for all of your great tips, recipes and expertise. You are awesome!


MaryB--regular food coloring WILL water down the buttercream. At the grocery stores and craft stores in the cake decorating section, there are little jars of gel coloring. It's concentrated, so a little goes a long way. The buttercream recipe that I use is Bunnywomans recipe that is on the Wilton forum. You want a recipe that has half butter so it will keep it's shape, and half Crisco. It's very easy and fun to do this. I first saw it on as a video.