Some of you may have read my post about Royal Icing Flooded Cookies, but if you didn't, click the link and get all caught up before we continue. I don't mind waiting. I've actually found a new game on Facebook I'll play until you get back.
All done? Give me just a minute....
Okay, I'm ready to move on too. Those games are so doggone addicting!
Anyhoona, this is a really great way to decorate a cake, and I believe it gives you much more control over the final look of the decoration. For me, anyway, this is a whole new way to add cuteness to my kids' birthday cakes. (Or cookies or cupcakes...well, you get the idea.)
First of all, you need a good cake recipe, so that when you attempt to cover it in buttercream, (the world's yummiest frosting) it won't be all crumbly and fall apart. That's always a danger, and a reality in the world of cake decorating. So I send you to this link for the best triple layer chocolate cake.
Let's get on with this tutorial, okay? Okay!
Your first step is to draw simple outlined shapes onto regular printer or drawing paper. Then cut a sheet of wax paper long enough to cover all your shapes, and place your outlines underneath it.
Make up a batch of royal icing. Fill your pastry bag half way with it, add a small writing tip to the end, and start following your drawn outlines.
This is what they look like all done, drying for a bit (at least thirty minutes, okay?) before getting filled.
If you were good and went to the royal icing post, you would see how to thin it for flooding cookies. I don't recommend that method for this though, because there are so many colors that it would be annoying to use the mixer that much.
What I did instead: Since I didn't need much of each color, because the outlines were small, I just took a good size soup spoon scoop of frosting and placed it in a bowl. I then added a tablespoon on powdered (icing) sugar, a drop of gel food color, and a few teaspoons of water. Then I stirred, adding water or sugar (whichever was needed) to get an Elmer's Glue type consistency. You don't want it watery.
Then I used a toothpick to fill in the outlines. A squeeze bottle works well too, but I don't have one. I just rolled my toothpick tip into the bowl, got a large dollop on it, and tapped it into the outline part. I added more as needed, making sure the color touched all parts of the outlined area I was trying to fill.
You want it pretty full, because as it dries, it shrinks. But be careful when you're spreading with the toothpick, as the sharp end will break your piped outlines. I broke a couple myself. But they are easily fixed.
Items drying, waiting to be detailed with edible marker. I highly recommend investing in those tools if you bake a lot. They are so much fun to use! Especially if you use royal icing. You can draw anything you want! But you must leave them to dry a full twenty four hours before adding anything else on the top. Otherwise they break, and it's not pretty.
The letter boxes I made enhanced with edible marker. I think they're cute!
I think mine had a harder time sticking because I smoothed out the frosting so much. If it were just spread on and left alone, they would stick much better. But I wanted to try smoothing it with a new technique I learned, and that made it a little more difficult. Not to mention it was FREEZING in the house and all the frosting on the cake hardened. But it all worked out!
A close-up of the lettering. See how thin and delicate some parts are? Move SLOWLY when releasing them from the wax paper. And press gently when adding them to the top.
This is a casualty. A pretty butterfly that was broken in the Tupperware I had stored him in. But I wanted to try and use him, so I "glued" him onto the cake with buttercream. Well, the moisture made his color change, so next time, no matter how pretty a decoration is, if it's broken, I won't try to salvage it. I'll just use something else.
The top with candles and everything. I think next time I will make the outlines on the lettering a darker color to put on a light base like yellow buttercream. The white just doesn't stand out enough on this, but would be great on a darker cake.
So, when are you going to give it a try? If you do and you post pics, let me know! I'd love to see them. If you feel daunted, try it with cupcakes first. That way you can get some experience before tackling a larger cake.