Super Fancy Cake Decorating Tutorial for Broke Monkeys

This is a tutorial to show you how to decorate a cake that makes you look pretty clever.
The beauty of this method is that you can put anything you darn well want on a cake. Your kid likes a certain team and you don't trust Stuffmart Bakery?

No problemo. All you need is a picture off the webz (or a coloring book page, or a drawing you did yourself) and you can make any design you want.

In this case, Gater wanted a "Dora/Princess" cake. I didn't know how I would do a "Dora/Princess", but all I had to do was spend 10 seconds on Google, ("princess dora coloring page") and there was a coloring page all ready to print out.

First, bake your cake and let it cool thoroughly. It needs a flat top, so do what you have to to make it flat.
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Make your icing; a buttercream made with butter is best. You want an icing that is smooth and soft, but that hardens in the freezer. You will probably want to make a double batch to be sure you have enough to divide into all the colors you need.

*When you make your icing, you will want to sift the powdered sugar and mix the icing up quickly so you don't get lumps. You don't want lumps clogging up your icing tips in your detail work. Your icing should be of medium thickness, not too stiff. Soft peaks.*

Ice your cake. You want a flat-topped cake. The icing job does not have to be perfect, just flat.

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Print out a coloring page, and make sure it is the right size for the top of your cake. You need at least 1/2" space around the edge of your design on the cake.
*your design will be reversed, so if you are doing a team logo or similar, you will want a mirror image of your original printout.*

It is a good idea at this stage to decide how many colors you want to use in your finished design. You might want to mark those colors in the appropriate areas on your coloring page with markers. I didn't this time, because the design was simple and I was lazy.

Trim your coloring page, and tape it to the back side of a flat piece of glass. I always use glass from a spare picture frame.

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Tape a similarly-sized piece of wax paper to the front of the glass. Now you have a coloring page/glass/wax paper sandwich.

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Mix up the colors you will need for your design. Don't forget to include a dark color for outlines and details.

*I prefer to use paste colors because they are vibrant and easily blendable, they don't thin out your icing, and they last pretty close to forever. One little jar of each of a few basic colors will last you for years. Sometimes you get lucky and find a marked-down pack of specialty colors, like I did. If the specialty pack has a couple good basic colors in, or ones that you are likely to use in any case (for example, the Diego colors I bought for $1.99 had a skin color, blue, black, and brown -- all good colors,) by all means -- pick those suckers up, and some for your mommy friends too.*

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Now the fun part! Fill your icing bags. For the finest details, use a #1 decorating tip -- and you don't have to get fancy if you don't have actual decorating tips, they just make it easier. As you can see in the picture below, for some of the colors I just used ziploc bags with the tiniest speck of the corner cut off.

But for the initial details, you are better off with an icing bag and a #1 decorating tip if you can get one.
Now, trace over the outlines that you want to see on your finished product. This bottom layer will be the top layer -- the one you see -- on your design.

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Once your bottom detail layer is established, you can fill in larger areas over the details with other colors of icing. You can't go back in and put details in at this stage if you leave them out, so think logically, one step at a time. It isn't hard and you can fix things later if you need to, so don't stress too much about it.

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Color in all the areas with the icing layers to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Fill in right to the edges and on top of your detail lines, so your whole design is supported by that 1/4" thickness of icing.

You can hold your glass up to the light to see if there are any pinpricks of light shining through your icing design, so you can fix those thin areas before you go on.

*This is when your children will come in and inform you that you have screwed up and your icing job was a good try, but it does not look like Dora. You may chuckle to yourself at how ignorant impertinent amazed they will be when you reveal the final design.*

Now, take the whole coloring page/glass/wax paper/icing design sandwich, and slip it into the freezer. You want it in the freezer until the icing is hard to the touch. I don't really know how long that takes, but I'd venture at least fifteen minutes.

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Now is a good time to busy yourself with making the sides and bottom edge of the cake look pretty, or doing the dishes, or having a beer, or whatever.

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Now -- the magic! Take your coloring page/glass/wax paper/icing design sandwich out of the freezer and make sure the icing is nice and hard.

Un-tape the wax paper/icing, and quickly but carefully, up-end your design onto the cake. Press it down a little so it sticks.
Then, also quickly but carefully, before the design softens, peel back the wax paper to reveal the design.

Now, make the top edge of the cake look pretty with some stars or whatever (a #16 tip is good to use for decorating the sides and edges) and pipe your message.

Voila! You are a genius!
Or a broke monkey!
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COME ON OVER and see how it worked for Lea!

295 comments:

1 – 200 of 295   Newer›   Newest»
Larry and Deb said...

That. Is. So. Cool. !!!!!

I would probably still screw it up somehow. I'll letcha know how, after this next little spell of birthdays is up. lol.

Thank you thank you (from Deb the broke monkey).

Anonymous said...

***** (5 stars!)

Tammy said...

Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to share this trick. We can't use artificial colors but I could still use this for some nice dimension. I've got a soon-to-be-3yo little girl that will love this!

Vicki said...

That is amazing! Im impressed!!

Our Peculiar Lives said...

That is so neat! Thanks again for sharing! I linked to it on the sidebar in my blog and also on my blog facebook. ;) Have a great weekend!

drkr said...

What Deb said, but I would LOVE to watch YOU do it!! Haha!!

Yarny Days said...

How cool, and how very awesome! Thanks for sharing!

moey said...

I am so glad you all liked this tutorial! I wish this was my idea, but it wasn't -- I learned how to do it years and years ago. I hope you all are successful with it, it is really a fun and easy way to decorate a cake. Thanks for visiting!

Vegas Arce said...

That is SO cool!!

Retta Pryor said...

This works really well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks I was wondering how I was going to decorate my son's birthday cake, this looks like it will work well.

pescbrico said...

Wow, this is an amazing technic!!! I HAVE to try this... Who has the next birthday?? LOL Thank you so much for sharing. With my allergic girls, decorating is always complicated but this is a technic I can manage without milk or soy, really cool :)

Devin said...

So awesome!

Leah said...

Thankyou for shareing....Will be doing this for sure :)

heymudda said...

Just found you on Pinterest - love this!

Fatima said...

You are SO smart! :D

Talking Trash & Wasting Time said...

very very clever, thanks for sharing!!

SouthernCharm said...

Thanks for the great tip!!

Megan said...

I am going to try this again - the first time I did this a transformer for my son's 5th birthday (a year ago - not from your tutorial) - I used an OHP transparancy (instead of glass) and no wax paper it looked amazing until I tried to get that off! Ahhh. I thought it might have been the icing recipe as well! Can you post your icing recipe?

Lisa said...

THANK YOU!!! I have been doing it the hard way, drawing the image onto the cake then filling in with frosting... this is SOOO much easier and with my boys birthdays looming next month it is very much appreciated!! big hugs from me!

Randi S said...

sweet! My boys are having a Veggie Tales birthday party next week & I can't wait to try this. I can't draw in pencil let alone frosting! lol

Toni said...

I've been using this same technique for the past 14yrs....I had to get creative when I couldnt afford to buy bakery made cakes. My kids have always been quite impressed to see their cakes!

angie said...

Love this idea, having doing this procedure but right on the cake. The face was always the hardest. Will try this and post it. Thanks

Jenn, Adam, Evan and Christian said...

You. Are. Brilliant. I have a Transformers birthday cake to make this weekend and will definitely use this method. Thank you!!

Panda8ngel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Panda8ngel said...

Amazing! This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing!!! I wonder how it looks after it is melty a little.

By the way, what colorant did you use?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Brilliant! Thanks for posting this!!

DomesticPirate said...

Do you know if you can make this a few days in advance, and just keep the decoration in the freezer until it's time to use it? Can't wait to try this for my almost 6 yo's My Little Pony party!

Maria said...

You can also use this technique with royal icing. That way you can make it way ahead of time (days in advance) and you don't have to stick it in the freezer, just air dry in room temperature. But be careful with the finished product since it is fragile.

Holly said...

I'm a cake decorator (not at Walmart. You're right, their cakes are usually horrible), and this is actually really similar to what some of us do. I work with a woman who will sketch her design out, put the sketch in one of those plastic presentation sheet protectors, then trace the details on the sheet, press it onto the cake and fill in the details from there.

Tamara said...

fantastic

Toni said...

I use this technique a lot when doin my cakes. People are really amazed at how much detail is in the design. I have found that depending on design the longer it is in the freezer the better chance of fragile parts not breaking when transferring. I like to use the Wilton tube icing for outlining.

naomi said...

I will do this for sure for my kid's birthdays, party Aug 4. It will be much easier than I thought it would be making a micky mouse cake for my son. My daughter is having a hello kitty cake, but I plan on using candy for the hello kitty cake. I only have to make 2 birthday cakes really neat 2 times a year.( My kids have their birthday parties together. My daughter born July 15, 07 My son born July 30, 05)

Anonymous said...

Technique

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of doing this but to put on top of a sugar cookies using cookie icing....you think that will work out well?

MommyMandi M said...

Omg, I LOVE this! Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have a crafting blog at http://naptimemeanscrafttime.blogspot.com and I'm sure I'll be trying this soon and including a link back to you! :-)

Heather said...

I found some all natural plant based food colorings on the iherb website. They are a little pricy, but I think it is worth it. You do have to store them in the refrigerator.

Michelle said...

Just found this on Pinterest, that's amazing! Thanks for the tutorial.

Trina Lyn said...

Just wanted you to know that your link to cake wrecks made my day yesterday. Rarely do websites have me crying with laughter!!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely cool will be trying for sure!!!

Amber said...

This is so neat ! It will definitely come in handy ! I'll be giving it a try when my son's 3rd birthday rolls around ! :)
And probably for plenty more birthdays between my two children.
Thank you so much for sharing this ! <3

Erin Mitchell said...

This works well, I made mine with Royal icing and had the same effect.

Anonymous said...

Really? Why do people have to be rude and correct somebody on their spelling? It's not a big deal- definitely not a big enough one to say something and affect somebody else's day.

Anonymous said...

Wow so gonna give this a go sometime! 8)

mckennma said...

Thank you so much for posting! My son wanted a "Skylander" and it isn't really merchandised yet, but I made this with his favorite character (all corner-cut baggies here!) and it turned out AMAZING! Never would have tried it without your great instructions:)

Janette said...

No, dude. YOU are a genius!!!!!

Anonymous said...

do u have to make the icing your self or can store bought buttercream work? i do not have any of the appliances i need to make icing i just got my own place and on a tight budget... also where would you get the paste from? Michaels? thank you i want to try this for my nieces birthday and if it works i will do my kids this Feb.... if it doesnt then well just keep and eat it at home! ;)

Anonymous said...

thank you! thank you! thank you! I have never understood why people have to go out of their way to be rude!

Anonymous said...

you can barely see it in the back ground but it is Wilton icing colors. they are a gel instead of liquid. I love them!

Sawdust and Paperscraps said...

What an awesome Tip! I'm excited to try your buttercream frosting recipe too.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!! this is such an awesome technique.. :D will put to use!!

nursiedawn said...

What an awesome idea and so simple too.Just right for my very picky Grandaughter Fifi!

Randi S said...

Just FYI for anyone wanting to try this - 20 minutes in the freezer did not set my frosting. So I'm leaving the wax on until after the party tomorrow. Not bad for my first attempt, though.

moey said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment. Yes -- please always check that the icing is very hard before you try to apply the transfer to your cake, and go immediately from freezers to cake. Also, do not use any type of margarine, spread or softened butter. You must use real butter or, if you must, shortening. Next time I do a transfer cake I will time how long the freezing process is and amend this post.

If I were you I would freeze the cake overnight, peel the transfer off very carefully in the morning and set out to thaw until the party. Bakers freeze cakes all the time and freezing should not hurt it, if you have space in the freezers.

Thanks and good luck.

moey said...

I hope she enjoys it. Please come back and tell us how it turned out. :)

moey said...

Have fun!

moey said...

The frosting recipe is quite good -- I hope it turns out well for you.

moey said...

I always make the icing myself for the transfer as it works reliably and tastes good. Sometimes I use storebought frosting for the cake itself but I 've never used it for the transfer.

In terms of costs, a handheld mixer can be found for around $10 -- that's what I use -- and will certainly save you money very quickly over storebought icing. I hope it works out for you.

moey said...

Ahhh, thanks?

moey said...

Would love to see pics!

moey said...

Come back and let me know how it went!

moey said...

Yes -- the beauty of royal icing is that you can just let it dry instead of freezing it. The downside of royal icing is that its harder to make and work with and it tends not to hold the color as well as buttercream. You can make some gorgeous sculptural decorations with royal icing or melted chocolate as well -- maybe another post in the future :)

moey said...

I hope you enjoy it! It's one of those simple skills that every mom should know -- have fun!

moey said...

Please come back and share!

moey said...

Love cake wrecks! Its amazing what people will do isn't it.

moey said...

I hope you have fun with it.

moey said...

Oh your blog is chock - full of brilliant ideas! Thanks for linking. - what fun you must have.

moey said...

I have never used cookie icing so unfortunately I am no help there. Good luck - come back and tell us how you went with it.

moey said...

Good idea -- I quite often combine some of my kids parties too. Otherwise we would have a lot of parties lol! My kids' birthdays are clumped in groups and some quite close to Christmas so things can be pretty crazy. I hope they love the cakes -- coming up soon. :)

moey said...

Yes, its so easy and impressive -- win win!

moey said...

Thanks :)

moey said...

I can't quite picture what you mean but it sounds quick and easy too :)

moey said...

I don't do anything way ahead of time :) My very clever sister - in - law does some nice run - in work with royal icing though.

moey said...

Yes you can.

moey said...

You're welcome. Hope it works for you.

moey said...

Yes I used Wilton decorating colors which are widely available at craft stores. If you have a local cake and candy supply shop they may stock generic paste colors in larger and cheaper sizes also. Those little tubs last a long time though and are a good investment especially with sales and coupons.

moey said...

How did it turn out?

moey said...

Oh yeah, this is much easier. You will love it.

moey said...

I know, it's the best when they think it's just a big mess of icing and then voila! You make the magic happen!

moey said...

I hope it all worked out for you :)

moey said...

((Hugs)) back to you and the birthday boys. Let me know how it went!

moey said...

Yep -- the icing recipe is actually linked in the post. I'm overseas right now with nothing but a kindle fire so I cant update until I get back -- but the link is in there. Hope you have success this time around with the wax paper.

moey said...

You're welcome. Good luck.

moey said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

moey said...

Not really -- trust me :p. Anyone can do this, it's such a neat trick. Good luck with it.

moey said...

Thanks for commenting. Gotta love pinterest!

moey said...

Let me know how it goes!

moey said...

...and fun! :)

moey said...

I hope you have success and enjoy this method.

moey said...

Let me know if your cake turned out!

moey said...

Yep!

moey said...

Have you given it a try yet?

moey said...

Thanks for commenting!

moey said...

:)

moey said...

Thanks.

moey said...

I hope you try it!

moey said...

Wow, thanks for linking :)

moey said...

:)

RLFauber said...

Thanks for this idea! I was totally unsure how to do a Lightning McQueen cake since he is so detailed - this worked wonderfully!! I am amazed how good it looks since most of my attempts to decorate cakes are pretty sad. Also, I used the frosting recipe you linked even though I have a different buttercream recipe. It worked fantastically and only took 10 minutes in the freezer before I put it on the cake. Thanks again - I can't wait to see my little guy's face when I unveil the cake tonight!!

moey said...

That is so great! I hope he loves it -- of course, he will! Would love to see pics. Thanks for commenting!

ana llaca said...

Can i use betty crocker's Frosting?

moey said...

I have never used storebought frosting for this method so unfortunately I can't advise you on that. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you.

Megan@Whimsically Homemade said...

Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures. If that's a problem let us know and we'll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

moey said...

No way! That's awesome. I'm honored. Thanks for letting me know.

Elzette said...

This is soooo COOL! This is going to blow my kids away!! I bake and ice all my own cakes and it's usually a BIG organising to get the picture on the cake in icing colours. No more worries, now! Whoop whoop!

devaedelman said...

What a great idea! I've done a lot of fancy cakes, but never seen this. Definitely going to give this a try. Thanks!

Crystal Sauseda said...

I just tried this out, and I amazed myself! Thanks for the tip, it doesn't get any better than this!

Anonymous said...

This is really great! Need to try this one!

Anonymous said...

MY DGHTR. SHOWED ME YOUR SITE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. I WILL TRY THE ROYAL ICING DUE TO LIMITED SPACE IN MY FREEZER. GOD BLESS YOU.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is a great idea! You should come up with a kit that comes with everything needed and submit it to quirky.com. You can find free codes for a free submission if you Google.

I think Quirky and the community would love this idea and it could possibly end up in stores, like Target.

I found this article because I was thinking of submitting something similar, but your idea is so much better and easier.

moey said...

You should do it. Thanks for the tip but I would never get around to it. :)

moey said...

Post photo! Link! :)

moey said...

I hope it goes well and is fun for you. You will definitely get cool mom points.

moey said...

You should find this technique easy with your experience. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Yea it would be great if u would post a vide
o to youtube

Iain Campbell said...

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I live in Japan and a local bakery said that a custom cake for our son's 5th birthday would be about 250 dollars! My wife and I decided that we would give it a go and make the thing ourselves since she can cook and I can draw. I can draw, but I have never drawn in chocolate before in my life. I stumbled on a link to this blog post on lifehacker the morning I was supposed to draw Spiderman on a cake. SPIDERMAN! Do you have any idea how many lines there are are on that guy? Well I'm happy to say that I followed your instructions and made a darn good leaping, foreshortened, web shooting Spiderman on my first try. Thank you so much for sharing this idea. You've saved me about 200 dollars and you have made a little 5yo very happy on his birthday.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why, but I followed the directions for the cake, the frosting (the link posted), and the decorating (which was awesome - it was an NBA team symbol) and it didn't work! The frosting did not harden. Did not have the cake I wanted at the party :( Very disappointing.

moey said...

Hi! I am so sorry this method did not work out for you. The foolproof part of this method lies in the butter used in the frosting. Butter always gets hard when it is cold so there is absolutely no reason why your transfer should not have done likewise. The only three things that I can think would have happened would have been that something other than butter was used ("soft" butter or margarine) or the butter was inadvertantly left out, or the transfer was not left in the freezer long enough. The transfer softens quite quickly also so it must be applied to a prepared cake as soon as it comes out of the freezer. If none of those troubleshooting tips apply to you, then I cannot imagine what happened as this process relies on the basic physics of saturated fats (found in butter) . I hope you will try again and have better luck next time :)

moey said...

Your coment made my day! I am so happy this worked out for you and your little boy on his birthday.

Holly: Domestic Dork said...

You could also do this with royal icing, and then, if you're careful, the design could stand vertical in the icing.

Anonymous said...

I have done this chocolate, that stays hard so it can even stand on the top of the cake. I never would have thought of doing it with frosting. Thanks for the tip, this is going to be great.

Anonymous said...

As someone who struggled learning the English language, I do not find it rude when one person corrects another. It is actually quite helpful, so the person does not continue using an incorrect spelling.

Anyway, this was a great tutorial.

Edible Artists Network said...

Love this tutorial! www.edibleartistsnetwork.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I will definitely try again - with more time to spare in case something goes wrong again. I'm still not sure what went wrong this last time either, but better luck next time I hope.

Herminia Hernandez said...

My daughter and I just made her grandmother a Betty Boop cake. We used chocolate inside of frosting and it came out great! Thank you so much!!

Herminia Hernandez said...

Instead*

Erika said...

Was wondering how in the world I was going to make the powerpuff girls cake my sister-in-law requested for her younger sister but I found this method. Waiting for my cake to cool as we speak so I can try this out! I suuuuure hope it works!!

Anonymous said...

Just finished my Powerpuff Girls cake! Ot turned out terrific! I used my tried and true decorators icing made from shortening, might try butter next time to see if it fills a little better, but for my first attempt, I am thrilled! Hope the birthday girl likes it!

Anonymous said...

You can use fruits as food coloring. ;)

Anonymous said...

I decorate with a lot of edible images..lthis is PERFECT and SOOO much cheaper!! Brilliant!!....thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to try this. I to am doing My little pony party this week, but wanted to try it out earlier. Can't wait to play with this idea tomorrow. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You just saved me from having to buy one off line for my son's first birthday! Thanks you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! I will most definately be trying this in the near future!!!

Charisma @Preemies And Me said...

I am sooooo doing this!!! Thanks for saving my wallet!!

Anonymous said...

I tried this method and messed it up! But now what i do, is i print an image like yours, and at my grocery store they print it on a edible sheet for less than 10$. I cut all the excess and i put it on my buttercream and ice over it... the grease and/or the sugar are making the sheet disapear, nobody notice anything!

Raye said...

Howdy, my daughter found your technique (spelled right or not...) and she was SOOOOO excited that she Had to bake a cake right away!! And she did a great job (she's 15) on the icing!! and she has made all sorts of plans for future cakes!! And I wanted to "Pin" it to my page so we can find it in the future and so we can share this Wonderful idea!! But all your pictures are "non-pinable"?? An idea this cool NEEDS to be shared!! And shred often!! :) I'm just saying!! :p...thanks for the idea...both my daughter and I are Loving it!!

moey said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I am not sure why the pictures are non -pinnable but this tutorial or pictures of it are certainly on pinterest already. If you do a quick search for it -- I can't remember the search terms but its easy to find -- try Dora coloring book cake or something like that -- it will come right up and you can repin it. Sorry to be so vague -- I will be home next week and will have my computer back so I will check back with you to see if you have had success. My oldest daughter is 15 as well -- best age ever, when they can do so many exciting and creative things and make you so proud! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link for people that want to pin it!

http://pinterest.com/pin/33706697181939112/

Stephanie C said...

I'll be trying this next weekend for my 3yo daughters Little Mermaid party!! Thanks so much for the write up!

Sara Brown said...

I tried this method and some of the frosting stuck to the wax paper even after freezing it for an hour. The recipe says to use butter that has been softened which is what I did but noticed in your comments you said not to soften before. So you take stick of butter straight from fridge to mixer? I was thinking maybe the 5T of milk was too much before I read that comment. Just trying to troubleshoot for next time!

moey said...

Hi! -- you will have to soften your butter in order to mix it into your frosting. I meant in the previous comment not to purchase the kind of butter that is "softened" -- made spreadable from the fridge because it is mixed with oil. I don't know for sure why some of your design came off unless the icing was overmixed and had too much air incorporated into it, which would have affected the structural integrity. Or, possibly, if it was the outlines that were lifting, you may have had air trapped between your layers of color and the outlines would not have been strong enough to peel off the wax without support from the underlying colors. Those are just guesses -- I really have no idea. Fortunately, the design is easy to repair with a bit of leftover icing. Better luck next time.

moey said...

Thanks :)

moey said...

I hope you both enjoy it.

moey said...

I am so glad you tried this and liked it. I always use butter as I don't like shortening in my frosting -- never had a problem with butter. Good luck.

moey said...

Thank you!

scrap_boro said...

I did something similiar about 20 years ago, but I used melted chocolate. I think your idea is much better. My design was of Mickey and the chocolate made it difficult to cut into the cake.

Anonymous said...

My icing is not hardening been in feezer for 45 min

Brianne said...

OK.....My son's birthday is Sunday. I am going to try this! My design is pretty simple but I am excited to try this anyway. :)
I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for sharing this great trick!

Anonymous said...

My daughter LOVES Beaker from the Muppets. We just practiced yesterday for her bday cake next week. Worked like a charm! Everyone was so impressed! Thank you!!!

DomesticPirate said...

Just finished touching up this for my daughter's 6th birthday tomorrow! I had to use a toothpick to touch up a few of the little details, but overall I'm really pleased!!! Thanks so much for the tutorial! http://www.flickr.com/photos/64690252@N07/7695602246/in/photostream

Diana said...

I have three boys so I always try to do something cool for their cakes but have run out of ideas. I can't wait to try this!

My one son is allergic to dairy products so I CAN'T use butter. I notice that you do say that shortning can be used, which I will have to do and hope for the best.

Do I substitue equal amounts of shortning for the butter?

Jenni said...

you.are.amazing. Just sayin'

Lisa said...

just finished my eldest son's birthday cake... using your technique... i would fly over to give you mega hugs if i could... an epic win for my star wars loving boy and it all worked perfectly... THANK YOU!! (can send a pic if you would like to see it)

Anonymous said...

HI,

I was just wondering if you checked to see if this violates copywright laws? I know companies monitor social media sites, and can take action if it does.

khamby said...

This would only be effective if she were selling her products. Then yes, you'd have to have a business license to use anything that was copy-written.

khamby said...

Okay, this is great. My daughter just had her 1st (made her a princess cake) and son just had his 3rd (made him a monster truck out of cake). Anniversary is coming up and the gift this year is "sugar". So just maybe...another cake is in order. With our picture perhaps. :) Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

First of all, great idea, I am a cake decorator and I could do this right on the cake but if I mess up, I have to scrape off all of the icing and start again, this is much easier.
Second, you could use any shortening based icing too, like crisco. And I do take offence at the "not trusting Walmart" comment, I learned to be a cake decorator at Sams Club, and though not all of our cakes werent perfect, I know the link isnt a Sams/Walmart cake, because we are not allowed to free hand like that and I know in Ohio, we are not allowed to copy college logos because of copyright laws. I've said my peace, now I am happy.
again...great idea

Tara Marie said...

What a great Idea. I am going to share your page as it is a great way for those who do not have money to make a beautiful cake. Thank You so much for this.

Stormie's Mommy said...

Can u use the gel dye from walmart? the food color that is gel?

Partycraft Secrets said...

So Smart! shared your great way over at partycraftsecrets facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Partycraft-Secrets/239045209469228

Anonymous said...

I've done the royal icing one as that is what I was taught in cake decorating school. The issue with that is it is hard and breaks when you try to cut it. This way it goes soft and is the same as the rest of the frosting. With the royal frosting you can position it at different angles to get different dimensions.

Anonymous said...

awesome idea ! And, yes, I love the IKEA kids bowls too

Anonymous said...

How do you get the front of the design smooth and not show the zig zagging lines of the frosting like the back of the design?

Anonymous said...

I've used this same type of procedure and it is very easy but I trace the picture (you can enlarge the picture if needed for larger cakes) on wax paper with a permanent marker (sharpie or pen) when done turn the wax paper over and with chocolate frosting outline only. When done carefully turn over and lightly press around the picture, carefully pull back the wax paper and you have an imprint of your picture faced the correct way. Now just outline the picture again with the chocolate frosting and I use the star tips to fill in my picture, when I'm done I will out line again and the picture seems to come alive. I do this on cakes frosted with whipped topping (set in the fridge first or lone the next day works best for the whip). I use either buttercream frosting to fill in my picture or if I'm in a rush I will use Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting. This will give your cake a whipped and frosting taste. No complaints yet!

Kathie said...

BRILLIANT! Sharing this on my Facebook page and Pinterest!

azra zaza said...

AWSOME,REALY BEAUTYFUL,GREATINGS FROM BELGIUM...

Morgan Feltner said...

I'm planning on using your technique for my daughters birthday party this sunday. I had a question: Will this hold up to being outside? We are having a party at a park and i'd hate for my hard work to melt in 85plus heat that is expected this sunday. i'm glad I read thru your comments so i don't use SOFT SPREAD Butter but should I add chocolate to the mix to help keep it together? i'm doing a Princess Peach and Baby Peach double cake for my daughters 8 and 1.

Marie-Eve said...

This is amazing ! Now I don't have to buy a Flash McQUeen cake !!!


Check out my new DIY project - A Pretty Nest

Anonymous said...

Can you use this technique on cupcakes?

Anonymous said...

Will this work on fondant? As opposed to buttercream icing? But this is by far the most impressive trick I have learned on the Internet! I can't wait to try it! :)

Tina Shepperd said...

i tried it w/ canned frosting the first time, w/ no real project in mind, just so I would know for when I did have an actual event coming up, and it didn't work. never froze completely. It tried, but it didn't release from the wax paper properly, so the image was smeared.

Lindy Rogers said...

genius!

Jess from Pgh said...

SO excited to try this on my daughter's 1st birthday smash cake! This should make a beautiful Minnie Mouse!

Cynthia said...

I have been doing cakes professionally for years and this is the first time I have seen this. This is great. My kids will love it. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!! I'm at SAHM with 4 little guys~maybe I can actually do a birthday cake with a design on it that looks like something. =) Next birthday isn't for a couple of months yet, so I have some time to practice!

moey said...

Hope it goes great for you, busy mom!

moey said...

Yeah, I learned this trick when I was taking Wilton classes, but I'm not sure that it's a Wilton-approved method ;)

moey said...

You'll find it a breeze and she will love it. Let me know how it goes.

moey said...

I honestly could not tell you about fondant, I never use it. My sister does gorgeous fondant work but I don't think she uses this method at all.

moey said...

Technically, yes

moey said...

I hope it worked out well for you.

moey said...

Hm, I wish I'd have replied to you sooner -- yes, the icing design would have held up fine and been a lot easier for you than the royal icing -- but it looks like yours turned out great!

moey said...

Hello to my Belgian friend. I hope you have a chance to try this out.

moey said...

Thanks for sharing! I hope you try it.

moey said...

Good question. Well, you should make the icing not too thick, to start with. Then, it's a little bit of technique that you will learn as you go along. When you start filling the icing in, don't go along in stripes -- start a bead of icing and sort of spread it out with the bag tip in the icing bead, squeezing as you go. That will eliminate the zig-zag lines. If you still have zig-zag lines, look through your design from underneath and use a toothpick to carefully smoosh them out. But really, it doesn't matter that much. It will still look cool.

moey said...

Love IKEA!

moey said...

Thanks for sharing and for letting me know!

moey said...

You are welcome. Thank you for sharing the idea.

moey said...

It's ok, I shop at Walmart from time to time and I've seen the cakes there. :) Not to put down assembly line cakes, but why pay good money for one when you can do a wonderful job for free in your own kitchen? The Walmart part was just a joke.

moey said...

Good luck on the next round of birthdays!

moey said...

I'll be sure to let everyone know if the coppers come knocking on my door at the next birthday party :)

moey said...

Nah, not really. Just passing on a good idea :)

moey said...

Yes. Good luck.

moey said...

Cute! Did you enjoy the process?

moey said...

Thanks for letting me know! I love Beaker too.

moey said...

That is awesome! So glad it worked out for you :)

moey said...

Yes

Terri Mitchell said...

what is the trick for getting it off the glass, there must be some flipping it around, I would be worried about it cracking, is there a trick?

Anonymous said...

We cant use artificial colors either. I found these, they are liquid so they make better pastels but they are a good option. http://www.amazon.com/India-Tree-Natural-Decorating-Colours/dp/B000FNM5PU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346019842&sr=8-3&keywords=natural+food+coloring

Anonymous said...

Used this for my brother-in-law's birthday cake. The "Phillies" logo! It was amazingly easy and looked awesome! My only question- how long do you think it's good in the freezer for?? may need to do a cake soon but time's a factor. Wondering if I could do it 2-3 days ahead of time??

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