Cake Decorating: Writing with Buttercream

I teach an entire class two hours of

nothing but how to write on cakes and

your pastry students work for hours on

how to write on something some of your

higher end restaurants will have an

employee that that's your entire job is

to do nothing but write on the plates

and they work at making it perfect I

haven't spent quite that much time on it

but I have the principal down so the

first thing I want to do is I'm taking

my turntable away and I'm putting it on

to a flat surface a couple of reasons

one is it's much easier to pipe on

something that's not moving then

something that is and two you want your

cake to be lower than what you've been

working on you want it to lower it down

and when I am doing like full sheets or

half sheets large cakes you the lower

the cake the better you're gonna get at

writing those on those larger cakes so

if you are a short person in your

counter is pretty high pull out a drawer

and put your cake on that in order to

write on it you'll do have more success

okay so that's one of the first things

take it off the turntable I have an old

cake decorating friend that says you're

the laziest person on earth if you write

in green sometimes writing and green is

appropriate but I'll go ahead and change

the color so that you don't know I'm

lazy or think I'm lazy and I'm going to

use the tip I always use a tip when I'm

writing and I do not cut always use a

tip and I'm going to use a number two I

would suggest using a number three if

you're just starting but do not start

with the number one a one is going to be

very difficult to control that's a more

advanced writing so let's use them

number two I'm gonna stir my icing so I

have no bubbles you want to make sure

this is a fairly workable so if your

icing is

nice and stiff for flowers this might be

the time you want to thin it down and if

I two-tone it its add some yellow here

on that pink that will add interest to

it I also don't want to write on a white

cake with yellow icing because I'm

working too hard at my writing to have

it not show I also don't want to write

in black especially on something that

has he soft pastel colors and I wouldn't

bring in a red to go with these you have

to have the color coordinate with

whatever it is you're working with okay

so here's how we're going to do it when

we write on paper we write with our

hands and our wrists like this when we

write with a cake we're going to hold

our wrists steady and we're going to

write at our elbow so all of our

movement is at our elbow okay so my cake

is on a flat surface that's not moving

another trick is is if I'm writing

something that I'm whatever it is I'm

writing if you put that in paper in

front of you so that when yours you're

writing you can glance up quickly to see

what the letters are because I am not

paying attention to the words I'm

writing I'm paying attention to where my

tip is my body position my pressure

control these are all the things that

I'm paying attention to to the point

where I literally have looked back at a

photo to see that I misspelled my son's

name on his birthday cake my son his

birthday cake misspelled it because I'm

not focusing on what it is I'm writing

I'm focusing in on what I'm doing so if

you write it in front of you that works

to your advantage so you've got your

thing written in front of you you've got

your cake on a flat surface you've got

your icing the right consistency

you've got everything is all set to go

then I'm going to worry about my body

position so I am standing with my feet

at shoulder width apart I'm over the


and I'm going to do the writing the next

thing I'm going to do is I'm going to

put my writing at an angle so that if

it's not perfectly straight people can't

tell okay the other thing and this is

six years of college paying off right

here is that I'm going to make the first

letter fancy and nice and then the next

letters are going to be so my first

little will be here and then right

rather than writing the next letters on

this line I'm going to write them in the

middle of that fancy letter and that's

an advertising technique and you start

looking at advertising print media

you'll see that they actually do that

fairly often so what's the most common

thing we write happy birthday so let's

do happy birthday feed at shoulder-width


I'm over the cake icing is ready build

up the icing nice steady pressure curl

it around

Happy's going to start right here in the

middle bring it down the peas

so all my vertical lines are vertical

the same vertical I don't have them

going all this ziggy-zaggy way and the

one p is longer than the other P they're

a little shorter same thing if I'm doing

double FS double T's any letters that

are doubles one is taller than the other

okay or longer than the other and then

we'll do birthday

come back dot my I cross my T

and I want to go in and point out the R

the R has a sharp edge on it same with

an S no rounding wavy stuff sharp are

sharp FS no loop any loops on my letters

so my T is up and down as straight as

possible D is up and down straight as

possible same with the H now if you kind

of mess this up a little bit don't get

all worried about it because most people

when they're at a birthday party they

know they're there for a birthday party

they know that says happy birthday they

also know whose birthday it is usually

and so you know if you mess up on

spelling something don't mess up on

spelling somebody's name though it's

really bad karma now one of the things

that I can do is I can come back in and

do a little zigzag on my letters and

build them up and make them look fancy

and anytime you are doing something like


you always have thin crossing thick you

don't have thick crossing thick you can

have thin crossing fan and thick

crossing thin but you can't have thick

crossing thick so I'm not going to come

in and thicken up the crossbar okay I

can come in and thicken up this little

downward thing I can add a couple little

dots in here I mean you can just kind of

have fun with whatever it is you're

working with we can add

so you can come up and dress it up and

have fun with it or you can just leave

it plain