How to Make Edible Cake Decorations
Edible cake decorations are really not too difficult to make. Cake toppers may be the quick, easy solution for completing a look on a cake, but homemade decorations are much more impressive. Plastic can sometimes look unappealing. Anyone who is artistic can simply draw a picture directly on a cake with buttercream icing, royal icing or piping gel.
If you're not confident enough to give a shot at drawing the picture freehand, there are several different methods for duplicating any picture, whether it's a cartoon character, a favorite child's toy, or a logo of your favorite team. There's really are no ideas that can't be turned into edible cake decorations.
You can create a royal icing image, a buttercream transfer or a chocolate image to create near perfect copies of any picture you want. Even with beginner cake decorating skills, you can easily master these edible cake decorations techniques.
The internet is a great place to find any image. Just search for a picture you like and save it to your computer. Open up the picture file with your photo editing software. Turn the picture into a mirror image. You can also resize the picture to print however big or small you need it. Remember to leave room for the birthday message and the top border of the cake. You can also put the birthday message directly on the cake board, if needed. Even your message can be made of edible cake decorations.
Tape the picture down to either the back of a cookie sheet, on top of sturdy cardboard or on a cutting board. On top of the picture, you will tape down a sheet of plastic wrap. Tape it at the corners and in between so there are no wrinkles in the wrap and it won't move when you start applying the icing. If you notice the plastic shifting while you're working, re-secure it so your edible cake decorations come out as close to accurate as possible.
Royal Icing Image
If you want the outline of your picture a different color than white, you can allow the outline to dry first and then paint it black, gold, silver, etc. prior to filling in the rest of the picture with run out icing. You will need the number 2 tip and thick royal icing for the outline. Royal icing dries out quickly, so keep your bowl covered with a wet towel. If you make mistake, lift it with a toothpick and simply pick up where you left off. If the royal icing has points where you stop and start, you can correct them with a slightly dampened paintbrush.
When the outline is done, let it harden up for half an hour. Now you will need to thin the remainder of the royal icing. (You can also purchase color flow mix, which was created expressly for this purpose). Add water, one teaspoon at a time until the icing is the consistency of cream. Color the thinned royal icing according to the colors in the picture. Use food coloring paste for best results.
Each color should have its own cup/bowl and cake decorating bag. You will be flooding each area of the picture with a number 4 cake decorating tip. When you fill each area of the picture, begin by piping around the inside of each section. Then fill in the area with a zig zag motion. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
At first, the piping will show the lines, but it will all even out if your icing consistency is good. When the design is done, you can put it under a heat lamp, if you have one. If not, let it dry at least 24 hours, depending upon humidity. When hardened, carefully peel off the cling wrap and invert the royal icing picture on to the cake where you want it.
Set up is the same as with royal icing, only you will outline the picture with buttercream icing using the number 2 tip. Fill in each area of the picture, beginning with the smallest details first. When the entire picture is filled in, spread a thick coat of buttercream icing over the whole thing. This should be the same color as the icing on your cake. Also, pipe that same color around the outline of the whole picture. This will make the design look better when you put it on the cake.
Place the buttercream transfer into the freezer until hard. When hardened, turn the buttercream transfer over, place it where you want it on the cake and peel back the plastic wrap.
Chocolate Cake Decorating
Chocolate Cake Decorating Chocolate candy melts come in all different colors and work great for creating a picture. You will follow the steps above, filling in one section at a time. When using chocolate, only melt one color at a time, because it cools quickly and becomes too thick to work with.
When you have all the colors filled in, coat the back of the entire picture with white chocolate. This will make the colors look true when you flip the picture over, instead of seeing the color of the cake icing showing through. Place the chocolate image in the freezer for at least 5 minutes, depending upon the thickness.
If you try to remove the plastic wrap before the image is solid, the chocolate won't have that nice shiny finish you want and will look dull. Err on the side of caution and leave it in the freezer a little longer if you're not sure.
Once you master creating your own edible cake decorations, you'll think twice about buying plastic decorations.
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