Cake Decorating: 3 Tips for Writing Messages with Icing

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Does anything feel more special than being presented a cake with a special message written in icing on the top? We love adding this finishing touch to birthday cakes and other special occasion cakes, but making it look good can definitely be tricky. Here are a few tips that can help.

1. Write in Cursive – This tip comes from our baking instructor in culinary school. She explains that it’s much easier to control the flow of the icing from the piping bag in a single steady stream for cursive than to continually start and stop for print letters. It also just looks fancier and more elegant.

2. Practice Makes Perfect – Grab a thick marker and hold it in your fist like a kid just learning out to draw. This is similar to how you hold the piping bag. Write out your message few times on a piece of scrap paper so your hand learns the motion of making the letters. This also helps avoid the problem of writing the whole message only to realize you’ve misspelled something!

3. Trace the Message with a Skewer – Take a skewer or other pointy object and lightly trace your message in the frosting on top of the cake. This way you can position the message perfectly and will have something to follow once you actually start piping. The piped icing will cover up the skewer marks.

If you’re not comfortable with a piping bag and your icing is thin enough, it can also be easier to use a squeeze bottle or work with a kit like this one from Kuhn Rikon. As with all things, we encourage you to go for it and not worry about perfection!

What other tips do you have for writing on cakes?

Related: Look! Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

(Image: Flickr member yorkd licensed under Creative Commons)