How to Write on a Cake

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

For many happy occasions you’ll want to write a special sentiment on a cake. The problem is not what to say, but how to make it both legible and gorgeous. Everyone has had a good chuckle over the cakes on Cake Wrecks, but we want to avoid having our efforts resemble those mishaps. With a few tricks of the trade and a bit of practice anyone can learn how to write on a cake like a pro. In my previous how-to videos we have built the foundation for this cake and are now ready to put on the finishing touches

Part 1: Cut and Fill a Cake Like a Pro!

Part 2: Crumb Coat Your Cake

Part 3: Smoothly Cover your Cake with Icing

How to Write on a Cake

Equipment and ingredients needed to write on a cake:

Parchment Paper Sheets – 12 × 16½ – used to practice tracing letters with icing.

Large Parchment Triangles (or plastic disposable pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip)

½ cup chocolate, melted

Mayonnaise or smooth mustard for practicing

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

If you are unsure of your handwriting or want to do something a bit fancy, I recommend finding an example of a font you like and print it out. Cover the sheet of paper with parchment or wax paper, so you can clearly see the lettering beneath it.  You can use mayonnaise or smooth mustard to practice your writing, so as not to waste your chocolate. Use a parchment paper pastry bag or a pastry bag fitted with a very small round piping tip.

How to fold a perfect paper parchment bag:

When I was in culinary school I remember having to create about 100 of these paper pastry bags and they all had to hold water. That may be a bit extreme, but practice makes perfect, so plan to make a few before you really get the hang of it.

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Fill the bag about ½ way with the melted chocolate (mayonnaise or mustard for practicing) and snip a very small hole at the end of the bag, if using parchment. The trick is to get a nice clean cut and start very small; you can always make the hole larger if it is too small.

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Trace the letters, trying to get nice smooth lines. This exercise will give you practice writing with a steady hand before attempting it on the cake. Do this several times, until you feel comfortable writing in this style.

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Now you are ready to write on the cake, but before you start with the chocolate, draw the letters on the cake with a skewer. If you don’t get the spacing right on the first attempt it is easy to wipe the surface clean with a cake-decorating spatula. Now you can try it again. This step is particularly helpful when writing long messages like “Happy Graduation Christopher!”  It can be tricky to fit it all on a small round cake and you may have to curve the words. No problem, when you are sketching it out first you can try and try again.

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Once you have the letters in the right place, trace them with the chocolate.

How to Write on a Cake | Photo by Zoë François

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17 thoughts to “How to Write on a Cake”

  1. Yet again another wonderful tutorial. Thank you! I typically use the plastic Wilton pastry bags for the sheer fact I can never get the paper ones to fold correctly for me.

  2. I love the idea of tracing the letters on the cake with a skewer. Thanks for that one — mentally filed away.

  3. Thank you so much for these tips. I recently made a cake that was a wreck and vowed to learn the right way to decorate a cake before next time. This is so helpful!

  4. thank you so much for all these videos. I have thoroughly enjoyed them all and have helped me in my decorative adventures. many thanks!

  5. This are such great tips! One of the main reasons I dread writing on cakes is that you have to wash all these piping bags and tips. These parchment bags save you all that trouble :-).
    I am also very impressed with your video where you cut a cake into layers – you make it look so easy :-). I guess practice makes perfect.. My layers turn out completely skewed. So I had to device a method of placing a cake in a dish, so that the sides of the dish guide the knife and it only cuts horizontally. I even have a post with a picture of all that technology somewhere on my blog 😉 I wish I could make perfect straight cuts like yours…

  6. Thank you very much for this icing bag video – just made my first one and iced a delicate message on an important birthday cake, and it worked like a charm. Just like having a personal coach at my elbow – a wonderful help.

  7. Oh my gosh! I have always been horrible at writing with icing! I cannot wait to try this out on my husband’s cake next week! Thank you!!!! 🙂

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