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Detailed Techniques

Here you'll find tutorials on techniques I use or links to other places where I learned a certain technique. 
Feel free to make requests! :)

Technique Tutorials

Quite a while ago I heard about a Butter Cream Transfer and was shocked because it cut down on 
my decorating time greatly once I learned it!  It requires planning and skill, but ultimately it's a technique the DIY Cake Decorator can do all by her / himself!

Here is how you do it: 

Find or create the picture that you'd like to use as your design.  If you are using words or you want it to face a certain way, you need to print it on "Mirror Image"  
(Don't forget this when you are doing words!! Or It will be backwards!
Then we can all enjoy laughing at your cake on one of my favorite blogs: Cake Wrecks!) 
Print out your design in the size you need for your cake 
(this could take some trial and error - or some good measuring!)
Attach the design to a piece of cardboard that fits your design. Then Take a piece of Waxed Paper and lay it over, attaching it with small pieces of tape on either side.

Next, make your butter cream and then color it in all the colors you'll need.  Put the colors into individual Piping Bags with the size of round tips you need.  Yes - - time consuming but important!

ok, now for the steady hand.... 
Start piping the details that you want to show up - like the outlines, and any designs that are in the forefront of the picture. You have to think a little bit backwards and realize what the underside will look like through this process.

Then go back through and fill in the colors where you need them.  Take your time if the design is tight, and if there are small cracks to fill, change your tip, don't just rush through this part.  It will make a difference trust me. 
After you have filled everything in you want to, pick up the same color as your cake's background* 
then piped over the entire back of your design in this color, this time it's ok to go outside the boarder.  Once you've done this, go carefully over the back with a small spatula and smooth it out. This will also work to press your design into any cracks - but don't press hard, just very very lightly will do.

*If you want to place the butter cream transfer on a cake where the background is a different color, (like the skull cake below) just go over the design in the same color that you filled in the transfer with and stay inside the lines.

Place the whole thing in the freezer for 20-30+ minutes.  If your design is really really thick (it usually is because you went over it again with the background color) you can sort of shave off a little of the frosting on the back when it's still frozen. You may need to do this quickly (& carefully) and then place it back in the freezer to make sure it's really solid.

While it's freezing make sure that your surface is ready for the butter cream transfer.  Figure out exactly where you want it to go. 

The finished product- 
Work quickly as butter cream tends to melt very fast!!
Detach the piece of wax paper from the cardboard carefully - that's why I said 2 small pieces of take on either side - small.
Find the location on the cake that you want the design to go, slowly flip the butter cream transfer over and lay it on the cake where you want it. Carefully pull the waxed paper off of your design.
Complete!  Ahh, when you master this technique you feel so great, Butter cream transfers can really turn out beautiful!  It's a great way to take a character from a coloring book or print it out from on line (I like to have it colored in so I know what colors I need) and make a cute cake out of it.

Also, if you would like to include a picture of the face of a character to  make it look neat and clean or something (Like the little Einstiens cake above)  You can take a printed out picture of just the face(s), lay it on the wax paper and pipe your outline around it first and then finish the design (make sure to print it on Mirror Image) When ever I do this, I take the picture I printed and cover it in clear packing tape to make it resistant to any oils.

Another tip - if you don't like how you can see the lines that you piped in when you filled the design you can try two things
One - thin your buttercream out - a TINY bit - I mean a tiny bit - like one drop of water.  That may help. 
Or Two -  once you've taken the wax paper off and you've placed it on the cake you can take the back of a spoon & smooth out SOME of the design with the spoon.  But do it before the butter cream has too much time to gets soft and warm. Be careful not so smooth over the outlines from other colors.

Neither of these methods may work out exactly how you want, sometimes you have to just leave it how it turns out - this is hard for me to do - I want it to be perfect! Trust me - people will be blown away at how great the picture looks that they won't really notice the little frosting lines.

Also, if you are doing a transfer of a figure that doesn't have distinct black or other outlines like for fingers, nose etc... you will need to create a color that's a few shades darker than the color you'll be outlining.  This way you will be able to see actual detail and not just a blob of one color. I learned this the hard way. :)

Have fun, let me know if you have questions!  I'll try to get more pictures and video uploaded soon on this technique.  For now try Googleing "Butter Cream Transfer"