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Ann Pickard Sugarcraft

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Writing on a cake can create a very professional finish if done correctly. Here are my tips and techniques for writing on cakes using Royal Icing.

A good start is a nice consistency for your royal icing, make sure you watch my video for a quick reminder and here's my very easy recipe.

Recipe for Royal icing3 Fluid ounces albumen solution (reconstituted egg white), 450g (1lb) sieved icing sugar, 1 teaspoon glycerine. Simply Beat all the ingredients on a slow speed until you reach a peaked consistency.

5 Tips 

  1. Always beat your icing sugar on a slow speed. If you use a fast speed it will add lots of air bubbles.
  2. Before you place your icing in the piping bag paddle it back and forth on your work surface with a palette knife to squash out any bubbles.
  3. Never fill the piping bag more than 1/3 full
  4. My favourite writing tube is a No. 1.5 tube
  5. Always let your cake surface dry for 24 hours before you write on it. This makes is possible to scratch off any mistakes if necessary! 


For the quickest way to perfect writing on cakes follow photos 1-9 along with the instructions below

1. Write an alphabet practise sheet in big basic blackboard style letters. Laminate or put the sheet in a clear plastic document folder so you can wipe the icing off and use it over and over again.

2. Wipe the tip of you tube before you begin squeezing the icing out. Start by touching the surface of the cake (or worksheet) and very gently start to squeeze the bag.

3. Lift the tube and bag gently away from the surface of your cake (or sheet) while still squeezing gently. Do not rush or tug the icing as it will break the line. The ‘mantra’ to remember is ‘touch, lift, drop’ and re-attach to the cake.

If you were piping a lower case ‘b’ start at the top of the long line, finish and stop at the bottom of the line. Then pipe the curve separately (see Step 6).

4. Start the letter  ‘a’ with the curve and finish with the line.

5. If you stay very close to the cake and do not lift away, the line is more than likely to be ‘wiggly’ and it’s hard to control where you want to guide the line – especially for curves. 

6. When you pipe the curve on the ‘b’, attached the start of the curve to the straight line half way down, gently squeeze and lift. Stop squeezing just before you re-attach the line at the bottom of the straight line.

7. Try not to continue squeezing when you get to the end of your letter, as you will get an extra messy piece of icing that needs to be scratched off.

8. If you write a long message across your cake, work out the spacing before you begin so the middle letter of the message is dead centre. Happy Birthday would be 14 spaces (as the gap counts for a letter space). Or write the two words on separate lines as in the photo above.

9. Add embellishments to the end of your long downward lines, such as ‘y’, ‘g’ and also to the capital letters – to make your writing look more ornate and interesting.