When it comes to baking a cake or a basket of muffins, you always need to impress someone dear to you. Decorating is the key to amaze someone when a cake is involved. The first impression really matters here. If you window shopping the bakeries downtown, you would never believe possible for you to create something that impressive. Believe me I didn’t! Until I actually did it using edible icing sheets!
See the vibrant designs on this cake? I create it using edible icing sheets – a highly effective and easy decorative technique. Edible icing sheets are printed designs that can be applied to cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other desserts. Believe it or not, the sheets are an actual layer of icing that bonds with buttercream, ganache, royal icing and fondant. Moreover, you can purchase the sheets pre-printed or customized with your own design or photo.
Tools and Essentials for Decorating Your Cake With Edible Icing Sheets:
- Edible icing sheets (I provided the printer with the designs)
- Gum paste glue (made with gum paste and a little boiling water)
- Small paintbrush
- Small sharp scissors
- Paper punches
- Paper Guillotine or exacto knife and ruler
- A cake iced with fondant
- A gum paste tea cup and saucer
- Other gum paste decorations to finish
Where I purchased the icing sheets:
Since I live in Singapore, I had my designs printed by CuppyCakes, a local business that I really love. They also told me that icing sheets have a shelf life of approximately one year. So, the parts I wont’t use on this cake, will become handy decorations for my future sweets.
Do not worry, tough! Wherever you are, you can always contact Icing Images, they offer you everything you need for creating your own edible icing design. They also offer a custom service. You can contact them via mail, phone, or chat, and they can also offer you support and tutorials.
Creating the designs for the Edible Icing Sheets
First of all, I searched Etsy for ‘Floral’ and ‘Chevron Digital Paper’ and came across a shop called Digital Potpourri. Imagine my surprise when I foud out that they was selling exactly what I had in mind.
Once I received the designs via email, I laid them out (repeated the design) to fill A4 paper size (this is the size of the sheets my printer uses). I also used Photoshop to put my design together, but you can use any graphics program or even Word. After that, I combined some designs on the one page to save on printing costs.
Keep in mind that it is important to have a fair idea about your cake design before ordering the prints. You need to make sure you ordered enough edible icing sheets in order to cover the circumference of your cake. Also, make sure your designs (such as the roses) are sized correctly for your project. It is always a good idea to print out your design on paper at home to see what it looks like, before you send it off to have printed on icing sheets. One can never be too prepared!
This was the design in the shop.
This is what they look like printed on the icing sheets.
Applying the icing sheets on a cake
Step 1: Start with a cake, smoothly iced with fondant.
Step 2: Using a sharp pair of small scissors, cut the design out. It is easier if you firstly peel away the plastic backing and then cut.
Step 3: In order to cut straight edges, you should use a guillotine or exacto knife and ruler. Scissors will also do the job.
Step 4: Apply a thin layer of glue to the entire back of the icing sheet. This step is not required if your cake is iced with soft icing such as buttercream, which is adequately adhesive.
Step 5: Apply the icing sheet to the fondant, using your fingers to gently press the sheets in place.
Step 6: For continuity make sure you cut the pattern in a way that it all matches up, as shown below.
Applying a bunting pattern
Step 1: Make a template for the curved shape of the bunting. I used the lid of a container, sliced in half. I simply pressed the edge into the fondant.
Step 2: Triangles can be neatly cut out using a paper punch. Alternatively use scissors or an exacto knife.
Step 3: As shown above, apply glue to the back of the icing sheets (triangles) and glue into place.
Applying the roses:
Simply cut out the rose shape and apply on the surface with glue as above. Use your fingers to press and hold into place.
This tea cup was made using gum paste and painted with gold luster dust mixed with a little alcohol (tutorial to come later).
Applying to cupcake toppers:
Cut icing sheets using a scallop or round punch. Apply cut outs to fondant cupcake topper in the same way as shown above. You may choose to apply the designs directly to the cupcakes (without a topper), however, make sure the surface is flat like here.
When it come to your birthday cake or to a basket filled with cupcakes for your loved ones, you should let your spirit and instinct guide you. Your creativity and inspiration are your loyal friends when designing a cake.
Edible icing sheets are always a good idea because they are so easy to use, and the final result is just amazing. It’s so funny because my friends always pity me for “all the hard work and the time” invested in the creation of such a good-looking cake. Although, they do not know how easy and fun it actually is.
Finally, I want to remember that you can find a lot of tips and tricks on the Cake Journal blog. So, do not hesitate to give the blog a quick search before starting a new sweet project.