Cake Decorating Patterns

Cake decorating patterns are an easy way to decorate a cake. There are several ways you can use a pattern and we'll discuss the different steps you can take to decorate with templates and patterns.

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How to Use Cake Templates or Patterns

When thinking of cake patterns or templates, there are several ways they can be used to make an easy cake decorating project. 

Shape your Cake

With a large template you can shape your cake by cutting your design out of a baked cake. These are often called cut up cakes. These are best made by making a pattern on a large sheet of paper and laying your pattern on a 13x9 or the appropriate size and cutting out your design. You'll need to make sure to start with a crumb coat, a thin layer of buttercream, before decorating as it will seal in the cut edges.

dinosaur shape cake

Buttercream or Chocolate Transfer

Buttercream transfer and a chocolate transfer. Both of these methods take a picture, template or pattern and fill in the design. For a buttercream transfer you use frosting and for a chocolate transfer you use melted chocolate. The image is frozen or hardens and you place your image on a frosted cake. The advantages of doing a transfer is it is easier to trace the details in your image.

buttercream transferbuttercream transfer design

Frost around Pattern

Frost around your pattern. In this method you lay your pattern on an unfrosted cake and frost around it. Once you lift up your pattern, you will see an empty hole where the pattern was laying. This will be the outline of your pattern. Pipe black frosting with a writing tip around the edges and fill in details. This outline method allows you to free hand inside the design. It is easier if you pick an image with not too many details.

cake pattern on cakecake pattern outline
filling in cake patterncake pattern design decorated     
Very similar to number 3 is laying your picture down on a already frosted cake. Trace in the frosting the outline with a toothpick. Pipe around edges with black writing tip and fill in details on top of the frosted cake.

Cookie Cutters

Use cookie cutters for an easy decorating technique. Draw an outline with a toothpick and fill in the design.
using cookie cutters in decorating example of cookie cutters in  decorating

Fondant Cut Outs

Use a coloring page or one of our cake decorating patterns, lay it on rolled out fondant and cut out the outline with a sharp knife. Lay on a frosted cake and add details as needed.

horse fondanthorse fondant cake

Paint a Cake

To paint a cake you will need:
  • Clean paintbrushes
  • Frosting
  • black frosting-either homemade or you can buy black frosting in a tube
  • Bake, cool and frost your cake
frog cake

Find a picture you like either online or in a kids coloring book. Cut your picture out and draw the outline of your design with a toothpick in your frosting. If you are worried to place your paper right on your frosting layer a sheet of waxed paper or lightweight cardboard like a cereal box under your picture and cut the design out of waxed paper. Then place the design on top of your frosting and outline with a toothpick.

With your black frosting use a tip 1 or 2. This is a writing tip and you will fill in the lines of your toothpick outline with black frosting. You can use a different color icing for the outline if you'd like.

In small bowls, color your icing whatever colors you will need for your design. You will use a basic buttercream frosting.

Using a pastry tip #2 or #3 and the icing color you desire, fill in each section. Then with a paintbrush smooth out your frosting.

Painting using Food Writing Pens

You can buy food markers that you can use for decorating. You use them just like normal markers but they are safe for food. These work best writing on fondant frosting, royal icing or directly on sugar cookies.

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