For an example, we'll use our Teddy Bear cake (we've even included a pattern in case you want to make one yourself), but the same principles apply to any simple line drawing. For instance, we made the Beavis & Butthead cake above by blowing up a picture of "the boys" from their CD movie soundtrack. Once you learn this technique, the possibilites are endless!
In addition to the regular cake decorating supplies -- pastry bags, decorating tips, etc., you will need a sheet of rice paper. This edible "paper" is used for a pattern. Don't worry, the icing will naturally dissolve the paper before you ever get around to eating the cake, but even if it didn't, it's edible (it's even Kosher). You can find rice paper at cake decorating suppliers or we have it available in teh shopping section of this site for your convenience.
So follow these simple steps and before you know it, you'll be turning out professional looking cakes!
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1. Use a non-toxic crayon (any Crayola® will do) to trace your design onto the rice paper. In order to get the most use from a single sheet of paper, place you design as close to the edge as possible. Once you're finished tracing, carefully cut out the design as close to the borders as possible. Save the remaining paper for another time.
2. Center the cut out rice paper pattern on your frosted cake.
3. Fill a pastry bag, outfitted with a small round writing tip, with dark colored icing. This is what you'll outline the design with. If you don't want to make your own icing (getting a dark enough color can be difficult), canned dark fudge icing works very well for outlining. Outline the entire design.
4. Now it's time to fill in the design. Remember to start filling in with the smallest detailed areas first and the largest areas last. Use a small star tip for filling and pipe lots of tiny stars until the entire area of your design is completed. Don't worry if some of your outline seems to be getting lost, you're going to go over it again.
5. After you've finished filling in, take your outline bag and re-outline the entire design again. It's amazing how this step will bring the design to life. Now it's time to finish the cake. You might want to pipe a simple border or two. Another easy technique is to cover the sides of the cake in multi-colored dots, like in the Beavis & Butthead cake below. Enjoy!