Rosalind Chan's tips on transferring patterns onto cakes

How to actually nail those cake designs

We've shown you how to create a buttercream icing transfer, but what if you have a cake already covered in fondant and you need to pipe a design on that? Unless you're an experienced baker and/or decorator, piping designs on a cake without a stencil can be tricky. Rosalind Chan, cake designer and instructor, offers tips to intermediate to advanced cake decorators in her first book, Creative Cakes, which also includes techniques and step-by-step instructions for beginners. In the hardcover book, she illustrates two ways of transferring patterns onto cakes: the non-toxic pencil method and the scriber or pen method.

Non-toxic pencil method

Draw the design onto parchment paper. Patterns transferred using this method will show the reverse image on the cakes.

Attach the design template onto the cake with pins. Make sure the pencilled side of the image is facing the cake.

Outline the design gently onto the cake with a pencil. Remove the parchment paper. The design should appear on the cake.

Scriber or pin method

Draw the pattern or image on parchment paper.

Attach the template of the design, right side up, onto the cake with pins.

Using a scriber or a pin, prick holes in the cake, following the outline of the design.

Remove the paper. Patterns transferred onto cakes using this method will not be a reverse image.