Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tutorial: Make Your Own Cake Stencil

A close friend of mine recently celebrated her birthday, and as per usual she requested [and I gladly agreed] that I make my flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless chocolate cake is pretty intense and in no need of frosting, so I usually just dust the top with powdered sugar. Since this cake was for a special occasion, no ordinary dusting would do. I decided to make a cake stencil.

You can buy premade cake stencils at specialty baking shops and people/places like Williams Sonoma and Martha Stewart. Unfortunately, I decided that I needed one the night before the party. Also, I'm pretty sure that Martha Stewart would never design an otter cake stencil. You see, my friend really loves otters, so I thought that an otter should grace her cake.

So here's what I did:

Make Your Own Cake Stencils
heavyweight printer paper
exacto knife
black marker
old magazine
the internet & a printer

1. Find an image online and print it out. It can be a photo or text, whatever you want. Set the image size percentage in the print window to be the proper size for how large you want your design to be on the cake. [For a 9" cake, I had the photo take up nearly the whole page.]

2. Use a black marker to outline the prominent dark features of the photo. Remember that you will be cutting the dark areas out, so make sure that there aren't any light areas completely
surrounded by dark, because otherwise they will
separate from the stencil and you'll have multiple pieces.

3. Put the paper on top of the old magazine and use the craft knife to cut out the dark areas you've outlined.

4. Cut two small strips of paper. Fold down each end about an inch and tape the ends to opposite sides of the stencil without covering any of it up. These will be the handles you use to lift the stencil off the cake when it's covered in sugar.

5. If your cake is below the edges of the pan it's in, cut the stencil into a circle shape so it will fit down in the pan right against the surface of the cake. If it's a free standing cake, just lay it over in the place you want the design.

6. Put powdered sugar in a mesh collander or sifter. Gently shake the sugar over the stencil until the exposed parts of the cake are white.

7. CAREFULLY lift the stencil off the cake, being careful not to disturb any of the powdered sugar that has accumulated on it. Shake it off over the sink. Keep your stencil for future use!

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