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Stenciling - Made Easy

Using Stencils on Cakes, Cookies & Cupcakes

 

A unique & easy decorating technique YOU can do!  With a stencil, the right foundation (royal icing, fondant, gumpaste & even crusted buttercream), and some practice, anyone can make gorgeous stenciled works of art.

Stenciling with Royal Icing:

What youíll need:

1. Baked sugar cookies (if stenciling on a cookie)

2. Royal Icing (see our recipes)      

3. Food Color (our Americolor Gels are great to work with) 

4. Stencil of your choice

5. Offset spatula or fondant smoother                                     

Method:

1 | Either naked or top-coated cookies may be stenciled, but it you choose the latter, make sure the Royal Icing top coats have dried to the point of being quite hard (ideally overnight).

2 | Mix the remaining Royal Icing not used for top-coating to stenciling consistency, and tint it with food color gel to contrast the color of your top-coated or bare cookies.

3 | Choose a stencil that lies very flat across the top coat and whose pattern fits the top coat with some room to spare on all sides. If your stencil is too wide for the cookie, it can lift up at the edge of the top coat, allowing the stenciling icing to sneak underneath into areas it shouldnít be. Stenciling-newbies are best off using stencils with relatively wide openings spaced relatively far apart (no closer than 1/16 inch). Closely spaced openings make it much harder to achieve a crisp pattern, as the icing is more likely to run together between openings. If you choose a tightly spaced stencil despite my words of caution, then err on the side of thicker icing in order to minimize running and blurring. Remember: you can always adjust the icing consistency whenever needed by thinning with additional water, or thickening with powdered sugar.

4 | Work with one cookie at a time. With one hand, hold the stencil firmly against the cookie top. (When there isnít a lot of room for my fingers on top, Iíll use a trussing needle or toothpick to steady the stencil.) Check to make sure the stencil is still lying flush against the cookie top coat in all areas. With the other hand, grab a small offset spatula and spread a thin layer of icing over the openings in the stencil. The icing need not be applied any thicker than the depth of the stencil; otherwise, youíll leave peaks in the icing when you lift off the stencil. However, be sure to apply enough icing so you canít see through to the top coat. Most important: Do not move the stencil while applying the icing, or the resulting pattern will be blurred.

5 | Lift the stencil slowly and steadily off the cookie; then wipe any icing off the bottom of the stencil before proceeding to the next cookie. For the sharpest patterns, wash and thoroughly dry the stencil after every 2 or 3 cookies. Do not rub the stencil dry, or you can damage the stencil. Instead, lay it flat between sheets of paper towels and gently pat dry.

PHOTOS by SugarBelle at www.SweetSugarBelle.com

Stenciling with Color Paste/Food Coloring:

What youíll need:

1. Baked sugar cookies (if stenciling on a cookie)

2. Royal Icing or Fondant (see our recipes)

3. Food Color (our Americolor Gels are great to work with)

4. Stencil of your choice

5. Sponge Brush or Air Brush Machine

Method:

1 | Either naked or top-coated cookies (with royal icing or fondant) may be stenciled, but it you choose the latter, make sure the Royal Icing top coats have dried to the point of being quite hard (ideally overnight).

2 | If using fondant, use the cookie cutter to cut the same size of fondant and place on the cookie.

3 | Choose a stencil that lies very flat across the top coat and whose pattern fits the top coat with some room to spare on all sides. If your stencil is too wide for the cookie, it can lift up at the edge of the top coat, allowing the stenciling icing to sneak underneath into areas it shouldnít be. Place other cookies next to it to keep the stencil level.

Thin the color gel paste with alcohol (I like vanilla vodka) or clear extract. The alcohol will dry the stencil quicker. Dab the brush in the color and use a paper towel to dab excess. You don't need it saturated.

4 | Work with one cookie at a time. With one hand, hold the stencil firmly against the cookie top. (When there isnít a lot of room for my fingers on top, Iíll use a trussing needle or toothpick to steady the stencil.) Check to make sure the stencil is still lying flush against the cookie top coat in all areas. With the other hand, dab the sponge in the areas of the stencil you want. You may want to use a variety of colors, but you will have to do this step-by-step, unless you have many stencils.

5 | Lift the stencil slowly and steadily off the cookie; then wipe any icing off the bottom of the stencil before proceeding to the next cookie. For the sharpest patterns, wash and thoroughly dry the stencil after every 2 or 3 cookies. Do not rub the stencil dry, or you can damage the stencil. Instead, lay it flat between sheets of paper towels and gently pat dry.

 

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