Thursday, November 24, 2011


I love to share. Especially when its something that is really neat. So I figured, what better thing to blog about on my website than nifty little "tricks of the trade" to help others hone in on their inner cake decorator. One of the first things I learned and put to use was the FBCT method. It is unbelievably easy, it gives your cakes a polished look, and it allows you to open SO many doors in the cake decorating world.
FBCT stands for Frozen Butter Cream Transfer. When I first read about using the FBCT method I was ready to try it out right away. Lucky for me, it was right around Father's Day of last year...perfect excuse to make a cake and try out a new trick.
Here is a picture of my first FBCT cake and then I'll explain how it's done.
This method works great for simple designs but can get a little tricky the more complex your picture is. Essentially what you are going to be doing is coloring a picture using buttercream icing. Honestly, it's really not THAT hard, it just requires a semi-steady hand.
The first step is to pick your "design". Tip: Google images is a GREAT tool to utilize. You will want to save the image to your computer and insert it into a word document. Then size it up or down according to how big (or small) you want it. Now you'll want to print out your image BUT if your design has words make sure to adjust your printer settings to print a "mirror image". This step doesn't really matter if you're just doing a picture...just remember that your FBCT picture will be a mirror image.
Once your image has printed you'll want to tape it to something a) flat b) big enough for the picture to fit on it and c) small enough to fit in your freezer. I bought a cheap ($1.00) clear clipboard from Walmart. I can clip the paper to the board and skip the step of taping (which comes in handy if you're a perfectionist...not that I would know)
Now you need to cover your picture with wax paper and tape that down as well. Are you catching on? Mix up your buttercream icing into the colors that you need. You may or may not want to use black icing to draw the outlines of your design but it definitely isn't necessary.
All that's left is to color in your picture! It doesn't really matter in which order you do it but some people recommend starting with the color that you will use the least of. Tip: You'll want to "color" it on pretty thick to make it easier to transfer. Now you just go thru your colors and show off your inner artist:
Lucky for you...and cousin ordered a Sponge Bob cake so I can show step by step details.

*Notice I started with the small colors. TIP: Sometimes I find it easier to stick the picture in the freezer between colors. This allows the freshly piped icing to semi-freeze and keeps it from sliding and squishing around when you pipe a neighboring color.

And finally finish with your main color. When you're all done, stick the picture into the freezer and let sit until firm. (You'll be able to tell because it *should* peal off the wax paper without a hitch).

Note: The thicker you "color" the easier it will be to peal off. But, I really like the way this looks like its one piece (the thicker your layer of colored icing, the more it will stand up off the cake). I tend to go paper thin when I do my FBCT's which makes it a LOT harder to actually transfer. A simple solution to this: once you've flipped your FBCT to the cake, put the entire cake in the freeze for about an hour. I like to smooth my FBCT into the helps the cohesion. You'll want to do a test check to see if its ready to peel off. Slowly lift up a corner. If icing comes with it, freeze a little longer.
Other examples:

What do you think? Definitely not as hard as it sounds, right? If you decide to give this a try, I'd love to see your work!

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