Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's a Butterfly!

A colourful butterfly for you

Cake Decorating Lesson 4: Cut-Out Cakes

What is a cut-out cake? Bake a cake using basic pan shapes like round or square, then you cut the cake to shape it into any alphabets, numbers, animals, insects or designs that you like.  For example, you can have a letter "A" for Amy, "B" for Betty or "C" for Carol.  Or if your little princess is celebrating her 5th birthday, you can cut and design a number "5" cake for her.  Such customised cakes are usually quite expensive, but if you prepare it at home, it only costs a tiny fraction of the price!  And, cut-out cakes are not that difficult to make once you know the trick!

The things to consider when preparing a cut-out cake are:
1) Keep cut-out to a minimum to avoid cake wastage (well of course, you can always munch on the cut-out pieces or even combine the small pieces for making cake pops).
2) Do not trim the cake surface area too small, or it will be difficult to add designs on it.

Planning and Preparation at home ...

I have no special birthday celebrations at the moment, so I thought of making a butterfly cake.  I saw a simple method at Betty Crocker by using a round cake pan.  I modified the method slightly as shown below:

How to cut and assemble the butterfly cake

After the cake pieces are assembled, trim the edges to make them look curved.  For ease of trimming, place a piece of cut-out baking paper (i.e. the pattern paper) on the cake to help in getting the right shape.  You can also draft your design on the baking paper.  

Next, how to transfer the draft design onto the cake?  One way is to use chocolate transfer method (as in Lesson 3).  But you need to freeze the cake to harden the surface cream, so that the chocolate will stick nicely onto the cake.  Another possible way is to use a toothpick or skewer to mark the outline of the design before piping in the cream.  This is a more difficult method than chocolate transfer, but you do not have wait to freeze the cake.  I thought of using tinted piping gel to trace the outline onto the cake, but was advised that it is not workable.  I thought I saw this method in the Wilton Decorating book???  Never mind, will try this piping gel method at home.

I do not have the time to freeze the cake during lesson time.  No choice, but to free hand draw the design onto the creamed cake using toothpick, then pipe in the cream using a star nozzle. 

A strawberry yogurt cake

This time, I did not prepare any special filling for spreading between layers of sponge.  I guess you can do so, before cutting and assembling the cake.  Instead of baking a basic plain sponge, I added some strawberry yogurt drink to replace part of the melted butter and also added 1/2 tsp strawberry flavour.  The cake turns out soft and flavourful, even without any filling.

As I was writing this post, I saw this site with lots of creative ways to make cut-out cakes.  


  1. Very beautiful cake.... :-)

    Fong, may i know u attend cake decorating class at which school? Thanks!

  2. I am planning to do a cut out elephant cake for my dearie end of the year..... I hope it could be done, at least she can see it's an elephant, then it's good enough, haha.

  3. Wow, recently you had made quite a few beautiful and yummy icing cakes. They are just like those cakes display at the bakery showcase.

  4. Mia: I'm attending Richard Goh's baking and cake decor classes at CC. You can check PA website and check details of which baking stage he is teaching at the moment. His classes are quite popular , especially the beginning stages.

    Wendy: wow...I will love to see your creation. You are always full of ideas. Just saw your strawberry and pistachio torte. Interesting, but very long steps ....

  5. 你真有心思,好大只蝴蝶啊~~

  6. Very beautiful cake with perfect piping :)

  7. Very beautiful butterfly cake ^_^

  8. Happy Flour: The cake lessons really motivate me to do more baking. Our teacher asked if his lessons are useful. I told him if not for his class, I do not think I have the incentives to create all these cakes. I will be happy to just bake a round or square cake with minimum decoration, maybe not even piping.

    鲸鱼:我把这些蛋糕当做彩纸,好像又回到学生时上美术课一样。 ha... I'm still young at heart!

    Thanks Ann!

  9. I have never prepared a cut out Birthday cake like this, yours look pretty!

  10. Hi Fong, I would love to invite you to join World Homebakers Alliance. :)

    My mission is to
    - Unite every passionate homebakers in this planet.
    - Making them the preferred choice (compare to factory products) by the consumers.

    Please join us and revolutionize the baking industry.

  11. Hi I come across your blog, you are so creative n innovative. Not only
    You are good in baking, as well as handicraft! I bet u must be
    Very good in art in school! :) thanks for all the
    Step by step, really help me (beginner) a lot. I'm still

  12. Can I ask if this cake you baked is just a one single layer strawberry flavor cake? Ty!


  13. Hi Claire, for this cake, it's a one layer cake. It was my first time attempting a cut out cake, I was concern if there were layers and fillings, the carving would be tricky. But some of my classmates did theirs with layers and simple fillings and theirs turn out fine too.


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