In this tutorial on how to center cake lettering, I am going to share with you, my tips on how I ensure my lettering are all well centered on my cakes, particularly the fondant covered ones.
Fondant letter cutters one of the best inventions out there for people like me. I am really terrible at piping letters on cakes. I can never get my piped lettering pretty on cakes. That is why you will never see any piped lettering on my cakes. And I must admit, I so envy all those who can create beautiful lettering on cakes by just piping them out.
So for people like me, all the cutters out there that can help in cutting out uniform lettering for cakes are real life savers.
How to Center Lettering on Cakes
Having said that, while these cutters help in making all the letters and numbers on the cake in almost perfect font sizes and shapes, there is still one problem I used to encounter with these letters - getting them all straight, level and centered on cakes.
It takes quite a bit of good estimation to ensure the letters are arranged in such a manner that they are perfectly centered (where they are meant to be perfectly centered, off course).
I have had experience in having to redo my lettering on cakes just so that they are perfectly positioned on my cakes. Over time, I figured out, the best way to get these lettering work done quickly is to use a certain measuring technique.
So here I am today, sharing with you, my easy technique in ensuring quick and perfect lettering on fondant cakes, every single time.
Quick and Perfect Cake Lettering on Fondant
The example I am using here is my Hello Kitty birthday cake. Here, I placed the birthday girl's name on a pink fondant plaque on the side of the cake. I have a full tutorial on how to decorate the cake on a separate page here, so this tutorial will only be focusing on how I got the birthday girl's name perfectly centered on the pink fondant plaque.
You may be thinking that since the name 'LISA' consists of 4 letters, all I had to do was find the mid point on the plaque and then attached the letters L & I on the left of the mid point and the letters S & A on the right.
The problem with that is that the letter 'I' is so much more narrower compared to the rest of the letters and so dividing the letters by mere count is not going to give a centered positioning for the name.
So here is how I did it for my Hello Kitty cake and also use for all my other cakes:
- I started by cutting all the letters out. In this tutorial, I used the Clikstix Groovy alphabet cutters and white fondant.
- The good thing about Clikstix cutters is that they come with a plunger bar on the cutter. So, getting the cut fondant or gum paste letters out of the cutter is a mere push of the plunger bar on top. This is unlike Tappit letter cutters which require a certain technique to get the letters out. I have a full tutorial on how to use the Tappit letter cutters correctly and you can read all about it here.
Measuring the length of the cake lettering
- Once I had all the letters cut out in fondant, I let them rest for a while. This is so that the fondant firms up a little. It is so much easier to handle the letters that way. And they don't lose their shape as you move them around.
- And then I arranged them in the order I intended to place them on the cake. The next step was to measure the total length of the lettering with a ruler. In doing that, I also determined the midpoint of the name.
- In this example, the name measured 6 cm in total and so the midpoint was 3 cm. And that 3 cm, if you notice falls on the 3rd letter of the name and not in between the 2nd and 3rd letter as we may have assumed since this is a 4-letter name.
- Next was the fondant plaque. I cut that in pink fondant using a fondant plaque cutter.
- And then I measured the length of the plaque exactly where I wanted to position the name on. In this example, the length of the plaque was 9 cm and so, the mid point was at 4.5cm point.
Finding the mid point
- The next step is the most crucial one. It involves making sure the midpoint of the name and the midpoint on the plaque is matched. In this case, the midpoint is on the right side of the letter "S".
- With the ruler still on the plaque, I applied some shortening onto the plaque. And then I placed the letter S onto the plaque such that the midpoint on the letter S noted earlier was at the 4.5cm point on the plaque which is the midpoint for the plaque.
- Once that was done, the rest was just a matter of arranging all the letters to complete the name.
- And that should give you perfectly centered lettering on your fondant covered cakes. Keeping the ruler in place while attaching the letters will ensure the letters are all level and do not go slanting upwards or downwards.
Tips for cake lettering directly onto cakes
You can also use this cake lettering technique directly on a fondant covered cake. Here is what you need to do:
- Determine the midpoint of the lettering you intend to place on your cake. And then, determine the midpoint on your cake.
- Next, cut a long strip of paper. Stick it onto your cake at a level where you want the letters to be on your cake. You can use shortening to stick your paper strip to the fondant on your cake. The paper strip functions as a ruler. This is so because you cannot literally make a ruler stay in place on the side of a cake. Hence, we use a paper strip to do the work. Make sure the paper strip is placed level on your cake.
- Apply shortening to the back of your letters. Attach them onto your cake, starting from the midpoint until all the letters have been attached. Remove the paper strip once the lettering is all done.
And that is how I ensure my lettering on fondant cakes are always centered and level.
Hope this was useful.
Happy Decorating 🙂