The intricacies of damask patterns might seem impossible to duplicate on a cake with buttercream frosting, but you can achieve a damask decoration with a stencil. The stencil transfers the design to the cake perfectly so you don't need to draw the damask pattern -- a feat that would require advanced artistic skills with a piping bag. Damask print can be done on fondant or a cake frosted with buttercream. A crusting buttercream frosting is needed for the base so the stencil doesn't stick to the cake.
Things You'll Need
- Buttercream frosting
- Vegetable shortening
- Food coloring
- Decorating bag
- Round decorating tip (optional)
- Damask stencil
- Straight pins (optional)
- Icing spatula or bench scraper
Frost the cake with buttercream frosting and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes while the buttercream forms a crust. Substitute vegetable shortening for the butter in your favorite buttercream frosting recipe; the higher melting point of vegetable shortening allows the frosting to harden. Alternatively, apply a thin coat of buttercream frosting and cover the cake with rolled fondant icing.
Add food coloring to the remaining buttercream frosting to make it a contrasting color to the color used to cover the cake. Fill a decorating bag with the frosting. Use a large, round decorating tip with the decorating bag. Alternatively, snip off the tip of the bag to create a round hole for applying the frosting.
Place the damask stencil tightly against one side of the cake or directly on top of it, depending on where you want to apply the pattern. If the stencil doesn't stay in place on its own, push straight pins into the cake to hold it in place.
Squeeze the frosting onto the stencil in a zigzag pattern. Apply the frosting generously so there is plenty of frosting to fill in the stencil in an even layer.
Spread the frosting evenly over the stencil, using an icing spatula or bench scraper. Work slowly to avoid shifting the stencil.
Hold the scraper or spatula tightly against the stencil and scrape it slowly across the stencil to remove any excess frosting.
Remove the pins from the stencil, if applicable. Pull the stencil away from the cake slowly to reveal the buttercream damask print. Start at one corner and pull the stencil toward the opposite corner. Clean up any stray frosting with a toothpick so the pattern looks neat.
Wipe off any frosting from the back of the stencil and reposition it on the next side of the cake you wish to decorate. Spread the frosting over the stencil and pull it back to reveal the pattern. Repeat this process until you cover all desired areas of the cake.
Tips & Warnings
- Damask stencils can often be found where cake decorating supplies are sold. If you can't find one there, look for a stencil sold with painting supplies, but label it clearly to reserve it only for use in cake decorating.
- If you use straight pins to hold the stencil in place, keep careful count of the number of pins used and the location on the cake so you can remove them all. If you lose track of one of the pins, there's a chance that someone could take a bite of cake with the pin inside.