Buttercream Transfers

buttercream transfer, birthday cake ideas, birthday cakes

photo by mycakeshoot.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a step-by-step guide to making beautiful buttercream transfers.


There are so many things you can do with buttercream transfers, and once you learn the easy technique you will want to do transfers on every cake! They can even be used on cupcakes as well.

It's simple to use and is a great way of getting a picture onto a cake and transfering art without using an edible printer, especially if you don't have one.

With buttercream transfers you can make cartoon characters, company logos, realistic flowers, scroll writing, and hundreds of other designs. It truly takes all the stress out of freehanding piping work onto your cake!

What You Need

1 firm, flat portable work surface (Piece of plexiglass, cookie sheet, or cutting board)

The printout you would like to use. I have a ton of coloring books just for this!

Parchment or wax paper


Buttercream, tinted appropriate colors*

Piping bags, couplers, and tips

1 cake, frosted


Tape your image to your firm, portable work surface, making sure that it is as flat and smooth as possible.


Tape a flat piece of wax paper or parchment paper over your design. You just want to tape around the edges, again aiming for a smooth surface – don’t put tape over any part of your actual design.


Use black frosting to pipe the outlines of your image. Keep your lines as smooth as you can, and make sure that all intersecting/touching lines are actually touching.

If there are any thinner, non-main parts that should also be piped black, change to a smaller tip, and pipe them in. Once you have all of the black piped on, place your image – work surface and all – into the freezer for 10 minutes.


Remove your image from the freezer. Using a piping bag, use the color that you’ll be using the least of to fill in the appropriate areas.

Position your tip near one edge/corner of the inside of the area to color. Squeeze with gentle, constant pressure, and allow the frosting to fill the area smoothly. Make sure this frosting is touching the outline all the way around the area.

If your outline is still firm, pipe the next smallest amount of color (peach, in this case). If not, freezer image for another few minutes before proceeding.


Continue freezing and piping areas of color, until you’re all done.


Once all of your areas are filled in, fix a piping bag with a big round tip and completely pipe over the whole area. Freeze image for about 1 hour, or until completely firm.


Once your buttercream transfer is completely firm, remove the tape from the waxed paper. Very carefully flip your image into position on your frosted cake.

Put your work surface aside, and adjust the placement of your transfer if necessary – you should be able to see through the paper.


Carefully remove your waxed paper, and be proud of what you've done!

Wilton Buttercream Transfer Video Tutorial

If you're still having trouble, here's a great informative video from Wilton that you can watch and see how they do buttercream transfers. It's a good one!

Wilton Buttercream Transfer Video

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