by @cakebycaseylee

Mesh stencilling is such a great way to achieve a beautiful design with minimal fuss!

For this cake I have applied the Spring mesh stencil directly onto my cake, which is covered in American buttercream. The design has been stencilled on using watered down American buttercream.

The process I like to follow to ensure the buttercream transfers through the stencil, is as follows:

Crumb coat, chill and cover a cake in American buttercream.
Using a cake scraper, smooth out the buttercream. When I was happy with the final coat of buttercream, I chilled the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes.

While the cake was chilling away in the freezer, I thinned out a small amount of coloured American buttercream with water. The consistency of the buttercream should be very soft, slightly runny.

I highly recommend doing a stencil test run using a piece of paper towel, just to make sure your buttercream is thinned enough and transfers nicely through the finer detailing on the stencil. If it’s still too thick, zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds.

After the cake has chilled for 20 minutes, remove it from the freezer. Place the cake onto a cake turntable with a piece of non slip mat.
Place the mesh stencil around the front of the cake and lightly press it against the cake using a gently hand.

Using a flexible head spatula, take up a small amount of thinned buttercream onto the tip of the spatula.
With light pressure on the spatula, start to stencil the cake from the bottom of the stencil, moving upward toward the top of the cake, lightly pushing the buttercream into the stencil in a sweeping motion.
After a few small sections of the stencil is covered in buttercream, you will find that you won’t need to hold the stencil to the cake any longer.
When the stencil is completely covered in a thin layer of buttercream, use the spatula to wipe off the excess; I work right to left from the bottom of the cake to the very top.
Peel the stencil away gently in one direction to reveal the beautiful design.
Place cake back in the fridge until you’re ready to add any finishing decorative touches.

Some tips for mastering the mesh stencil:

– Cold cake/freeze for 20 minutes prior to stencilling.
– Work quickly so your cake remains cold.
– Watered down/thinned buttercream. If your buttercream looks split from thinning, it will still transfer through the stencil!
– Colourings can also effect the thinned buttercream, but it will still transfer nicely.
– Do a test run on a piece of paper towel prior to stencilling your cake.
– Zap buttercream in the microwave for 5 seconds before stencilling your cake if it’s still too thick.
– Use a very flexible/soft headed spatula
– Apply only a small amount of buttercream to the tip of the spatula

– Try to apply the same amount of buttercream to all areas of the stencil
– Gentle pressure on the spatula to push the buttercream through the mesh stencil.
– Try to stencil in one direction, not multiple directions.
– Don’t hold onto the stencil for the entire stencilling process or you will leave finger indentations.
– Areas that are thin and dainty on the stencil won’t be as pronounced as thicker parts of the stencil.
– Stencil a dark shade onto a light buttercream base OR a light shade onto a dark buttercream base.
– An air conditioned room helps too!

Happy stencilling!

By Casey Lee from @cakebycaseylee