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22nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

Tutorial: Intro to Royal Icing…Stencil Designs!

We’re now onto week three of our ‘Intro to Royal Icing’ tutorial series which we hope you find easy to follow and pretty darn useful. Working with royal icing seems daunting, but with a straightforward recipe and some patience and practice it needn’t be! For our first tutorial of the collection we showed you how to pipe delicate pearl borders and we shared our go-to recipe for royal icing, then last week we featured a how to on making a parchment paper cornet/cone and how to pipe polka dots, this week we’re going to show you how to use stencils and royal icing to apply some fabulous designs onto your cakes and cupcakes!

How to stencil with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Stenciling cakes tutorial by Juniper Cakery

How to use stencils with royal icing

You’ll need…

  • A flat and clean stencil
  • Cake, cookie or flat fondant disc to top a cupcake (fondant/sugarpaste covered is best)
  • Royal icing (find our recipe here) the consistency of toothpaste
  • Spatula
  • Trex or Crisco (optional)

Step 1: One of the first steps (if obvious) is to make sure that your stencil is the appropriate size for the surface you wish to decorate! Also, it’s best if your stencil is flat so look after them to avoid kinks, bends or folds. If you’re a fresh faced beginner it’s best to steer clear of over-complicated stencil designs until you’re more proficient!

Royal icing stencil tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 2: Apply the stencil to the surface (some people paint Trex or Crisco onto the side of the stencil that will touch the cake to help stick it on, some utilise pins instead, and some have someone generous enough to lend their steady hands for a few moments), hold down steadily yet lightly before you apply your royal icing. 

Tutorial on how to stencil with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 3: With a good spatula (we recommend a cranked or angled spatula for good control). Whilst holding the stencil steady apply some royal icing and use the spatula to smooth over the stencil. Scrape excess royal icing away with the spatula and when ready slowly peel the stencil away. Remember to always work pragmatically… clean and wipe your stencil between each cookie or side of a cake to avoid blurred or indecipherable designs. Impatience will lead to mess! 

How to stencil onto cakes with Juniper Cakery

Tutorial on how to stencil cakes by Juniper Cakery

Once you become more confident with this technique adding stencil designs to your cakes and cookies with royal icing will be a fantastic and fast way to add detail! Now that our ‘Into to Royal Icing’ series is over why not keep test your new-found skills on a batch of cookies or cupcakes? Stop by next week to find out what our next collection of tutorials will be!

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15th July 2014 // 1 Comments

Tutorial: Intro to Royal Icing… Piping Polka Dots!

Last week we kick started our ‘Intro to Royal Icing’ tutorials with our go-to royal icing recipe and a tutorial on how to pipe a lovely and delicate pearl border! Now it’s time for us to show you how to pipe polka dots (or random dots if you like) onto cakes, cookies and cupcakes. This technique is wonderful and perfect for adding texture to decorated treats; piping royal icing dots into a polka dot formation also adds a very subtle vintage feel to a finished cake!

Polka dot icing tutorial by Juniper Cakery

This week we’re also going to show you how to create a parchment cornet /cone used for piping royal icing designs. We use a combination of both parchment cornets and disposable piping bags and personally haven’t noticed too much of a different between the two. One notable thing is that the smaller parchment cornet is better if piping smaller or more ‘fiddly’ detail due to the way you end up holding it and also due to the size. Using a parchment cornet is generally great for writing, string-work or lace.

How to make a parchment cornet / cone

You’ll need…

  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Piping tip
  • Small round piping tip (we used a 2.5 writer tip by PME
  • Royal icing (find our recipe here) the consistency of toothpaste


Step 1: Take a roll of parchment paper and cut a square portion from this.

Step 2: Fold corner to corner to form a triangle and cut down the fold.

how to make a parchment cone for royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 3: Think of each corner as being marked with a letter. The middle point should face you and be corner B. The outer points should be A and C. A being the left and C being the right.

Step 4: To form the cornet bring point A to point B to form a conical shape.

how to make a parchment cornet by Juniper Cakery

Step 5: Take point C and bring this to point B. This should, in a sense, double up the cornet shape.

Step 6: Take your piping tip and fit into the bottom of the cornet as with a disposable piping bag. You can adjust the points to fit the tip.

Step 7: When all points meet rip two notches parallel to each other and fold this to hold the bag.

Step 8: Fold the piping bag at the points a few times to secure.

Step 9: Fill with a little royal icing.

how to make a parchment  piping bag by Juniper Cakery

Step 10: Fold the parchment cornet in on itself from the sides and then from the top a few times and you’re ready to pipe!

Royal icing dots tutorial by Juniper Cakery

How to pipe royal icing polka dots

 You’ll need…

  • Parchment cornet/cone filled with royal icing and fitted with a small plain round tip
  • Cake, cookie or fondant/sugarpaste covered cupcake
  • Food safe paintbrush
  • Icing sugar
  • Dressmaker’s pin (optional)

How to pipe dots with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 1: When you’re relatively new to piping out polka dots or a design made up of small royal icing dots it’s a good idea to mark out your design or pattern with pin pricks. Use a clean dressmakers pin to do so.

Step 2: With your parchment cornet/cone filled with royal icing and fitted with a seamless (this is important as a seam can send your royal icing out crooked and hard to control) small round piping tip and position yourself at a good height to your cake or cookie. For cakes work from the direct front and for cookies or cupcakes work from directly above.

Piping dots with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Step 3: Apply a little pressure to add a small dot of royal icing. Don’t pipe for too long if you need a larger dot as this will create ridged spots that won’t look too elegant, instead swap to a large round tip if needed. Another tip is to not place the piping tip too close to the surface or else you’ll be left with flat spots instead of nicely rounded dots.

Step 4: Don’t worry if you’re left with a bit of a tip to each dot. This is fairly normal; if you’ve the perfect consistency dots do ‘settle’ after a few seconds and without spreading out. If you do have tips that don’t settle you can flatten these slightly with a food safe (only ever used on edible items) paintbrush dipped in a  little icing sugar. You’ll need to work fast  as royal icing sets quickly. It may be frustrating but don’t be tempted to pipe out all your dots before tapping the tips down because they’ll have dried before you have the chance!

Royal icing dots tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Keep practising! It takes a little time to get any technique perfected especially when it involves royal icing. If you’re feeling adventurous why not edge a cake with the pearl border we showed you how to create last week and decorate with this week’s dainty polka dot tutorial! Next we’ll be showing you how to use royal icing to stencil designs on your cakes and cookies!

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3rd September 2013 // 1 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make a Sugarpaste Owl!

Yay! It’s now September which means that the lovely cosiness of Autumn (or Fall depending on where you are) is just around the corner! Autumn and winter are our favourite seasons here at Juniper Cakery and we get excited when they arrive every year. What’s not to love… lovely vibrant crisp golden leaves, cooler weather, bundling up in mis-matched knitwear, hot cocoa, spiced cakes, Halloween festivities and of course Christmas. With all this in mind this week’s tutorial is an adorable autumnal owl in fetching seasonal shades of browns and rust orange. This little creature will sit perfect on top of cupcakes and forest themed cakes!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

What you need for this tutorial…

Sugarpaste / fondant in three complimentary colours
Round piping tip (use the large bottom for cutting)
Blade modelling tool
Ball modelling tool
Scallop and comb modelling tool
Circle cutters

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step one: Use your chosen base colour to mould what we would describe as an upside down tooth shape as pictured above. Use your finger and thumb to pinch two ‘ears’ for your owl and smooth any stretches/cracks with your fingers.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step two: Using a small circle cutter and the end of a piping tip cut one small and two extra small circles out.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step three: Slice the small circle into two halves. Into one of the halves create a ‘feathered’ pattern using the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step four: Now stick the two extra small circles in place as eyes and the half circle in place as a chest. For extra detail why not cut out smaller circles in an opposite colour and place them on top of the extra small circles, this will add extra dimension to your owl’s eyes.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step five: Using the piping tip again cut out three circles and add feathered detail using the scallop end of the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step six: Pinch two of the circles with your finger and thumb to create a tapered ‘wing’.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step seven: Begin sticking the circles in place overlapping them as you go. Stick the tapered circle on last as this will finish your owl’s wing off nicely.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eight: Using a contrasting colour to your owl’s body make a chunky teardrop shape. Use the blade tool to make two slits at the non-tapered end, mould with your fingers to get rid of any sharp/rough edges. Repeat this once more and you now have your owl’s feet!

Step nine: Make a similar, but smaller, shape pinching the edges to get a triangle. Stick between the eyes, poke in two small holes and your owl now has a beak!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step ten: Stick in place using edible glue by simply sitting your owl on top of them. The weight will secure them and help the glue set.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eleven: Roll two small balls of fondant, make an indentation in your owl’s eyes, and press in the two small balls for pupils!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Now you’ve made your very own sugarpaste owl! This can be made in any colour for any occasion and your little owl can be nestled atop a cake and cupcakes!

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