How to Write Happy Birthday on a Cake—or Any Other Fun Message

Writing on a cake isn't as hard as it looks.

With your mad baking skills and an amazing cake recipe, who needs to pay a professional baker? You can make your own birthday cake, thank you very much! You're so good, you don't even need any fancy decorating ingredients or tools.

There's just one problem: You don't know how to write "Happy Birthday" on a cake. Or anything else, for that matter. The good news? Writing on a cake isn't as hard as it looks. Just follow these tips and tricks for piping on your cake like a pro.

What You Need:

  • Pastry bag with tip (or nozzle)
  • Frosting, piping gel, or room-temperature melted chocolate
  • Frosted cake
  • Toothpick

How to Write On a Cake

Step 1: Fill a Pastry Bag Fitted With a Fine Tip

  • First, place the piping tip down inside the bottom of the bag. Pastry bags are triangular and have a small opening at the bottom.
  • Using a large spoon or spatula, scoop your colored frosting, piping gel, or melted chocolate into the bag and push it down. Fill it about halfway.
  • If you don't have a pastry bag, use a resealable plastic bag instead. Fill the bag, then snip the tip with scissors to create a tiny opening.

Step 2: Mark the Message's Length With a Toothpick

  • Using a toothpick, mark your message's beginning and end with tiny notches. This will help keep you on track as you eyeball how big to make the letters.
  • If you're writing "Happy Birthday" together across the cake, mark the center as well. It's between the "B" and the "i."

Step 3: Lightly Draw the Letters

  • With the toothpick, lightly draw the letters in the frosting.
  • If you make a mistake, smooth over the letter with fresh frosting and start again.
  • Some people find that it's easier to do cursive than print because it's easier to control the flow.

Step 4: Practice Piping on a Plate First

Time to use the piping bag! Practice a few letters on a plate or some parchment paper to get comfortable with it and gauge how much pressure to use when writing.

Step 5: Pipe Over the Letters You Lightly Drew

Pipe with your dominant hand while you use your non-writing hand to steady the bag. When you arrive at the end of each word, gently touch the tip to the cake and lift it straight up.

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