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Buttercream Zebra Stripes, need help!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was asked to make a zebra cake with Happy Birthday Emonie written on it & this is what i came up with.

After being asked, "what is it supposed to be?" numerous times, I figured I should ask for some advice. Apparently it didnt come out how i planned it in my head. I'd also like to mention, im a newbie at decorating. the baking part i have down very well. Decorating actually still freightens me because I am not an artist.

Suggestions & positive criticism is welcome.
LL
post #2 of 13
I think it just takes practice, and maybe if you could pull up a picture of what you're trying to accomplish and look at it while you're decorating instead of trying to just do it our of your head. There are many zebra stripe cakes on CC to look at. I knew it was zebra stripes! May I also suggest that you get a set of tappits or something similar - that will help with your letters being uniform. I think the hardest thing in the world is to write on a cake free hand. Good luck and dont give up!
post #3 of 13
I just realized the stripes are buttercream. Maybe try black fondant stripes next time.
post #4 of 13
I think this is a good first attempt. I've seen lots of zebra stripes that really didn't look like zebra stripes, so you definitely should not be discouraged. It's great you've come here to ask for comments! That's how we learn!

I've done a couple of buttercream zebra stripe cakes. Here are links:

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2364278/21st-birthday
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2006208/2006218/birthday-cake-photos

My main goal was to make them look like real zebra stripes. I think the most important tool to getting them to look good is to have GOOD REFERENCE. Look at pictures of actual zebras, or other zebra print stuff... like rugs, fabric, gift wrap, etc. Use that as your reference for drawing the stripes. Also, when I did mine, I didn't want the stripes to be on top of the icing. I wanted it all on the same level, like a real zebra. So I piped the black stripes on, then filled in between with the white icing. Then I smoothed the whole thing using the "Viva method." If you're unfamiliar with the Viva method, here's a link to a tutorial:

http://cakecentral.com/tutorial/how-to-create-faux-fondant-the-paper-smoothing-towel-method-viva

Happy caking!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reference! Your cake looks amazing. I will attempt the same method. I am familiar with VIVA and will put it to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSmo

I think this is a good first attempt. I've seen lots of zebra stripes that really didn't look like zebra stripes, so you definitely should not be discouraged. It's great you've come here to ask for comments! That's how we learn!

I've done a couple of buttercream zebra stripe cakes. Here are links:

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2364278/21st-birthday
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2006208/2006218/birthday-cake-photos

My main goal was to make them look like real zebra stripes. I think the most important tool to getting them to look good is to have GOOD REFERENCE. Look at pictures of actual zebras, or other zebra print stuff... like rugs, fabric, gift wrap, etc. Use that as your reference for drawing the stripes. Also, when I did mine, I didn't want the stripes to be on top of the icing. I wanted it all on the same level, like a real zebra. So I piped the black stripes on, then filled in between with the white icing. Then I smoothed the whole thing using the "Viva method." If you're unfamiliar with the Viva method, here's a link to a tutorial:

http://cakecentral.com/tutorial/how-to-create-faux-fondant-the-paper-smoothing-towel-method-viva

Happy caking!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the tip about tappits, had never heard of them, will be purchasing some soon! I wanted to do fondant as my first & only fondant zebra print was easier, but the client requested to not have fondant on the cake icon_sad.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by idgalpal

I think it just takes practice, and maybe if you could pull up a picture of what you're trying to accomplish and look at it while you're decorating instead of trying to just do it our of your head. There are many zebra stripe cakes on CC to look at. I knew it was zebra stripes! May I also suggest that you get a set of tappits or something similar - that will help with your letters being uniform. I think the hardest thing in the world is to write on a cake free hand. Good luck and dont give up!
post #7 of 13
I was also going to suggest viva method. And I always use tappits for letters, if not my cricut cake.

Great first attempt!
post #8 of 13
A zebra stripe has a pattern to it. It is really almost as much black as it is white. The stripes follow a direction and sometimes interlock.
I did not do the cake picture that I attached. I attached it to show you the pattern and how it can be interpreted onto a cake.

It is also a very smooth pattern. The edges of the black stripes are smooth. And often the stripes create a sort of letter Y that lines up with other stripes.

Just focus on the pattern. Don't do random black marks.

I think your attempt was brave and you should be proud that you tried it.
LL
post #9 of 13
lovetobake910, have you ever tried the Wilton sugar sheets? I love them for making stripes, whether they be zebra or any kind of stripes. They come in all colors. I love the black sheets for making zebra stripes. Take a look at my gallery pics and you will see several zebra striped cakes where I have used them. All you have to do is cut them out with scissors or an exacto knife a place them on your cake. No need to roll fondant. They are super easy to use!
Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
Reply
Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
Reply
post #10 of 13
They even have sugar sheets with the zebra print on them!
post #11 of 13
I've attempted zebra stripes too and have noticed a lot of Y's and V's in the design. Also the writing is a little hard to see so leaving white space in the center of the cake for the writing is nice. I agree, get yourself some alphabet cutters, because even if you have great penmanship, sometimes the writing becomes slanted (speaking from experience here), so with each letter applied separately you have more control with where it goes.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62

lovetobake910, have you ever tried the Wilton sugar sheets? I love them for making stripes, whether they be zebra or any kind of stripes. They come in all colors. I love the black sheets for making zebra stripes. Take a look at my gallery pics and you will see several zebra striped cakes where I have used them. All you have to do is cut them out with scissors or an exacto knife a place them on your cake. No need to roll fondant. They are super easy to use!




I have not tried the sugar sheets yet. I have done one icing transfer....I would be assuming they are exactly the same?
I purchased a few sheets of wafer paper from the craft store, do you know if tracing onto that with edible marker would be the same? im sure it's less expensive, but curious as to if it will work.
Thanks for the advice!
post #13 of 13
I have not tried the sugar sheets yet. I have done one icing transfer....I would be assuming they are exactly the same?
I purchased a few sheets of wafer paper from the craft store, do you know if tracing onto that with edible marker would be the same? im sure it's less expensive, but curious as to if it will work.
Thanks for the advice![/quote] tapedshut.gif

I don't see why they shouldn't work. Just be careful. Wafer paper tends to wrinkle and tear easily when it comes in contact with moisture. The wet ink from the marker might do that to the paper.
Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
Reply
Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
Reply
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