Ribbon on buttercream cake
Posted: 30 April 2008 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m doing a wedding cake in which the bride wants a black ribbon with a bow wrapped around the center tier.  The frosting is buttercream.  What kind of ribbon works well for this?  The ribbon will be 1-2” wide.  I was thinking of using a fondant ribbon, but was also wondering what type of fabric ribbon would work well and what other tips you have for attaching and tying.  Thanks!

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Posted: 30 April 2008 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If you want to use real ribbon, I have the best results using double face satin ribbon.  Put it on at the last minute so as to minimize the grease stains that may occur.  This is going to depend on the quality of the ribbon (stains show up on cheaper ribbon faster).  I’ve heard some people double up on the ribbon - the one next to the buttercream absorbs all the grease and the second layer doesn’t, so it doesn’t show.

My preference is to use ribbon on a fondant-covered cake.  I do this all the time when I want a clean look to the bottom edge of the cake, no piping or bottom border to interrupt the design flow.

For your black ribbon,  I’d say do it with black fondant and you’ll be happy with the results.  Or even black modeling chocolate - the modeling chocolate is especially useful if the ribbon has to be attached to the top or centered on the cake.  It won’t stick to itself the way fondant can.

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Posted: 01 May 2008 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ve used satin ribbon on Rose’s Mousseline Buttercream (http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/04/mousseline_buttercream_in_a_to.html).  Shortly after I applied the ribbon it started to look “blotchy”, but after just a few minutes, the ribbon absorbed enough butter to be evenly soaked (sounds bad, but it looked just fine as you can see in the photo).  The color of the ribbon darkened slightly, as if it had gotten wet. 

I’ve read on other cake sites that some people will coat the ribbon with a layer of vegetable oil (carefully removing any excess) before applying it to the cake (this will prevent the blotchy stage).  If you should decide to use fabric ribbon, stay away from wire edged.

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Posted: 04 May 2008 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Doesn’t satin ribbon make a droopy bow, though?  Also, do you tie the ribbon around the cake and tie the bow on it like you were tying it on a package?  Or, is the band around the cake seperate from the bow?

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Posted: 04 May 2008 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It’s better to do it in two parts - the band around the cake and then a separate (tied) bow.  This way you can finesse the bow before you put it on the cake. Otherwise you’re working with a long length of ribbon while it is attached to the cake, and that can make it harder to do.  Usually I make what I call a tuxedo bow - it’s a very simple loop with a band in the middle

If the ribbon is the major part of the design, I use a wide ribbon, but normally for an unobtrusive bottom edge, I use 5/8ths inch ribbon.

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Posted: 04 May 2008 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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SuzyInSeattle - 04 May 2008 06:41 AM

Doesn’t satin ribbon make a droopy bow, though?  Also, do you tie the ribbon around the cake and tie the bow on it like you were tying it on a package?  Or, is the band around the cake seperate from the bow?

For the cake I did, I didn’t have any bows.  The ribbon was used just as a band of color around each tier.  I attached the loose ends with a dab of buttercream and then placed flowers to hide the joint.

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Posted: 19 June 2008 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Okay, I’m putting the ribbon on tomorrow night or the next morning, after I frost the cake tomorrow night.  I’m using the Mousseline Buttercream for the first time and since I’ve found that it doesn’t dry at all, I’m worried about how to place the ribbon on without messing it up or getting the bc all over the ribbon edges/front.  I’m using a 1.5” black grosgrain ribbon, and am doing a band of it around each of the three tiers.  No bows afterall.  Whew.  Any tips on placing the ribbon on?  Refrigerate the cake first?  Will that help?

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Posted: 19 June 2008 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’ve only added ribbon to one of my cakes to date, and I placed the ribbon on the layers after the tiers were stacked, and shortly before the cake was displayed - that cake (pictured) had no piping where the tiers met each other, so I wanted to be sure the ribbon touched the tier beneath without showing any gaps.  My wonderful hubby helped hold the ribbon for me as I carefully wrapped it around each tier because the mousseline was warm enough to show imperfections if the ribbon had landed in a spot that I didn’t want it to.  It probably would have been a bit easier to add the ribbon the the tiers when the buttercream was really cold though.  Before you begin, be sure to plan where you want your ribbon seams to be… either line them all up in the back of the cake, or place them where you can cover them with flowers.

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Posted: 19 June 2008 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks for the tips.  I think I will refrigerate it first to firm up the mbc some.  I too am not adding piping along the bottom so I need the placement to be perfect!  I figure that if some frosting gets on the edge of the ribbon on accident, then I will put tiny beads of the bc around the edge of the entire ribbon.  That will be tedious, so I hope I place it well!  Thanks for your tips!

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Posted: 25 June 2008 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Wanted to add an update on how it went, for people who are searching for tips in the future.  I refrigerated the cake before putting on the ribbon and it went on beautifully and I was easily able to reposition it as necessary - didn’t stick to the mousseline buttercream at all.  I used 1.5” black grosgrain ribbon and actually lightly burned the cut end with a lighter to seal it so I didn’t have to tuck it under - it looked perfectly cut and eve.  I then pinned down the end with a pin that had a black glass head.  Looked great!  One small problem in the end - after sitting overnight in the fridge, I had to take one ribbon off it readjust the cake on the plate and I noticed at that point that the color of the ribbon had bled into the frosting.  :(  It went into the frosting just the tiniest bit - not deep at all, but it didn’t look great.  Next time I would put a strip of parchment paper under the ribbon first to prevent this.  Maybe this wouldn’t happen with a satin ribbon or some other type, but the next time I would not chance it.  Hope that helps anyone else reading this post!

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Posted: 26 January 2009 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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A wide satin ribbon can be “lined” by using double stick tap and a cut band of wax paper.  Attach the wax paper to the back of the ribbon by running double stick tape the length of the ribbon to be used.  Buttercream can be used to adhere the wax paper lined ribbon immediately to the cake.  The butter won’t bleed through.

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