Using Stencils for Cake, Cupcakes & Brownies

Stenciling Cupcakes , Cookies and Brownies


A stencil can provide a quick and easy way to decorate your cupcakes and cookies. Available for every season and holiday as well as various design themes, you can use stencils to wow your guests and family. Stencils made for cupcakes and cookies are plastic, making them flexible and washable. If stored flat in a cool, dry place they can provide years of decorating fun. They are made with a little handle to make it easy to hold them on your treats and remove them without ruining your design.



Bake your favorite cupcakes according to your recipe and allow to cool. For most designs, you will want a flat surface to work on, so, if necessary, level the tops of your cooled cupcakes using a serrated knife. Ice the cupcakes with a buttercream that will crust. Allow to dry.


Another option would be to top your frosted cupcake with a circle of rolled fondant. Apply a very thin coat of piping gel or apricot glaze to the underside of the fondant. Place on top of the cupcake and smooth with the palm of your hand or a fondant smoother. Don’t use too much pressure or you will displace the buttercream on the cupcake. Allow fondant to set up for an hour so it will be less likely to dent or dimple while stenciling.



Cut-out cookies will work better for stenciling as they will have a flat surface. Most often cookies that are to be stenciled are first covered with an icing that will dry hard, such as a poured cookie icing or a royal icing. They can also be covered with rolled fondant that was cut out with the same cutter you used for your cookies. You could also use buttercream icing and allow it to crust and smooth.



Brownies can be iced and stenciled or, without frosting, a confectioners’ sugar stencil can be applied.


Stenciling Instructions

Once your cupcake or cookies are ready to be stenciled, there are more options. Center your stencil on top of the frosted cupcake, cookie or brownie:


  • While holding the stencil steady with one hand, take an offset and/or tapered spatula and spread an even layer of thinned buttercream or royal icing over the stencil, taking care to be sure that the coat of icing is just thick enough that you can’t see through it. Gently lift the stencil straight up, so as not to disturb your design.
  • Another idea: Hold the stencil steady and apply aerosol coloring or airbrush color, taking care to hold the stencil flush with the cupcake/cookie and spray straight down as much as possible. Take care not to allow the spray to go under the stencil and blur your design. Lift stencil straight up to remove. Wipe clean with a paper towel before going on to the next cake or cookie.
  • You can also place stencil on a frosted cookie or cupcake and sprinkle edible glitter or fine sanding sugar over the stencil. While holding the stencil steady with one hand, gently press on the glitter or sugar to imbed it in the icing. Carefully remove stencil so design is not disturbed.
  • For Brownies or plain chocolate cupcakes with a flat top, hold stencil flush on top of the cake and gently sift confectioners’ sugar on top. A shaker jar is a great tool to use for this. Allow the quantity of sugar to build gradually to avoid clumps and don’t overdo it! Carefully lift the stencil to avoid disturbing the design.

Great for school parties, holiday occasions or just for fun!!