The letter cakes are the recent trend in cake decorating. Almost everybody wants a number or alphabets cake for their birthday. Why not? Look how pretty these are and not as difficult as other elaborate fondant decorated cakes. Now there are lots of tutorials online for these cakes and boy did we spend a lot of time looking at what we should share here.
This new treand of fascinating cakes with alphabets and numbers has taken everyone's attention. Rightfully so. Gone are the days when you would have to buy a cake pan in the shape of an alphabet or number just for that one cake. And who knew if you would use it again. Right?
Well, fear not, for now, you don't have to buy a pan. You can make this cake in a sheet pan. Then print the number or alphabet on a simple paper. Cut the shape out and use it as a template to trace and cut out the shape of the cake. Voila, you have a number-shaped cake.
These are usually light and airy cakes that work best with whipped cream. I've given you a cream cheese whipped cream recipe below but you can just omit the cream cheese and use only whipped cream.
For the decorations? well, light and airy vanilla cakes do well with fruits and berries. But they are no rules here. So, use whatever you like, fruits, berries, macarons, flowers.
Alphabet / Letter Cake Tutorials
Veena Azmanov - recipe with progress pictures here - Letter Z Cake
Cooking Foodie - No. 5 Cake
Adilicious - Alphabet A Cake
Gateau Chiffres - No. 25 Cake
Recette De Number - No 100 Cake
Veena Azmamov - Number 50 Cookie Cake
Vanille Tanz - Heart cake
Filling & Frostings for letter cakes
- Alphabet cakes are usually filled with a cream-based frosting made with Vanilla Pastry Cream (eggless pastry cream) and Whipping Cream. Or
- You can also use Classic Vanilla Buttercream Recipes. The buttercream base can be American, Swiss, Italian, French or German buttercream.
- Alternatively, you can use other flavored buttercreams too - here are more than 30 buttercream flavors for you to try.
- If you choose to use a cookie base for your alphabet cake instead of cake-base - perhaps you want a good Vanilla Cookie Recipe or Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Cake Batter - 3 layers 11 x 13 sheet pan
- 3½ cups (437.5 g) All-purpose Flour
- 2 cups (400 g) Sugar granulated
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1½ cup (340 g) Butter unsalted
- 5 Eggs large
- 1 cup (240 ml) Buttermilk
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 3 cups (700 ml) whipping cream
- ½ cup (60 g) Powdered sugar
Or Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting
- 2 cup (470 ml) Cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups (470 ml) Whipping Cream
- 1 cup (120 g) Powdered Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
Decorations of your choice
- 10 Strawberries
- 10 Macarons
- 20 Blueberries
- 20 Candy
- 10 Chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark - 3
- Grease and line two 11 x 13-inch sheet cake pans or three 7 x 10 sheet cake pans with parchment paper.
- Dry ingredients - Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Next add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla extract. Pro tip- adding eggs one at a time will prevent the eggs from curdling. If the batter does curdle just add a tablespoon of flour to help stabilize it.
- Next, add the flour and buttermilk in three batches. Combine well but do not over mix. Pro tip - we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
- Divide batter equally between the 3 or 2 sheet pans. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Tap the pan a few times to remove air pockets and let the batter settle down.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Pro tip - using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Pro tip - always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.
Prepare sugar syrup
- To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more - then cool completely.
Whipped Cream Frosting Or
- In the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream with powdered sugar until you have stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag with the desired piping tip.
Cream cheese whipped cream
- In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour the chilled whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract and whip to combine. Transfer to a piping bag with the desired piping tip.
- Print the desired template of the number or letter you plan to make. Ensure the size is the same as your cake.
- Starting with one sheet cake, use the template to cut around the desired shape. Set it aside and do the same with the remaining layer/s.Pro tip - Place the template on the cake - use a small paring knife and carefully cut the shape. A ruler helps with straight lines.
- lace the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Brush with simple syrup. Pipe the frosting all over with the piping bag. Then, place the second layer on top. Pipe more frosting, followed by the 3rd layer on top and more frosting. Pro tip - chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
- The cake can now be decorated with any toppings from fresh fruits and berries to macarons and candy.
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Alphabet Cakes - Inspiration Board
By Adi Klinghofer, Chocolique, Sweet Miracles Cookies and Cakes, Taylor Made Gourmet, Image Source Pinterest, Veena Azmanov
I want to make the “A letter cake” can I use butter cream frosting for the filling instead?
Yes, of course, Angel. You can use any buttercreamm frosting you like. Try some recipes from here - 30 plus buttercream frosting recipes
Hi if I'm using a biscuit base for a letter cake do I have to damp it with sugar syrup? Will it be heard to cut? Please advice. Thank you
I don't dampen the cookies with syrup because the cookie soaks up moisture from the frosting. Though it does take time so it depends on how long the frosting stays on the cookies. I made mine almost 24 hours ahead and it was perfect. Not too soft and not hard either. Thanks
Hi Veena, I want to make a chocolate number cake - can I follow the chocolate cake recipe that you have for a carved cake?
Or which other one do you recommend?
Thanks so much
Yes, you can use the chocolate cake for carving as well for this recipe. Thanks
how far in advance can i pipe the buttercream in the cake and decorate before serving?
It really depends on what frosting you use. For example; whipped cream does not hold for long unless you use stabilized whipped cream. I have done it two days in advance but you must cover the cake properly to avoid drying out in the fridge.