While in Wilton's Cake 1 class, we transferred a rainbow pattern to a frosted cake using gel and wax paper then filled in the design with buttercream and a star tip.
Frozen buttercream transfer is a method of transferring your art to your cake by making a buttercream plaque to apply to your cake. It can be used on small as well as very large cakes. There's only one caveat... you have to create the design in reverse.
I had the opportunity to try this technique tonight while making a birthday cake for a retired Marine. I printed the Marines logo (below), traced the design on the back of the printed paper (so I'd have the logo in reverse), taped the reversed picture to a cake board, tape wax paper on top of it, and proceeded to trace and fill the logo using buttercream.
Once the buttercream Plaque was on the cake, I added the braided cord to the anchor
For my first time, I'm happy with the way the design came out.
In hind site, I'd outline the design in the same color as the frosted cake, use the bottom of one of my baking pans as my surface instead of a cake board (it chills super quick) and I'd use 1/2 cup of butter in place of shortening. (I think it would firm up faster and harder).
I can't wait to see Jerry's face when he sees his cake tomorrow.
Here are a couple of sites where you can read up on Frozen Buttercream Transfer if you decide you want to try it.