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Tappits - How to Use Tappit Cutters in Cake Decorating

Updated on April 10, 2012

Tappits - The Answer to a Cake Decorators Prayers

With tappits and tappit cutters, anyone can create elegant wording and impressive decorations to adorn a cake. They are the perfect answer for anyone (like me) who is not blessed with perfect handwriting and who finds writing a neat inscription on a cake freehand next to impossible.

Tappit cutters solve this problem perfectly, meaning anyone can add elegant, accurate wording to a cake, just by cutting out the letters and arranging them in sequence (this method gets you out of having to write neatly - it does not let you off having to spell correctly.)

So what are tappit cutters? In simple terms they are small cutters, normally in the form of letters, that are designed for use with very thinly rolled flower paste (also known as gum paste).

FMM Cutters Used to Make Lettering for Shoe Cake Topper
FMM Cutters Used to Make Lettering for Shoe Cake Topper

How to Use Tappit Cutters

If you're not used to tappit cutters, or working with gum paste it can take a while to get the hang of it.

The idea is that you roll out your gum paste very thinly ~ and I mean tissue paper thin. Slice the gum paste into thin strips (bookmark sort of shape), each the width of a letter. You then apply the tappit letter you require, push down gently, give it a little wiggle and then remove the tappit.

At this point one of 2 things will have happened:

  1. The cut out letter will have remained on your work surface in which case gently prise it off (if it's resistant let it dry for a minute first) and use as required.
  2. The gum paste will have remained in the cutter ~ in which case you simply tap the end of the cutter against a hard surface and the letter should pop out ~ it doesn't always work first time but if your letter seems stuck all you need to do is leave it for a few minutes to dry and try again. If it seems persistently stuck use the end of a sharp knife to prise one edge free and the rest should follow easily.

Once you have all your letters position them on your cake or other item (i,e, cake toppers as shown in the picture) and once you are happy with the arrangement stick them down using cooled boiled water as glue.

FMM Tappit Cutters

 FMM Tappit letters come in 3 designs:

Script ~ for elegant writing

Block - for very clear writing

Funky - for funky writing

Can Tappit Cutters Be Used With Sugarpaste and Fondant

The short answer is yes (as the photo shows) - but you have to be very careful.

To create sugarcraft letters using tappit cutters you need to roll your sugarpaste very thinly ~ far thinner than you would ever do for covering a cake.

You also want to roll in out on a good covering of icing sugar so there is no chance of sticking.

Once it's rolled out cut the sugarpaste into long thin strips, as you would with gum paste, then gently press the tappit onto the surface of the sugarpaste.

NB: I tend to find that as sugarpaste is much more delicate than gum paste a gentle press will do, just enough to make the outline but not enough so that the sugarpaste sticks inside the tappit (if it does stick you just have to start again). Lift up the tappit and gently prise the sugarpaste letter away from the surrounding fondant and use immediately as if you allow the sugarpaste letters to dry they will break the minute you move them.


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    • sweetgracecake profile image

      sweetgracecake 7 years ago

      The funky alphabet tappits are my favorite! I roll the fondant/gumpaste to level three on my pasta roller. That makes the perfect thickness to quickly cut out the letters. Nice tutorial.