I have done a few cakes shaped as bottles and to get the best effect I would always recommend printing the bottle label as it gives the cake a fantastic professional finish. Matching the design, detail and any logo etc by hand can be very time consuming and tricky to do and unless you are a whizz with a paintbrush it probably will not turn out how you wanted it to! For the Bells Whisky cake I ordered the label design this time on rice paper as I haven’t used rice paper much and wanted to try it on a cake to see how it worked and looked.
Rice paper is often used for cupcake toppers so I was interested to try it out on a large cake to see the effect. It was very easy to work with and less delicate than printed icing which can tear easily. I am not sure if the finish for a large cake it as polished when using rice paper compared to printed icing and it does taste different. It was a good choice for this cake though as the customer had ordered two cakes and asked for them to not have ready roll icing on, just buttercream. With a shaped cake you need to use ready roll icing to cover the cake to help keep its shape and design and if I had attempted to put the rice paper or printed icing directly onto a thick layer of buttercream it would have started to soak it up, become moist, lose shape and the colour may have even started to run. Using rice paper for the label meant I could reduce slightly how much icing I covered the cake with.
The whisky bottle was shaped from an 8” square vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream filling placed on a 12” round board.