How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters

How to Use FMM Tappit Letter Cutters

I’m asked again and again how to use Tappit Letter Cutters, so I took some photos last weekend when working on a cake to show you how I do them!

I’ve used homemade marshmallow fondant, Satin Ice fondant, and Satin Ice gum paste with these cutters.    I initially preferred homemade marshmallow fondant with a tiny bit of Tylose added in, but once I got the hang of the cutters, I can do it equally well with all mediums.

How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters 01

Here’s what you’ll need:

Okay-  once you have everything together – here’s how to do it: Start with a small amount of fondant or gum paste on a mat.  If you don’t have a mat, I recommend dusting your work surface with a bit of cornstarch.

How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters 02How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters 03

Then use your rolling pin to roll it out really, really thin – nearly paper thin.  Maybe 1mm?!  I never measure, but I get it extra thin!  It’s easier to get it super thin if you use gum paste, but if you work with small amounts, you can do it with fondant! I usually cut mine into strips that are 6-7 inches long and about 1.5″ wide.

I didn’t do it this time because I only had 6 letters to do, but if you’re doing more letters – cut it into strips!   Then – let it dry!  I always let mine sit out for at least 10 minutes – but even 20-30 minutes or longer is okay!

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Once the fondant or gum paste has dried out a bit, I shake on a little corn starch and spread it with my fingers.  This keeps the letters from sticking in the molds.

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Now just press the cutter into the fondant.  If you’ve cut it into thin strips, you’ll lay the cutter perpendicular to the strip of fondant as you can see in the picture above.  When it’s completely pressed into the fondant, I shimmy it around a bit while pressing down to be sure that I get a clean cut all the way through.

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At this point, you should be able to just lift the cutter off and the letter will stay.  If it happens to stick, use the sharp point of an Xacto knife to gently pull the letter out of the mold. If you’re letter does lay flat, go ahead and move to the next letter…

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You can see where I moved all the way across my strip of fondant to do the name “Olivia”.

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At this point, I just lift away all of the extra fondant and leave the letters on the mat.  If needed, I use my Xacto knife to remove the insides of the letters (like the middle of the “O”, then I let them dry for awhile longer – maybe half an hour.   The drying time will keep them from stretching when you go to pick them up and put them on the cake. BUT – I don’t let them dry until they’re completely hard – if you do that, they’ll become fragile and break easily.

Once they’re ready, I just use my fingers to put them on a cake.   Or if you have any trouble, you can use the tiny point of an Xacto knife to lift them and put them on the cake!

How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters

To stick them on, I rub down the cake with a little shortening and just stick them on.  The shortening works as “glue” but also allows you to move them around until you get them placed well.  If they happen to have any corn starch still on them, you can also use a small paint brush and shortening to brush them down and remove the corn starch!

Update #1 : As my friend Susan noted in the comments, the easiest way to center a name or words, it to start with the center letter centered on the cake, then work your way out from there!

Update #2:  Also, if you’re opposed to using the shortening, you could use sugar glue or a dot of water instead to attach the letters to the cake, but you will not be able to move it around as easily, so be sure to place it in just the right spot on the first try!

And that’s it!  Do you have any questions about how to use the Tappit Cutters?  If I’ve forgotten anything, leave me a comment and let me know!

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Comments

  1. I thought I did it right, but your tips here are EXACTLY what I needed. Thanks as always, Rose!!! Sharon/Not Your Average Cupcake

  2. Can you use powdered sugar instead of the cornstarch?

  3. Susan Campbell says:

    Letting the fondant dry is a great tip – especially if using Satin Ice. If I’m using Wilton fondant, I don’t have to let it dry out as much to get them to work as well since it’s stiffer.

    So often my cakes are buttercream instead of fondant, so I can’t really move them around much or it messes up the finish. When I place them on, I try to center the word by placing the middle letter on first, and then put the rest of the letters on either side.

    Thanks for another great post. :D

    • YES – even if on fondant, I often start with the middle letter first just to keep from moving them any more than necessary!

  4. perfect !!
    do u use any kind of steam just to make the fondant shiny and remove the scratch ?

    have a good one

    • No, if you read to the bottom, I use a paintbrush and brush it off or I dip the brush in shortening and brush it off – it gives shine and removes the starch!

  5. ooch !
    I meant starch in the past comment , the spelling corrector

  6. Hi Rose! I have watched and read several videos/tutorials on these letter cutters. Yours definitely is the easiest to follow! Can’t wait to try it your way!

    One question: do you find if you rub the cake with shortening that it leaves a greasy mark, especially on the darker colours?

    Thanks for everything! God bless!

    Julie

    • I usually try to rub it all over – especially on darker cakes so it’ll be even, and yes, it will “show up” on darker colors, but unless you’re delivering it right away, after a few hours the shortening absorbs and disappears! Of course, if you wanted, you could use a dot of water or sugar glue instead of the shortening, but you will not be able to move it around as easily! I think I’ll add this note in the post as well – thanks for asking!

  7. Thanks for this! I have very similar cutters to this and have only tried them once so far (weren’t the right size for the cake) but now I am looking forward to really using them soon!

    I also start my words in the middle and work out from there!

  8. Tried these for the first time last night, and they just kept sticking no matter now dry the fondant, how much corn starch I rubbed on or how hard I wiggled the cutter. I finally ended up grabbing a paint brush and slathering shortening onto the cutter and voila! They worked well and I couldn’t get over how well the shortening held up to stick them to the cake! Thanks for the tutorial!

  9. Jennifer says:

    First I’d like to thank you!! I love everything you post!
    My question is, do you use both or have a preference of UPPER or lower case letters? What did you use for Olivia cake?

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