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How to Brush Embroidery on Wedding Cakes

by Tricia Ballad, studioD

Brush embroidery is a simple technique that adds texture and visual interest to a plain wedding cake. It works well to mimic the delicacy of the lace on the bride's gown. You could also use brush embroidery in a floral design to add a subtle hint of color to a traditional white wedding cake. If the bride prefers an all-white cake, you can use brush embroidery to add visual interest through texture. Consider using a slightly off-white icing for the brush embroidery to enhance the contrast between the base layer of fondant on the cake and the brush embroidery decorations.

Outline your chosen design by lightly pricking the fondant with a toothpick.

Thin the buttercream or royal icing with piping gel. It should be a little thicker than heavy cream.

Fill a cup with warm water.

Unscrew the ring from the pastry bag's coupler and drop the coupler into the pastry bag, tip down. If you are using a disposable pastry bag, cut the tip off the bag just below the screw threads on the coupler. Place the piping tip onto the outside of the pastry bag, over the tip of the coupler. Screw the ring onto the coupler, over the piping tip. This will hold the piping tip securely in place.

Fill the pastry bag about one-half full of icing. Use enough icing that you will not have to refill too often, but do not overfill. A pastry bag that is overfilled is difficult to control. Twist the top of the pastry bag to close it securely.

Pipe the icing onto the fondant, following your outline. Depending on your design, you may want to pipe a border instead of a simple line.

Use short, firm strokes to brush a little icing from your outline toward the center of the design.

Dip your brush in the cup of water then wipe it on a piece of cloth or paper towel to clean it between strokes.

Items you will need
  •  Wedding cake covered in fondant
  •  Toothpick
  •  Buttercream or royal icing
  •  Piping gel
  •  Cup
  •  Pastry bag
  •  Coupler
  •  Piping tip
  •  Square-tipped brush
  •  Rag or paper towel


  • Experiment with different piping designs for your outline. Pipe a small section on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to see what different piping techniques will look like combined with brush embroidery.


  • If you are working on a large design that covers the whole cake, work in sections. If you pipe the entire outline, the icing may dry before you have time to brush the entire design.

About the Author

Tricia Ballad is a writer, author and project geek. She has written several books including two novels, teaches classes on goal setting and project planning for writers, and loves to cook in her spare time. She is living proof that you can earn a living with a degree in creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images