Cake Decorating Techniques

Would you like to learn some basic cake decorating techniques? You will WOW your guests with some of these easy to follow designs.

With a little practice you may even be decorating wedding cakes like a pro.

The basket weave for instance is an easy technique that anyone can learn quickly, and the results are stunning!!!

Practice Makes Perfect

If you are new to this craft, start by filling a pastry bag with some buttercream and practice squeezing the icing out of the bag. You can use the back side of a pan or a cookie sheet for this.

Experiment with varying the pressure and swirling the tip around. Just have fun and don't worry about how it turns out just yet. Scrape the frosting back into the bag and continue practicing until you feel comfortable enough to try some of the techniques here.

Cake Decorating Techniques 

Cake Decorating Techniques To Practice

Basic Shell Border

This video shows one of the most basic shell borders. Practice on a pan or plate, so you can scrape and re use the icing for more practice sessions. This video is one of an entire playlist showing a variety of decorating ideas. Watch them all here or join my YouTube channel to be alerted for updates.


This video shows you how to make a quick ruffle using a leaf tip. Practice with varying pressures and speed. Then you can move on to pipe the garland onto a cake when you are ready.

Double Reverse Scrolls

This video shows a double reverse scroll with over-piping and uses the same tips as the shell or start borders. It sounds complex but once you do it a few times it is not difficult and looks amazing. This border is also used in the video of the Victorian cake design in the video just below.

Decorating A Victorian Style Cake Design

This video shows the whole process of decorating the ruffles using the leaf tip to create garlands on a Victorian style cake. It also shows the double reverse border,  bows and cornelli lace.

Royal Icing Snowflakes

This cake decorating techniques video shows how to make a royal icing snowflake. These were for a FROZEN theme cake which you can see at the end of the video.

Make the Royal Icing Recipe


The video shows how to basketweave a cake. You can use various tips for this. 

Basketweaving Explained

Of all of the cake decorating techniques, basketweaving is one of the easiest to master. It's a good one to begin with and will give you a boost of confidence as you are learning.

Below is a pictorial of the process. Don't worry about making mistakes you can always scrape it off and start over.

Tip: A cake turntable makes this and all cake decorating easier. You can find them on the supplies page of this website.

Step 1

Step 2

Start by filling your pastry bag about 2/3 full. A medium sized bag will do. You will need either a star tip or  basketweaving tip. I prefer the star because it makes a thicker weave. The basket tip makes a flatter weave. Try both and see which one you prefer.

Place your tip onto the bottom edge of the cake and pipe(squeeze and pull the bag)to make a straight line up the side. Next going left to right pipe smaller horizontal lines across the vertical one. Leave enough space in between each horizontal line to fit the decorating tip. Don't worry about the ends looking messy, they will be covered up with each row.

Step 3

Step 4

Now pipe a second vertical line as you cover the edges of the horizontal weaves. This will give the appearance of the frosting actually going under the vertical weaving.

Repeat this process until the entire cake side is covered. Plan on putting the final vertical line facing the back side or cover it with flowers later.

Pipe a simple shell or star border on the bottom around the edges.(Pictured in the Step 4 photo).

Step 5

A rope edge is nice with this design. To get this effect start by placing the decorating tip on the edge of the cake and use a squeeze and pull motion to form a C shape. (You will need a star tip for this one). Next tuck the decorating tip into the center of the first C and pipe a backward C. Reverse the C again and so forth until the entire edge is finished.

 Each time you pipe a new C cover the edge of the one prior to it. This will make it look tidy and give the illusion of a twisted rope.

Happy Cake Decorating

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