How to Do Brush Embroidery on a Cake

Written by kristie bishopp
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How to Do Brush Embroidery on a Cake
The brush embroidery technique requires the use of a decorator bag -- and a paintbrush. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Reminiscent of the decorative embroidery on fine linens, the brush embroidery cake decorating technique adds wispy texture and softens harsh lines for a romantic effect. Use contrasting colours for a cheerful theme or pipe white icing on white fondant to produce a cake elegant enough for a wedding.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fondant-covered cake
  • Flower-shaped cookie cutter
  • 1 cup Royal icing
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp piping gel
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Small cake decorating bag
  • Frosting tip No. 2
  • Narrow, flat-tip, food-safe paintbrush
  • Dish of water
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Lightly press the cookie cutter into the surface of the fondant so it leaves an impression to serve as a guideline but does not completely cut through the fondant. Remove cookie cutter.

  2. 2

    Attach decorator tip No. 2 to the cake decorating bag and set aside.

  3. 3

    Using the spatula, mix the Royal icing and piping gel in the mixing bowl. Scoop half of the mixture into the decorating bag. Twist the top of the bag to force any air out and squeeze the frosting toward the tip.

    Brush Embroidery

  1. 1

    Using the prepared decorator bag, pipe a line of icing along a small section of the impression made by the cookie cutter. Set the decorator bag aside.

  2. 2

    Slightly dampen the paintbrush in the dish of water, dabbing excess moisture on the paper towel. Use the paintbrush bristles to lightly draw the inside half of the piped icing line toward the centre of the flower. Work with quick, short strokes.

  3. 3

    Repeat along the rest of the piped line, always drawing icing toward the flower's centre. Rinse and blot the brush often.

  4. 4

    Repeat Steps 1 through 3 until the flower's outline is complete. Carefully remove any errors with a toothpick and refill the decorator bag as necessary with the remainder of the frosting mixture.

  5. 5

    Apply centre detailing -- such as a crisp dot of decorator icing -- to the flower.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice first on waxed paper.
  • Although fondant-covered cakes are recommended as a smooth, firm surface, a cake with buttercream frosting that is set and dry to the touch may work also.
  • For a thicker line, use tip No. 3 instead.
  • To embellish the cookie cutter shape, use a toothpick to lightly draw additional guidelines in light dots.
  • Do not draw paintbrush bristles through the entire thickness of the piped line. An intact outer rim maintains a crisp appearance.
  • Rinse and blot the brush often; clean bristles produce clear lines.
  • Royal icing dries quickly, so pipe and brush in small sections. For more uniform results, pipe and brush one petal at a time.

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