Last weekend I made a wedding cake that had brush embroidery on it, which is a technique that I really like because even though it’s pretty easy, it gives you a difficult-looking result.
Brush embroidery is done with icing that’s piped on in the outline of a shape, then dragged with a damp paintbrush from the edge into the center of the shape.
It’s usually done on fondant using royal icing, but I’ve seen it done with buttercream.
With buttercream it won’t look the same, though, it doesn’t drag the same way that the royal icing will. It can be done with different colored icings, but this one was done with all white on a blue background.
IT’s an easy technique but it looks fancy, and you can do it to mimic the look of lace on a cake.
Pipe the outline.
Start by piping the outline of the design using a fairly large round tip, at least a 3 or 4.
You need to put enough icing on so that you’ll have something to drag into the center of the design.
The outside edge of the pattern is going to be the thickest area on the design, and as you do the dragging part you can always pipe a little more icing onto the outline to raise it up and give it more dimension.
Drag the icing into the design.
You then take a small paintbrush that’s damp, not wet, and drag the icing from the outside of the outline toward the center of the shape.
Start from the center of the piped line so that you leave the very outer edge fairly thick, but if it gets too thin you can pipe more icing on.
Don’t drag the icing all the way into the center, just bring it about halfway into the outlined shapes. The cake under the piping should be visible and the icing should thin out to be fairly transparent toward the end of the dragged part.
Add more icing to the outline if needed.
I wanted more texture, since this was all white, so I went back and overpiped the shape again, then dragged it a little more.
This is a pretty technique and is nice for cakes that are a little “softer” in appearance.
You can also use multiple colors of icing on the cake to give the brush embroidery an appearance of being made from different colors of “thread,” which is the goal for the final appearance for this technique.
It’s good for flowers and leaves, and if you use different colors you can get a nice watercolor effect that also has a little texture to it.
This cake had brush embroidery on the center tier in autumn colors, so you can see the outline and brushed areas clearly.