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How To: Royal Icing Lace

Thursday 19th June 2014

Wedding season is in full swing, and the elegant, show-stopping cakes the occasion gives rise to sees royal icing skills come to the fore. Carefully piped dots and beads, built up run outs and brush embroidery techniques all look magnificent when adorning a classic wedding cake, but nothing is more beautiful than a lace motif layered over colour ready to roll icing, for a modern take on the big day cake.

If you’re just getting started with royal icing, check out how to bead and pipe lines, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, and ready to take your royal icing skills to the next level, our cake decorating expert Claire Bailey has shared all the hints and tips you need to get going royal icing lace. All you need is soft consistency royal icing, a piping bag, a selection of nozzles and a cake to decorate. Go get your lace on.

1. Fit a piping bag with a number 1 piping nozzle and fill the bag a quarter full with royal icing. Hold the bag and tip slightly at a 90° angle, close to cake without scraping the cake with the nozzle.

2. Begin piping on the icing, letting it catch the surface you are piping on, then immediately lift the piping tube and apply slow and steady pressure, guiding the piping bag in the shape you want the icing to fall in a continuous string, slowly allowing the string of icing to fall in place on the icing.

3. Curve it up, down and around in your chosen lace pattern until the selected area is covered.

4. Make certain the strings never touch or cross and don’t leave any loose ends by running strings of icing to finish next to a piped line of icing.

5. To finish a string of royal icing, remove pressure on the bag and deftly pull away.

6. Try not to create a repeat pattern design by changing directions often.


• Research lace patterns and designs to gather inspiration, or draw out your own lace design to make your decorated cake unique. Traditional cornelli or simple floral lace designs are a perfect place to start.

• Practise your royal icing pattern on greaseproof paper, experimenting with designs and increasing confidence in piping before applying to the decorated cake. When creating lace designs on icing by hand, use a scribing tool to mark your pattern before piping or indenting to make sure your design is neat.

• Interchange different nozzle sizes in creating lace with royal icing, to provide texture.

Why not give it a go? Our vintage lace cake is the perfect place to start in piping brush dots and beads.