How On Earth Is This Done?

Decorating By nannie Updated 26 Jan 2010 , 5:41pm by CakeyThings

nannie Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 3:32pm
post #1 of 21

When I was at ICES this month, I took the following pic of some amazing stringwork. (sorry, don't remember who did the cake)

In case you can't see from the pic, the string loops are not on the cake but suspended from that dot. I get how they do the loops that go down but I can't figure out how they do the loops that go up. Kinda defies gravity icon_confused.gif

Any ideas?

20 replies
Mensch Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 3:35pm
post #2 of 21

The cake was upside down when certain strings were piped.

Charmed Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 3:39pm
post #3 of 21

They flip the cake and pip the strings and just let it dry!!

cindy1176 Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 3:41pm
post #4 of 21

Wow...what a fabulous look! Thanks for sharing the photo and how it is done ladies!

kimb Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 3:55pm
post #5 of 21

I think that is the most amazing cake I have ever seen.

I can't imagine being talented enough to attempt something like that.

nannie Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:01pm
post #6 of 21


I never would have thought of that. Thanks Mensch and charmed. I knew my CC sisters would have an answer. icon_biggrin.gif

kimb: There were so many amazing cakes there. This was one of my favorites because the detail was just so precise and delicate.

grandmom Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:04pm
post #7 of 21

What?? How does one flip a cake that's been covered in icing or fondant without totally wrecking it?

I was thinking maybe they piped the stringwork with royal icing onto a dummy, let it dry, then applied. Guess not!

CakeInfatuation Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:25pm
post #8 of 21

Looks to me like they were piped ahead on a different surface, allowed to dry and then a dot was piped on the cake the string attached and then another dot to cover where the loops meet.

I get why they say so many break. I would think that you'd lose 2/3 or more of your loops when you attempt this.

Snoop4 Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 21

this is AMAZING. I would love to see, in person, how this is done... I just cant visualize it! Beautiful.

confectionaryperfection Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:37pm
post #10 of 21

The loops are made of royal icing perhaps with corn syrup to make more flowable. they are piped ahead of time on wax or parchment paper and when dried carefully attached to royal dots .

Snoop4 Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 4:47pm
post #11 of 21

that seems much more plausible to me than the original explanation. icon_smile.gif thx!

lapazlady Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:03pm
post #12 of 21

American Cake Decorating Mag had a cake like that. I loaned about 2 years worth of magazine out, unfortunately the design is in one of those. Seems it was in the copy with the Eiffel Tower on the cover. And yes, I also think it is piped with RI, in sections, over a template Then dried over a cake pan so the shape and size are the same as the cake. The dots are added, and the loops placed on the cake.

Relznik Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:04pm
post #13 of 21

I believe it's called Japanese String Work.

It's done on a royal iced fruit cake.

It has to be royal icing that the cake is covered in, because you turn the cake upside down to do the loops that go up. Then you turn it the right way up for the loops that go down.

Buttercream or fondant would never withstand being turned about like that.

Hope this helps

Suzanne x

edited to say: It does look like this cake was done with fondant! An acquaintance of mine did a cake with Japanese string work (that's the only reason I know what it's called) and she's the one who told me it had to be RI! Here's her example... 4th row down...

nannie Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:04pm
post #14 of 21

I think the operative word is carefully, very carefully attached. icon_lol.gif

I'd have to make 100 to get a couple to work

nannie Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:07pm
post #15 of 21

thanks Relznik

that makes sense.

That would be a lot of fun to try on a dummy cake......... you can mess us all you want.

Thanks for the link.

bobwonderbuns Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:30pm
post #16 of 21

It's called oriental stringwork and both Gary Silverthorn and Michaelle Stidham teach classes on it. (They're both Michigan ICES members.)

nannie Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 5:53pm
post #17 of 21

thanks Bob that would be so much fun to take.

neelycharmed Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 6:06pm
post #18 of 21

that looks great, wish I had time to try it!
maybe when wedding cake season is done.

marknelliesmum Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 6:21pm
post #19 of 21

icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif I want to be able to use a piping bag icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif Piping is my nemesis - i am utterly hopeless at it and can't even pipe a name icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif Yes, i'm really that bad. How awesome to be able to do this decoration...that's it i am now on a piping mission i WILL teach myself to do this. Thanks for the pic what an inspiration ( even if it's a terrifying prospect )

BlakesCakes Posted 10 Aug 2009 , 8:16pm
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by confectionaryperfection

The loops are made of royal icing perhaps with corn syrup to make more flowable. they are piped ahead of time on wax or parchment paper and when dried carefully attached to royal dots .

No, they are not.

This technique is called Oriental Stringwork. For the loops that go "Up", the cake is, indeed, turned upside down. Both the cake and the fondant must be very firm. It is placed on a padded surface (turntable, coffee can, elevated cake board, etc.), so as not to mar the top of the cake. The strings are usually piped with a #0 or #00 tip and are allowed to dry completely before turning the cake rightside up.

This generally done on fruit cakes or cake dummies, but it could be done, to some extent, on a firm cake covered in fondant.


CakeyThings Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:41pm
post #21 of 21

I just took a class in this....u have to flip the cake to do the strings...very heart wrenching

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