Piping Top Borders Of Round Cakes Perfectly

Decorating By liwalson1 Updated 3 Jun 2016 , 10:14pm by MBalaska

liwalson1 Posted 28 May 2016 , 10:54pm
post #1 of 17

I seem to have difficulty getting my border on the top of round cakes to be aligned properly.  It usually comes out with a section or two lopsided or bulging out or in as in the image below.  Does anyone have any suggestions/tips for making borders on the top of the cake more aligned all around?


16 replies
costumeczar Posted 29 May 2016 , 12:13am
post #2 of 17

You could cut out a round piece of waxed paper or parchment that's a little smaller than the cake diameter, put it on top of the cake, and trace around it with a toothpick or skewer. that would give you a circle to use as the guideline. It's probably never going to be 100% perfect if you're doing it by hand, though, so don't stress out about it!

Apti Posted 31 May 2016 , 2:09pm
post #3 of 17

Hint--nobody but you sees a problem with that border.   I agree with costumeczar above.

-K8memphis Posted 31 May 2016 , 3:02pm
post #4 of 17

yes be sure your cake is centered on the turntable and on the board 


liwalson1 Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 1:03am
post #5 of 17

@costumeczar, great idea! I plan to give that a try

@Apti, trust me, this is one of the better ones.  I haven't been taking pics of my mistakes so I don't have one of my own to share but below is a picture I found on the internet that shows what my borders look like on some occasions:079.JPG

This is what I'm trying to achieve consistently:


-K8memphis Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 1:28am
post #6 of 17

do you see how far the cake is off from the board and the board is off from the center of the turntable? 

remnant3333 Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 1:35am
post #7 of 17

The more you do it the more even it will be!! The first picture cake looks great to me. Don't stress yourself out because before you know it you will be doing it without any problems!! Hang in there!

kakeladi Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 2:52am
post #8 of 17

Hon, it's just going to take time and practice, Practice, *practice!*  They really are not that bad - as others said, only you think so.

MBalaska Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 2:54am
post #9 of 17

Only the commercial piping machines can make swirls & shells with mathematical precision.  and even the machine goes wonky sometimes.  I'll bet the staff take those home or eat them in their break room.

MBalaska Posted 1 Jun 2016 , 3:01am
post #10 of 17

and if it really drives you bonkers, you can purchase silicone molds that mimic buttercream shell border piping. 

cakebaby2 Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 6:41am
post #12 of 17

MsAlaska ,you should get a job as a researcher, you always find the cutest things x

kakeladi Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 4:31pm
post #13 of 17

I can't beleive how molds have taken over decorating.,   One does not have to learn much of anything -  Just mold it:(

Sorry, that leaves me cold.  Let's get back to *decorating*!

MBalaska Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 8:04pm
post #14 of 17

not to worry much about decorating, fondant didn't make prettier cakes, neater cakes, or more even borders.  At least not with the great majority of decorators.

I miss a lot of things from the old days.  I'm still pissedoff for having to put gasoline in my own damn car now that there are no gasoline attendants.  Nothing is bringing back hand piped cakes until it becomes 'Super Retro' and it will be just a brief fad.

Apti Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 9:17pm
post #15 of 17

liwalson1 -- getting back on topic for a moment, I say again that your skills are VERY good.  Certainly good enough to sell in a custom cake shop.  We don't know if you are a hobby decorator or if you sell cakes, but once the level of skill shown in your cake above is reached, then all you need to strive for is SPEED.  Time is money; and if you are selling cakes, perfection is NOT profitable.  Good enough for a customer to return or cause others to be referred and make a substantial profit--that's the level of skill needed for piping.

MBalaska--I agree, perfection in piping skills is now a "hobby" skill.   Kathleen Lange of Confectionary Chalet is superb at Lambeth style piping.


Kathleen just won one of the top 10 International Artists recognized by The New York Cake Show.   I asked her once if she was able to profitably sell any of her fabulous piped cakes.   She just laughed and said, "no way"! 

"In the words of Ruth Rickey, when determining how far to take a design, think of the customer and ask yourself: 1. Will they notice? 2. If they notice, will they care? 3. If they care, will they pay? You gotta be able to answer 'yes' to all 3 to justify adding an element, "

-K8memphis Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 9:35pm
post #16 of 17

apti nailed it

MBalaska Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 10:14pm
post #17 of 17

I agree @-K8memphis ‍ , @Apti ‍ did nail it.

the one thing that the use of fondant covering a cake did create is a very unreal, time consuming, and often frustrating obsession with being expected to make buttercream cake tops & side as smooth as glass.  Or having to pat and paddle paper onto the tops & sides of cakes until blissfully flat.     Bullfeathers to that. 

@liwalson1 ‍ those cakes are very nice buttercream cakes & there was a thread going a while back with lots of info you may be interested in.   http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/601614/only-buttercream-decorators

Honestly, I suspect that the creation of the new styles of textured buttercream cakes such as: petal cakes, & ruffle cakes going in all directions, & rosette cakes are a result in avoiding the impossible glass sides.   As I've just started to try those techniques this year with Swiss meringue buttercream.  Having used American Buttercream for so many decades, the soft non crusting SMBC pipes on quickly and very easily with these methods.

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