Mastering stringwork takes years of practice, especially when it involves turning your cake upside down! Cake Central Instructor, Dawn Parrott has a few instructions for piping Oriental Stringwork to help on your journey to perfecting this challenging and highly desirable decorative technique.

Tools and Materials:

Piping bag, 12-inch

Piping tip, #0, 00, and 2

Corsage pins

Drinking glass


Royal icing

Paper template


Step 1: Mark your cake.


The most important thing with almost all stringwork is to take the time to prepare the cake correctly.  Here you see a template being secured to the top of the cake to ensure that the cake is marked evenly.  I can’t stress the importance of good ground work.  If you don’t take your time here, the whole technique will be uneven and obvious.

Step 2: Using a number 2 tip, pipe “spacer” dots.


Notice that they are evenly spaced!!  Here all the groundwork has been done and we can start piping our gravity defying strings.

Step 3:  Turn the cake upside down.


What is the glass for, right?  Well, here is your answer, to pipe oriental you need to turn the cake upside down.  I found a glass works great, as you need something smaller than your cake so that you have room for your fingers to hold the cake as you turn it back upside right.  Now we start piping with a 0 or 00 tip!  You will pipe a drop string every other dot.   You can do either a single layer or double.  If you do a double layer, you will pipe one shorter than the other.

Step 4: Turn the cake back right side up


Ok, now our upside down piping is done, you can see it here standing up against gravity!  Pretty, right?  Now repeat the same process with the cake sitting upside right.  Now, what do we do with the dots we skipped you ask, you pipe more strings!  The second dots will have slightly shorter strings.  This helps to create visual interest.  Continue piping until you are all around the cake. Are we done yet?  Oh no, wait there is more!

Step 5: Add colored accent piping.


You can finish it off with any decoration you like. Happy Piping.


BahaQueen Says... 24 Sep 2013 , 10:55am

Clever technique thank you for sharing!

mumto3madboys Says... 24 Sep 2013 , 11:06am

how would you avoid any indents in the top from the glass? this is lovely work and very impressive! xx

galidink Says... 24 Sep 2013 , 12:12pm


susie1 Says... 24 Sep 2013 , 3:55pm

OMG! This is so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Kenyas Kitchen Says... 24 Sep 2013 , 7:51pm

Amazing technique. I just wonder how to keep those delicate strings from breaking.

purplepastry Says... 25 Sep 2013 , 2:05am

I would like to know/ verify if the fondant on the cake has to be "crusted" or dried overnight for the glass not to have marks on top of it? Can you also out the same sized or at least a half inch smaller sized cake board on the top so that the glass will not make a mark?

Shasha2727 Says... 27 Sep 2013 , 7:41am

Do you use a cakeboard between the glass & the fondant when working upside down? I can only guess that this is either a foam cake thats very light, or theres something such as a cake board to distribute the weight of the cake to prevent the glass from pushing into it.

neelixjacob Says... 28 Sep 2013 , 9:08am

I would say that the cake has been iced with Royal icing, as that was how I was taught in UK many years ago before fondant was used so much. We would put either marzipan or fondant on first then coat with royal icing sealing the cake so it doesn't spoil while waiting for the royal icing coating to dry overnight & then decorate. Other than that it would have to have a board as I would think the glass would leave an impression. I will be interested in Dawn's reply.

Casares Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 12:35pm

Maravilloso tu trabajo, pero estoy llena de dudas, me gusta incursionar en cosas nuevas, pero esto es un verdadero desafío, ......Precioso tu trabajo............!!!!!!

mombean Says... 16 Apr 2015 , 9:28pm

why wouldnt you explain how you turn a cake upside down on a glass and it doesnt fall apart!!

DLittrell75401 Says... 17 Apr 2015 , 10:01pm

Absolutely stunning work!!  I think it is so difficult to keep the strings consistent in the length bit the technique is stunning!!  As far as turning the cake over I have used a slightly smaller cake board than the size of the cake, placed it on the cake and just flipped the cake carefully placing it on the jar. It really is not any more difficult than that. Try it!  Thank u Dawn for sharing this technique!  You are awesome for freely sharing what others charge good money for. We r so lucky to get this knowledge from you for free :-)

lou2224 Says... 5 Aug 2015 , 4:37pm

Dawn, do you have a royal icing recipe for oriental stringwork?

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