Monster Shag Cake Tutorial

monster shag cake by sugar and sparrow

I’ve been brainstorming some new Halloween cake designs (it’s been awhile!) and the idea for this shaggy monster cake popped into my head instantly. When that kind of thing happens, I just have to roll with it right away. So I dusted off a handful of Wilton Tip 233’s, grabbed a box of candy eyeballs, and got to work. I’m so happy to say that it turned out even cuter than I imagined! I am in love with each and every one of these cute little monsters.

monster shag cake tutorial

This monster shag cake is perfect for a Halloween party table and will work in any color scheme you can think of. I used five colors here: AmeriColor Super Red, Egg Yellow, Orange, Turquoise, and Sky Blue. To make your life easier, plan on using one shag piping tip per color in your palette. Sure, you can get away with using couplers to swap piping tips between colors, but the piping process will be much more enjoyable if you have as many piping tips as colors. 

monster halloween cake tutorial

Tips for Piping a Shag Cake 

Working with Wilton Tip 233 to create shag texture is a whole lot of fun, but there are a few keys to success that I want to mention:

  1. Make sure your buttercream is medium consistency. I used my favorite Vanilla Buttercream recipe for this cake and it worked perfectly. It’s an American Buttercream but any type of buttercream will do for this piping technique as long as it’s not too thick or too thin. 
  2. Practice first. If this is your first time piping shag, don’t be afraid to practice before you start piping directly onto the cake. You can pipe onto the side of a glass or jar to get the hang of it – basically hover the tip close to the surface and squeeze the piping bag until the buttercream starts to make contact. Continue squeezing the piping bag while you pull away from the surface to create length, then quickly release pressure to end the shag. 
  3. Start with a chilled buttercream cake. After crumb coating your layer cake, chill it for 20-30 minutes (or until firm) in the refrigerator. This will create the perfect surface for piping. 
  4. Keep your hands cold. Run your hands under cold water and dry them thoroughly before piping. You’re going to be handling the piping bags quite a bit and the heat of your hands could start melting the buttercream inside. If it does start to become runny due to heat, you can place your piping bag in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, then gently massage the bag to mix up the buttercream and continue piping. 
monster shag cake for halloween

Here’s a quick video of the process before you read all about making this monster shag cake below: 

If you want to see more videos like this one, check out my YouTube Channel. I’ve got a growing collection of recipe videos, cake decorating tutorials, and my Cake Basics series in video format. Click subscribe while you’re there so you never miss a new video! 

You Will Need

A 6-inch cake that’s been crumb coated and chilled

3 Cups of medium consistency buttercream (I used this Vanilla Buttercream)

Bowls and spoons for color mixing

5 color gels of your choice 

5x Wilton Tip 233 

5 piping bags

Candy eyeballs in various sizes (I used this set

Step 1: Color the Buttercream

Divide the buttercream evenly between 5 bowls. Mix the color gels into each bowl to mix up the color palette of your choice. I used AmeriColor Super Red, Orange, Egg Yellow, Turquoise, and Sky Blue for this color palette (about 3 drops per color). 

colorful buttercream monster cake

Once your buttercream colors are looking good, add each color into a separate piping bag fitted with Wilton Tip 233

Step 2: Pipe the Shag

Starting on the bottom third of the cake, pipe the first shag monster. It should be an imperfect, blob-like color block. To create the shag, hover the piping tip close to the surface of the cake and squeeze the piping bag until the buttercream makes contact with the surface of the cake, then pull the tip away from the cake while you release pressure. This can take some practice, so feel free to perfect your shag piping on a glass or jar before piping directly onto the cake. 

how to pipe a shag cake with buttercream

Pipe the next shag monster in a different color directly next to the first. Feel free to make this one a little taller or shorter than the first shag monster for variety. 

how to pipe a buttercream shag cake

Repeat adding the shag monster color blocks all around the bottom third of the cake.

color block shag cake with buttercream

Add a second row of shag monsters on top of the first row. Be sure to leave enough room for a third row of shag monsters. 

colorful buttercream shag cake tutorial

Add the final row of shag monsters on the top third of the cake and continue the shag onto the very top. Keep going until you’ve got color blocks covering every inch of the cake.

color block buttercream shag cake tutorial
shag buttercream cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

Step 3: Add the Candy Eyeballs 

Add a set of candy eyeballs to each shag color block to bring the monsters to life. Some could have just one eyeball, others could have five eyeballs or more. Feel free to use your imagination here and create some variety! 

monster shag cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

This set of Wilton candy eyeballs really came in handy for this cake. It comes with three different sizes of eyeballs!

buttercream monster shag cake tutorial

When you’re finished adding eyeballs to each and every monster, you’ll have the cutest Halloween cake ever. I love how this cake looks like the monsters are having a cozy little snuggle sesh. 

monster cake ideas for halloween
cute halloween cake ideas

Did you make this monster shag cake? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave me a comment below and feel free to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me. I love to see what you create!


  1. OMG, Whitney! This is absolutely ADORABLE! You are so talented and I LOVE to see your creations. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing your love for cake and decorating with us!
    Have a great day!

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