I have been keeping a collection of saved posts on Instagram that are all woven tapestry wall hangings – not because I have them all over my house (I don’t… yet), but purely because the colors and textures are so inspiring! It’s so satisfying to watch them come together too. If you haven’t seen videos of the process, drop what you’re doing and look them up before you come back here and learn how to make the cake version!
This cake was extremely therapeutic to make and I just love how it turned out! It would be so cute for a baby shower, for a friend who loves tapestry, or simply because you need a fun piping project.
It only took 5 colors (plus white) and 6 piping tips – Wilton Tip 3 (x3), 5, 10, and 233. You can use any round tip sizes to recreate the look and I do recommend having a little size variety to break up the pattern. Aside from the shag piping along the bottom of the cake, you’ll basically be doing the same piping technique over and over again: a braiding motion that ends up looking like knitting.
What Kind of Buttercream to Use
Technically, you can use any kind of buttercream that is easy to pipe and will hold color well. My go-to is this vanilla buttercream, which is an American buttercream recipe. It’s super easy to color and pipe using a medium consistency. If meringue based buttercream or something else is your go-to, feel free to pair it with this tutorial!
You Will Need
- A chilled, crumb coated cake (mine is three 6” layers)
- 3-4 Cups of vanilla buttercream (about 1.25 batches)
- Cake turntable
- Food color gels of your choice
- Bowls and spoons for color mixing
- Wilton Tip 233
- Wilton Tip 3 (x3)
- Wilton Tip 5
- Wilton Tip 10
- Piping bags
Step 1: Color the Buttercream + Prepare the Piping Bags
To create this exact color palette, divide the buttercream evenly between six bowls and set one aside since it will be kept uncolored. The colors I used for the remaining five bowls are as follows: AmeriColor Tulip Red, Egg Yellow, Wedgewood, Dusty Rose, and Peach (with just a hint of Dusty Rose added).
Fit one piping bag with Wilton Tip 233 (the shag tip) and fill it with half of the white/uncolored buttercream. Fit another bag with Wilton Tip 5 and fill it with the other half of the white buttercream. Prepare the rest of the piping bags with the remaining tips and fill them with the colors of your choice. I used Wilton Tip 10 with the Tulip Red buttercream, Tip 5 with the coral orange buttercream, and the rest of the colors with Tip 3.
Step 2: Mark the Sections
Place your chilled, crumb coated cake on the turntable. Either use the bottom layer of the cake that peeks through the crumb coat as a marker or use a toothpick to mark the bottom third of the cake by holding it in one place while you rotate the turntable. This is where the shag piping will go.
Continue rotating the turntable as you mark random, wavy portions on the top two thirds of the cake. These will create the sections where each color will go, so feel free to mark a lot of them. The bigger the section, the more you’ll have to fill in with one color.
Step 3: Add the Shag Piping
Hold the bag fitted with Tip 233 pointed at the line that marks the bottom third of the cake. Hovering about ⅛ inch from the surface, put pressure on the bag as you draw it down quickly to create long pieces of shag all around the bottom third of the cake.
If you have some patchy areas, you can always go over them again with more shag. You really cannot add too much here.
When you’re finished adding the shag piping around the bottom third of the cake, use the other white/uncolored bag fitted with Tip 5 to pipe a braided border along the top of the shag.
For the braided technique, simply criss cross the buttercream diagonally to create little overlapping x’s. Step 4 of this buttercream sweater cake tutorial shows the technique in detail (look at technique 2, aka the middle row).
Step 4: Fill in the Sections with Knitted Buttercream
Using that same braided technique, fill in each of the wavy sections with different buttercream colors. It helps to follow the wave formations while you pipe instead of trying to keep every line straight.
Tip 10 will give you the chunkiest braids. Be sure to place them sparingly since they stand out so much.
Step 5: Decorate the Top of the Cake
Once you’re finished filling in all the wavy sections around the sides of the cake, fill in the top of the cake using the same piping techniques.
And voila! A woven tapestry cake that will turn all the heads! The textures going on here are just so eye-catching and the process of creating the cake is honestly so therapeutic. So much easier than it looks!
I’d love to see this cake design in more color palettes and I’m sure you couldn’t go wrong with whatever colors you choose. Let me know if you make it in the comments below and feel free to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me! I love to see what you create.