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Broderie anglaise cake

This delicate cake would make a perfect centrepiece for many occasions. It is royal iced to give a clean sharp-edged base and the broderie anglaise requires a steady and experienced hand with the piping bag. For more details on broderie anglaise.


Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
  • 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
  • 1 kg (2 lb) marzipan
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) royal icing
  • yellow food colouring


  • 28 cm (11 inch) round silver cake board
  • number 1 piping tube
  • medium star tube
  • wide yellow ribbon
  • 8 small yellow silk roses
  • 8 small yellow bows


Cover the cake with marzipan and secure to the cake board with a little royal icing. Leave to dry.

Colour 1 kg (2 lb) royal icing the palest shade of yellow and spread three coats of icing over the cake. Leave overnight to harden.

Marking the scallops

Cut out a 28 cm (11 inch) circle of non-stick baking paper. Fold it in half, then into quarters. Fold once again to create a cone of eight layers of paper. Trace the template onto a piece of non-stick baking paper, then trace it onto one of the end sections of the cone. Cut out the shaded areas of the template through all the layers of paper. (The outer shaded area forms the template for the board; the inner shaded area is for the top of the cake.)

Open out the outer template and lay it on the board around the cake. Secure it in place with pins. Place a little royal icing in a paper piping bag fitted with a number 1 piping tube and pipe scallops on the board, around the template. Remove the template.

Unfold the small template and lay it on top of the cake. Secure with pins. Mark the scalloped border with icing in the same way. Remove the template. Pipe a line of icing 5 mm (¼ inch) inside the top edge of the cake.

Broderie anglaise

To create the broderie anglaise pattern, pipe circles at regular intervals around the top of the cake in groups of three, then pipe further individual circles between the groups. Repeat on the cake board within the marked scallops, to make a similar design around the base of the cake.

Place half of the remaining icing in a bowl and thin with a little water until it becomes completely level when left to settle in the bowl for several seconds. Colour the icing a slightly darker shade of yellow and put in a paper piping bag. Snip off the end of the bag and gradually fill the outline with the thinned icing, easing it into the corners with the tip of a cocktail stick. Fill the outline with as much icing as it will hold without flooding over the piped outline. Fill the scalloped areas around the base and on top of the cake. When flooding a large area with icing, work on 10 cm (4 inch) sections at a time so that the icing does not form a crust before you have had time to ease it into the corners. Leave the icing for several hours to harden.

Place a little white icing in a piping bag fitted with the piping tube and pipe small circles to emphasize the broderie anglaise work. Finish off with leaf outlines.

Finishing touches

Pipe decorative loops of icing around the scalloped edges.

Put more white icing in a piping bag fitted with the medium star tube. Pipe a shell border around the top and base of the cake.

Wrap the yellow ribbon around the cake and secure with a dot of icing. Place the roses and bows at the point of each scallop around the top and side of the cake, securing with dots of icing.


Christmas, Birthday


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