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One of the most important professional touches that you'll notice - along with roses and shell variations - is stringwork. That's what decorators call the strands of icing looped around the sides of cakes. These add a dramatic finish to wedding cakes and other cakes for special occasions. And now you can do it too! Here's how.

Getting Ready
You'll need your practice board set upright on its stand. *Keep in mind, your cake will be STRAIGHT vertical where your practice board leans slightly. It will be good if you also practice on the sides of cakes that aren't so important, in starting out.

Fit an icing bag with a plain tip 3, and fill the bag with stiff consistency icing that has been thinned with corn syrup.

Icing consistency is very important. The icing must be thin enough so that it flows easily out of the tip without breaking off as the stringwork loops are dropped. If the icing is too thin, it won't have enough elasticity to loop, and it will snap.

You'll know it's the right consistency if you can drop a loop of icing from your finger. If the icing isn't thin enough, add a few drops of water or corn syrup, mix well, and try again.

In Brief:
Icing: stiff consistency thinned slightly with corn syrup.
Tip: plain tip 3
- Practice Board: upright
- Bag: shoulder level at 4:30 (7:30)
- Tip: lightly touching surface (to attach)
Dot surface as guide.
Squeeze, pulling straight out, letting loop drop.
Stop squeezing, attach.


When you're doing stringwork on a real cake, make sure that the size of the loop and distance between loops is in proportion to the cake. Too small, and the loops are insignificant; too large, and they'll overwhelm your other decorations.

These pictures and more are in the lesson plan 3 book.