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How to pipe your dragon

By Rita Llanso with Katherine Martin
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Dragons figure prominently in pop culture, and the phenomenon crosses almost all age groups with animated movies on how to train dragons to books featuring a dragon-tattooed girl. This design is configured for a 6-in. round, but can be easily adjusted for larger cakes. Multiple borders give the cake a whimsical effect, and the colors used in the borders also are used to detail the dragon, tying together the entire design. While the cake requires a lot of steps, the techniques used are simple.


1. To create the body of the dragon, slice the top off a 6-in. tier.
Cut the slice in half and sandwich it with icing.
Trim it into a semicircle to fit on top of the tiered cake. Cover with green icing.


2. Ice a stacked 6-in. round cake with chocolate icing.
For the multiple borders, start by piping a band of light chocolate icing with a No. 150 carnation tip, and smooth with a spatula.
Pipe purple inverted V's using tip No. 2.
Top the band border with a yellow dot border using tip No. 4.
Within the purple V, pipe smaller orange ones with tip No. 2.
Use tip No. 101 to add a blue ruffle border around the bottom of the cake.
Then, outline the blue border with a green shell border piped with tip No. 16.


3. For the top borders, first pipe a yellow ruffle using tip No. 103.
Then, outline with a purple shell border using tip No. 18.
Place the dragon's body at the back of the cake.


4. Use tip No. 104 to pipe the green ruffled layers of the dragon's neck and tail, each narrowing into a point at the end.


5. With tip No. 4, pipe layered points to create the head.


6. Then, use small star tip No. 15 to pipe the dragon's legs and claws.


7. With star tip No. 15, create texture on the body of the dragon by piping rows of scales using a shell motion.


8. After covering the body with scales, use the same tip to pipe two legs on the back of the dragon.


9. Pipe the dragon's dorsal spikes using purple icing and tip No. 104.
Outline the end of the tail, creating a point.


10. With tip No. 3, add purple spikes to the dragon's head.


11. Add green facial details with tip No. 2.


12. Pipe orange nostrils with tip No. 2.
Add yellow eyes with tip No. 2, and outline the eyes in black icing with tip No. 1.


13. Add yellow nails to the ends of the dragon's claws using tip No. 2.


14. With red icing and tip No. 2, outline the front edges of the dorsal spikes and add spikes along the dragon's legs for definition.


15. Pipe lime green scrolls around the side of the cake using tip No. 2.
Add red dots along the bottom border inside each pair of inverted V's using tip No. 2.
Then, add red dots along the inside curves of the scrolls.


16. Add green leaves along the scrolls with leaf tip No. 352.
Pipe lime green teardrops around the scrolls using tip No. 2.


17. To add a finishing touch and tie the entire design together, pipe red dots along the top shell border using tip No. 2.