Filigree Icing - Free Easy Cake Decorating Technique

Filigree icing design, just like the name suggests, is a very intricate and elegant cake decoration. This decorating technique is produced using piping technique and is one of the traditional forms of cake decorating. It was often widely used in decorating wedding cakes, but in more recent times, with the wide usage of fondant icing, this technique can be used on any cakes, and creates elegant lace-effect on cakes.

One advantage of using this icing is that it can be prepared ahead of time and used as and when required. This not only saves time, but also the stress of having to pipe lace directly on cakes.

Things you need for decorating a cake with filigree icing are:

  • Royal icing of stiff consistency
  • Plain Wilton nozzle/tip No.1 or 2 (Use the small round tip if you want to produce more intricate and fine lace patterns)
  • Parchment paper or non stick baking sheets
  • Templates
  • Paper clips

Get the filigree design template ready

  • First and foremost, get the designs ready. Make a rough estimate of how much of each design you will need for your cake and get the required number of templates ready. You can create your own design and or use of the templates provided in this site (will upload the templates soon).

Place a parchment paper on the template and secure with paper clips

  • Print the designs. Cut a piece of parchment paper or nonstick baking sheet as big as your template. Place the parchment paper on the template and secure both papers with paper clips so that the papers don’t move while you are piping your designs.

trace filigree designs with icing

  • Next, place the clipped sheets on a flat and even surface. Using royal icing and Wilton nozzle/tip no. 1 or 2, trace the designs onto the parchment paper.

leave the piped filigree designs to dry completely

  • Once all the designs are traced with royal icing, remove paper clips and let the icing to dry and set completely. Depending on the humidity of your place, the royal icing needs anytime between one hour to overnight.

peel the filigree icing off the parchment paper and keep in an airtight container for later use

  • Once they are completely set, carefully peel off the icing from the parchment paper. If the icing is completely set, the icing should separate for the sheets easily. If they don't, leave them aside a little longer until they are completely dry. Once peeled off, the filigree designs are now ready to be used.


When getting your templates ready, make a rough estimate of how much of the filigree lace you would need on your cake and print out the required number of templates accordingly. This is because once piped onto the parchment or baking sheets, royal icing needs time to set, preferable overnight. Therefore, in cases where you need lots of the filigree icing and you have only one or two sheets of the templates, you will have to repeat the piping process the next day once the previous ones are set and peeled off. This not only consumes a lot of time, and is not an effective way to tackle large cake decorating projects. It would be a wise choice to have enough templates ready so that you can plan your piping work all at one time and not have to repeat them the next day using just one or two templates.

This cake decorating technique is very useful because the designs can be prepared much earlier and stored for later use. So long as they are kept in a cool and dry place, they can last for quite some time.

Also, always remember to make slightly more that what you need to allow for breakages.

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