How to Make Tie-Dyed Frosting


A basic bag-striping effect lets you create the blend of alternating frosting colors for a tie-dyed appearance. The frosting takes the coloring gel with it as you pass it over the cake to make the stripes, and the tapered tip combines them side by side. The color mixes with the frosting and lightens as the gel decreases, creating the blended, blurred effect redolent of tie-dyed clothing. You get the best tie-dyed affect with frosting if you use alternating primary colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Pastry bag and tip
  • Gel icing coloring
  • Brush or narrow offset pastry spatula
  • Buttercream or royal icing
Step 1

Trim 1/2 inch from the bottom of a pastry bag and insert a pastry tip.

Step 2

Paint 1/2-inch-wide strips of coloring gel around the interior of the piping bag using a brush or offset spatula; start at the tip and paint the strip until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the bag. Alternate colors, and space each strip about 1 inch apart from the next.

Step 3

Fill the pastry bag halfway full with white buttercream or royal icing. Twist the bag closed just above the icing level, and secure it with a twist tie.

Step 4

Pipe the frosting onto the cake or cupcake, starting at the edge and working toward the center in concentric circles. Clean a reusable pastry bag before adding a refill, and use a new pastry bag for refills if you're using disposable bags.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Star tips work best for applying tie-dyed frosting. Each facet of a star tip produces a different color while softly blending it with the next.
  • You need about 3 cups of frosting for two dozen cupcakes, 1 1/2 to 2 cups for a 12-inch round cake and 4 cups for a 9-inch-by-13-inch rectangular cake.
  • Tie-dyed frosting looks best on the small tops of cupcakes, and on cakes when applied to the edges. Edible transfer sheets and air brushing work best for applying tie-dyed designs to fondant and large areas.


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