How to Make a Watercolor Macrame Cake

This boho-inspired cake features a piped macrame pattern for knots of fun.

Watercolor Macrame Cake

Tangle-free macrame...could it be? It can, when you're piping it with buttercream frosting (trust us when we say this is way easier than knotting it by hand)! Follow along and tap into your crafty side to make a beautifully boho-chic cake with ocean blue ombre and macrame accents.

Watch the Video: Watercolor Macrame Cake

What You'll Need


 ● 4 to 6 cake rounds, cooled (choose any recipe you like)
 ● Vanilla Buttercream frosting (use the large batch recipe included or 3 store-bought cans)
  ○ 6 cups (12 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  ○ 2 pounds (1 bag) confectioners' sugar
  ○ 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  ○ 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  ○ 1/2 teaspoon table salt
 ● Food coloring: Light Blue, Dark Blue


 ● Offset spatula
 ● Plastic piping bags (and rubber bands to close them)
 ● Decorating tips (small round and large basketweave tips)
 ● Flat edge frosting smoother
 ● Food-safe brush
 ● Unused cosmetic sponge

Baking and Prep

Prepare your favorite cake recipe — divide the batter between 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Bake and cool the cake rounds. Once the pans are cool enough to touch, transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow the cakes to completely cool before you begin decorating.

Make one large batch of buttercream. Beat the butter for a few minutes on medium speed, preferably using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On slow speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar 1 to 2 cups at a time, allowing each batch of sugar to incorporate with the butter before adding the next. Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla, cream and salt. Beat for an additional 3 minutes.

From here, divide and color the buttercream according to the below:
Blue Buttercream Frosting: Add 2 cups of the buttercream into a bowl and color with blue food coloring. Add the frosting into a plastic piping bag. Use a rubber band to close.
White Buttercream Frosting: Insert a small round tip into a plastic piping bag, add 1 cup of frosting to the bag and close the bag with a rubber band. Divide the remaining frosting amongst plastic piping bags. Optional: To make the exterior frosting process easier, use a large basketweave decorating tip.

Additionally, set aside your lemon extract, unused cosmetic sponges, and the blue food colorings.

Assembly: Step 1

Place the first cake round on a serving plate and frost with the blue buttercream frosting. Layer the second cake round on top of the first, alternating the blue and white frostings between the layers. Using the white frosting, frost the exterior of the cake.

Assembly: Step 2

Smooth the frosting with a flat edge frosting smoother.

Tip: If prominent cake crumbles are noticeable in your frosting, place the cake in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. Once the frosting is firm to the touch, remove the cake from the refrigerator, add an additional layer of frosting and smooth.

Chill the Cake

Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and chill the frosting.

Decorating: Step 1

Once the frosting is chill and firm to the touch, you can start adding the watercolor effect. To begin, first add a drop of both the light blue and dark blue food colorings to a plate and dilute the light blue extract with lemon extract. Use a food-safe brush to mix the color with the extract.

Decorating: Step 2

Lightly dip a sponge in the diluted color, then begin gently blotting the sponge onto the cake. Begin blotting at the bottom of the cake and lightly work your way up, to keep the more concentrated color at the bottom.

Decorating: Step 3

Repeat the diluting process with the dark blue color and lemon extract, and add the darker color to the cake, keeping the darker coloring towards the bottom to complete the graded watercolor look.

Decorating: Step 4

Repeat the coloring process on the top of the cake.

Tip: If at any point you notice the frosting picking up onto the sponge, place the cake back in the freezer for 15 minutes to re-chill the frosting.

Decorating: Step 5

Once you’ve achieved your desired watercolor look, pipe on the macrame design.

Decorating: Step 6

Use a small round tip to add on the frosting, working in a crisscrossed V-shape.

Assembly: Step 7

Add the fringe to each endpoint on the V. Additionally, add on any other rope-like details to the design. If desired, repeat the design on the backside or around the entire cake.

Refrigerate Until It's Time to Serve

Chill the cake until you're ready to serve and enjoy!

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