Recipe courtesy of Alana Jones-Mann

Shag Cake

When Los Angeles baker Alana Jones-Mann started making these groovy cakes seven years ago, she didn’t set out to mimic carpets: People saw a resemblance to colorful shag rugs of the ’70s and the name stuck. Each of Alana’s cakes is unique, and she never plans the design ahead of time. Check out how this shaggy chic cake came together.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 shag cake
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4 8-inch round cakes, cooled

12 cups vanilla buttercream

Assorted gel food coloring (6 to 10 different colors)


Special equipment:
1 offset spatula, 1 bench scraper and 6 to 10 piping bags and couplers fitted with grass tips
  1. Trim the tops of the cakes to make them level. Stack the cakes on a cake stand, spreading a layer of buttercream between each with an offset spatula.
  2. Cover the layer cake with a thin layer of buttercream (this is the crumb coat), smoothing it with a bench scraper. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, divide the remaining buttercream among 6 to 10 bowls. Tint with food coloring. Transfer each color frosting to a separate piping bag fitted with a grass tip. 
  4. Holding a piping bag perpendicular to the cake, pipe a small section of buttercream at the base of the cake. 
  5. Continue piping small sections with the grass tips, alternating the colors, sizes and shapes of each area.
  6. Refrigerate the cake at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set. 
  7. Continue making your way around the sides of the cake, working from the bottom to the top. Do not leave any of the crumb coat showing. 
  8. Once the sides are fully covered, continue in the same manner to cover the top with alternating colors, shapes and sizes of frosting.
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