How to Make Chocolate Cage

5 from 4 votes

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This simple yet elegant chocolate cage is a quick and easy way to decorate your homemade cake. No special skills or equipment required!

Easy chocolate cake decoration to instantly add a wow-factor to your homemade cake. It's so easy to make this chocolate cage, you don't even need any special skills! #cakedecorating #chocolatecage #easycakedecorating #chocolatecakedecoration


Why you’ll love this cake decor:

Cake decorating isn’t necessarily my specialty. I like simple, effortless ways to decorate my cakes.

And that’s why I love this simple chocolate cage idea so much!! You don’t even need a great cake frosting skills to pull this off. Because you’ll hide all the imperfections with the chocolate design you’ll create!

And the best part you only need 1 ingredient and less than 15 minutes!

Things you need:

  • Dark chocolate, either bittersweet or semi-sweet, works best for this technique. And I recommend a bar of chocolate over chocolate chips, as chocolate chips are designed to hold its shape better and doesn’t melt as easy.
  • I find that wax paper is the easiest to work with, because it’s thinner than most parchment papers, and peels off of chocolate easier. You can also use clear acetate strips, if you have it.

3 tips for perfect chocolate cage:

  • This’s the most important part: we need to melt the chocolate gently without raising the temperature of the chocolate over 90°F in order to keep the chocolate in temper. That way your chocolate design will set quickly, have a nice sheen and will stay nice and crisp.
  • Work with 2 shorter strips of wax paper so that it’s easier to handle. Measure the circumference of the cake and cut the strips for the same length. For example, if your cake measures 30 inches around, you’ll need two 15-inch strips.
  • I used pretty thin decorating tip for piping my chocolate “cage” design (Wilton #2), but if you’d like to make a specific design, like flowers, or hearts, I suggest using a bigger round tip. You don’t want too thin lines, because it won’t be sturdy enough.

Troubleshooting Tips:

If the chocolate doesn’t set within 5 minutes, it means chocolate was heated a bit too much and lost its temper.

But that’s not a lost cause!

Just wait for another 10 minutes, and then place it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm, if needed. Check often every few minutes so it doesn’t firm up too much, or it’ll break.

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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Cage – Chocolate Cake Decoration

This simple yet elegant chocolate cage is a quick and easy way to decorate your homemade cake. No special skills or equipment required!
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cake


  • 4 oz dark chocolate Note 1

Tools you need:

  • Wax paper
  • Piping bag
  • Round piping tip


To prepare wax paper:

  • Measure the cake circumference and cut 2 strips of wax paper for that length. (For 9-inch cake, you'll need two 15-inch strips. Height of the strips depends on the design you're planning, whether you want it the same height as your cake, or taller, etc. TIP: Add an inch or so extra room on top of the height of your design.)
  • Using a ruler and a pen, draw 2 lines on wax paper strips for guidance, ie how tall your design is going to be.

To melt chocolate:

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a medium silicone (or plastic) bowl.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Then stir well and put it back for 15 seconds at 50% power. Stir well and continue microwaving in 15-second increments at 50% power until the chocolate is fully melted, stirring well in between.
  • Transfer the melted chocolate in a piping bag with a round tip.

To draw the design:

  • Start piping your design within the lines, making sure it's thick enough to stand. Too thin lines will be too fragile.
  • Set the chocolate for about 3 minutes at room temperature, or until it's firm yet still pliable. If the chocolate is still in temper, the chocolate will set in less than 5 minutes. (TIP: If the chocolate doesn't set, just wait for another 10 minutes, then place it in the fridge for a few minutes.)

To apply:

  • Carefully lift the wax strip with chocolate design, and wrap around the frosted cake. Repeat with the other side.
  • Carefully peel off the wax paper. (TIP: If the chocolate is still soft, put the cake in fridge for 30 minutes or longer, and then peel the wax paper off.)

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Dark chocolate, either bittersweet or semi-sweet, works best for this technique. And I recommend a bar of chocolate over chocolate chips, as chocolate chips are designed to hold its shape better and doesn’t melt as easy.


Calories: 678kcal
Carbohydrates: 52g
Protein: 9g
Fat: 48g
Sugar: 27g
Sodium: 23mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. Wow! What a cool idea! For my birthday cake, I plan on doing a thin vanilla cake layer at the bottom, then a thick strawberry mousse layer, topping with a thick lemon curd layer. I don’t like frosting, and don’t think it would work with my idea, do you think this cage would stick to the cake listed above?
    Thanks so much!

  2. Looks amazing!! Didn’t realize how easy it is!! Thank you for sharing! Qq: Should the cake be refrigerated when sticking the chocolate cage to it?

    1. Hi, Jo. I’m not sure if I understood your question. Cake doesn’t have to be refrigerated prior to applying the chocolate cage, but it can be.

    2. Haven’t made this yet, but how much coconut oil do you use?? I don’t want to add too much and have it not set right. Thanks!!!

  3. Hi! I tried to make this, it get harden but after letting it out in the fridge for few minutes it gets soft again. I used a semi sweet chocolate chip. What can i do to make the chocolate hard even it’s out from the fridge?

  4. Hi yday I did white chocolate designs but after taking from the fridge it melted can you please let me know the reason 

  5. Awesome ! Thank you soo much! This was super
    Easy to do and super easy to put on my cake! I actually used parchment paper and it worked great!  I ended up using white almond bark and it was beautiful!  It has opened my eyes to even more cake possibliles now, I’m super excited!
    Thank you again!!

  6. This sounds perfect! How can I be sure hat the chocolate sticks to the cake? I find that my homemade frosting hardens quickly and decorations fall off. I’m going to watch your video now! Thanks.

    1. Hi, Marni. What kind of frosting are you using? I’ve used this chocolate cage on buttercream and cream cheese frostings and it sticks just fine.

  7. I tried this for a birthday cake and it was too thick to go through my frosting tip.  I added a bit of milk to make it thinner, then it would not get hard enough to put on the cake.  I put it in the frig…then in the freezer..still was to thick.  What did I do wrong…???

    1. I am sorry, I misspoke… when I added the milk it was thin enough, but it did not set up firm enough that I could put it on the cake.   Thanks for your help.   Jean 

      1. Hi, Jean. Sorry you had trouble. It sounds like your chocolate wasn’t fully melted. If it was too thick, you needed to melt it a little bit more. It should be pretty runny. Also what size of frosting tip did you use? And adding milk makes it a ganache, which usually doesn’t set properly.

    2. How early can I put the cage on the cake? I am having a party but we aren’t cutting the cake until a hour or 2 into it

        1. Had a similar question. I’m planning to make a whipped cream+ cream cheese frosting. Can I make it like 5-6 hours in advance? Should the cake be kept in the fridge after putting the cage?

        2. Hi, Mansi. Yes, you can make the chocolate cage 5-6 hours in advance. And it can be refrigerated.

    3. I just used a tiny hold in the corner of a small ziplock bag. And instead of using milk, use a tiny drizzle of olive oil stirred into the dark chocolate chips. It will help it soften into a silky drizzle but won’t impede the hardening at all.