How to Make Fondant Ruffles for Cakes [Tutorial]

This tutorial is dedicated to my cousin Julianna, who often reads my blog, makes my recipes, and thrills me with her feedback.  She requested this tutorial, and so, here it is.  Thank you Julianna for reading my blog!

Before I get started, I’d like to mention that for *really* beautiful ruffles, you’re going to want to get a Garret Frill Cutter.  But this tutorial is for those who, like me, don’t always have the time to order special equipment when they feel inspired to create…  Or, they just don’t have any money.  😉  If either of those reasons is yours (or both), this tutorial is for you!  Here’s how to make frills, without a special cutter.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

 – Equal amounts of fondant and gum paste (I’m using a golf ball size amount of each for this tutorial)
 – Large cell stick
 – Frill tool (optional)
 – Small spatula or knife
 – Rolling pin
 – Foam mat
 – Corn starch
 – Shortening
 – Plastic wrap

To start out, knead the fondant and gum paste together on a lightly greased surface until the mixture is smooth and pliable. 

Roll the fondant out into a thin disc, and using a knife or spatula, cut a half circle shape around the edge of the disc.  Repeat, cutting about 1″ in from your first cut until you have a “Rainbow” of half circle cut outs.  Keep the half circle strips that you’re not using covered with plastic wrap while you work; they will dry out quickly.

Lay one strip of fondant out on a foam mat dusted with cornstarch.  

Using your fingers, stretch the fondant out gently to make a little scalloped edge along the whole strip.  Next, using a cell stick or frill tool (you can also use a ball tool for this if you want), frill the scalloped edge of the strip of fondant.

Tip:  I like to pull the fondant back in a circle with one hand, as shown below, as I frill the edges with the other.  This stretches the frills out, keeps them from getting wrinkled together while you work, and helps to keep the size and shape of the frills consistent when you’re finished.

Now, if you were wanting a strip of ruffly fondant, there it is; you can use these to trim cakes, make baby blankets out of fondant, or whatever you want.  Make as many of these as you need, and you’re done! 


To make ruffle clusters or swags, take a strip of ruffled fondant, and bunch it together, pinching it at the base to hold it together, like so.  Fold it to look how you want it, and place it on the cake immediately if you want it to mold against the side of a cake in a particular pattern.  Cluster more strips of ruffles and add them to the first bunch, building it up in the shape you want on the cake, placing them tightly together so that they look like one large, continuous bunch of frills.  

Tip:  If you are having trouble keeping certain folds to stay how you arrange them, insert a toothpick into the cake to hold up the ruffle how you want it.  Leave the toothpicks in until the fondant drys (usually overnight).

And there you go!  Below is a picture of a cake I did recently using this technique; I love how pretty it is!  You can always tint your fondant and gum paste mixture as well, for colored ruffles.

I hope this has been helpful!  Let me know if you have any comments… I’d love to hear from you.

Back next week,




  1. I lover this, I am making a wedding cake in Sept, my first, and I was going to cover the middle, but after seeing this I thunk I will do ruffles instead!!!


  2. Love your ruffles!! How do you store your ruffle cake? Do you put it into the refrig, or just leave it out?? And what's the best way to transport a large, completely ruffled wedding cake??


  3. Definitely let it sit out in a cool, dry place. I always loosely cover cakes like this with some kind of light-weight cover, like wax paper.

    I prefer to transport cakes in heavy-duty (shallow) plastic bins whenever I can, with a rubber mat underneath to keep it from slipping. If your cake is tiered, make sure you have plenty of support dowels!


  4. Hello! LOVE this cake– I was just curious… i would be afraid that the ruffle would be too heavy and pull off the cake (where its not attached to fondant for support- this actually happened with a side fondant piece i did just this week; it was attached to fondant and STILL pulled from the side), Any suggestions??


  5. I would recommend trying to make the ruffles more shallow (cut the strips of fondant a little thinner) and try not to roll it too thick. This will reduce the weight of the ruffles and keep them sitting closer to the cake.

    Also, make sure you use a nice, stiff buttercream (this is a good recipe – This will keep them a little more secure as well.

    Note: I recommend frosting the cake frozen, since a stiffer buttercream can damage a soft cake.

    Hope this helps! All the best to you.


  6. Hi, I was thrilled when I discovered your blog, am making my brothers wedding cake an I want to try out something new, out here in Nigeria, West Africa, we normally make our fondants cos imported ones are really expensive. You mentioned mixing the same potion of fondant and gum paste, please may I have a good recipe for making gum paste.


  7. Hi Arit!

    Unfortunately I don't have a recipe I could give you for gum paste (I buy mine pre-made), but I can recommend that a fairly easy-to-find brand for premade gum paste is Wilton. If you do not have Wilton products available to you where you are, I would look up a supplier, either online or at a craft store, for “Gum tragacanth” or “Tylose powder,” which is a key ingredient in gum paste, and it is likely that a supplier of this product may also give you a recipe for gum paste with the purchase of it.

    Other than that, I will recommend the book “The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating,” by Whitecap Books, as a great source for fondant and gum paste recipes, as well as just a great all-around guide to getting started in cake decorating.

    All the best to you! Now I'll need to try making some of these things on my own, just so that I can share the recipes with my readers! Since this is time sensitive though, I wanted to make sure I gave you some kind of answer before it's too late!

    Thanks for the comment!



  8. Thank you for the reply,I went out to the shops an found wilton gum paste and the shop owners wife is a baker so she gave me her own home made recipe for gum paste, it actually included gum tragacant. So am going to start practicing with it .thank you so much for the advice.


  9. This is a lifesaver! I'm actually doing a wedding cake next week with these ruffles and had NO idea how to go about doing them. How would I attach the ruffles to the cake? With piping gel?


  10. Candice –

    You can attach them to buttercream just by sticking them on (adding a bit more icing if needed) and using toothpicks hold them in place until they dry. Since it's a fondant/gum paste mixture, it will dry into its own sturdy structure.

    If you're attaching them to fondant, you can use clear piping gel, gum glue (throw a bit of gum paste in water and let it sit until it dissolves and makes a sticky, gel mixture), or you could (carefully) use royal icing to attach them. If you do use royal icing for this, just be careful to cover up the icing with ruffles well (icing blobs pouring out the side will take away from the neatness of your finish).

    All the best! Glad you liked this tutorial. 🙂



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