Quilling is an ancient decorative technique dating back to the 15th century that has gained a new-found popularity with the revival of interest in crafting and the decorative arts. It was originally used to decorate ancient religious texts but it’s most commonly used today in papercraft for special occasion stationery such as wedding invitations.
Quilling simply involes rolling ribbons of paper into decorative shapes to create an intricate 3-D effect pattern. And as you may have guessed, any pattern that can be created with strips of paper, can just as easily be created with strips of gumpaste or modelling paste and used in cake decorating.
To inspire you we have an array of beautifully decorated wedding cakes with quilling details as well as lots of colourful party cakes too. We also have tutorials for you to get started with this unique cake decorating technique.
Above is a beautiful winter wedding cake design with delicate quilling cake from Hey There Cupcake, always one the first with new cake trends and designs.
Quilling can be used to create a textured lace effect on a wedding cake, if a bride wants something different for her special day, but still wants to incorporate traditional lace fabic. Carrie’s Cakes show how this is done (below left), with another pretty example from 100LayerCake also (below right). Because of the lace effect it creates, the craft of quilling is also known as “paper filligree”.
While not technically quilling, the two examples below share a lot of similiarities with the art of quilling using rolled up strips of rondant to create a beautiful pattern. Soft pink roses are featured in the elegant cake (below left) by For Goodness Cakes left and from Andrea’s Sweet Cakes via Flickr (right).
And while quilling creates a beautiful decorative effect for a wedding cake, it also works wonderfully for the more whimsical style cake. Wilton have a cake quilling tutorial here to get you started for the funky floral cake design below.
One of the pioneers of the whimsical style of cake decorating, Colette’s Cakes have designed many cakes incorporating pretty quilling patterns, including the cake design below.
Special Cakes by Ruben created the fantastical cake below with magical quilled flowers.
Blissfully Sweet Cakes have been ahead of the quilling trend for some time now having created the beautiful pastel pink and blue wedding cake design (below left). The image below right shows how to create a quilled heart pattern (via Tumblr).
Another unique quilled cake design below from Blissfully Sweet Cakes in periwinkle blue with berries and splash of yellow.
Bella Cupcakes have also been a fan of cake quilling for a while with two fabulous whimsical novelty cake designs below – one for a confirmation cake and below that, a celebration cake fit for lots of occasions, complete with party bunting.
Below, a quilled cake design for a birthday cake by Bella Cupcakes.
My Cake School.com.au have a great cake quilling tutorial here for the pretty pastel cake below.
For the season that’s in it, we have two very pretty Christmas cakes with quilling details from Karla’s Little Bakery (left) and Splendor Cakes & More (right). You’ll find a snowflake quilling tutorial here from which you can make your own gumpaste version (or modelling paste.)
For expert tuition in using quilling techniques in cake design, check out the tutorial below from Pretty Witty Cakes, now available to buy individually or as part of a subscription: Quilled Cake Tutorial on PWC.
Readers might also be interested in cake master Colette Peter’s class on Craftsy on Crooked Cakes.
Colette was the originator of the “topsy turvy” cake design and in this class she takes you through designing, carving and securely assembling the cake tiers as well as her trademark whimsical cake decorating style, including her quilled decorations. Check out the full details here: A New Take On Crooked Cakes with Colette Peters
Quilled cake design is also taught as part of Mary Maher of The Cake Girls’ class on Craftsy. In her teapot cakes class, Mary teaches how to create an elaborate quilled butterfly to decorate one of the three teapot cakes she creates. You’ll find more details here: A Cake For Every Occasion with Mary Maher.
Update: Craftsy have now released a 4-cake class including the two fabulous quilled designs below by Violet Lin Tran. You’ll find all the details here: Quilled Cake Tutorials/Cakes in Vivid Colour.
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