Cake Quilling

quilling or quilled cakes from Sweet and Saucy Cakes left and Flutterby Bakery right

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.

Our spectacular feature cakes above are by innovative cake designers, California’s Sweet and Saucy Shop (above left) and Sada Ray of the UK’s Flutterby Bakery, Brighton (right).

quilled or quilling cake design from Hey There Cupcake

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”.

cakes with quilling  or quilled designs from Carrie's Cakes and 100LayerCake

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).

quilled cake designs from For Goodness Cakes left and  Buddy's 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.

quilling or quilled cake tutorial by Wilton

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.

cakes with quilling by Colettes Cakes

Special Cakes by Ruben created the fantastical cake below with magical quilled flowers.

cakes with quilling by Special Cakes by Ruben

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).

quilling on cake by Blissfully Sweet Cakes left and heart quilling tutorial right

Another unique quilled cake design below from Blissfully Sweet Cakes in periwinkle blue with berries and splash of yellow.

quilling or quilled cake design from Blissfully Sweet Cakes

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.

quilling or quilled cake design confirmation cake from Bella Cupcakes

Below, a quilled cake design for a birthday cake by Bella Cupcakes.

quilling or quilled cake design for birthday cake by Bella Cupcakes

My Cake School.com.au have a great cake quilling tutorial here for the pretty pastel cake below.

cake quilling tutorial from My Cake School.com.au

Below are two brightly coloured quilled cakes from La Douce Belle via Kara’s Party Ideas (left) and via Pinterest (right).

quilling or quilled cakes from La Douce Belle via Kara's Party Ideas left and King Girlz via Cake Central right

Below, more eye-catching quilled cake designs from Mon Delice (left) and Paula Bergen of Perfectly Sweet Cakes & Cookies (right).

quilling or quilled cake designs from Mon Delice left and via Indulgy right

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.)

quilling or quilled christmas cake decorating ideas from Karla's Little Bakery.com left and Splendour Cakes & More right

For more quilling tutorials and patterns, see Inna’s Creations and Paper N Quill Crafts (for papercraft but just as applicable to sugarcraft.)

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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.

Quilled Cake Tutorial by Suzi Witt

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

quilling cake decorating tutorial and topsy turvy cake design on Craftsy

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.

quilling tutorials on Craftsy with Violet Lin Tran


For more on whimsical style cakes, see our features on:

Coming Up Next: Piping Techniques Part 3Scroll Piping.

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50% OFF Brand New Lace Wedding Cakes Tutorial from Faye Cahill

lace wedding cake tutorial with Faye Cahill on Craftsy