How to Decorate a Pillow Cake

The beauty and uniqueness of pillow cakes are truly a sight to behold. These delightful confections are perfect for special occasions and can serve as a stunning centerpiece at any event.

In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of decorating a pillow cake, from gathering the necessary tools and ingredients to adding the final touches that will leave your creation looking absolutely marvelous. If you’ve ever wondered how to decorate a pillow cake, look no further – we’ve got you covered.

Pillow cakes have gained popularity due to their charming shape and versatility in design. They are perfect for occasions such as baby showers, bridal parties, or even just as a fun baking project with friends and family. With the right guidance and techniques, you can create your own stunning pillow cake that is sure to impress.

In the following sections, we will provide detailed instructions on everything from baking the cake and carving it into the perfect pillow shape to applying fondant and using various decorating techniques. Whether you’re new to cake decorating or a seasoned pro looking for fresh ideas, this guide will help you achieve a picture-perfect result every time. So let’s get started on creating a gorgeous pillow cake that is as delicious as it is visually appealing.

Getting Started

When you’re ready to start decorating a pillow cake, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and ingredients before getting started. The key to successfully decorating a pillow cake is having the right equipment and supplies on hand. Here are some essential items you’ll need to have in your kitchen before you begin the decorating process.

Tools and Equipment

First and foremost, you’ll need a set of basic baking tools, including cake pans, mixing bowls, and an electric mixer. Additionally, having a good quality offset spatula for applying frosting and smoothing out the fondant is crucial. You’ll also need a sharp knife for carving the cake into the pillow shape, as well as various shaping tools for creating details with fondant.


In terms of ingredients, you’ll need your favorite cake recipe (or pre-made cake mix) along with all-purpose flour for dusting your work surface when working with fondant. For the crumb coat and frosting, gather buttercream or ganache depending on your preference. As for the fondant itself, either store-bought or homemade can be used.

Additional Supplies

To decorate your pillow cake beautifully, consider adding food coloring gels for tinting your fondant, as well as edible shimmer dusts or sprinkles for adding an extra touch of elegance. Finally, make sure to have a clean work surface and plenty of parchment paper for rolling out fondant.

By gathering these necessary tools and ingredients ahead of time, you’ll be fully prepared to embark on the delightful journey of creating your own impeccably decorated pillow cake.

Baking the Pillow Cake

Preparation and Mixing

To begin the process of creating a stunning pillow cake, it is essential to first gather all necessary tools and ingredients. For baking the cake, you will need flour, sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder, vanilla extract, and milk. Make sure to preheat your oven to the required temperature as per your recipe. Grease and flour your cake pans to ensure that the baked cake comes out easily.

Baking Process

Once you have prepared your cake batter according to your chosen recipe, carefully pour it into the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the preheated oven and allow them to bake for the recommended amount of time. Keep an eye on the cakes and use a toothpick to test for doneness. Once they are fully baked, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.

Cooling and Leveling

After removing the cakes from their pans, allow them to cool completely before attempting to carve or decorate them. It’s important that the cakes are at room temperature so that they are easier to work with. Once cooled, level off any domed tops using a serrated knife or cake leveler to ensure that you have an even surface for carving and decorating.

By following these step-by-step instructions for baking a pillow cake as part of our “How to Decorate a Pillow Cake” series, you will be well on your way to creating a beautiful and unique dessert that will surely impress your friends and family.

Carving the Cake

Carving a cake into a pillow shape may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. Here are some tips and tricks to help you create the perfect pillow shape for your cake:

  • Start with a level, cooled cake: Before you begin carving, make sure that your cake is completely cooled and level. This will make it easier to carve evenly and prevent any lopsided or uneven shapes. Use a serrated knife to carefully trim any domed areas off the top of the cake to create a flat surface.
  • Create a template: To ensure that both sides of the pillow are symmetrical, consider creating a template out of parchment paper or cardboard. Simply cut out the desired pillow shape and use it as a guide while carving the cake.
  • Use a gentle touch: When carving the cake, it’s important to use a light hand and take your time. Start by carving small amounts of cake away at a time, continuously checking for symmetry and shape. Remember that it’s always easier to remove more cake than it is to add it back once it’s been carved away.
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Once you have achieved the desired pillow shape, proceed to crumb coat and fondant application as outlined in previous sections. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to successfully carve your cake into a beautiful pillow shape for decorating.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to creating unique cake shapes such as pillows. By mastering this step, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning pillow cakes that will impress any recipient or guest at your next celebration.

Crumb Coating

After successfully carving your pillow cake, the next step is to apply a crumb coat to the cake. This thin layer of frosting not only helps to seal in the crumbs but also provides a smooth base for the fondant. Here’s how to apply a crumb coat to your pillow cake:

1. Prepare the frosting: Before applying the crumb coat, make sure you have a batch of buttercream or ganache prepared. For a pillow cake, it’s recommended to use a light-colored frosting that complements the overall design.

2. Apply a thin layer of frosting: Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire surface of the cake, making sure to fill in any gaps or uneven areas. The goal is not to fully cover the cake, but rather to create a smooth and even base for the fondant.

3. Chill the cake: Once the crumb coat is applied, place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. This will help create a firm foundation for when you apply the final layer of fondant.

4. Remove any excess frosting: After chilling, check for any areas where excess frosting may have pooled or dripped. Use a clean spatula to gently scrape away any unwanted build-up before moving on to covering with fondant.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your pillow cake has a beautifully smooth and flawless finish once covered with fondant.

Remember that patience and attention to detail are key when applying a crumb coat as it sets the stage for achieving professional-looking results in your final decorating stages.

Fondant Application

Once you have carved and crumb-coated your pillow cake, it’s time to cover it with fondant. Fondant is a versatile and easy-to-work-with icing that can give your cake a smooth, professional finish. Here’s how to apply fondant to your pillow cake:

1. Prepare the cake: Before applying the fondant, make sure your crumb coat is set and smooth. If there are any rough spots, use a small amount of buttercream to patch them up.

2. Roll out the fondant: Dust your work surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking, then roll out your fondant into a large, even circle about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure it’s large enough to cover the entire cake.

3. Drape the fondant over the cake: Carefully lift the rolled-out fondant and drape it over the cake. Gently smooth the top of the cake first, then work your way down the sides, using your hands to press out any air bubbles as you go.

4. Trim and smooth: Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to trim away excess fondant at the base of the cake. Then use a fondant smoother or your hands to gently smooth and shape the fondant around the sides of the cake for a clean finish.

Now that you’ve successfully covered your pillow cake with fondant, it’s time to move on to decorating techniques to really bring your creation to life.

Prepare the CakeEnsure crumb coat is set and smooth before applying fondant
Roll Out FondantDust work surface, roll out into a large circle, about 1/4 inch thick
Drape Fondant Over CakeSmooth top first then work way down sides while pressing out air bubbles

Decorating Techniques

Decorating a pillow cake is a fun and creative process that allows for endless possibilities. Whether you’re looking to create a whimsical design for a child’s birthday or an elegant centerpiece for a special occasion, there are several decorating techniques you can use to bring your pillow cake to life.

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One popular method for decorating a pillow cake is using fondant. Fondant allows for smooth, clean lines and provides the perfect canvas for adding intricate details. To cover your pillow cake with fondant, start by rolling out the fondant to the desired thickness and carefully drape it over the cake.

Smooth out any air bubbles and creases, then trim off any excess fondant from the bottom of the cake. From here, you can let your imagination run wild with designs and patterns.

Piping is another great technique for decorating a pillow cake. You can use buttercream or royal icing to create beautiful borders, flowers, or other decorative elements on your cake. Piping allows for precise control and can add stunning visual appeal to your design.

In addition to fondant and piping, there are many other techniques you can use to decorate your pillow cake, including edible paints, sugar pearls, edible glitter, and more. These techniques can add texture, sparkle, and dimension to your cake, making it truly one-of-a-kind.

When decorating your pillow cake with fondant, piping, or other techniques, remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs and decorations until you achieve the look you desire.

Decorating TechniquesIdeas
Using FondantSmooth lines and intricate details
PipingPrecise control for borders and flowers
Other TechniquesEdible paints, sugar pearls, and edible glitter

Finishing Touches

After covering the pillow cake with fondant and decorating it using various techniques, it’s time to add the finishing touches to complete the look. This is where you can really get creative and make your pillow cake stand out. There are many options for adding final details to the cake, from edible embellishments to personalized touches that reflect the theme or occasion.

One popular way to add final touches to a pillow cake is by using edible decorations such as sugar flowers, edible pearls, or even hand-painted designs on the fondant. These delicate details can enhance the overall look of the cake and tie together the design elements you’ve used in your decorating. Another option is to add texture and dimension with fondant ruffles, pleats, or other intricate designs that can make your pillow cake look truly elegant and luxurious.

Additionally, consider adding personalized touches to the pillow cake that reflect the reason for celebrating. This could include incorporating a monogram or name plaque made out of fondant, piping a special message onto the cake using royal icing, or even creating edible images that represent the person or event being celebrated. The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding final details and touches to a beautifully decorated pillow cake.

Finally, don’t forget about presentation. Once you have added all of your finishing touches to the pillow cake, consider displaying it on a decorative cake stand or platter that complements its design. This will not only enhance its visual appeal but also make it easier for guests to admire before indulging in this unique and beautiful dessert.

By following these steps and adding your own personal flair, you’ll be sure to create a stunning pillow cake that is not only visually impressive but also irresistible and memorable for any occasion.


In conclusion, creating a beautifully decorated pillow cake can be a fun and rewarding experience. From gathering the necessary tools and ingredients to applying the finishing touches, this article has provided step-by-step instructions on how to decorate a pillow cake that will surely impress your friends and family at any special occasion.

One of the most important tips for displaying and serving your pillow cake is to choose a stable and flat surface for presentation. Consider using a cake stand or decorative platter that complements the theme of your cake. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the cake is stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent any melting or damage to the decorations.

When it comes to serving the pillow cake, be sure to have a sharp knife on hand for clean and precise slices. Guests will appreciate being able to enjoy both the visual appeal and delicious taste of your expertly decorated creation. By following these tips, you can showcase your beautifully decorated pillow cake with confidence and pride.

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