Quilling With Fondant and Gum Paste

December 20th, 2013 by Ella Buitrago

The art of quilling has been around for quite some time; it was used a great deal in renaissance art. Quilling is very popular in jewelry where very thin sheets of precious metals like gold and silver are cut into narrow strips, which are then coiled and shaped into different designs. Quilling is also very popular in paper and is often used in schools as a children’s craft. In this tutorial, I’ll show you the art of quilling using fondant.

Quilled Fondant Cake

This cute Christmas cake is covered with fondant and the decorations are made from a mix of 50% gum paste and 50% fondant. It’s also possible to use pure gum paste if you can work fast enough, before it starts to harden. I don’t recommend using 100% fondant because it will take too long to dry. With pure fondant your design can get droopy or lose its shape during the long drying time.

Quilling is great because the coils can be very different and have very different textures. You can roll the coils very tight for even textures or let them loose to get more exotic and edgy effects. Personally, I like more open coils, but you can mix them to get beautiful designs.

You will need: 


I recommend decorating the cake the day before you need it ready.

Fondant Covered Cake

  • Prepare the Gum Paste adhesive.
  • Cover your cakes in red fondant and stack them.
  • I used the snowflake cutter and marked the cake where I wanted to place my designs.
  • Mark as many designs as you want, but be careful – too many may cause problems when you’re attaching the coils.

Make Impressions with Cookie Cutter

  • Take the pure gum paste or the mix (50% gum paste – 50% white fondant) and roll it out 1/16” thick. (Any thicker and the coils won’t look as delicate.)
  • Cut strips 6” long and 1/4” wide.

Measure and Cut Fondant Strips

  • Start to roll little coils to fill the inside of your design. (NOTE: the amount of coils, sizes and colors are up to you! Get creative!) Let them dry for a couple of minutes.

Making Coils

  • Using the fine tip decorator’s brush, apply gum paste adhesive to the back edge of your coils and start to attach them to the cake. You can readjust them using the back of your brush.

Attaching Coils to Cake

  • Once you have the inside coils you can outline your design.
  • Roll out more of the pure gum paste or the mix to 1/16” thick. Cut the paste or the mix into strips 6” long and 1/4” wide. Do not turn these strips into coils. Instead, apply the gum paste adhesive in the back edge of the strip and attach it to the cake following the outline of the design. In my case it’s the snowflake.

Applying Coils

  • I love gold dust so I painted some of the coil edges in Gold Pearl Dust™ mixed with some Bronze Pearl Dust™. My coils are a little more ‘exotic’ because of their openness and texture, but you can do exactly the same with tighter coils and it will look beautiful too!

Applying Gold Dust

  • You can attach the same kind of strip to the cake bottoms to continue with the same style. Enjoy!

Attaching Border to Cake

Need more decorating ideas? Please browse our website for more Christmas inspiration.

Ella Buitrago Ella is a former freelance cake decorator in Wilton's Decorating Room, and former Wilton Method Instructor. Originally from Colombia, Ella is pursuing her Master's in Information Technology at Harvard University. She loves to travel, dogs, photography, food and beautiful cakes.

5 Replies

  1. This is a great article! Thank you so much for the info! I had been resisting the idea of quilling because I thought I needed a special tool! Thanks Ella!

  2. Jane Watson says:

    I am absolutely blown away. I have been making cards for about 10 years and paper quilling is my specialty. About a month ago I thought I would try cake decorating. I just opened your .blog ,and saw quilling on a cake. I am just working with icing yet and not up to using fondant and gum past yet but I now have something to shoot for. Quilling on a cake. A never thought it was possible. Way to go.!! Awsome.

  3. bella says:

    that was beautiful i have problems with my fondant flowers
    they are too soft

  4. Doris Zeman says:

    Can we use quilling on buttercream icing? I often use fondant/gumpaste accents on it, but am afraid the weight might pull the quilling off the sides. Would I use gum-glue to stick them on? Thanks.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Doris,

      We probably wouldn’t recommend attaching fondant or gum paste quilling decorations to the side of a buttercream cake. Decorations like the one shown in this blog post would not work on a buttercream cake.

      Smaller designs could possibly work. There are a few variables needed for it to work. If the designs are small and don’t put a lot of weight on the icing, it could work. Roll the fondant or gum paste very thin for less weight and keep finished designs small. If the pieces are heavy then they could pull the icing off of the cake. With warm weather coming or already here, the humidity also adds a problem with the icing. We would not recommend this unless the pieces are small and no larger than 1 inch in diameter for the finished designs on the side of the cake.

      Thank you.

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