Pillow cakes are such a neat design and are actually pretty simple to make. In this tutorial I’m going to show how to do a square pillow cake with curved sides, as opposed to the straight sides. If you would like to do a pillow with just straight sides, simply omit the steps that cut the curves out of the cake. Cutting curves into the cake does reduce the cake size a bit (but if your family likes cake scraps, then you are okay). Don’t restrict yourself to square cakes either! Pillow cakes can easily be made out of almost any shape cake.
- Clay gun
- Dusts, African Violet petal dust and Super Pearl dust
- Fondant· Coloring for your Fondant · Fondant smoother
- Frozen cake
- Gum glue (mixture of gum paste or fondant and water)
- Large blush brush
- Paint brushes
- Pre-made plain pearls (one large and four small) or balls of fondant just made
- Rolling pin
- Serrated knife
- 6 mm, 5 mm and 4 mm silver dragees
Freeze cake. I used an 8-inch, 2 layer, filled cake. An 8-inch-by-3-inch cake left whole or torted and filled would be just as good.
Once cake is frozen, measure 1 inch in from the edge of the cake (centered) and place a toothpick in the spot.Repeat for remaining sides.
Take a serrated knife, and score a curved line from one corner to the toothpick and then to the opposite corner. Repeat for remaining sides.
Cut straight down into the cake along the curved line. Don’t worry if you end up cutting at an angle; you can always trim more off. Repeat for remaining sides.
Take the serrated knife and begin to carve away the edges of the cake to taper it.
Flip the cake over and repeat the process. Some people like to purposely bake their cake with a hump which can help reduce the need for a lot of carving of the cake.
Once you have your cake carved the way you like, attach the bottom side of the cake to a cake board. Ice the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, ensuring that you ice the underside of the cake.
Roll out fondant enough to cover the cake. For easier smoothing of the underside of the cake, elevate the cake and drape the fondant on top of the cake. Smooth the fondant on the cake, working from the center and going towards the sides. Carefully smooth the fondant around the corners and the underside of the cake.
Trim excess fondant away. Curving the sides of the cake tends to lead to pointier corners, so ensuring that you carefully smooth around the corners and underneath will alleviate a lot of frustration of tearing of the fondant. Placing the cake in the refrigerator for a few minutes can help firm up the cake if the corners seem too soft. It is also easier for some people to place fondant on a chilled cake. If the fondant does not seems to stick to the cake, applying a little more pressure while smoothing can help it, or spritzing the cake before hand with a bit of water may do the trick.
From this point, the embellishment possibilites for pillow cakes are endless! For this pillow, I’m going to do a fairly simple design.
First, mix a bit of the African Violet petal dust and Super Pearl dust to get the desired color and sheen. Use large blush brush to dust the entire pillow.
With the clay gun, use the medium sized circle disc and make a long string of fondant. Cut and form the fondant into curls and attach to center of cake with gum glue. Repeat until the circle is complete. The fondant curls can also be attached with water or a clear extract or alcohol.
Apply a small bit of gum glue to the center of the cake, and then take a small ball of fondant and flatten it in the center. Use either a pre-made pearl or make a small ball out of fondant and attach to the center with gum glue. Paint it with a combination of the dust mixture and a clear extract or alcohol. Then attach 6 mm silver dragees all around the painted pearl.
Paint the curls with the paint mixture and attach 5 mm silver dragees to the center of each of the curls.
With the clay gun, use the medium sized circle disc and make another long string of fondant. Using the gum glue, attach the string around the middle of the sides of the cake. Create tassels for the corners using another string of fondant. First cut 5 pieces to desired length and 1 smaller piece. Pinch the top edges together, apply gum glue to the small piece and wrap around the pinched edge.
Attach the tassels to each corner with gum glue. Attach 1 pearl or fondant ball to the top of each of the four tassels. Paint the string around the middle of the cake, the pearls and the tassels with the paint mixture. Attach 5 mm silver dragees on either side of each of the painted pearls. Place three 4 mm silver dragees around the top edge of the painted pearls.
The pillow cake is now complete!