Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fake Cake Tutorial

My favorite part about cake decorating is the actual decorating. I do enjoy baking, but sometimes I don't feel like waiting for the oven to preheat, waiting for the cake to bake and then waiting again for it to cool off. With fake cakes I can skip these steps entirely and dive right into the fun part--decorating. 

Fake cakes, also called foam cakes or dummy cakes, are actually pretty common. Not only are they used in bakery display windows and photo shoots, this cake illusion is used a lot at weddings too.

Here's how it works: The "cake" part is actually styrofoam that comes in all different shapes and sizes--and can even be carved. For the frosting, you have few different options; if you want your fake cake to look like a real fondant cake, you can still use fondant over your foam. If you want a buttercream look though, you will need to use royal icing, perma ice, or light-weight spackle. Yup, you read that right: you can use spackle from the hardware store for perfect-looking “buttercream."

As a Certified Wilton Method Instructor, I needed to make a cake display for my local Michael’s (where I teach) to encourage customers to sign up for my classes. I wanted to make a cake that represents some of the techniques you can learn in Course 1: Buttercream Basics, so I decided to make a two-tier Cinderella cake with ruffles and rosettes. To that end, I needed the following supplies: 2 round Styrofoams (one bigger than the other), light-weight spackle, and a "glass slipper."

Fake Cake Blue Print
The first step was to tint my spackle. I used the Wilton Gel Colors to do this, but I heard acrylic paint works too. Next, I attached the styrofoams together using 4 toothpicks stuck in the bottom of the top tier and pushed it into the top of the bottom tier. Then, I applied a thin layer of the tinted spackle to my fake cake. Now I was ready to pipe. I started at the bottom tier using tip 104 to make ruffles. Then I moved on to the top tier, using tip 1M to make the rosettes. When I was done, I put it someplace safe to dry.

This was so fun and easy to make! The hardest part about making this fake cake, was making sure my kids didn't try to sneak a taste of the "frosting."

 “Opinions expressed are my own and do not express the views or opinions of Wilton Brands LLC”.


  1. How would you perfectly smooth spackling if you wanted a really smooth finished cake?

  2. What if I eventually wanted to reuse the dummy?

    1. Then I would use Royal Icing instead of spackle. It will dry rock hard, but you can wash it off in really hot water with no worries of it clogging your drain.

  3. How to apply spackle on stereofoam? To get the smooth results

    1. Just apply like you would buttercream and after it dries completely use sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections and it will be completely smooth.

  4. How to apply spackle on stereofoam? To get the smooth results


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