How to Bake a Pillow Cake

Written by lauren agra
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How to Bake a Pillow Cake
Add food colouring to the buttercream icing for extra pop. (Ryan McVay/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Pillow cakes are standard cakes strategically cut and iced to look like fluffy pillows. They can be decorative top layers on a larger cake or an entire cake unto themselves. Once the pillow cake is iced with fondant, you can style and decorate it any way you wish. Experienced bakers may even wish to add icing tassels to the cake's corners.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Square cake pan
  • Serrated knife
  • Icing knife or spreader
  • 4 toothpicks
  • Ruler
  • Buttercream icing
  • Fondant icing
  • Rolling pin

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  1. 1

    Bake two standard cakes in medium-sized, square cake pans.

  2. 2

    Ice the top of one cake with buttercream. Place the second cake on top of the icing, creating a two-layer cake. Put the cake in the freezer until completely frozen; this will make shaping the cake and applying fondant easier. After it is frozen, remove the cake and place on a flat surface.

  3. 3

    Measure one side of the cake using a ruler. Locate the side's midpoint. Measure 1 inch (or more, for a large cake) into the centre of a cake. Insert a toothpick here. Repeat the process for the cake's three remaining sides.

  4. 4

    Using a serrated knife, cut a curved line on each side of the cake. Begin the line at the corner, cut up towards the toothpick, then back down to the next corner.

  5. 5

    Carve the cake upwards from the edges, bringing the knife in a curve towards the top. The object is to create a gentle slope leading from the sides to the centre, mimicking the soft slant created by pillow fluff. Flip the cake over and repeat the process on the other side.

  6. 6

    Ice the cake with a thin layer of buttercream frosting. Roll out enough fondant icing to completely cover the cake. Smooth the fondant over the cake. Place a board beneath the cake and flip it over. Lay fondant on the other side. Smooth the fondant at the "seam" where the two pieces of fondant meet, and cut any excess fondant away. Decorate the cake as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Decoration ideas include edible flowers, edible pearls and icing designs based on lace.
  • If sculpting the cake proves too frustrating, you can purchase pillow-shaped cake pans from speciality stores.

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