How to Decorate a Dummy Cake

Are you looking to create a stunning centerpiece for a special event, but don’t want the hassle of a real cake? Look no further. In this article, we will guide you on how to decorate a dummy cake.

Dummy cakes, also known as fake or display cakes, are non-edible versions of traditional cakes used for decorative purposes. They are perfect for events where a real cake may not be practical, such as showcases, photo shoots, or long-term displays. Decorating a dummy cake allows you to unleash your creativity without the worry of spoilage or mess.

Before diving into the decorating process, it’s essential to choose the right dummy cake. Consider factors such as size, shape, and material to ensure that it fits your specific needs. Once you have your dummy cake selected, gathering supplies such as fondant, frosting, tools, and decorations is the next step in preparing for your decorating journey.

In the following sections of this article, we will cover everything from how to prepare the dummy cake surface for decorating to troubleshooting common issues and preserving your masterpiece for future use. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just beginning to explore the art of cake decorating, this comprehensive guide has got you covered every step of the way.

Choosing the Right Dummy Cake

When it comes to decorating a dummy cake, one of the first things to consider is choosing the right dummy cake. There are several factors to take into account when making this decision, including size, shape, and material considerations.


The size of the dummy cake is an important aspect to consider when choosing one for decoration. It should be proportional to the actual display or serving cake that it will accompany. If the dummy cake is too small, it can look out of place or underwhelming. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it may overpower the overall presentation.


In addition to size, considering the shape of the dummy cake is also crucial. Whether you want a round, square, hexagonal, or any other shape will depend on the design and theme of your project. Some decorators even opt for custom shapes to fit specific themes or designs.

Material Considerations

Dummy cakes come in various materials such as Styrofoam, plastic, and foam. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. Styrofoam is lightweight and easy to work with but can be fragile. Plastic dummy cakes are durable but may not provide as smooth of a surface for decorating as foam varieties do.

Overall, it’s important to carefully consider size, shape, and material when choosing a dummy cake for decoration. These decisions will directly impact the ease of decorating as well as the final look of your project.

Gathering Supplies

Decorating a dummy cake requires the right supplies to achieve a realistic and visually appealing result. When gathering supplies for decorating a dummy cake, it is important to consider the type of materials that will work best for your design. This includes fondant, frosting, tools, and decorations that will help bring your vision to life.

Fondant is a popular choice for covering dummy cakes as it provides a smooth and polished finish. It comes in various colors and can be rolled out and draped over the cake to create a seamless look. Additionally, frosting can be used to add texture and details to the cake, such as creating piped designs or adding dimension with different icing techniques.

In addition to the main materials of fondant and frosting, there are various tools that are essential for decorating a dummy cake. These include rolling pins for working with fondant, smoothing tools for achieving a flawless finish, piping bags and tips for adding intricate designs, as well as brushes and edible dusts for adding color and sheen.

Decorations such as edible pearls, flowers, or figurines can also be used to enhance the overall appearance of the cake. By gathering these supplies, you will have everything you need to create a beautifully decorated dummy cake that looks just like the real thing.

Preparing the Dummy Cake

When it comes to decorating a dummy cake, one of the most important steps is preparing the surface for decoration. Whether you are using a Styrofoam or plastic dummy cake, it’s essential to clean, smooth, and prime the surface to ensure that your decorations will adhere properly and look professional.

Cleaning the Surface

Before you start decorating your dummy cake, it’s crucial to clean the surface thoroughly. Use a mild soap and water solution to gently wipe down the cake, removing any dust, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated. Allow the cake to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Smoothing the Surface

Once the cake is clean and dry, it’s time to smooth out any imperfections in the surface. Use a fine-grit sandpaper or emery board to gently buff out any rough spots or uneven areas. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as you don’t want to create indentations or divots in the surface of the cake.

Priming the Surface

After cleaning and smoothing the surface, it’s important to prime it for decoration. Apply a thin layer of royal icing or buttercream frosting to create a smooth base for your fondant or other decorations. This will help your decorations adhere securely and provide a polished finish to your dummy cake.

By following these steps for preparing your dummy cake, you’ll be ready to move on to the next exciting phase of decorating with confidence and ease.

Decorating Techniques

Decorating a dummy cake involves many techniques and skills to make it look as realistic as possible. One of the most popular methods for decorating dummy cakes is using fondant. Fondant is a versatile sugar paste that can be rolled out and draped over the cake to create a smooth, polished surface. To use fondant, you will need to gather supplies such as a rolling pin, powdered sugar for dusting, and a cake smoother to ensure a flawless finish.

To begin using fondant on your dummy cake, first knead the fondant until it is soft and pliable. Then roll it out into a thin sheet using a rolling pin dusted with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Carefully lift the fondant over the dummy cake and gently smooth it into place, starting from the top and working your way down the sides. Use a cake smoother to remove any air bubbles and create a seamless finish.

In addition to fondant, piping is another popular technique for decorating dummy cakes. Piping involves using a pastry bag filled with frosting or royal icing to create intricate designs, borders, and lettering on the cake’s surface. Different piping tips can be used to achieve various textures and patterns, so be sure to have an assortment of tips on hand.

How to Decorate a Rose Cake

It’s important to practice piping on a separate surface before attempting it on your dummy cake to ensure precision and control. With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be well on your way to mastering fondant and piping techniques for decorating your own stunning dummy cakes.

Decorating MaterialsInstructions
FondantKnead until pliable; roll out into thin sheet; drape over cake; smooth into place.
Piping ToolsPractice piping on separate surface; use various tips for different designs; fill pastry bag with desired frosting or royal icing.

Adding Details

Adding realistic-looking details to a dummy cake can take your decorating skills to the next level. Here are some tips and techniques for creating lifelike textures, intricate patterns, and stunning designs:

  • Textured Effects: Experiment with different tools and techniques to add texture to your dummy cake. You can use small sculpting tools to create wood grain, bark, or stone textures. For floral designs, consider using a veining tool or silicone mold to add realistic petal and leaf textures.
  • Patterning: Use stencils, embossing mats, or even lace to create beautiful patterns on your dummy cake. These can range from simple geometric designs to intricate lace patterns that mimic the look of real fabric.
  • Airbrushing: Consider investing in an airbrush kit for adding colorful gradients or delicate shading effects to your dummy cake. Airbrushing can also be used to create realistic looking metallic finishes such as gold or silver.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to adding details to a dummy cake. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and materials until you achieve the desired effect. And if you’re feeling stuck, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources available to help inspire your creativity.

By adding lifelike textures, patterns, and designs to your dummy cakes, you can showcase your creativity and skill as a decorator. Whether you’re practicing for a real cake project or simply using the dummy cake as a display piece, attention to detail will elevate the overall presentation of your creation. Keep in mind that every detail counts when it comes to creating a visually stunning dummy cake.


When decorating a dummy cake, it’s common to encounter some issues along the way. Here are some of the most common problems that may arise, as well as tips on how to fix them:

1. Cracks in the fondant: If you notice cracks forming in the fondant as you decorate your dummy cake, don’t panic. This can often be fixed by gently kneading the cracked area with your fingers to smooth it out. If the cracks are extensive, you may need to remove the fondant and start again.

2. Uneven frosting or fondant application: Achieving a smooth and even surface can be tricky, but not impossible. To fix uneven frosting or fondant, use a hot spatula to gently smooth out any imperfections. You can also use a smoothing tool or a piece of parchment paper to help achieve a flawless finish.

3. Fondant bulging or tearing: Sometimes, especially if the weather is warm, fondant can start to bulge or tear as it settles on the cake. To prevent this, make sure your dummy cake is at room temperature before applying the fondant. If bulging or tearing does occur, gently press down on the affected areas with your fingers while supporting from underneath with your other hand.

By being aware of these common issues and knowing how to troubleshoot them, you’ll be better equipped to create a beautifully decorated dummy cake without feeling discouraged by any mishaps that may come up during the process.

Display and Storage

In conclusion, decorating a dummy cake can be a fun and creative way to showcase your baking skills without the worry of it going bad. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a stunning centerpiece for any event or use it as a portfolio piece to display your talents to potential clients. The key is to choose the right dummy cake, gather the necessary supplies, and master various decorating techniques to bring your vision to life.

Once you have completed decorating your dummy cake, it’s important to know how to properly display and store it. Showcasing your masterpiece in a well-lit area can help highlight the intricate details and designs. Consider using a cake stand or pedestal to elevate the dummy cake and make it the focal point of any display. Additionally, be mindful of where you place the cake as excessive heat or direct sunlight can cause the decorations to fade or warp.

When it comes to storing your decorated dummy cake, it’s essential to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity. If possible, cover the cake with a clear plastic wrap or place it inside a protective case to shield it from dust and potential damage.

With proper care and maintenance, your decorated dummy cake can last for years, allowing you to reuse it for various occasions and continue showcasing your creativity and skill in cake decoration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Use to Decorate a Fake Cake?

When decorating a fake cake, you can use a variety of materials such as fondant, royal icing, gum paste, or even fabric and ribbon. These materials can be shaped, molded, and painted to create realistic-looking decorations like flowers, swirls, or other patterns on the surface of the dummy cake.

How to Decorate Dummy Cake With Buttercream?

Decorating a dummy cake with buttercream involves using a piping bag and various tips to create different designs and textures on the surface of the cake. The buttercream can be piped into rosettes, stars, ruffles, or any other desired pattern to achieve the desired decorative effect.

It’s important to practice piping on a different surface before applying it to the dummy cake to ensure precision and control.

How Do You Stick Icing to a Dummy Cake?

To stick icing or fondant to a dummy cake, you can use clear piping gel or royal icing as an adhesive. Simply brush a thin layer of either substance onto the area where you want to attach the icing or fondant decoration and gently press it into place.

The adhesive will provide enough grip to keep the decoration securely in position without damaging the fake cake underneath.

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