How to Decorate a Wedding Cake With Ribbon

Ribbons can be made from edible and food-safe products.

By Glyn Sheridan

White Wedding Cake with Ribbon and Greenery
Photo by Jen Huang PhotographyBookmark and Share

Ribbons are a traditional wedding cake embellishment. Besides adding a design element, they frequently cover icing seams or imperfections. Three types of ribbons are acceptable when decorating the cake: coated fabric ribbons (picot), designed for safe use with food, white chocolate ribbons and fondant ribbons, crafted from edible ingredients. Ribbons, alone or in combination with lace, flowers, iced piping and other decorations, can turn a plain wedding cake into a stunning work of art.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Consider the cake-cutting ceremony. Place the ribbon so it is easy to remove from your cake when it's time to serve.

Step 1:

Sketch a plan for the wedding cake or refer to a photograph depicting a cake with ribbons. While you may have an idea in mind, having a visual reference will allow you to add or subtract design elements in advance, leaving only the assembly of the cake the day before the wedding.

Step 2:

Circle the base of a fondant-covered cake layer with a single row of ribbon to cover the space between the fondant and the cake board. This provides a simple but elegant touch, hiding tiny wrinkles or small gaps that frequently occur on fondant cakes. Use 1-inch or wider ribbon and attach it to the fondant by brushing on thin icing just before positioning the ribbon.

Step 3:

Form bows from fondant ribbons to match a fondant-covered cake. While the fondant used to cover the cake layer is about 1/4-inch thick, fondant ribbons should be no thicker than 1/8-inch for a delicate look. Fondant tools, available from hobby stores and cake decorating stores, allow you to roll the fondant very thin before cutting it into strips and forming it into bows or other shapes.

Step 4:

Prepare fondant ribbon accents up to two weeks before the wedding to allow the fondant to harden, but use fresh fondant if you're going to drape ribbons on the decorated cake. Fondant is available in cake decorating stores, or you can make your own.

Step 5:

Use pliable white or colored chocolate to form delicious ribbons that the wedding guests can eat. Sometimes called "chocolate plastic," you can roll this clay-like substance ultra-thin and cut it into delicate ribbons. Form into bows and curls, or cut wide chocolate ribbons the height of your cake layers and wrap each layer for an elegant look.

Step 6:

Accent wedding cake plates with picot ribbon, using hot glue to attach the ribbon to the outside circumference of the plate. Align the top of the ribbon flush with the surface of the cake plate for the best look.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Wear food-grade rubber or plastic gloves when working with fondant or chocolate plastic.

About the Author

Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

Related Guides

How to Choose Your Wedding Cake

VIDEO: How to Choose Your Wedding Cake

When choosing a wedding cake, it is important to know how many servings are desired as well as the general feel and look of the final design... Watch Video

Planning Reminder:

wedding cake with brown ribbon and blue flowers

Order a wedding cake

Wedding cakes may date back to the Roman Empire, but it doesn't mean your cake has to be trapped in tradition. Carrot cake is a great choice for health-conscious brides. If you're getting married outside, think twice about mousse-filled cakes that need cooling. Or how about a chocolate cake?

View your wedding checklist!


Wedding Glossary


A secondary cake to the traditional wedding cake. Often masculine in design, reflective of the groom's interests or hobbies, and traditionally chocolate.

View the Full Weddings Glossary
Sign Up

Already have an account? Log In

Log In with your Facebook account.
We’ll never post without your permission.

Create a DexKnows account:

At least 6 characters
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You'll receive the DexKnows Tips email newsletter as well as email updates about your account.

Please share the issue you encountered with our search

I am a(n):


Please check at least one issue checkbox.