Vintage cupcakes tutorial


Learn how to make three stunning vintage cupcake styles – fanned ruffles, pearls and roses, and hydrangeas – in this fabulous tutorial using sugarpaste (fondant) from Vintage Cake Decorations Made Easy by Christina Ludlam.

LOVE all things vintage? These cupcakes make a gorgeous addition to a vintage-themed party or wedding. Mix and match the three styles to create your very own design or use as inspiration!

This tutorial is from Vintage Cake Decorations Made Easy by Christina Ludlam. The book begins with guidance on how to cover your cakes, colour mixing and essential techniques such as using mould and mats, then leads you through nine stunning and stylish cake decorating projects that look almost too beautiful to eat! From vintage-style cupcakes to a magnificent wedding cake, you will not believe how easy it is to create a sugarpaste masterpiece. If you love this project you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P! 

Vintage cupcakes tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to decorate the three cupcakes circled below.

To make nine cupcakes (three of each), you will need:

  • 800g (28oz) sugarpaste (fondant) with 4g (1tsp) of Tylo powder added and coloured as follows: 300g (10½oz) Ivory, 150g (5¼oz) Dusky Pink, 150g (5¼oz) Caramel, 25g (1oz) Gooseberry
  • Cornflour (corn starch)
  • Edible glue
  • Pearl white lustre powder

Additional tools

  • 8cm (3¼in) circle cutter
  • 8cm (3¼in) fluted circle cutter
  • Hydrangea cutter and mould (Blossom Sugar Art)
  • Garrett frill cutter
  • String of pearls mould 
  • Bulbous frilling tool
  • Kitchen paper
  • Dimpled foam drying pad
  • Paintbrush (for glue)
  • Dresden tool
  • Large flat brush (for lustre)
  • Dusting brush

The cupcakes

Covering the cupcakes

1. Cover the cupcakes in buttercream.

2. Use the 8cm (3¼in) circle cutter to cover the cupcakes in the following colours: two Dusky Pink, four Ivory and two Caramel. 

Top tip! Use a piece of kitchen paper to support the bow loops as they dry. 

Fanned Ruffles cupcake

1. Roll some modelling paste to 1–2mm (1⁄32–1⁄16in) thick and cut two circles using an 8cm (3¼in) fluted pastry cutter, or a Garrett frill cutter in a similar size, with the centre removed.

2. Dust the work surface with cornflour (corn starch). Use a bulbous frilling tool, held at a slight angle to the work surface, frill around the fluted edge of the circle. Keep the paste moving to prevent it sticking to the surface. 

3. Fold the frilled circle in half. Apply a little glue to the folded edge and pleat the paste to create a fanned ruffle. 

4. Use edible glue to attach the fanned ruffle onto a Caramel-topped cupcake.

For the roses

5. Roll a small sausage of Dusky Pink sugarpaste (fondant), no longer than 6cm (2½in). Pinch along one edge of the piece to thin it slightly.

6. Apply a little glue along the thicker edge of the piece. Roll it up to create a spiral effect. Apply a little pressure to the thicker base, whilst avoiding wrapping the thin edge too tightly. Make several roses in a variety of sizes and colours.

7. To make a leaf, roll a small teardrop shape from Gooseberry modelling paste. Flatten it slightly and mark a central vein with the fine end of a Dresden tool. Make twenty to twenty-five leaves: some can be used on other cupcakes. 

8. With edible glue, secure the leaf to the fanned ruffle, above. Glue on two more rolled roses and two more leaves to make a dainty arrangement.

Pearls and roses cupcake

1. Use a 50mm (2in) circle cutter to cut out a disc of contrasting sugarpaste (fondant) for the cupcake (Ivory for the Caramel cupcake, Caramel for the Ivory cupcake).

2. Place the disc of sugarpaste (fondant) centrally on the top of each cupcake.

3. Use the string of pearls mould, dusted with pearl white lustre powder, to make the circles of pearls around the central toppers.

4. Apply edible glue around the circle toppers and attach the pearls, trimming to length with small scissors.

To make the rolled roses see steps 5-8 in the ruffled cupcake tutorial above. 

Hydrangea cupcake

1. Roll out some Ivory modelling paste to 1–2mm (1⁄32–1⁄16in) thick.

2. Use the hydrangea cutter to cut twenty to twenty-five flowers.

3. Dust the hydrangea mould with a little cornflour (corn starch) and tap out the excess. Place a flower into the mould and press gently with a finger to ensure the flower is in place. Use the mould to impress texture on each of the flowers.

Top tip! When using the hydrangea mould, press the top half of the mould over the flower and press firmly enough to ensure the texture is embossed into the flower, but avoid pressing too firmly and distorting the petals.

4. Place the hydrangea flowers into a dimpled foam pad to dry. Paint the centres with Dusky Pink colouring, and the petals with yellow powder.

5. Roll a 4cm (1½in)-diameter ball of Caramel sugarpaste (fondant) and secure with edible glue to the centre of one of the Caramel-topped cupcakes.

6. Arrange the flowers around, and over, the top of the cupcake to create a hydrangea cluster. Intersperse the flowers with one or two leaves.


If you enjoyed making these delicious cupcakes, learn how to make of the rest of the cupcakes pictured, along with more amazing projects from the Vintage Cake Decorations Made Easy book! Or for more cake decorating projects, check out our blog where you'll find this pretty painted hydrangea cupcake tutorial and lots more!