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How to Do a Polka Dot Pattern on a Wedding Cake

Let chef Michelle Doll show you how to do a polka dot pattern in this Howcast video about wedding cake decorating.


Today we want to make a polka dot pattern on our wedding cake and we're going to be using gum paste. You could also use fondant, but gum paste has more gummy chemicals that are in it, so when you mix it together it starts to become more rubbery, more elastic and stick together. If you do it with just plain fondant, when you lift it up off of the table to attach it to the cake, it's actually going to lose its shape a little bit, and we want to make sure we have perfect circles for our polka dots.

So I'm using a yellow gum paste. I just colored it with a little bit of yellow, and that's because we're going to go back later and paint them in gold, and I want them to have a nice base color to start off with. So I'm going to just use a small handful, wrapping up anything I'm not using, and I've got a little bit of fat here and that's just going to soften up our yellow gum paste. To make our dots, instead of using cookie cutters, I'm actually using some tips from piping bags.

So I've got an 803 here and I've got an 807 and I'll be using both sides. So you can use these two tips interchangeably to get different sized polka dots. So I'm going to roll this out. You could just use an acrylic roller and your counter top. I like to send mine through a pasta machine, so they're really nice and consistent, as far as their thickness. Beautiful, so here I have a nice sheet of rolled out gum paste. I'm going to use the thickened first. Really get it down there and you see you get a perfect out of it.

It sticks through the center like that. Just pop a paintbrush down and I'm touching them very gingerly, so as not to distort their shape. If I were doing fondant it would be sticking to the table a little bit more. Gum paste is more cooperative. It's tempting to try and go doo, doo, doo, doot and have them stack up inside the tip, but they will get stuck that way and will distort and be a pain to move out.

Okay, that should be enough to start with. I'm using regular water to attach these to the cake, but you could also use a piping gel. And we're just going to be doing a polka dot pattern on our medium tier in the middle here. So the first thing I always say is to look for flaws. I have a little ding here. I want to make sure that's covered up. This is a perfect opportunity to cover that up and no one will ever know, just like that it's gone.

If you ever see something funny on a wedding cake, there's a good chance there's a ding underneath of it. So the trick with doing a polka dot pattern is spread them out first. You don't want anything too close together. When you're working in smalls, work in two's or three's. So when I apply these; do one here and have one fairly close by; that'll be cute.

We're going for cute and happy, not measly, so it's all about spacing. If you do have to go back and take something off, don't if you can avoid it at any cost. If you simply have to you're going to use either peel it off or scrap it off with a small spatula like this. Also don't be afraid to cut them in half. It helps to look even more realistic if you've got one coming up out of the bottom or from the top.

There we go. See that's what you want to avoid, two that are very similar to each other. So I'm just going to pop that right off and move it down here. This takes a little practice just to get used to the way it should look, but it's such a great, cute payoff. And that is how you put a polka dot pattern on a wedding tier.

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