How to Add Fabric Ribbon to a Buttercream Cake

This is actually an easy task when you know how to do it! (Hence the short post with very few photos!)

Buttercream cake+Fabric ribbonThe first time I had to add a ribbon to one of my cake, I panicked! If the ribbon touches the buttercream if would leave greasy stains on the ribbon and you don’t want inedible things to touch your buttercream either. It’s not like applying ribbon on fondant. I googled and googled but couldn’t find a method that seem fail proof.

First of all, you need to have the right length of ribbon. To calculate the circumference of a round cake, you need to multiply the diameter of you cake by pi. See below for square and rectangular cakes.

Length of ribbon (round cake) = diameter of the cake x 3.1416
Length of ribbon (square cake) = side of the cake x 4
Length of ribbon (rectangular cake) = (long side x 2 ) + (short side x 2)

It doesn’t matter if you measure your cakes in inches or centimetres. It will work with any unit of measure. For example, if you have a 6 inches cake, you will need 20 inches or ribbon (it’s actually 18.8496 inches but no one will order like that at the craft store and it’s always nice to have little extra, just in case!). If you have a 20 cm cake, then you will need 65 cm.

For perfect cakes every times, make sure you check out our very popular blog posts about baking flat cakes, making your own baking strips or cake release/goop!

Attaching fabric ribbon to buttercream cake is simple, when you know what you are doing! You will need :

  • Fabric Ribbon & cake obviously!
  • Scissors
  • Baking Paper


  1. Chill your buttercream covered cake for about 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Cut the ribbon at the desired length. You can burn the ends with a lighter so the ribbon doesn’t frill.
  3. Cut strips of baking paper a tiny bit narrower than the fabric ribbon. Cut the same length.
  4. Take the cake out of the fridge and apply small amount of buttercream where the ribbon will be applied (usually the bottom of the cake).
  5. Apply the baking paper strips.
  6. Apply small amount of buttercream on the baking paper at the BACK of the cake only.
  7. Wrap the fabric ribbon around the cake and baking paper and attach ends with buttercream.

Voila! All done!

Buttercream cake+Fabric ribbon (1).jpg

Alternatively, you can also do a strip of fondant instead of using baking paper and fabric ribbon, but if you are like me, you prefer to not to play too much with fondant!

Here are some cakes we have done using ribbons:

STEP BY STEPHow to add fabric ribbon to a buttercream cake.png



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