Modern Ruffle Cakes & Cupcakes

  • with Karen Vazquez
(11 reviews)

Ruffles add an instant wow factor to any cake or cupcake. Master several techniques, including piped ruffles, relaxed ruffles, textured ruffles, upward and downward ruffles, ruffled flowers, and everyone’s favorite — ombre ruffles!


Ruffles are one of the most versatile cake decorating techniques around, as acclaimed cake artist Karen Vazquez demonstrates in this comprehensive course. Begin with the basics — piping sweet buttercream ruffles onto cupcakes using different types of piping tips — and graduate to the advanced method of creating upward and downward fondant ruffles for a gorgeous cascading effect, perfect for tiered cakes. In between, you’ll learn how to make relaxed or “wave” fondant ruffles; how to color fondant into the perfect shades for an ombre effect; how to make ruffled fondant flowers, and how to texture ruffles. You’ll learn how to customize ruffles to be flat, frilled, loose, or tight; how to use them diagonally, horizontally, and vertically; and how to fashion them into different shapes. Along the way, Karen shares tons of helpful hints about everything from making a buttercream that withstands any temperature and adjusting it according to humidity and altitude, to filling in a section of cake you over-carved and tweaking your buttercream recipe to create ruffles that won’t wilt. She even shares her trick for using leftover fondant to cover a cake board. And those of you in the business (or who would like to be!) won’t want to miss her advice on pricing and selling specialty cakes.


  • Carmen Caraballo

    • Beginning Cake Artist

    Excellent and well explained. Will take other courses with Karen if you offer them.

  • Komal Sabnani

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    I loved it...

  • Luis Marchany

    • Advanced Cake Artist

    Awesome class!!!!

  • Michelle Beauregard-Bauer

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    Loved this class!! I HIGHLY recommend purchasing this. Karen is just wonderful, she's thorough, goes at the right speed, explains everything nicely & you'll pick up some great new tricks :)

  • Vivian r Jaile

    • Advanced Cake Artist

    I found it very very informative ... Old technics new ways to implement them, the execution on her cakes sate immaculate...

  • Linda Noblett

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    bogged down in over explaining and fishing too much for words for technical terms Had to take a break will watch the rest at later date Cup cake was very over explained would be great for beginning baker

  • Maria Mendoza

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    This was an amazing class. I learn a lot of new things. Amazing teacher, very we'll presented. She gave a lot of tips.

  • Lissette Gomez

    • Intermediate Cake Artist


  • Linda Renaud

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    very complete course. tons of info and well explained. Just as good as Craftsy courses but more complete.

  • Brenda Pierce

    • Intermediate Cake Artist

    Lovely way to use ruffles on cakes!

  • Ellen Makin

    • Beginning Cake Artist

    Beautiful, unique, and Karen Vazquez is generous in sharing her knowledge.

Lesson Plan

  • Lesson 1: Meet Karen Vazquez


    Meet cake artist Karen Vazquez and learn about the tools and ingredients you’ll need to work alongside her as she teaches you how to make all different kinds of ruffles, both buttercream and fondant.

  • Lesson 2: Perfect Buttercream


    Karen shows you how to make the buttercream she uses in her custom cake shop — one that needs no refrigeration and can stand up to heat, giving you complete confidence that your cakes won’t wilt when you hand them off to clients. She provides in-depth instructions on adjusting the recipe according to your climate and altitude and also provides tips for achieving the exact shade you want when dyeing buttercream.

  • Lesson 3: Piping Ruffles on Cupcakes


    Karen reviews best practices for filling and using a piping bag as she teaches you how to pipe all kinds of beautiful modern ruffles onto cupcakes using multiple piping tips.

  • Lesson 4: Preparing Fondant for Relaxed Ruffles


    Learn how to reinforce fondant to make it perfect for creating ruffles. Karen also provides a comprehensive lesson on dyeing fondant, including how to take into account the factors that cause fondant color to change (like air exposure) so that you can achieve the precise color variations you need for an ombre effect.

  • Lesson 5: Make an Ombre Ruffle Cake


    Learn how to measure, cut, and shape “wave” ruffles and how to arrange them on an ombre ruffle cake.

  • Lesson 6: Making a Ruffled Flower


    Begin building the big statement flower that will be the centerpiece of your tiered cake with cascading ruffles. Karen demonstrates how to make the bud and petals.

  • Lesson 7: Buttercream the Cake, Cover in Fondant & Stack


    Time to crumb coat your cake, buttercream it, cover it with fondant, and stack it, all of which Karen shows you how to do with the precision that separates amateurs from artists. Pick up tons of tips, tricks, and fixes along the way. Speaking of tips, people have told Karen she should trademark this trick: She’s going to show you how to take your leftover bits and pieces of fondant and turn them into a flawless cake board cover.

  • Lesson 8: Texturing Ruffles; Making Upward & Downward Ruffles


    Graduate to the advanced technique of making the textured upward and downward ruffles that will surround your ruffled flower as well as cascade down the side of your tiered cake.

  • Lesson 9: Pricing & Selling Ruffled Cakes


    Ruffled cakes can be time-consuming. If you sell cakes for a living, make sure you don’t shortchange yourself by learning how to calculate your costs to arrive at a fair price.

Meet the Instructor

Karen Vazquez Instructor of Modern Ruffle Cakes & Cupcakes

Internationally-renowned cake artist Karen Vazquez, owner of Kakes by Karen in Naples, Florida, has trained under some of the most acclaimed cake designers in the world. Now she is the one collecting awards and accolades, including first place in Cake Central's 2006 Wedding Cake Competition, second place in Food Network's Cake Challenge "Mystery Assistant High School Reunion Cake" and sixth place in Cake Central's 2010 Valentine's Day Cake Contest. Her cakes have appeared in dozens of publications and websites, including The Knot, Coastal Living, Southern Weddings, and Brides magazine, where in 2011 her cake made their "23 Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes in the U.S." list.

Course Supplies

Downloadable Materials

Downloadable course materials include recipes, ingredients and tools lists, cake specifications, a project timetable, an ingredient conversion chart, and cake templates and outlines where needed.

  • Ingredient Conversion Charts
  • Tools & Ingredients
  • Specifications & Recipes
  • Project Timeline


  • Cake separator boards (5" x ¼" thick; 8" x ¼" thick; 13" x ¼" thick)
  • Electric pasta machine (optional)
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Flat beater mixing attachment (optional)
  • Sneeze guard attachment (optional)
  • Cake pans (5" x 3", 6" x 5", 8" x 3" and 11" x 3")
  • Cupcake pans
  • Fondant rolling mat (Optional. You could use your counter or tabletop, prepared with a non-stick agent like vegetable shortening or cornstarch to prevent fondant from sticking.)
  • Large wooden rolling pin
  • Small silicone rolling pin
  • Ribbed metallic rolling pin
  • 2 fondant smoothers
  • Gel food colorings (Americolor peach, electric pink, super black, egg yellow, and ivory)
  • Round cutter set
  • Scalloped-edge cutter (set of 12)
  • Flower cookie cutters (optional)
  • Rotating base (aka "Lazy Susan")
  • Spatulas (including 9" angled rounded tip spatula; spreading spatula; and tapered spatula with sharp top)
  • Food safe plastic gloves
  • 3 sets of standard Wilton couplers with rings
  • 2 to 3 non-slip, biodegradable 12" piping bags (fabric, parchment paper, or plastic)
  • Airtight containers
  • Flexible rulers (optional)
  • Flexible measuring tape (one for cake use only to avoid cross contamination)
  • Cake boards (8" x ½" thick; 13" x 1/2" thick)
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons (2 sets)
  • Toothpicks (optional)
  • Non-stick cooking spray (optional)
  • Frill or ruffled piping tips (Wilton #70, #103, #104, #1M; PME #050 from the frill set; and Ateco #040)
  • Cute cupcake wrappers (optional)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sharpie (optional)
  • X-ACTO knife (optional)
  • Food safe flexible cutting board (optional)
  • Palette knife
  • Paintbrushes (1" x 1" flat top brush and one 1 cm wide brush)
  • Plastic wrap
  • #20 floral wire, white
  • Rose bases
  • Small glue gun (optional if you are using pre-made centers or small foam balls)
  • Glue sticks (optional if you are using pre-made centers or small foam balls)
  • Modeling tools
  • Tylose glue (recipe included)
  • Ball tool
  • Foam former
  • Garrett frill cutter
  • Clay extruder
  • Floral drying rack
  • Wooden dowels
  • Dowel cutter
  • Electric pencil sharpener (used for cake dowels only to keep food safe)
  • Hammer (used for cake only to keep food safe)
  • Bench scraper
  • Cake leveler
  • Food safe marker


  • Fondant
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Cornstarch
  • Buttercream (recipe included)
  • Royal Icing (recipe included)
  • Cakes (recipe included)
  • Gum paste
  • Tylose powder

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is this class offered?

    Anytime you want it to be! When you purchase a CakeMade course, it is yours to keep; you can watch the lessons whenever and how often you like. If you have any questions along the way, just post them on the forum and Karen will answer them personally.

  • Can a beginner take this course?

    Yes. The course is designed to begin with the easier ruffle techniques and then gradually get you comfortable with increasingly more difficult ruffle skills until you are ready to tackle advanced methods.

  • What projects will we complete?

    You’ll learn how to how to make a fondant flower and cascading ruffles for a tiered cake; how to make an ombre ruffle cake; and several ways of piping buttercream ruffles onto cupcakes.

  • Are any recipes provided?

    Yes. Karen shares several recipes that she uses in her custom cake shop, including her “easy, shelf life stable buttercream”; her royal icing, her fruit filling, and her go-to cake recipe. She also provides in-depth notes on adjusting recipes for your climate and altitude.

  • Visit our help center for other questions.

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