Christmas Cake Frill

My grandmother was a wonderful baker and would often bring cakes to family celebrations – birthday cakes, Christmas cakes, and other special occasion cakes. She usually dressed her cakes with a paper and ribbon cake frill, which were quite popular in the 1970’s. They were used to wrap around the outside of the cake as a decoration and to cover the sides. Nan’s Christmas cakes always featured a festive frill and a sprig of holly.

We wanted to give our Christmas cake this year a retro feel. Cake frills are no longer widely available, so we made our own for this years’ Christmas cake. We wanted to make sure that the Cake Frill was food safe and greaseproof, so used baking paper as the foundation. We added some festive ribbon, bunting, and deer/tree toppers so it will match our Christmas Table and Place Cards.

Life has been extra busy recently and we ran out of time to make our own Christmas cake so we used one from the bakery instead. At least by decorating it, we have given it the home made touch.

If you would like to make your own, here is the method we used.

3 x 26 inches (fits an 8 inch diameter cake)


  • Baking paper (baking parchment)
  • ribbon
  • bakers twine
  • bamboo skewers
  • masking tape
  • card

1. Measure the height of your cake and the circumference (i.e. the distance around the outside of the cake). Cut a piece of baking paper (baking parchment) which is the circumference plus 2 inches for overlap. We cut a piece 26 inches in length. This was then folded in half, then folded in half again, to give us a piece of baking paper that measured 3 inches x 26 inches.
2. Cut three lengths of ribbon the length of your frill. Pin the ribbon in place on the paper. Stitch the ribbon in place with a sewing machine. Along each long edge of the frill, cut snips approx 1/2 inch deep to create a fringe.
3. Wrap the frill around the cake and secure in place at the back with masking tape.
4. Using coloured card, cut 5 flags for the bunting. Tie some bakers twine onto two bamboo skewers. Tape the bunting flags to the twine. Position the skewers in the cake. Decorate with cake toppers.

Ribbon – Ribbons Galore
Christmas Plate – Target
Deer and Tree – Sweet Estelle
The Christmas Cake Frill could be easily adapted to suit any party theme. 
Here are the Christmas Cup Cakes we made in 2011, they are a lovely spice recipe and taste Christmasy without the heaviness of a lot of dried fruit.
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