Patchwork Cutter Decorations

Patchwork Cutters are a relatively new and popular idea. They come in various designs and can be used as an impression directly onto the cake or plaque and then coloured or more than one set of shapes can be cut in different colours to build up a 3D effect.

They are easy to use after very little practice and can create a very impressive design.

I recently purchased two different Patchwork cutters and tried them out. The following are my first attempts.

The first is a Snowman with two children.

I tried two different ways of using this cutter:

For the first attempt, I simply cut the shape out of Mexican paste and after letting it dry for 24 hours, painted it with food colouring. It does take a few days to complete as each colour has to dry before starting the next to prevent ‘bleeding’.

Finally I brushed a little cold water over the ‘fur trims on the children’s coats’ and sprinkled on some granulated sugar. The finished design is thin and quite delecate and could be used directly on the cake with perhaps a ball of icing behind it to lift it up at an angle, or placed onto a plaque to make it stand out more.

For the second attempt, I cut out a round plaque from fondant (sugar paste), pressed a pattern round the edges and then pressed the patchwork cutter into the fondant to leave an impression. I then left it to dry.

When it was dry I spayed it blue using Colour Mist food colouring spray. This gives a lovely even covering of colour very quickly.

Then using coloured Sugar Paste (I used a box of Dr Oetker (made by Super Cook) ready to roll coloured icing), I cut out another snowman design from each of the colours, red, black, white and green. I mixed a little red sugar paste into some white to give a flesh colour for the faces. (I cut the face and hair out of the flesh colour and painted the hair brown afterwards). After cutting them out, I separated the various parts i.e. black hat and shoes and red coats and placed them onto the corresponding sections on the blue plaque. A little cold water brushed onto the plaque will ensure the pieces stick.

This is rather fiddly, but gives more of a 3D effect and can be completed in one session. When all the pieces were in piece I left it to dry before adding red stripes to the scarf, brown hair, blue eyes, red lips and rosy cheeks on the chidren and black eyes and mouth and an orange nose for the snowman. Finally I brushed a little cold water on the fur trims of the children’s coats and sprinkled with granulated sugar.

This finished decoration is much thicker than the one made from mexican paste and can be placed directly onto the cake which will require very little extra work to give a very attractive cake.

Next I used the “Shepherds” Patchwork Cutters

This is a set consisting of buildings, palm trees, Shepherds, sheep and stars and can be used indivdually or to build up a picture.

Firstly I cut out one of each shape and then I cut a second shape of each of the head-dresses.

Again I coloured each piece using a mixture of food colouring and petal dust (powdered food colouring) mixed with a little cornflour . For the lambs I only coloured in the eyes and a few lines to give the legs definition. I also painted a few lines onto the shepherds gowns to give an impression of folds.

Finally after all the pieces had been coloured, I placed the separate head-dresses on top of the first with a little edible glue to create a 3D effect.

The characters are now ready to be placed onto the cake. I will be showing how to do this and also the finished article shortly.


  1. @Aylsia – Regular Sugarpaste does not work with these intricate Mexican paste cutters. The Sugarpaste is too soft and gets stuck in the fine features of the cutter, it also stretches, so if you do manage to get it out of the cutters it will be out of shape. Mexican past is stiff and holds it shape. The cutters need to be oiled to get the shape out and I use sunflower oil. I brush a very light coating over the cutters and then wipe them with some kitchen roll so they have a very light film on them.

  2. Can you just use regular sugarpaste when using cutters like these? Also what did you use the grease the cutters so the sugarpaste didn’t stick? Thanks 🙂

  3. Your making extra head dresses for a 3-D effect was a great idea. I’m anxious to see how you place all of the pieces on the cake.

    I’ve been hesitant to purchase the Patchwork Cutters but have now changed my mind.


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