Once you’ve perfected your smooth buttercream skills, a door to a whole world of decorating options opens up. By piping and smoothing layers of crusting buttercream on a cake, you can create a graceful draped fabric look, jaunty pleats, unique ridges and so much more. Master the techniques in this tutorial, and let your imagination run wild!


  • #12 round piping tip
  • Angled modeling knife
  • Ball tool
  • Cake
  • Crusting buttercream
  • Skewer
  • Viva paper towels


Using crusting buttercream, cover and smooth cake using the Viva paper towel method.  Mark the cake with a skewer or a needle tool where you want the pleats to be. Start with the center line, marking from the bottom up three quarters of the way to the top.


Mark the curved side lines from the bottom up to the top with two on each side of the center line.


Using a round tip #12, pipe over the center line.


Blend the line with the side of an angled modeling knife. Wipe the knife after each swipe.


Smooth the piped line using a Viva paper towel with light finger pressure.


For intricate smoothing where your finger won’t fit, over a Viva paper towel, use a ball tool with light pressure.


Continue by piping and repeating the blending and smoothing techniques on each line marked off on the cake.


Finish the cake with a pearl border using a round tip #4.


As seen in Cake Central Magazine Volume 1 Issue 3



Bobbi44 Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 2:40pm

How beautiful!! Thank you so much!!

chefandbaker Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 4:07pm


MsMona0116 Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 4:09pm

I always wanted to know how you did this technique. Thanks for sharing!

glorious455 Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 4:15pm

Oh i love this.. thanks for sharing Edna !

superstar Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 4:44pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial Edna, it is wonderful!

lemeezsweets Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 6:15pm

Once again you amaze! Thank you Edna for simplifying these techniques!

love 4 cakes Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 7:48pm

Wow, clever, looks good. Thanks for sharing

lyndim Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 9:05pm

How cool is this! Thanks!

NicciZ Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 11:47pm

Thanks so much. I'm in love with this technique and now I have the tools to do it. All I lack is practice, so excited!

NicciZ Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 11:47pm

Thanks so much. I'm in love with this technique and now I have the tools to do it. All I lack is practice, so excited!

basileneo Says... 30 Apr 2013 , 11:58pm

Lovely. Thank you. Please could we have the recipe to your nicely crusting icing?

wubis2002 Says... 1 May 2013 , 7:26am

That is so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to try it.

Homemadebytz Says... 1 May 2013 , 11:40am

I am totally trying this, thanks Edna!

mag09 Says... 1 May 2013 , 7:19pm

Thank for sharing

Apti Says... 2 May 2013 , 10:56am

Just the other day I asked if CC could provide a tutorial on this technique! Thank you SO much! I LOVE your work, Edna.

somchez Says... 3 May 2013 , 2:18pm

Thank you for sharing your butter cream decorating skills. I have been trying to sell butter cream technique in lagos nigeria.

cookie59 Says... 10 Jun 2013 , 5:26pm

That is so BEAUTIFUL. I am going to do that tomorrow.

ssthebest Says... 13 Feb 2015 , 2:28pm

So pretty! I can't wait to try it!

ssthebest Says... 13 Feb 2015 , 2:29pm

So pretty! I can't wait to try it! Thanks Edna!

Rosemay1 Says... 13 Feb 2015 , 5:16pm

Beautiful....I'm always looking for unique buttercream designs. This technique is easy yet elegant! A thousand thank you's for sharing:)

Pekidesserts Says... 9 Jul 2015 , 11:04pm

Thanks for sharing your talent!!  Will definitely try this on my next cake!! 

Sweet Loraine Says... 25 Aug 2015 , 12:19pm

I have been looking for YEARS for the Viva paper towels that are not already marked with a designed in them.  In my area they just do not carry them.  I have looked at every other brand around and everything has designed stamped into them.

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