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How to Make a Gold Filigree Fondant Frame Without Molds

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So you’ve been asked to make a cake. Heck yes, you’re thinkin’, that is in fact what I love to do. 😉 But then it comes down to making it and you've realized the mold you thought you had (you know the one you THOUGHT you bought?) isn't actually in your possession.  Or maybe you just don't want to spend extra money for a mold that you might use, I don’t know, maybe twice, ever?

Well, that's what happened to me when I was making my "Queen of Tarts" cake! (btw I have a very detailed tutorial of how to sculpt the face here)

No molds... coulda swore I had some, but, I didn't.

So it was up to me and my hands!



So, if you find yourself in my position, or decide you don't want to drop bags of cash on some one-time-use molds... don't worry, I got your back...

Oh-la-la gold rococo-styled filigree frame without any molds!

All it takes: your capable hands, some simple shapes, a Dresden tool and maybe a glass of wine (or a piece of cake, obviously) to help you get through it 😉

ball of fondant the size of a dimeFirstly, start with a ball of fondant the size of a dime


Now, mold it into a triangle by pinching with three fingers.


Taking the fat end of your Dresden tool, make an indentation in the center.


Make another on each side, creating three fanning off from the center bottom point.

frame-5Between the indentations, press down from the top to create a separation. frame-6Repeat again for the bottom. Place as shown.

frame-11Take another ball, and make a tear drop shape by tapering one end.frame-12Flatten it slightly with your thumb. Then, using the sharp side of tool, separate it into three different areas.frame-13Start with the sharp end on the table, and rock it forward creating a continuous look around the edge. This should create the look of three tier drops, yet still connected.

Now, create some lines within the teardrop shapes to help add more detail. (this will make it pop later when we add the gold).frame-15Now, place it on your fondant with a little bit of water or piping gel and repeat the process on the opposite side.frame-16Take another ball, and make a tear drop shape by tapering one end.frame-17Flatten it slightly on top and then again on the edge (as pictured).frame-18Create lines using the sharp end of the dresden tool.frame-19Like so.frame-20Flip it, and curl up the fat side towards you.frame-21Like so.frame-22Repeat for multiple areas of the frame, as needed.

frame-23Repeat the same steps as before….

See how it's starting to come together?!


frame-26However, this time cut out a sliver of the tear drop.

frame-27Curl one side one direction.frame-28And the other side the opposite, along with the sliver. Like so.frame-29Create tear drops.frame-30Add them straight to the cake with a little bit of water.frame-31Add more accents, such as smaller tear drops, stacked.frame-32Next, create detail with simple indentations through the center.frame-33frame-34frame-35Make some balls and place them throughout the cake as accents.


frame-36Mix gold highlighter with vodka, or everclear, until it's paintable. Practice on a scrap first before you add it to the frame, you want to make sure it looks like the right opacity!

What good is a gorgeous rococo frame without some gold in it, am I right?!

frame-37Using a flat paintbrush, begin to paint the frame. You don't need to get every nook and cranny, it actually increases the depth when some black is allowed to show through.frame-38And there is our no-mold, handmade, rococo-styled, filigree frame! Not as scary as it looks eh?[

Bada bing, bada boom, you guys! Check out how gorgeous that frame is and you didn’t even need to go to the store in a panic. Does that simplify your life a bit or what, right?! As always, if you give this tutorial a try, be sure to share pictures of your work!

 Published: 07/20/2017

Last modified on December 28th, 2022

meet the author


Avalon Yarnes is multi-award winning cake artist and educator. Her work has been featured on tv shows, in magazines, books and more. She has been named one of the top 10 Cake Artists in America by Cake Masters Magazine and Dessert Professional Magazine. She's always cooking up something innovative that she can share with her students. Learn with Avalon here inside Avalon Cakes Online School of Sugar Art, where her (and her friends) teach you how to make incredible art with of cakes, cookies and more!

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I'm Avalon -- and I'm not your typical cake decorator. I'm obsessed with fusing the world of ART and CAKE. Sugar is my canvas. If you're down to get messy and dive into a whole new level of cake, take my virtual hand, cause I've got so many secrets I want to show you! learn more>>

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