How to Make a Purse Cake

Three Parts:Creating the purse cake baseAssembling the purse cakeDecorating the cake

The purse cake is a popular design for a cake to give to someone who loves all things fashion. The cake can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, but it needs to be based on the basic cake shape first, which is explained here. When it comes to decorating, be guided by your own ideas of what the cake recipient would appreciate.


  • 2 round cakes (use your own preferred cake recipe)
  • Sugar paste, fondant or royal icing for decorating the cake (colors of choice)

Part 1
Creating the purse cake base

  1. 1
    Make two round cakes using 8"/20cm round cake pans. Use a cake with a strong texture, not a sponge or other flimsier style; the cake needs to be able to stand up in layers and handle plenty of frosting and fondant. Vanilla or chocolate flavors are the easiest to make but you can vary as required. (For example, try a basic butter cake or a chocolate cake.)
    • You can vary the cake size to suit; the suggested measurement is intended to guide you to a standard size cake. Adjust all other measurements to suit if you decide on a different size.
  2. 2
    Allow the cakes to cool down before sculpting into the purse shape. Warm cake breaks when sculpted.
  3. 3
    Make a cake board for the base. This base should measure 3" x 8" or 7.5cm x 20cm. You will now use this as a template for cutting the cake, as well as serving as the base shortly.
    • You can cut the template out of an existing cake board, use foam core board, or similar material. Whatever you choose, it must be substantial and safe for food.
  4. 4
    Place the cake board "template" in the middle of the circle of the first baked cake. Use a long serrated knife to cut the cake in the same shape as the template (basically a rectangle). Gently pull away the semi-circle edges left after cutting and set each piece aside.
  5. 5
    Repeat with the second cake. You will be left with two rectangles and four semi-circles.

Part 2
Assembling the purse cake

  1. 1
    Assemble the purse cake. Use the buttercream frosting to hold all layers together. Form the purse shape as follows.
  2. 2
    Attach the first rectangle to the cake base you made earlier. Use a few dabs of buttercream frosting to attach the cake to the cake base.
  3. 3
    Place a thick (generous) layer of buttercream frosting on the top of this cake layer. Attach the second cake rectangle to this layer.
  4. 4
    Spread another thick layer of buttercream frosting on this next layer.
  5. 5
    For the final layer, arrange two of the half circles on the top. Face the cut side down on the buttercream, with the circle portions facing upward.
    • You'll only need two of the semi-circle pieces for this; the other two can either be eaten or turned into something else.
  6. 6
    Sculpt the cake. Use a smaller knife to carve the top off the cake. Carve a concave shape (it might help to imagine a skateboard ramp). Cut slowly and keep it neat.
    • Trim off excess sides and neaten the overall shape as needed.
    • The finished cake should all align down each side and fit together perfectly.
  7. 7
    Seal the cake. You now have a basic purse shape ready for decorating. Crumb coat the whole cake by spreading a thin layer of buttercream frosting over the whole cake. This seals in the crumbs so that they don't interfere with the decorating process.

Part 3
Decorating the cake

  1. 1
    Design the decoration. At this point, you are free to design the colors, style and patterns of the cake however you please. You might want to base it on an existing real purse design or simply make one up using favorite colors or motifs of the person for whom the cake is being made.
    • As part of the design, remember to include the strap or handle for the purse.
    • Use Pinterest or an image search online to get inspiration for purse decorations.
  2. 2
    Roll out the fondant or sugar paste that you'll cover the whole cake with. Choose a background color you want the bag to have (white is easiest to paint on but it's entirely up to you). Roll out to about 1/4 inch/1.2cm thickness.
  3. 3
    Add the fondant or sugar paste layer to the cake. It is easiest to unroll it from a rolling pin in stages across the cake. Smooth out gently and pop any air holes with a pin. Remove excess with a small knife.
  4. 4
    Begin decorating. Follow the design you've planned. Use food coloring suitable for fondant or sugar paste to create patterns, design features, etc.
    • The purse flap portion of the back can be made by rolling a new layer of fondant or sugar paste in a different color into a circle shape that is about 2 inches/5cm smaller than the original cake shape. Gently place over the top of the cake, allowing the circle sides to drape over the front and back of the bag.
    • The handle can be edible or decorative and inedible. Either shape a fondant or sugar paste handle that adheres to the cake or use wired ribbon and attach to the cake.
    • Add decorative elements such as stripes, polka dots, flowers, logos, frills, etc. These elements can be done in fondant or sugar paste or simply painted on with food coloring.
  5. 5
    Place the cake onto a final presentation cake board or large platter. To prevent it from sliding off the board, use a little bit of royal icing or simple icing paste to work like glue against the cake board. Then place on a larger board or platter for display.

Things You'll Need

  • Cake board or foam core board
  • Exacto knife for cutting the board
  • Long serrated knife
  • Small sharp carving or kitchen knife
  • Bowl for the buttercream frosting
  • Piping tools (if relevant)

Sources and Citations

  • Adapted from: justouttatheoven.blogspot/2011/06/purse-cake-tutorial.html

Article Info

Categories: Pictures | Cakes