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How to make spotted icing bows

Polka dot icing bows are perfect for decorating all kinds of celebration cakes and they are surprisingly simple to make. You can buy fancy cutters to help you but in reality all you need is just three lengths of icing, a rolling pin and a cocktail stick.

spotty bow cupcake

To help stick the parts of the bow together (or any two sugarpastes for that matter) you can buy edible glue. However I use vodka or gin. The alcohol in vodka and gin dries quickly sticking the pieces together. Water will also work but this does not dry as fast and is more likely to mark the sugarpaste.

Spotted Icing Bows


  • Sugarpaste in two or more colours. One will be the main base colour and the other colours will be used for the dots
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp knife or pizza cutter
  • Cocktail stick
  • Small clean paintbrush
  • Small amount of water/vodka/gin for sticking the icing together
  • Small amount of icing sugar

Step-by-step instructions:

spotty sugarpaste equipment

Create base

Lightly dust the worktop surface with icing sugar to stop the sugarpaste sticking. Take your sugarpaste base colour and roll it out until it is about 5 millimetres thick.

spotty sugarpaste

Create polka dots

Take a small amount of your dot colour sugarpaste and roll it into a tiny ball. Press this ball into your rolled-out base colour. Continue to push the coloured balls into the sugarpaste base colour until you are happy with the pattern. It looks good if you vary the size of the dots. Once you are happy with the design, roll over the sugarpaste with the rolling pin to help the dots stick to the base.

spotty sugarpaste ribbons

Cut ribbons

Cut three long ribbons out of the sugarpaste that are the same width and roughly the same length. You can use a knife for this; I usually use a pizza cutter.


Fold ribbon

Bend one of the sugarpaste lengths in half to make a 45 degree angle. This will form the loose ends of your bow.

spotty icing loop

Make a bow

Now take a second length of sugarpaste. Fold one end so it loops to the middle. Do the same with the other end. These are the loops of the bow. Secure the centre of the bow by pressing down with a cocktail stick in the middle.

finished spotty sugarpaste bow

Attach the ends

Stick the looped piece of sugarpaste to the folded sugarpaste ribbon. Take the third length of spotted sugarpaste and wrap it around the middle of the bow. This forms the knot. You will not need the whole of this length of sugarpaste to create it. Secure it in place with a small amount of vodka, gin or water.

Allow to dry

Place the bow on the cake and allow it to dry. If the bow’s loose ends are going to lie flat on the cake, they can be made in advance and dried on a piece of baking parchment before fixing the bow in place.

More cake recipes

Blackberry Loaf
Tasty Banana Bread
Delicious Chocolate Fudge Cakes

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