Sunday 7 June 2015

How to Make a Louis Vuitton handbag cake

I’ve seen pictures of amazing cakes which look just like designer handbags and always fancied having a go at making one. I was considering signing up for a one-day course but they cost £100 and I couldn’t really justify it, particularly because I reckon I could work out how to do the cake myself if I put my mind to it. So I was really pleased when I started a new cake decorating evening course at South Thames College and the first cake we made was a Louis Vuitton handbag cake!
For quick reference here's a list of what you need, then read on for how to make it:
Square madeira cake, or 4x madeira loaf cakes from the supermarket like these
About 1kg dark brown sugarpaste such as Renshaw 250gr Chocolate Flavour Regalice / Sugarpaste Cake Covering
about 200g caramel sugarpaste such as Renshaw Professional Regalice - Teddy Bear Brown 250g
about 200g buttercream
Louis Vuitton cutters/embossers, currently £9.99 on Amazon or available from good sugarcraft stores: Louis Vuitton Sugarcraft Cutters set of 5
zip embosser - I don't know where our tutor got hers from but you can buy a silicon mould on Amazon: Zip / Zipper Cake Decoration Silicone Mould for Cake Decorating Icing
edible gold paint - I used this one Rainbow Dust Metallic Paint Light Gold
paintbrush - I've actually got this five-piece set which is really handy Wilton Five-Piece Decorating Brush Set
sharp knife to carve cake and cut sugarpaste
scissors to cut wire
cake board
about 300g white sugarpaste to cover the cake board
brown ribbon and glue to stick around the edge of the cake board
The course is quite mixed and aimed at all levels (I actually transferred onto it at the last minute as the course I had been signed up for was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of interest). It also doesn’t assume any ability to bake, as it is purely about cake decorating – so we were told that we could bake a madeira cake if we wanted, or we could buy four of these from Asda or Sainsburys. I usually buy Sainsbury's though I just realised from looking at this photo that the ones the tutor provided were from Asda.

However, when the tutor Bridgette also asked us to keep the cakes in the freezer and take them out just before the class as they would be easier to carve – and some of the group immediately pointed out we were coming straight from work, where there was no freezer, Bridgette took pity on us and purchased all the cakes herself, froze them and then defrosted them just in time for the class.

She also provided buttercream, which we used to stick all four cakes together in a block, and then carved away to create a handbag shape – roughly a triangle with a flat section on the top, and the bottom much wider. The best thing to do is study a picture of the bag (or the real thing, if you are lucky enough to have one) and copy the shape. We then added a thin layer of buttercream all around the outside of the cake.

We had been asked to bring brown-coloured/ chocolate flavour sugarpaste; you can colour your own but as I had to buy some other supplies as well, and time was of the essence in the class, I decided to buy some. Everyone else bought Renshaw while I went for a different brand I’d never heard of (and can’t even remember the name of now) and mine was more of a biscuit brown whereas the others were a darker chocolate brown, which I think would have been better for this bag. Even so I’m quite pleased with how it came out! You will also need some sugarpaste to make the handles and trim; Bridgette coloured some white fondant for us and I’m not 100% sure of the colour she used but I would say caramel or teddy bear brown (which you can buy from Sugarflair and other brands) would work.
We rolled out the fondant and cut pieces that were roughly the same size as each side; we didn’t cover the whole cake in one but instead did the front, back and sides as four separate sections. You can get away with this because you will hide the joins later.

Once the fondant was on and smoothed over, we used these cutters – this is the secret to a perfect-looking cake. Did you know you can actually buy cutters shaped like the Louis Vuitton logo? I also have the Chanel logo at home – you can do the designs by hand but it would be quite difficult and take a lot longer.

We used the cutters as embossers, pressing them gently into the sugarpaste. I followed a picture so I would get the different logos in the right order; you need something to follow to make sure you are doing them in a straight line, and I would also recommend a ruler to make sure they are spaced evenly apart- I didn’t have one unfortunately so I did the best I could.


Take a very fine paintbrush – sable ones are best – and using edible gold paint, go over the outline of the logos you have embossed. You can get powders which you mix with a little vodka or lemon juice (vodka is best and you don’t end up tasting it, though there are alternatives for people who can’t consume alcohol or children; water is too runny). However you can also buy edible paints that are already liquid and I find these easier to use; if you mix your own and have to keep making more, you may get different consistencies.


One useful tip for making the handles is to take a ball of sugarpaste and weigh it out, so you have exactly the same for both handles. I think we used 60g for each but it depends on the size of the bag – even though we were using the same madeira cake, some people in the group carved a lot more off and had smaller cakes.
Roll both pieces out into sausage shapes of the same length. Take a piece of florists wire and carefully push the wire through the handle, leaving about 2 inches of wire sticking out at each end. Bend the handles to make a curve and use the wires at each end to insert it into the cake. One of my handles fell over but I thought that looked more realistic.

Using the same caramel-coloured fondant, roll out a long sausage shape that will run along the joins of the cake. We used a cutter I hadn’t seen before to mark out equal strips; you can also use a ribbon cutter or a pizza wheel and a ruler. Using either edible glue or a little water, stick the strips along the parts of the cake where your brown fondant pieces join.

We also used a zip embosser to make a zip pattern on another piece of caramel sugarpaste, which we stuck along the top, and then cut out some larger shapes to make the leather tags that go next to the handles on the actual bag.


Cover a square cake board in white fondant and ideally stick a brown ribbon around the edge. We positioned the cake towards the back of the board as we were supposed to be leaving room to write a message but didn’t have time to do it in the class. That actually worked out quite well for me as I had been asked to give a cake as a raffle prize at work and so didn’t really want to have to write ‘happy birthday’ on it.

I was really pleased with the finished cake – the logos aren’t spaced quite right or in completely straight lines as I didn’t have a ruler, but I think the cake looks pretty good. I will be doing another one along these lines soon!



  1. Amazing!
    This kind of cake decorating has always terrified me - thanks for explaining it so well - I might just have to have a go myself!

  2. Hi! Really nice cake. Ive been looking for that strip cutter you show in onw of the pics. Where can I get one of those. Is it sold on line?

    1. hi, I've had a look online and found these for you - the Craft Company has several of different sizes (are you in the UK?)


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