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No Need to Knock on Wood with this Simple Tutorial

Giving fondant a wood-grain effect is so quick and easy, you’ll be finding a use for it on every cake you make. From trees and floorboards, to Harry Potter’s wand and the Angry Birds’ slingshot, it’s a versatile look you’ll love.

Angry Birds Cake
Photo via The Royal Bakery

This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to create a wood-grain look in your fondant.

You can use it in lengths for trees and branches, or roll it thinly for full wood coverage.

Brown Fondant

Step 1:

Gather together your shades of brown fondant. Five is ample, but three shades will work. These five shades have been created by adding varying amounts of Wilton White and Satin Ice Chocolate/Brown. The color you use most of will give you the overall shade of your wood. For pale shades, like pine and beech, use more light-colored fondant. For darker shades, like mahogany, use more dark fondant.

Making Wood-Grain Fondant

Step 2:

Press all your shades of fondant together, taking care not to put similar shades next to each other. This will create a more realistic wood-grain effect.

Wood-Grain Fondant

Step 3:

Roll all the fondant shades together into one long sausage.

Wood Grain Fondant Tutorial

Step 4:

Fold the sausage in half or into thirds. Take care to ensure that you don’t hide any one color inside the fold. Make sure that all colors are still visible somewhere on the outside. Roll again into one long sausage and continue to fold each time in half or thirds Repeat this step until each color of fondant starts to thin and is repeated many times along the length of the sausage.

Rolled Wood Grain Fondant

Step 5:

If you’d like to give your wood grain a more gnarled appearance, twist the sausage before rolling it, as shown.

Rolled Fondant

Step 6:

Fold the sausage again, keeping the twist intact.

Wood Grain Fondant

Step 7:

Eventually, after six or seven repetitions, the colors will have stretched and thinned to give you a very convincing wood-grain effect. The fondant can be used just as it is for anything that requires wood in “stick” form, even a wooden spoon!

Fondant Wooden Spoon

If you need a wood-grain effect to cover a large area, such as for floorboards, the sides of a wooden crate, or a violin veneer, the fondant can be rolled thinly.

Fondant Floorboard

For a floorboard effect, “planks” can be cut, switched around, and fitted back together.

Fondant Hardwood

Make indentations with a small piping tip at the corners to mimic the look of nail holes in the wood.

Wood Grain Texture Mat

There are a number of wood-grain texture mats available that will further enhance the look of your fondant. The green one is by FMM and includes interesting whorls in the grain. The smaller transparent mat is by Duff, and gives a plank and nail effect. The bottom mat is very large, and is actually for adding texture to chocolates. All three are available online. If you don’t have an impression mat, you can add easily add your own texture using a boning tool or toothpick.

Fondant Wood Grain
Photo via The Royal Bakery

This effect can also be used to create the striations found in sandstone and other rocks, giving you the perfect Grand Canyon backdrop for your next Disney Cars cake!

Want to learn more fun fondant techniques? Enroll in the Craftsy classes Basic Fondant Techniques with Elisa Strauss and Advanced Fondant Techniques with Marina Sousa.

Do you have a project coming up that would be enhanced by natural-looking wood-grain fondant?


Katherine S

Absolutely stunning! I was fascinated when I happened upon a swirl effect (I got tired of kneading fondant lol) but this is beautiful!! I don’t know what I’m going to make, but I can’t wait to try it out…thanks for sharing!


Hi Lesley thank youfor this tutorial ( i remember this from your previous posting on your fb page) , i used this method in one of my Angry birds cake.. If only i could show you…but anyhow many thanks! More power and keep writing for us 🙂


fantastic tip! thanks Lesley!


Wow. So simple and effective. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks you so much!

Chelle Langford

Well, I tried this tonight, and I have two observations: 1) It was much quicker and easier than I expected; but 2) mine ended up looking more like bacon than the wood planks I had in mind. But I love bacon, so, you know. 😀


Thank you for this awesome tutorial. I’m not a crafty person, have never played with polymer clay or fondant before….and my slingshot and logs for my son’s Angry Birds cake came out FABULOUS! They look amazing, much appreciate you sharing your technique 🙂


Thank you


Im hoping to use this plank effect on my son’s pirate ship themed cake – fingers crossed it turns out well! Thank you for the simple tutorial

Kaz Gipson

i am hoping to use this to make the work bench base for my nephews science lab themed b day cake i do need to ask tho will i need to mix anything with the fondant to make it more pliable or is straight room temp effective?

Sherry Holbrook

I just tried this because I have a cake with wood planks this weekend. It turned out PERFECT! I used a wood grain match and it looks identical to real wood. Thank you so much for posting this.


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