Cake Decorating Blog

The Number One Topper Tutorial

Every birthday and anniversary milestone deserves a big number on top to remind the celebrant of how far they’ve come.

Fondant Number Topper
Photo via The Royal Bakery

This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make a fondant number topper.

Number Cookie Cutters

I use number cookie cutters I bought from a local kitchen store. They are about 3" in height. Any size cutters can be used.

Fondant Number

Step 1:

Roll out your fondant around 1/8” thick. I use Wilton brand, which is nice and firm, so you may need to add Tylose Powder/CMC to your fondant. Cut out one number. Flip the fondant over, and cut a second number.

Fondant Numbers

Step 2:

Flip the second number right-side up, so you now have a mirror image of the original.

Making Fondant Numbers

Step 3:

Moisten the back of your first number with a little water. Pipe a line of royal icing down the center. *See Note.

Step 4:

Lay a bamboo skewer on top of the royal icing. It is not absolutely crucial to use royal icing, but it does add some extra stability.

Fondant Number

Step 5:

Moisten the reverse of the second number and lay that on top of the first, pressing down gently to seal the edges of the two numbers together. Make sure the edges line up all the way around. It is important to keep the number facedown at this point. This ensures the bulge from the skewer is only ever visible from the back of the number and not from the front.

Fondant Extruder

You could leave the number to dry facedown and use it as it is. However, I prefer to finish it off with a contrasting edge using a fondant extruder and some other extra decorations. I wait for the number to dry, however, so that it is easier to handle. Make sure you dry the number facedown so that the bulge from the skewer doesn’t show at the front.

Extruding Fondant

Step 6:

Use a fondant extruder with a flat die to extrude a length of fondant in either a contrasting or toning color. If you don’t have a fondant extruder, you can still complete this step by cutting a long strip of fondant. Measure the depth of your number at the edge. The width of the strip you extrude or cut should closely match this measurement.

Fondant Number

Step 7:

Lightly moisten the edges of the number with a little bit of water.

Painting Fondant

Step 8:

Starting at one side of the skewer, wrap the length of fondant around the number, using a flat paint brush to gently ease it into the corners and curves. Cut the excess off at the other side of the skewer.

Fondant Number Topper

If you like, you can further decorate your number to match the cake’s theme.

Embossing Mat

Embossing mats allow you to add interesting texture to your fondant before you cut out your numbers. Remember to flip the fondant before cutting your second number.

Fondant Number
Note: The shape of some numbers call for the use of two skewers to make them stable when inserted into the cake. The number 0, for example, will need one skewer on either side of the central hole. Remember not to place the skewers too far out to the side, or they will be visible when you place the number on the cake. They can be disguised with flowers or other decorations to suit the theme.

The number 7 is probably the hardest number to secure. In this case, I would bend heavy gauge florists’ wire to the shape of the number and secure it in the same way. Do not insert the wire directly into the cake. Wrap the visible wire with some floral tape, then drop it into a stirrer straw that has been pushed into the cake. Give instructions for the number topper not to be eaten.



I love that technique to wrap the number!! Gonna give that one a try!!!!

I’ve used mbossing plates too!! Amazing that scrapbooking supplies aren’t just for crafts, they’re also for cake decorating!! I’ve also used the embossing plates for cupcake toppers!! I made Cowgirl cupcakes using the Paisley plate. I also have Tangle cupcakes using other embossing plates! 😀

I’ve used the Martha Stewart Alphabet molds and butterfly’s and they work awesome!!!


What a neat tutorial. I wouldn’t have thought of cutting two numbers and wrapping the sides. Thanks! 🙂


You’re welcome! I think it’s just a fun way of adding a second colour and disguising the join!


What brand fondant extruder do you use? I would like to get one as well but not sure which to get. Thanks


The one I use is by Walnut Hollow. You can find it in the clay aisle of most hobby stores.


Thanks for this post Lesley. I was just reading your tutorial on how to create the number in your castle tutorial and this post with pictures came in really handy!


You’re welcome, Claudia! Definitely easier to work out it out with photos!


Fantastic tutorial! I will probably use this method on a cake next weekend. Thanks Lesley ♥

Christi Wilson

How long does it take for the fondant to dry so it can be picked up and put on the cake? Also, how many days in advance can I make them?

Christi Wilson

How long does it take for the fondant to dry so it can be picked up and put on the cake? Also, how many days in advance can I make them?


Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing


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Lourenço Neto

Gostei da sua apresentação, muito perfeito seu trabalho.

kitwa James

This is very helpful, thank you.


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