Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How To: Work with Fondant

A few weeks ago, I promised my friend I would make a cake for her birthday. I decided to go all out this one and decorate the cake with orange, yellow, and purple polka dots and stripes made out of fondant. I know fondant can be a little intimidating, but it's like play-doh for adults. Below are a few hints and tips I have learned in experimenting with fondant. I should note I did not make my fondant from scratch. I used pre-made, pre-colored fondant (I'm lazy).


Things You Need:
rolling pin
sharp thin edged knife (x-acto or fondant knife will work)
small glass of water
small paint brush
small spatula (optional)
sandwich baggies

Tips BEFORE you start:
1. Cake must be completely cooled. If fondant becomes too warm it can melt and fall apart. It is essential the cake be completely cooled before applying the icing and fondant.
2. Work in a cool room on a cool surface.
3. Work on a non-stick surface with non-stick utensils. I personally gave my cutting board a thin layer of flour before I started working.
4. Fondant tends to be a little stiff. Knead it for a few minutes to warm it up and make it easier to work with.
5. Fondant can dry out if left out for too long. Store extra fondant in the baggies when not using.

How to cover a cake:
For this, I made an orange tequila cake with cool cream cheese whipped icing (it tastes exactly like an orange cremesicle). I covered one 6 inch layer and one 8 inch layer with pre-made white fondant.

1. After the cake has completely cooled, place cake on a level surface.

2. If the top of the cake is uneven, cut just enough off of the top to make it straight and level (I typically flip my cake over so I will not get little bits of cake in the frosting when I cover it).

3. Frost both cakes with desired frosting. Make sure there is no excess frosting and that the tops and the sides a smooth and level.

4. Knead fondant until soft and easily workable.

5. Using the rolling pin, roll out fondant until is large enough to cover the cake. The fondant should be about 1/4 inch thick. Any thicker and it tends to develop small cracks once placed on the cake.

6. Partially roll the fondant on to the rolling pin and gently sit on the cake.

7. Smooth out the top of the cake, then work down the sides of the cake smoothing out any wrinkles.

8. Cut off any excess fondant around the bottom of the cake.

9. One the top of the bottom layer, add a dab of icing to hold the top layer in place.
10. Place top layer on top of the icing and center.

For the decorations I did orange, yellow, and purple polka dots on the top tier and a stripes on the bottom tier.

1. Roll out the fondant to about 1/4 inch thick.

2. Using fondant cut-outs or cookie cutters or whatever you want to get the desired shape.

3. Pull back excess fondant. Use small spatula to gently lift the cut outs off the surface.

4. Brush the back of the cut out with water which will allow it to stick to the other fondant. Continue with desired patterns.

5. Stuff face!!

Additional sources: Food Network, Wilton

Might also enjoy:
Strawberry Cake
Orange Tequila Cake
How To: Melt Chocolate


  1. The best trick I have found for working with fondant is to roll it out on a plastic trash bag (clean of course!) it doesn't stick, can be big if you need a large area to cover and no need for flour :)

    -Jen SB

  2. Very cute cake! I haven't worked with fondant yet, but I'm anticipating requests now that I've offered to start decorating cakes in my town. How do you clean off the flour once you've cut out the shapes?

    1. There are several things you can do. You can use a food "paint brush" to remove the excess. This method is not perfect though. If you do no mind your fondant having a glossy finish, you can brush it off with a wet brush. I never have worried about the flour too much because I live in Florida and the humidity takes care of it. :D Other more advanced techniques would be for darker colors, use a light colored fondant and then paint it using food coloring or airbrushing. Hope this helps! Good luck!