Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cake Decorating: How do I Cover a Cake with Fondant?

As you may know, I have wanted to be a baker for some time now. I have taken the Wilton classes and even the commercial baking class at the local community college. I strive to go to Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island once I finish my degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University to get a degree in Baking & Pastry (I’ve already been accepted!). Recently, one of my yoga instructors had told me I should really try to start selling my cakes or get the word passed around (we all know that word of mouth advertising can be very beneficial). I took her advice and have had my first cake sale (and many since then!)! I must say that I was very pleased with the cake and how it turned out. So, since I was so pleased, I thought I would give you a few hints as to how to cover a cake with fondant (since I thought I did that pretty successfully this time).
This part can be the most stressful when decorating a cake because you never quite know how gravity will work and if the fondant will tear. Usually, if there is a tear or a problem area, that is where the back is or where the decorations go—it is funny how this is what is used to figure out the front and back of a cake!

You can find a video tutorial for covering cakes with fondant here:
You can also read the Wilton tutorial:

The Wilton way is slightly different than the demonstration in the video, so I will go into detail about that:
Note: Make sure that the frosting atop your cake is not fully crusted so that the fondant has something to stick to.

  1. Roll out fondant on “Fondant Fun” Wilton mat. Cover mat with vegetable shortening (like Crisco) to ensure that fondant does not stick. Make sure you cover more than necessary because I find that I always roll out more than I anticipate (and it is better to roll out a few inches more to give yourself some wiggle room). 
  2. Next, once the fondant is rolled to about a ¼ inch thickness, place your cake on a pedestal of sorts, I usually buy the big jar of Crisco, so this works nicely to set my 8-inch round cake on. 
  3. Place the fondant over your cake—this is the scary part! Gently place it, don’t just plop it down.
  4. Make sure that all sides of the cake will be covered by fondant. If not, then gently move the fondant around until it fits perfectly.
  5. As in the video, use a fondant smoother to start smoothing out the sides GENTLY! (With placing the cake on a pedestal of sorts, it is easier for the excess fondant to fall rather than having it get bunched up on the sides or lie flat on a table.
  6. Start cutting excess fondant off the side of the cake. In Wilton we use a tapered spatula rather than a pizza cutter.  
  7. Continue to smooth the fondant with the fondant smoother to ensure a nice even consistency atop the cake.
  8. Tada! You have covered your first round cake! 

Since it is a bit more tricky to cover a square cake with fondant, you can view a tutorial here:

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