How To Cover A Cake With Fondant – With Video

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that a cake with a porcelain fondant finish is a thing of beauty. After you learn how to cover a cake with fondant you’ll be ready to create spectacular celebration cakes.

how to cover a cake with fondant

As I mentioned in my Rolled Fondant Recipe post, many folks hate the taste of fondant, but love the look.  Once you make your own and realize that it can actually taste good, you’ll be ready to cover your first cake with fondant.

Watch the video and practice a few times and you’ll get it. You’ll also find helpful tips and answers to frequently asked questions in this post.


What do you put on a cake before fondant?

A layer of buttercream creates a nice even surface for covering a cake with fondant. Buttercream has a neutral color that won’t show through the fondant.

Should I chill my cake before covering with fondant?

Yes, a chilled cake is firm and allows you to smooth the fondant finish without damaging the shape of the cake.

How far in advance can I put fondant on a cake?

The main determination of how far in advance to fondant a cake is the perishability of the cake and filling. Most cakes are only good at room temperature for 1-2 days and refrigerated for 3-4 days at the most. Let the cake and filling be your guide as to how far in advance to cover the cake with fondant.

Can you Refrigerate cake with fondant on it?

Yes, but you’ll need to cover the cake to prevent it from forming condensation in the moist environment of the refrigerator. Place the cake in a cake box or wrap the entire cake with plastic wrap. Unwrap the cake as soon as you remove it from the refrigerator to avoid condensation buildup inside the wrapping.

Can I leave a fondant cake uncovered overnight?

Yes, as long as the cake and filling are not perishable the cake can be left uncovered at room temperature.

Pastry Chef tips for covering a cake with rolled fondant:

  • The fondant will not hide imperfections in the cake. Start with a perfectly straight, perfectly iced cake with sharp corners on the top edge.
  • Knead the fondant until it’s smooth and supple before rolling. If the fondant is too stiff, you’ll get cracking and other imperfections.
  • Work slowly and methodically to smooth the fondant from top to bottom. Don’t try to rush it or force the fondant into place.
  • Sometimes a “bubble” will form on the surface of the fondant. Use a pin to poke a hole in the bubble, then gently smooth it out with your finger.
  • Use powdered sugar sparingly when rolling. Too much sugar will dry the surface of the fondant, causing “elephant skin” (wrinkly patches) on the cake.
  • If the fondant seems very dry, knead in just a few drops of water. If the fondant is too soft, knead in just a little powdered sugar.
  • Left over fondant should be double wrapped in plastic and stored in an air-tight container. Properly stored it will keep for months.
how to cover a cake with fondant

If you find this information helpful, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

how to make fondant
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How to Cover a cake with rolled fondant

 After you learn how to cover a cake with fondant you’ll be ready to create spectacular celebration cakes.
Prep Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour
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  • Ice your cake with buttercream and chill until firm. If the cake is on a cardboard cake circle trim the board to the size of the cake. Set the cake on a larger cake board.
  • Measure the cake with a tape measure from the bottom of one side of the cake over the top of the cake and down to the other bottom edge of the cake. You should be measuring the top and two vertical sides of the cake. Add 2"-3" to that measurement. This is the measurement for rolling the fondant.
  • Knead the fondant until its smooth and there is no cracking on the surface. Dust your work surface with powdered sugar. Roll the fondant to a circle according to the measurement of the cake.
    1 recipe Rolled Fondant, confectioner sugar
  • Set the rolling pin at the top of the fondant circle. Roll the fondant around the rolling pin and transfer it to the cake. Unroll the fondant over the cake. Use a fondant smoother or your flat hands to smooth the top of the cake. Continue smoothing the fondant from the top over the edge and down the sides of the cake.
  • Smooth the fondant all around to the bottom of the cake. Use a pizza cutter or sharp paring knife to trim the fondant around the bottom of the cake. The cake is now ready to decorate or transfer to a serving plate.

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  1. Hello Eileen
    I appreciate all your tips, it’s really helpful..
    Please how long can a wedding cake with butter cream frosting and home made fondant last without refrigerating it

    1. It depends on the type of buttercream. The fondant is not a problem and can stay at room temperature for quite some time (the surface will dry out). If you are using buttercream made with shortening then the cake can stay out for a couple of days, assuming there are no other perishable fillings. If you are using meringue buttercream then it will be safe for the better part of a day in a cool environment. What’s your timeframe? How far ahead do you plan to assemble the cake?

  2. 5 stars
    Hi dear, I really appreciate your tutorial and. You have really answered all my questions on fondant.
    Thanks dear and may God continue to bless you with more knowledge

  3. Hello Eileen,

    First of all, thank you for all the tips and recipes that you have posted. I have tried the vanilla buttermilk cake and was so happy with it.

    I have been baking for a while now for my family and friends but have never decorated a cake with fondant, I am just scared of how to store the cake afterward? Can I fill and top the cake with cream cheese frosting or whipped cream and then top it with this homemade fondant? Or what type of filling and frosting would you recommend using under the fondant, if the filling has to be refrigerated? Also, how the cake should be stored afterward? would it ‘melt’ in the refrigerator?

    1. You can use any type of frosting under fondant. If you fill a cake with a perishable filling you will need to refrigerate the cake, even if it is covered with fondant. If your refrigerator is very humid (as mine is) the fondant can form condensation that could mar the surface. What you need to do is wrap the entire cake with plastic wrap, no gaps. If you happen to have a cardboard cake box, that would work to keep the surface dry too. I used to wrap entire 3-4 tier wedding cakes and refrigerate them with no damage to the fondant finish.

  4. Hi Eileen,

    Which cake can we bake as the base to cover with the fondant?
    Do you have a reciepe for a 6inch Vanilla pound cake and a 6inch chocolate cake?

    1. I have a vanilla butter cake recipe and chocolate butter cake recipe. I have used both of these cake recipes under fondant and they do very well. The recipes are sized for 8″ cakes. 6″ cakes are about 60% the size of an 8″ cake. So you can divide the recipe in half for slightly shorter layers baked in the 6″ pan or do 2/3 of the recipe for slightly taller layers baked in the 6″ pan. Honestly, the easiest way is to bake in a 6″ pan and bake the left over batter as cupcakes.

    1. Hi Cora. Yes, you can lightly flavor the fondant. A little vanilla, lemon or almond extract would flavor the fondant without affecting the texture or color.

  5. will you post how to make this cake flower too
    I want to learn to make this cake on flowers please. : )
    from Korean

    1. Hi Lani. At this point I don’t plan to post cake decorating videos. Maybe in the future, but for now I’m focusing on the recipes.