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.
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.
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.
Yes, a chilled cake is firm and allows you to smooth the fondant finish without damaging the shape of the 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.
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.
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.
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How to Cover a cake with rolled fondant
- 1 recipe Rolled Fondant
- confectioner sugar
- 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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