Cake Central › Tutorials › How To Create Faux Fondant (The Paper Smoothing Towel Method / Viva)

How To Create Faux Fondant (The Paper Smoothing Towel Method / Viva)


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This is an easy and quick technique to get your butter cream smooth and creates a "faux fondant" effect on your buttercream iced cake.

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STEP 1 Equipment list for faux fondant technique · 1 Batch Crusting Buttercream · Viva brand paper towel (no design) · 12" angled statula, bench scraper or equivalent · pop bottle tool outlined in black to show (see step #2) · turntable or lazy susan (not shown) · fondant smoother

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STEP 2 Pop bottle tool This is the 'trick' tothis look. Cut an empty plastic 2 liter pop bottle with a scissors in the shape drawn on the side in the picture. The length of the tool should not be longer than the height of your tier at the point where the plastic curves towards the neck of the bottle.

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STEP 3 Contoured or cut edge cake tier on turntable Using a contour pan or cut the edge of your tiers with a knife or scissors. I always crumb coat this tier and allow to crust well. (You can put in freezer for 5-8 minutes). This picture is of an old dummy I've used many time, it's made out of 2 layers of 2" polystyrene house insulation. This dummy is covered with clear contact paper to make it easier to remove the icing when I want to do a different design.

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STEP 4 Ice the cake I "slather" on icing to the top and sides of the cake. Make sure there is plenty of icing on the cake to start with. Most will be taken back off in the next 3 steps.

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STEP 5 Level the top Level the top with long angel spatula so it is even. Dont' worry if extra icing is hanging over the edge of the cake.

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STEP 6 Smoothing the sides Holding the bench scraper in one hand, hold at right angle to the edge of the cake with the edge of scraper resting on cake plate or cardboard base. Turn the turntableor lazy susan with other hand as you hold scraper against the side. Remove icing from scraper in bowl and repeat the process. After experimenting you will figure out where to position the scraper to get the thickness of icing you want on your cake.

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STEP 7 Contouring the top edges Using that "expensive" pop bottle tool, hold it in your hand as shown. You can change the shape of the contour by how you hold the tool in your hand.

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Turn turntable again as your use the pop bottle tool to scrape and shape the top edge of your cake. Remove excess frosting from tool and repeat process all around top edge.

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STEP 8 Toweling the sides At this point, I allow my frosting to crust over slightly before I smooth it with a paper towel. Crusting buttercream icing Recipe . Crusting may take from 1-15 minutes depending upon your icing and the humidity in the air. As soon as the icing doesn't stick to the paper towel, you can proceed. Hold the Viva towel along the side and smooth up and down gently with your fingers or fondant smoother. I remove my rings from my right hand when I do this so I don't get indents.

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STEP 9 Toweling contour Stretch the paper towel gently over the edge of the cake from the side to the top. Use fingers to smooth out the coutour edge of the cake. Do not allow paper towel to pleat or fold. Move paper towel as needed to smooth all along contour edge.

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STEP 10 Ready to decorate Here is your faux fondant cake ready for decorations of your choice. You can use impression mats, buttercream ruffles, lace motifs, lace points, your imagination is your limit. Have fun.


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By: Sandy Swart (KS)

Comments (32)

seriously? This is amazing! I'm still not comfortable with fondant, but LOVE this idea!
This looks AMAZING, but I don't quite understand how to use the pop bottle tool. Can anyone clarify this for me?
Very cool! A lot of people I make cakes for love the look of fondant, but hate the taste. I can't wait to try this!
megc, check step 7 it shows how I hold the pop bottle tool to help "skim" off the icing and leave you that rounded top edge.
Esto es lo que se llama tecnica de espatulado, es muy buena y el clima no le afecta. Con mucha practica, es lo mas parecido a la pasta laminada y con menos trabajo.
I love this! Thank you so much! I have a lot of customers who like the look of fondant, but don't like the extra cost added to their cake =) I think this is gonna make my life so much easier!
Thanks for posting with pictures.
I am a very beginner cake decorator! How far in advance can you make a cake using this method and does it need to be refridgerated?
why do you need to use a "crusting buttercream" can I use the wilton recipe for buttercream? it also crusts but I am not sure if it crusts more or less than the "crusting" one. Thanks!
thank you for posting this!
Karukaru, I am pretty sure that wiltons buttercream in the same thing. There are buttercreams that do not crust very well, but wiltons method does.
if i use all margarine instead of shortening will my butter cream still crust
You are some smart lady! Thank you for sharing this with us all.
My buttercream does not crust easily. How long do you think I need to leave it in the fridge? Or perhaps the freezer is better?
I have been using this method to smooth cakes for 20 years. Once you get used to it, you can even make crisp corners on square cakes. I also use textured paper towels - which creates a unique design in the icing. The most important thing is to let the cake sit for 10 - 15 min. before you try to smooth it. I always get alot of compiments and questions about the "texture".
ambysaslytherin - I have never put a cake with the butter cream frosting in the refrigerator or freezer. I also do not use water in the recipe unless I want it to get crusty - I like it softer. I use extra tablesppon of shortning if it is too stiff. Be prepared to use alot of papertowels. If the icing sticks at all to the papertowel - toss it and start with a new sheet. Good luck!
wendy63-I've used this medthod a few times but I found that once the cake is complete if it is moved/transported it seems to show lots of cracks........ Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for any advice, I have a four tier wedding cake to do next weekend and it will be butter cream smoothed so I'm very neverous about this happening. Thanks again!
does it have to be a viva papertowel? If so, why? Thanks. :)
viva papertowel does not have a quilted pattern so it keeps the icing smooth.
Does anyone know where to get Viva towel in Canada? So far I use waxed paper which helps me to smooth the icing but is not perfect. Anyone else use waxed paper?
Cake Central › Tutorials › How To Create Faux Fondant (The Paper Smoothing Towel Method / Viva)