Is This Why They Peel Off Fondant?

Decorating By indydebi Updated 21 Jan 2009 , 2:50pm by julzs71

indydebi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:43am
post #1 of 32

will post pics tomorrow of my 50th Birthday Cake that I made for my fraternity catering today (it was the dessert at dinner). I made the top two tiers in fondant and the bottom tier in BC.

When serving the cake, cutting the fondant tiers was a PITA! Fondant was stiff, didnt' cut smooth and was just "a mess". Once I gave up and just peeled the fondant out of the way, the cake was easier to cut.

So my question .... after reading many many threads in which a cake maker is upset because the persons cutting the cake peeled off the fondant first, before serving it, and not giving the guests a chance to taste it .... is this done because fondant is hard to cut? A caterer friend of mine said she HATED to see a fondant cake when she had to cut the cake ... she absolutely HATES to cut a fondant cake.

Or is there a trick to it that I missed somewhere?

Fondant users ...... help out this fondant newbie to understand what works and why. Thanks!!

31 replies
dance2874 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:52am
post #2 of 32

I find it hard to cut unless I am using a serrated knife. Maybe that was it?

sugarshack Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:55am
post #3 of 32

i use a super sharp tipped non serrated knife and it cuts clean. if a butter knife or cake server or anything non sharp like that is used it will be a mess.

indydebi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:56am
post #4 of 32

I was a using a serrated knife, but I will also admit it's a cheap one. (I used a bride's expensive knife on one of my buttercream cakes and noticed a big difference in the cutting, even with a BC cake!). Maybe if I use a higher quality knife, that would make a difference?

sugarshack Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:58am
post #5 of 32

just has to be super sharp, IMO. like isaid, i think non serrated does less damage. JMO

rebew10 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:58am
post #6 of 32

Not that I am an expert on fondant.......but I do the same as Sharon. I have never had a problem when I use a good sharp knife.

beth2027 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:00am
post #7 of 32

Anytime I deal with fondant (very, very, very rarely, as I have never been asked to do a fondant cake), I use dental floss. Regular ol' dental floss will cut right through. And it's not messy. Just use a cake server to serve.

Classycakes Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:00am
post #8 of 32

Hi Indy,

I always use an electric knife when I cut my cakes, whether it's fondant or buttercream. I find it works great and gives me pieces of cake with a lovely finished edge. I even suggest to my brides that they check with their venue because some of the reception venues just hack the cake with a butter knife or steak knife and make a mess of the cake.

Now I wouldn't recommend that they use it for their wedding pictures! icon_lol.gif But behind the scenes in the kitchen, it works like a charm!

I also find it so helpful when I have to provide a precut kitchen cake. It's faster, easier and gives me beautiful cake portions.

weirkd Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:00am
post #9 of 32

I think its a lot like pie. The first piece is a mess but after that its pretty easy to slice. Also helps that its not too cold. Otherwise it makes a huge mess. I actually have a pretty good cake cutter but have had problems with cutting it as well. I just dont like the taste of it and eat around it anyway. But I also hate most buttercreams! I know, Im a finicky cake decorator! Often called a Food Snob! I stick my nose up in the air with pride!

sugarshack Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:01am
post #10 of 32

here is one cut with my 6 inch boning knife
LL

Wildrose6633 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:01am
post #11 of 32

Not only does the knife need to be sharp it needs to be cleaned off every once in a while if it becomes sticy and full of icing or cake it will not cut clean.

grammynan Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:03am
post #12 of 32

I've made one fondant cake. The mother of the bride called me at 9:00 that Monday morning to tell me that when sliced, the cake literally crumbled and fell apart as they cut it. I never made another one!!

maisyone2 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:07am
post #13 of 32

In my opinion, I believe the thickness of the fondant affects on how easy it will be to cut. When I cover a cake with fondant, I make sure it's not thicker than 1/8 inch, thinner if possible. I firmly believe that the fondant should never overpower the buttercream it covers.

I also believe that thick fondant, no matter how good it tastes, makes for an undesirable chewy experience.

HTH
Gayle
SE MI

Wendoger Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:16am
post #14 of 32

I've never had any problems cutting a fondant covered cake. I use a non-serrated knife...no problems hereicon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:37am
post #15 of 32

Sugarshack, what a beautiful cut. Thanks for sharing that.

Thanks, everyone! Looks like I"m going knife shopping for a good quality, sharp knife. thumbs_up.gif Appreciate everyone's input and help!

I had the top tier left over, so I'll pick up a new knife this weekend and practice cutting on the family. Uh ..... I mean practice cutting the cake FOR the family (I wouldn't REALLY cut up my family! At least not on a non-PMS weekend! icon_rolleyes.gif )

CakesByJen2 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:03am
post #16 of 32

Yes, fondant can be a real pain to cut! It's going to depend on the conditions, such as the room temp, humidity, type and thickness of fondant, type of cake underneath, and the knife. If you have a very firm type of cake, and the conditions are cool and dry, and a very sharp knife, it will be easier to cut, especially the pieces around the outer edge that have fondant down the side as well as on top.

But if it's a hot, humid day and your cake is very soft, moist, and delicate, then it can be very difficult to cut, even with a sharp knife. The inner pieces are the worst, that just have fondant on the top because with no fondant down the side to support the cake, it tends to smoosh with the pressure. I have cut a few of my fondant cakes, and even with using a very sharp knife, and cleaning it off frequently, it was a pain, and the pieces close to the center of the tier did not look very pretty.

From what I've seen and heard, many caterers don't want to fool with it and do just peel it off. That's why I have a hard time justifying the additional expense for something that's most likely going into the trash.

sparklepopz Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:05am
post #17 of 32

I achieve the prettiest slices with a flexible boning knife. They are ultra sharp and don't create a lot of drag through the cake like a larger chef's knife can do.

FromScratch Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 5:42am
post #18 of 32

the cake underneath the fondant can make a difference too.. A soft cake isn't going to give enough resistance to the pressure and will buckle and make things harder. I cut fondant cakes with no problems with a nice thin, sharp knife. I wish I took a picture when I cut my sister's cake today.. perfect slices..

Rocketgirl899 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 8:38am
post #19 of 32

i agree with a thin boning knife!

4kids Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 12:47pm
post #20 of 32

I ended up having to cut the fondant cake at my sister's wedding. All we had were the knife and server she had bought for herself and the groom to use. The fondant was so thick that it completely pulled off the side of the cake with the first cut. I have to agree that how thick the fondant, along with how sturdy and sharp the knife make all the difference in the world!

jennabell441 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:14pm
post #21 of 32

indydebi...are you a fondant convert? icon_lol.gif I made a hatbox cake for my mom's 60th birthday party and didn't have an issue cutting the cake. I used a cheap cake server that is serated on one edge and clean on the other. Everyone loved how my cake was presented. I like to make my fondant thin though. It's too chewy if it is thick. Between 1/4 and 1/8 thick is my target.

gateauxdamour Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:15pm
post #22 of 32

Sharp, flexible thin non-serrated knife. In other words a boning or filleting knife!

I love a nice, sharp serrated bread knife for buttercream cakes, but if there is fondant on a cake, that will result in a recipe for a mess!

peg818 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:16pm
post #23 of 32

I have to agree that the knife will and can make the difference, but also, if you have that fondant on a nice light airy cake, the cake will not be able to take the pressure needed when slicing. Also, many people don't let the knife do the work when they slice, they just press down instead of using a nice sawing motion to cut.

JenniferMI Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:54pm
post #24 of 32

I sgree that you need a sharp non serrated knife. I cut a fondant cake at a wedding one time, the knife had ultra tiny teeth. They just got clogged up and sugar sticks to sugar, making the cake hard to cut. I think some fondants perform differently then others, too. Keep the knife clean. This is the advice I give all my brides and also I talk to the people cutting the cake. It's so important.... IMO, choc. fondant doesn't crust as much as regular fondant, making it easy to cut, too.

Jen icon_smile.gif

Monkess Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:04pm
post #25 of 32

One of the many reasons I avoid fondant like the plague...but sometimes we all get stuck with one I guess.

indydebi Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 1:46am
post #26 of 32
indydebi Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 4:43am
post #27 of 32

It's the knife! It's definitely the knife! party.gif

I just cut my daughter and me a piece of my birthday cake (had the top tier left). I pulled a non-serrated, heavier duty knife out of my kitchen drawer and it sliced beautifully!!! Sugarshack, it looks JUST like your pic!

Thanks everyone for the help! The cheap knives are going right into the trash and I'm picking up a new collection for my wedding cuttings!

BTW, in case anyone's interested, I baked, iced and decorated this cake on Wednesday and it still tastes Day One fresh!!!

sugarshack Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 4:46am
post #28 of 32

WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I love cake victory!

dandelion56602 Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 5:21am
post #29 of 32

I absolutely LOVE my Wusthof knives. They are good & thin but super sharp. I've had my carving knife (I think that's it) for over 5 yrs & it's still super sharp & I've sharpened it once. I've even had a set of their paring knives for about 7 yrs, not sharpened and still out slice every paring knife I have. I ended up finding a great deal at TJ Maxx ($25) on my bigger wusthof, you just have to keep an eye out. Something else that helps me cut fondant-- especially the center pieces--is if I kind of cut through the fondant first before cutting the slice of cake. I hope that makes sense.

Chippi Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 5:42am
post #30 of 32

Hi Debi.......so far (x myfingers) I haven't had any trouble cutting my fondant cakes. I will tell you a secret I do though (that I have read on here of course) , I run the knife under hot water. It slices through with easeeeee. You can always have a hot glass of water and towel to wipe your knife after cutting a few slices. icon_smile.gif HTH

Chippi

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