Need Major Help With Applying Fondant

Decorating By jjandhope Updated 9 Apr 2009 , 7:39pm by jjandhope

jjandhope Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 8:56pm
post #1 of 31

The problem is that it ruffles or pleats around the edges. I have never seen anyone put it on in person, but have watchd videos. How do I get it smooth all the way down the sides without it bunching at the bottom? In the past, I have had to resort to making a band that goes around the cake and a flat peice for the top because I just cant get it right. Please HELP!!!!

I am making a paisley cake for my sisters BD tomorrow. I could do it in BC but she REALLY loves to EAT fondant! SO I really want to make it special for her.

Thanks is advance...I know the CC group will come through for me!

30 replies
amy2197 Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:08pm
post #2 of 31

I always stretch it a little on the bottom then use a sharp knife to trim it up. HTH, if not I'm giving you a bump.

Lalana Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:10pm
post #3 of 31

I am by no means a fondant expert, but I do know how frustrating it can be! To avoid the wrinkles and pleats elevate the cake and try to smooth it from top to bottom. It will stretch it but you don't want to force it or it will rip. Just enough to elongate it for trimming to avoid the wrinkles. does that make sense? So as you are smoothing it downwards you will trim the area you are working on and then move to the next section. HTH!
I almost forgot, youtube is WONDERFUL for searching how to videos so you can see it in action.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:14pm
post #4 of 31

Oh this was tricky for me too, I finally mastered it. Make sure the fondant is thick enough. Elevate the cake you are putting the fondant on, so the excess can hang over and you can smooth it easier. It takes a lot of practice, in my experience.

Teekakes Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:17pm
post #5 of 31

Elevate your cake up off of the surface by using a bowl, coffee can, etc., that is a bit smaller in diameter than the cake. Place fondant over cake and begin smoothing down the sides.........going straight down to the bottom, all around the sides of the cake. Trim excess fondant at the bottom of the cake board. **your cake should be on a board that is not showing around the edges of the cake.** Slightly tuck fondant under. Place on permanent cake board.

Hope this makes sense to you. Just keep smoothing those sides straight down and you will work the folds out.

LadyBugMom Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:19pm
post #6 of 31

I'm not sure on the humidity of where your at, depending on that, I use steam. Meaning fondant tends to dry rather quick as I'm working with it, so I put on our humidifier and Pots of water on the stove for aboout a half an hour to hour before. Works beautifully. Hope that helps. Their are a few tricks I'v learn, with Square I start at the top smoth, then all corners, then work the middle. Round just smooth from top to bottom. I'm no expert either, these are just ideas I've learned.

summernoelle Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:20pm
post #7 of 31

For me, it was really practice. I learned to kid of pull it away from the cake around the base, like a tablecloth, and then slowly smooth it down the sides.
The thing that got me was that everyone always said you should work QUICKLY. So I would rush, rush, rush, and get wrinkles. Once I learned to slow myself a bit, and really feel where the fondant was going with my hands, I learned to do it.

Good luck to you!

JaimeAnn Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:31pm
post #8 of 31

I agree with the methods of some of the others here..

I roll it out to 1/4 inch place it over the cake, elevate the cake and let it sit for a little bit. That lets the fondant stretch then I smooth from the top and down the sides, cut off the excess around the bottom and viola! done!


MacsMom Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:37pm
post #9 of 31

I do it just like SummerNoelle. Slow down, and gently pull it away from the cake as you smooth the fondant downward. I keep my eyes on the whole cake so I can stop where I am to straighten out any areas that look like are starting to fold up.

So I may be working on one side, then I'll stop to work on the other side, and just keep working on the areas that look like they are about to fold. I find that draping it out after you lay it on the cake (pulling the sides away) and then gently pressing in from the bottom edge helps, too. But you have to watch out for air getting trapped when you do that.

If you pay attention to Ace of Cakes or some of the cake challenges on FN, you'll see that that is how they all do it. Work by pulling out the sides as they smooth downward.

It shouldn't be too thin, but also not too thick. You'll figure it out.

superstar Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 11:51pm
post #10 of 31

I also lift the fondant gently at the bottom & keep smoothing it down with my palm, you don't have to rush especially if you use Jennifer Dontz's fondant, her video is well worth buying it will help you so much. Also don't forget to cut off most of the fondant that is hanging down & give the final trim after smoothing.

Cakeonista Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 12:22am
post #11 of 31

I was having this exact problem and was so fustrated by it, the bottom of my caked always had pleats, now i make sure i roll my fondant much larger than my cake and do not roll too thin, then i put my cake on top of a crisco can and drape the fondant over it. i then smooth the top and pull away from the cake in sections as I am smoothing, either with my hands or fondant smoother, then i trim the excess leaving a little extra and after all my fondant is smooth I trim to exact measurement. HTH

jjandhope Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 7:09am
post #12 of 31

thanks for all your help! Yes, we are in a VERY dry climate here in West Texas, so the tip about the humidity may help. What I am understanding from what yall are saying is to let is stretch down instead of just pushing it down onto the cake? This would happen when you drape and pull like I read several times? I used to hurry and mash it all down. I did notice in the past that elevating it seemed to be better than not also.

Ok, well , I will keep all these tips in mind. If anyone thinks of anything else I need to know please feel free to add. Friday is the day I will be making the cake. Thanks so much everyone!

MacsMom Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 7:25am
post #13 of 31

Smoothest crumbcoat you can apply. It's especially important around the top edges of the cakes as that is where bumps are most obvious if your BC layer isn't even around that edge...

lostincake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 7:27am
post #14 of 31

Haha...this is a perfect thread for me.

I've been having the same trouble too but with cakes that are more than 3" tall. I tend to end up with a single line down the entire height of the cake.

This is after giving up trying to get it perfectly smooth and bunching all the excess to one section instead and just using scissors to cut away the excess. Then of course I have to hide the line so most of my designs so far, have had to incorporate some type of cover-up lol.

Maybe these tips will work for me as well. Although I think that my problems also may be attributed to overly dry fondant since sometimes, it doesn't even seem to want to conform and stretch to the shape of the cake the way you all are describing.

But it's true...practice, practice, practice.

Marianna46 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 7:59am
post #15 of 31

I can't believe I came across this thread just at this minute! I just finished covering my first cake in fondant and had exactly this problem. The tips given here sound like they ought to solve my problem (especially the one about practicing, LOL). Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion.

Margieluvstobake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 8:18am
post #16 of 31

I'm right there with you too, Marianna. I just love the cake that Macsmom has as her avatar. I made it this past weekend for my sister's birthday, but I had a terrible problem with the fondant at the bottom corners. I ended up having to put a row of fondant balls around the bottom and some of the white fondant circles to hide the wrinkles. I am going to try the elevation trick to see if I can get it to work for me. Thanks everyone that posted these helpful ideas.

jjandhope Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 1:25pm
post #17 of 31

Its good to know that this is not just my problmes. I also thought it was interseting to see how many of us have just learned "cover up" those edges with decorations! I guess at least its good to know we have that option! I'm so excited that maybe with these hints I can only do decals, bands, etc when I choose to! icon_smile.gif

superstar Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 9:45pm
post #18 of 31

A very wise person on CC, sorry I can't remember who it was, said "A good cake decorator knows how to cover up mistakes" .

pkinkema Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:03pm
post #19 of 31

What???? Someone actually LIKES the TASTE of fondant?? icon_biggrin.gif

doughdough Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:12pm
post #20 of 31
Originally Posted by summernoelle

The thing that got me was that everyone always said you should work QUICKLY. So I would rush, rush, rush, and get wrinkles. Once I learned to slow myself a bit, and really feel where the fondant was going with my hands, I learned to do it.

I agree wholeheartedly! Fondant does dry and get stiff, but not nearly as fast as some people think. You should have plenty of time to slow down, relax, and get your cake smoothed out the way you want it.

I also agree with everyone about elevating the cake and letting the fondant drape down. Let gravity be your friend!

Marianna46 Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 7:24am
post #21 of 31

Well, I did my third fondant-covered cake yesterday, and I finally got it to come out with no wrinkles around the bottom! Mostly, by following many of the suggestions offered here. Thanks, everybody.

superstar Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 8:33pm
post #22 of 31

Good for you Marianna, now where is the picture?

Marianna46 Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 9:31pm
post #23 of 31

It will be forthcoming as soon as I can find the cable I need for downloading pictures from the camera to my computer. Actually, I've documented all 5 or 6 things I've done in the last week. They all look like beginner cakes (some even not that good), but it's all a learning experience. I promise to post as soon as I can, and thanks for asking, superstar!

superstar Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 8:47pm
post #24 of 31

Looking forward to seeing everything you have done, cake decorating is always a learning experience & when we stop learning will be the day we die, there is always something new & I love seeing how people progress, cake decorating is my passion.

Juds2323 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 9:08pm
post #25 of 31
rockysmommy Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 9:15pm
post #26 of 31
Originally Posted by Juds2323

ateco also has a great little video.



Great video...THANKS! thumbs_up.gif

juleskaye518 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 9:25pm
post #27 of 31

This is so helpful. I've always tried to rush!! This weekend my sister and I are doing a gumball machine so I am ready to wrestle some fondant. Now to just get it red!

MissRobin Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 3:07pm
post #28 of 31

I agree, slow down and take a deep breath. It really doesn't dry that fast!! I used to elevate my cakes, but I don't anymore. I ran into tearing fondant around the top edge etc. I just place my cake on a board and dust with cornstarch around the cake and on the counter, and then apply the fondant. When you first apply the fondant, Smoot the top and work your way down. As you go down it is naturally going to start pleating because of it size in comparison to the cake size. IF you will just gently pull up and out as you go around you will have no problems. It looks like there is no way you can get it smooth, but if you just take your time and work slowly it will work. Good Luck!!

Marianna46 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 11:56pm
post #29 of 31

I've had no luck opening the video that Juds2323 recommended (in a little while, I'll just type it into my browser window and maybe that will help). At any rate, I do elevate my cakes, but MissRobin, you were right on the mark with your suggestion to pull the fondant gently up and out when placing it on the sides of the cake. That's how I finally got it to work. Ain't it great having so many sisters (and more than a few brothers) to help you through life? Thanks to everyone.

Edited once for a typo.

Marianna46 Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 12:00am
post #30 of 31

Oh, yeah, and go slowly. That's key. It's totally true that it won't dry out that fast.

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