carmenid Posted 4 May 2009 , 3:17pm
post #1 of

I decorate cakes as a hobby for family and close friends. I am not a pro and definitely have lots to learn but all and all my work is pretty decent.

I made Sweet 16 topsy turvy last week for someone I know and my fondant work was a total disaster. I ripped off the fondant from each layer 3 times and re applied and it was still looking dry, wrinkly and teared in some areas. I put plenty of shortening on and worked as fast as I could so after a while I didn't even know what to do. To top it off, when I was carrying it to my car it got a little wet from the rain and the fondant looked like if it was melting. Plus I had black ink coming down everywhere (there were a lot of black accents there). Well, my friend and her daughter absolutly loved the cake, they didn't even notice all the imperfection but I did! And I was embarrased about it!

Well, I am making my sisters wedding cake in three weeks and I am beyond scared. I want my fondant to be smooth and perfect and after the experience with the topsy turvy I dont feel that I can do it. I have been contemplating the idea of using buttercream instead of fondant(she said to do whatever I wanted)but I haven't done that many cakes in buttercream before.

As I said I used plenty of shortening but the fondant look dry all over. It ripped around the edges as soon as I rolled out over the cake I didn't even have time to work it to cut the excess off or anything. I have had the same problems in the past but never this bad. I have noticed that I don't have any fondant problems when I do small/ short cakes but when I attempt to decorate something 4 inches or higher I can't get it done. Is there a trick to cover tall cakes in fondant? How thin should the fondant be?

24 replies
nonnyscakes Posted 4 May 2009 , 4:48pm
post #2 of

I haven't done much in the way of fondant, but I do know that if you leave it "rolled out" for too long before putting it on the cake it will cause splitting, cracking and tearing. It also happens when you roll your fondant too thin. I'm not sure of the exact thickness or what everyone else calls proper. I think mine is usually just over a 1/16" to 1/8" thick. When I first started covering the larger cakes, I practiced with a pot or smooth bottom bowl. Since there is no buttercream on the pot or bowl, you can take it off and try again (less waste). HTH Good luck on the wedding cake.

cricket0616 Posted 4 May 2009 , 4:58pm
post #3 of

I looked at your photos and you do beautiful work. I think it was just a bad day. I have covered cakes with fondant and it was fine and then last week, I was working on a 10 inch cake and it kicked my butt. Don't give up.

Only thought is are you rolling the fondant back onto your rolling pin to then unroll it on to your cake. I find the times I try to pick it up by hand without use something, it would tear.

pouchet82 Posted 4 May 2009 , 4:59pm
post #4 of

What type of fondant did you use? I think fondant should be about 1/4 inch thick. Also make sure that your BC underneath isn't too thick

tiggy2 Posted 4 May 2009 , 5:07pm
post #5 of

I roll my fondant onto a piece of vinyl from the fabric store then flip the whole thing onto the cake so there is less handling of the fondant.

artscallion Posted 4 May 2009 , 5:14pm
post #6 of

Shortening can only do so much. If you notice your fondant is dry and cracking to the point that a little shortening won't help, you need liquid. Shortening only coats sugar so that the fondant cracks less. Liquid (like water or milk) absorbs into sugar, making it more pliable. Drizzle a scant tsp of water over your batch and knead it in. If that doesn't get it quite where you want it in terms of smoothness, pliability and workability, add more water, a drop at a time. If you go too far, dust it very lightly with cornstarch.

carmenid Posted 4 May 2009 , 5:39pm
post #7 of

Hi ladies and thanks for your comments.

I use the Wilton rolled fondant, Satin Ice is very hard for me to work for whatever reason.

I never heard of using liquid on fondant, that is difinitely a good suggestion...

JenniferMI Posted 4 May 2009 , 9:30pm
post #8 of

Carmen...

You need a good fondant. All fondants are not alike. I only use a semi-homemade white chocolate fondant. No cracks..... longer work time...very tasty. Water is fondant's enemy, so you don't want to get them wet in any way. If it's raining and it gets on the cake, it can make little 'pits" in the fondant.

I am happy to try and help you in whatever way I can. E-mail me if you have any questions.

Jen icon_smile.gif

destinyrn Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:05pm
post #9 of

Hang in there Carmen. I understand your frustration with fondant. Last week I was fondantly challenged that I couldn't even roll it out in a circle. It was just a mess. Practicing over a pot or bowl sounds like a good idea.

Texas_Rose Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:14pm

Don't worry. It's possible to have a bad fondant day icon_biggrin.gif I think sometimes it's caused by humidity in the air. But just because you have one bad fondant day doesn't mean they're all going to be like that. If you look in my photos, the yellow cake with Dora on top was a very bad fondant day for me...my air conditioning went out, it was 90 degrees in my house. I had to roll the fondant a couple of times and it kept ripping. That's why the flowers were on the sides that way, I had planned to put them around the bottom of the top tier instead but I had to cover up the tears in the fondant.

If you're worried about the wedding cake, plan a design that will allow for easy coverups if you run into problems.

jennym0904 Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:17pm

you can do it! you just had a bad day- you're a great decorator!

tiggy2 Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:44pm

Wilton is the worst tasting fondant there is. Try another commercial brand, Jennifermi's semi homeade chocolate fondant or michele foster's recipe from this site. If it's for a wedding cake you want it to taste good as well as look good. Jennifermi is so helpful and willing to answer questions not to mention she has wonderful DVDs with great recipes. I'm in the process of making my first batch of pearl clay from her DVD.

MessiET Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:50pm

I would recomment Michele Foster's fondant recipe. It has a very nice texture and it is easy to work with.

bostonterrierlady Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:55pm

I don't work with fondant but I rolled out some marsmallow fondant to cover a styrofoam ball for the base for a gumpaste flower arrangement. I did not like it. It did not look good. I am a buttercream person. I would not enjoy working with fondant . The people I make cakes for, my firends and family would never like to chew icing. I think it is a difficult medium.

tiggy2 Posted 4 May 2009 , 10:59pm

I wouldn't like marshmellow fondant either. But chocolate fondant is very good. I've never had anyone peel it off (chocopan).

Sneezie Posted 4 May 2009 , 11:07pm

I used to have problems with my Satin Ice. After a lot of reading through the forums I realized that I was rolling my fondant out to thin. I bought a rolling pin with the thickness guides and have not had any problems since.
If it makes you feel any better sometimes the decoraters on Food Network challenge have issues with their fondant!

carmenid Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:16am

Is Jennifermi's semi homeade chocolate fondant recipe anywhere in this site??

Thanks ladies, I appreciate your comments.

Rylan Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenid

Is Jennifermi's semi homeade chocolate fondant recipe anywhere in this site??

Thanks ladies, I appreciate your comments.




Nope. You have to get her dvd to get her recipe.

Rylan Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:32am

Had the same problems with my first. I think practice makes it perfect. If you keep getting tears, you must be good in hiding it. You can also use different techniques in covering the cake with fondant just like what I did.

Good luck

beenzee Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:35am

A little glycerine works better than shortening. I use Satin Ice and roll it out on a silicon mat, then flip it on to the cake. Longer work time that way.

Texas_Rose Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenzee

A little glycerine works better than shortening. I use and roll it out on a silicon mat, then flip it on to the cake. Longer work time that way.




What a great idea, I'll have to try the glycerine for rolling.

If anyone needs a big bottle of it, you can get it at Sun Harvest for about $8...theirs is USP and vegetarian too so you know it's food safe.

Texas_Rose Posted 5 May 2009 , 12:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonterrierlady

The people I make cakes for, my firends and family would never like to chew icing. I think it is a difficult medium.




That's how my mom felt about fondant when I started using it a year ago. Now she's enough of a fondant convert that she'll take home scraps to nibble on. All I had to do to get her hooked was put butter rum flavoring in it icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

But then again, if I lived somewhere that wasn't so hot and humid, I would use buttercream more (and practice more with it icon_rolleyes.gif ) It was just nice to find a frosting that wouldn't melt off the side of the cakes on the way out to the car.

xstitcher Posted 5 May 2009 , 2:33am

Michele Foster's recipe is very good. I really like it with the white chocolate added to it. One of these day's I plan on getting Jennifer's dvd so I can try out her recipe too..... icon_smile.gif

Bunsen Posted 5 May 2009 , 2:51am

Nothing worse than a bad fondant day to dent your confidence. Put it down to a bad batch or dodgy weather - you will be fine for the wedding, your cakes are gorgeous!

Have you got a design in mind yet? How about making lots of small gumpaste flowers that can be doted over the cake at random (ie covering the imperfections) and having some wide ribbon on hand in case the base of your cakes aren't perfect (this is where it usually looks worse on mine!) You can guarantee if you are prepared your fondant will turn out flawlessly!

carmenid Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen

Nothing worse than a bad fondant day to dent your confidence. Put it down to a bad batch or dodgy weather - you will be fine for the wedding, your cakes are gorgeous!

Have you got a design in mind yet? How about making lots of small gumpaste flowers that can be doted over the cake at random (ie covering the imperfections) and having some wide ribbon on hand in case the base of your cakes aren't perfect (this is where it usually looks worse on mine!) You can guarantee if you are prepared your fondant will turn out flawlessly!




Well, something that my sister did say was that she wanted a square cake with fresh gerbera daisies...so the little cut out flowers are not going to help. I have been thinking about doing something like this:

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1307741

it's so beautiful...but in buttercream. I think I can do it?! I just ordered some edible pearls to accent the scroll work. Hope that works out for me...any suggestions or tips on this type of cake?

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