My Second Attempt At A Fondant Covered Cake - Help!!

Decorating By qwilson Updated 12 May 2009 , 3:04am by kakealicious

qwilson Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:19pm
post #1 of 19

Hi everyone!

This was my second attempt at covering a cake with fondant. It was a cake I made for someone for mother's day. My question is about the cracks and tears that keep happening where the fondant bends over the top of the cake. I tried rolling different thicknesses of fondant (1/16, 1/8, and 3/16 of an inch) and ended up with the same problem each time. The thickness of fondant in the picture is 3/16 of an inch. I also didn't use powdered sugar while kneading and rolling out the fondant. I used shortening instead thinking it would help to not dry out the fondant.

Can someone please tell me what I may be doing wrong so that I can do a better job with my next cake.

I couldn't attach the photos, but here's the link:


18 replies
-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:26pm
post #2 of 19

I don't know, Qwilly, your cake looks pretty stunning.
Not really sure what we're improving here.

What kind of fondant did you use?

Did you have the cake buttercream iced? How thick?

Did you trim the sharp upper edge of the cake first so it has a softer edge to conform to?

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:27pm
post #3 of 19

(Hope you don't mind my nickname for you--no offense--I mean I call people Munchkin too--take your pick)


sweetjan Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:37pm
post #4 of 19

Wow, where was the problem? It looked great in the pic I saw. And you're a beginner? icon_surprised.gif You're doing a wonderful job!

qwilson Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:37pm
post #5 of 19

Hey k8memphis,

I don't mind. I actually laughed when I saw it. Thank you for your comment. I posted another picture to try to show what I meant. I wish the cracks and tears were a bit clearer, but hopefully you can see what I mean.

I used Wilton fondant. And I thought I smoothed the upper edge of the cake well enough, but maybe not. I'll have to pay closer attention to that next time. Also, I had a pretty thin layer of BC under the fondant. I put a crumb coat on, and then another thin layer of BC.

qwilson Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:42pm
post #6 of 19

Thanks sweetjan!!

I posted another picture at the same link as above. I think it's the second picture. It's not too clear, but I think you can see the little cracks around the top edge.

My mom says I'm nit-picking, but I see the gorgeous cakes that so many people here make and I just want to get my cakes to look as professional as you guys.

KacieMeredith Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:50pm
post #7 of 19

Qwilly...thats cute...

Anyway...I am still very much a newbie and have not mastered making my own fondant yet and still use wilton. I dont sell cakes yet, I only make them for friends and family so they dont mind the wilton (I dont like the taste). But I had that same problem you have. My first cake in class turned out perfect, then my next cake almost made me cry with the cracking and tearing. Honestly, with wilton, I think it depends on the box. Sometimes I think the fondant has just sat on the shelf a little too long and just isn't at top quality. What I do now and it has helped alot, is I open the box at the store, feel the corners and touch the package. If it doesnt squish easily, I move on to another box. But I will be working on finally making my own fondant this summer so I hopefully wont have to worry about that anymore.

Hope this helps!

BabeyCakey Posted 10 May 2009 , 6:52pm
post #8 of 19

Your cake is beautiful! I'm not sure how Wilton fondant reacts to shortening, but I do know that shortening will actually cause tearing and cracking because it breaks down the fondant. I always make MFF, and rolling it out with PS is a must. Hope that helps!

blondeez Posted 10 May 2009 , 7:01pm
post #9 of 19

I dont see any cracks or tears in your fondant. The cake looks beautiful. Not sure were the problems are.

dutchy1971 Posted 10 May 2009 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 19

Your cake looks lovely, I don't see any cracks either.

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2009 , 7:18pm
post #11 of 19

Sounds like if you can switch brands you'll do better with it, QwilBuddy.

yamber82 Posted 10 May 2009 , 7:28pm
post #12 of 19

the wilton fondant was not to fault i don't believe. you might be rolling it too thin. i have ALWAYS heard to roll it atleast 1/4" thick or even 1/2" the thinner it is, the harder it is to keep it from cracking. also, if you mist cake isn't moist or damp the fondant won't adhere and will be more likely to slide or tear so try misting lightly with a spray bottle before applying fondant to make it stick in place and not pull.

queenie1958 Posted 10 May 2009 , 11:52pm
post #13 of 19

Didn't notice any cracks either. I think your fondant looks great!

qwilson Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:01am
post #14 of 19

Thanks everyone.

You all must think I'm crazy since no one saw the cracks. But thanks so much for the advice. I think I'll try making my own fondant this week. I'll also use PS instead of shortening when rolling it out.

Thanks again!!

Cakepro Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:14am
post #15 of 19

I think the fondant looks great for your second time doing it! Practice makes perfect! icon_smile.gif

May I offer you some constructive advice on your calla lilies? icon_smile.gif The center part of your lilies needs to be more carrot-shaped, with the bulb end at the base narrowing and tapering toward the top. Yours look really blunt at the end and don't taper enough. Also, the center part of the lily does not lay down on the petal. It stands upright in the center of the flower. icon_smile.gif

It is a really pretty cake, so you should be proud! icon_smile.gif

Nusonga Posted 11 May 2009 , 5:21am
post #16 of 19

I completely understand - the same thin happened to me - I did the grad caps and the next day it was cracked all over the place - I though it was becuase it was to thick...but if I make it to thin it tears - so I have no idea...was I did it I moistened my finger and rubbed the cracked areas, in other places I used the BC to cover up the cracks and even piping gel....arghhhh - I know the frustration - I thought I was alone....

sayhellojana Posted 11 May 2009 , 5:35am
post #17 of 19

I've never had luck rolling out with shortening, or cornstarch for that matter. I stick with PS. It think the cracking could be because the fondant wasnt kneeded enough, or because it was too thin. I stick with about 1/4'' on my cakes now. It's just what seems to work for me, but I'm no fondant expert. HTH

Loucinda Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:32am
post #18 of 19

The cake is beautiful!! I just wanted to post that I use MMF everytime I cover a cake, and I only use shortning on the mat. The secret to that is to just use a TINY bit of shortning! If you use too much with the MMF it will break it down big time. I also roll and then "lift" the fondant to make sure it isn't sticking - since the amount of shortning is so little. I have never had a problem with it cracking.

kakealicious Posted 12 May 2009 , 3:04am
post #19 of 19

I'm a newbie and always used Wilton fondant to do my cakes...just because it was already made and the nearest specialty store is 1 hour away. I've found that a lot of the Wilton products (especially the ready made stuff) sit on the shelves and gets old and dried out. I found that to be true with the fondant and with the gumpaste. I started returning them because they would be hard as a rock and would have little hard lumps when I rolled it out. So, I started making my own MMF and I will never go back!!! It is so easy and inexspensive. You have to try it. A bit messy but well worth it.
BTW...your cake looks beautiful...I can't believe it's your 2nd one. Keep on perfecting!

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