Fondant Is So Difficult

Decorating By e2_erin Updated 13 May 2009 , 2:28pm by ennaej

e2_erin Posted 11 May 2009 , 4:40am
post #1 of 27

I dont know what Im doing wrong but I cant get fondant to work. It keeps tearing and Im not even covering a very big cake.

How thick should it be rolled out to for covering a cake? I made my own using Toba's recipe that was recommended here. It was not easy to make it kept sticking to everything and I think I threw half of it away trying to get it off my fingers and the rolling mat.

I did refrigerate it and let it sit for 24 hrs like the recipe suggests. I let it warm back to room temp before rolling and I used powdered sugar to roll it out with. What am I doing wrong?

26 replies
Melnick Posted 11 May 2009 , 4:56am
post #2 of 27

Try coating your benchtop and rolling pin with shortening. And try using cornstarch rather than powdered sugar. I was told by a cake decorator that using powder sugar at that point actually makes it really sticky.

e2_erin Posted 11 May 2009 , 5:43am
post #3 of 27

thank you I will try that

Melnick Posted 11 May 2009 , 7:51am
post #4 of 27

Also, I think it's better to roll it a bit thicker than thinner. That's what I have to do to get it to work for me! I find it all really hard too!

FlourPots Posted 11 May 2009 , 10:37am
post #5 of 27

You can also roll it out, then leave it alone (uncovered) to dry, for up to 20 should be able to pick it up without tearing after that.

clovely Posted 11 May 2009 , 10:55am
post #6 of 27

I feel your pain and have posted a couple desperate frustrated posts on just this. I've tried it all - powdered sugar, cornstarch, shortening. I guess I just need practice. Not sure my nerves can take too much practice, though.

Flourpots, does that really work? My problem isn't tearing as much as sticking to the counter or mat or anything (and everything) I've tried rolling it out on! I'll give it a shot, though.

sweetjan Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:17am
post #7 of 27

clocely, go with a light cornstarch dusting of rolling pin and mat....sounds like that's your problem.....and remember to keep rotating the fondant as you roll it out....roll, pick it up and rotate it 1/4 turn, put it back down; roll, pick it up and rotate 1/4 turn, put it back down....and so on until you've got the size you want. That also makes a big difference! hth

sweetjan Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:21am
post #8 of 27

sorry about the typo, clovely....I wrote your name with a typo, and didn't see it until I hit 'submit'....

FlourPots Posted 11 May 2009 , 12:38pm
post #9 of 27 totally worked for me when I had a cake to cover and the damn fondant would not tore terribly, and the ONLY thing that worked was rolling it out and walking away...once it dried out, I was able to cover successfully.

I never use PS or cornstarch for sticking, I always use shortening.

( can click the edit button at the corner of your post, if you ever need to alter something you've written)

Lisaa1996 Posted 11 May 2009 , 12:53pm
post #10 of 27

My way my be strange but it always works and I never seem to have a problem with fondant sticking to the counter. I use a homemade MMF and then, after leaving in fridge for 24 hrs. of so, heat it a little in the micro to soften it. Then I coat the counter with crisco and then sprinkle Powdered Sugar over the top of that. I also coat the rolling pin in crisco lightly. I have to make sure my hands have enough crisco on them as well.
I also learned that if mine tears, it is too thin! I have to roll it fairly thinner than 1/8 inch but sometimes even closer to 1/4 inch! Keep trying, you'll find what works for you icon_smile.gif !

ennaej Posted 11 May 2009 , 1:33pm
post #11 of 27

I have heard you can roll it out on a piece of vinyl. Haven't tried it yet though, has anyone?[/i]

underthesun Posted 11 May 2009 , 4:53pm
post #12 of 27

I totally agree with clovely! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I just don't think I can take the frustration! I'll be honest, I threw away about 50% of the fondant I made. Never knowing whether it will work or not, I just decided at that cost, I'll purchase Satin Ice (might even try Usters - depending on cost). It NEVER sticks, as long as I use a light sift of cornstarch. I'm having so much more fun now that I made the decision. I envy those that say it works everytime!!! But I'll settle for Satin Ice. Maybe when I'm better at all this, and it doesn't take me so long to decorate, I'll try again.

raquel1 Posted 11 May 2009 , 5:53pm
post #13 of 27
Originally Posted by ennaej

I have heard you can roll it out on a piece of vinyl. Haven't tried it yet though, has anyone?[/i]

Using a piece of vinyl works great! I bought a yard at Walmart and just cut it in half so I can cover my flower making area (you can even keep pics or instructions under the vinyl as you roll and work)and fondant rolling area. I do use the Wilton wheel mat for cakes under 10"and I just pick up the fondant with mat and all, but for larger ones I just put a piece on vinyl that I've cut into a large circle over the Wilton mat, roll it and just pick it up with the vinyl to put over my cake. I use Michele Foster's fondant recipe and it works beautiful, I have to be patient and just keep my hands covered in crisco, I use a non stick spray on the kneading attachment on my KA and it helps. I also warm it a few seconds in the microwave for easier rolling, don't roll too thin and I level my cakes to perfection and just crumb coat them so no BC bumps under it, just smoooth. HTH. I use fondant a lot, I love it so let me know if I can help you more...

beachcakes Posted 11 May 2009 , 6:00pm
post #14 of 27

Never tried Toba's but I switched from MMF to Satin Ice a few years ago. When making a birthday cake for my son yesterday, I realized i didn't have enough fondant so i made MMF. What a nightmare! It took all the powdered sugar and then some - must've been really humid yesterday - and was still sticking to my mat. After 4 attempts, i finally had to use alot of crisco and it worked. Took another 4 attempts to cover the board! grrr...

jimandmollie Posted 11 May 2009 , 6:03pm
post #15 of 27

WalMart sells a pink quilter's cutting mat that is used for cutting fabric into strips with a rotary cutter. If you buy that and flip it over and use the back to roll your fondant out you may have better luck. The back of this thing is smooth as glass and I have never had any problems with sticking. I do use a bit of cornstarch. Another good thing about this mat is that it is flexible so you can pick it up and flip it onto the top of your cake or you can slide the fondant off. It is also extremely easy for clean up. You just make a funnel with it and slide everything in the trash and wash it off.

I know this is a crazy item to use for cake making but I was a quilter first and then found that I love cakes more! lol icon_smile.gif Good luck and keep at it. It takes practice. I am right there with ya!

chassidyg Posted 11 May 2009 , 6:09pm
post #16 of 27

I was told by a lady at a local craft store, to lather up in crisco, put a dab of crisco on the fondant itself, and the counter before I start working with it, worked like a charm, my first time really using it, & I had no issues! The crisco also kept the coloring from dyeing my hands different colors!

pouchet82 Posted 11 May 2009 , 6:10pm
post #17 of 27

I make my own fondant using the recipe from Collette Peter's book. I used to have a MISERABLE time rolling out my fondant, it would stick to the counted no matter how much PS I put on, I even tried rolling it out on wax paper, but would never work quite well, would tear when I lifted it. I would roll, flip, roll, stick, start over, roll, flip, tear you get the idea! This time I was determined not to have the same fight with the fondant, so I greased my entire island counter with crisco, slathered in onto the rolling pin, rolled once, flipped, rolled again, flipped and so on until the fondant was a little less than 1/4" thick. I was able to lift the whole peice with no tearing. It worked wonderfully this time, and nothing else has ever worked for me!

-Tubbs Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:14pm
post #18 of 27

For those using Crisco, what do you do about the shiny look of the fondant? I roll with cornstarch because I love the smooth matte look, but I'd like to know if anyone had a great trick to get that same look after rolling with shortening.

To OP, definitely roll quite thick. I always had trouble until I read to roll about 1/4" thick - what a difference!

sweetkozie Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:34pm
post #19 of 27

I've always used cornstarch when rolling out my fondant. But I have to use quite a bit and end up having to pratically wash my cake when I've got it covered. Does usuing criso make it easier to cover without having to clean it off the fondant?

Neelas_wife Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:41pm
post #20 of 27

I have been using Crisco and yes it does give some shine to the cake....we like it that way though.....Also just like everyone in the thread - I roll it to about 1/4" thick

tiggy2 Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:45pm
post #21 of 27

If you roll it out on a piece of vinyl you can lift the whole thing up and flip it onto your cake then peel off the vinyl. Less handling the fondant and less likely to tear. Satin Ice is much easier to work with then MMF. I made MMF once and will never do it again.

bourbs Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:17am
post #22 of 27

I used Peggy Weaver's MM fondant recipe for the first time I ever made fondant at all (last week) lol and used lots of cornstarch and never had any kind of problem at all.


FlourPots Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:26am
post #23 of 27

I find that the Crisco gets absorbed, there's not really a shine.

I tried cornstarch once, but didn't like it because it stayed on the fondant...I thought I had brushed it all off, but in the photos there was a noticable white stain that wasn't visible in person.

dmhart Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:40am
post #24 of 27

I use crisco as well. On my hands, the fondant, and my mat. I have a blue vinyl mat, I rub a small amount of crisco on it. I rotate my fondant as I roll it. I never use cornstarch or p sugar. I do nuke (microwave) my fondant just a second to get it softened a bit. That seems to help as well.

sweetkozie Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:47am
post #25 of 27

I'm going to have to try usuing crisco next time so i don't have the cornstarch mess. Thanks everyone for all the info

e2_erin Posted 13 May 2009 , 1:41am
post #26 of 27

thank you all so much for your help. i will give it another try.

I didnt even think about rotating it while rolling it out but that is a great idea. The vinyl is a great idea too. I'll try the crisco, that is what i used for making the fondant but it didnt seem to keep it off my hands. After it was chilled it was less sticky at least

ennaej Posted 13 May 2009 , 2:28pm
post #27 of 27

for a really big cake would you roll out with a pvc plastic tube?

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