A Few Questions

Decorating By cakemomma7 Updated 30 Aug 2009 , 12:01am by KitchenKat

cakemomma7 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:06pm
post #1 of 21

Hi everyone, I'm new to this board and also to trying cake decorating in a true fashion. I've always made my children's cakes but they were just regular character pan cakes and then star patterned icing that was bought from the store. I've been watching all kinds of cake shows lately and am really getting into it and would love to try my hand at it and give my kids some great birthday cakes and family and friends maybe too.

I've never worked with fondant or "leveled" my cakes or anything like that. So I'm new to all that type of stuff. I have a good idea on how to do things and have been reading alot on this forum of other's posts. I'm trying my hand at my first fondant cake and have a few simple questions to ask. So any help would be appreciated.

First, I don't want to make my own fondant just yet. I'd rather get a feel for what its like to use it first. However, I hear the stuff you buy in the store is yucky in taste and I want to coat the cake in it and have it also taste decent. Can you add flavoring to the fondant and kneed it into it, like vanilla extract?


Second, is about refridgeration or not. Should you always keep your cake refridgerated or is it ok to leave it out till you go to eat it. I'm going to start making the cakes today and we are taking it on a small trip on Friday with us to my parents house because the cake is for my dad. I have read that you should freeze your cakes for overnight before you decorate it. This locks in moisture. How long should I thaw it for before decorating it? Then I was going to start making the fondant decorations to put on the cake tomorrow and let them dry overnight into Friday morning and then assemble the cake on Friday before we leave.

However, I was hoping to fondant the cake and paint it tomorrow. I'm doing a camo theme color over the cake. My dad is a huge hunter and woodsy guy. Should I put the cake back in the refridgerator after decorating the fondant or should I leave it sitting out? I was afraid that if I left it sitting out, it would dry the cake out? Is this true or just me "thinking" it will?

One last question..does anyone ever "paint"? For some of the camo coloring I was hoping to "paint" it on. I'm not sure if it will work cause I've read very little on it, but would thinning out Royal Icing work and adding the color I want to it?

Thanks for any help that anyone can give me! I would appreciate it alot!!

20 replies
starcitycakes Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:36pm
post #2 of 21

At first I wasn't going to post anything. But once I realized it was Camo and you were worried about the fondant taste I figured I would....I don't know about adding flavor to fondant but you could use buttercream for the camo instead. I made one a few weeks ago and I frosted the cake with white buttercream. Then took a toothpick and traced out my "squiggles" for the camo and then filled in the squiggles with 4 differ shades of buttercream. Green, Dark Green, Light Brown and Black. I spread those out as much as I could then let it set for a few minutes to "crust." Then I took a VIVA PaperTowel and smoothed them out. It looked great. This way you don't have to worry about the bad taste of store bought fondant.

Also you don't have to refridgerate fondant. Actually I don't think you should. It make it sweat and gooey. So I would suggest let it set out. It won't dry out.

I have frozen cakes yet but there are LOTS of posts on here about how to do that correctly and yes they all say it locks in the moisture. Some have been saying the decorate the cakes with buttercream (NOT fondant) while the cakes are still frozen.

I've seen on here that people mix the color and Vodka for "painting" I haven't done this yet either but I think it makes the "paint" dry faster. I know that it takes FOREVER for color to dry with "painting" fondant. I did it once (before finding out about the Vodka) and it never dried good enough after setting for 5 days.

cakemomma7 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:13pm
post #3 of 21

Thanks for replying. My idea for the camo part of it was I had bought black and green food spray and then I got brown and a darker green food coloring. However, I wasn't sure how to put those 2 on, and I thought I seen on tv how someone used thinned out RI and added the food coloring to it to paint with. Since I've heard that RI dries fast, this might actually work.....at least that's my guess. icon_smile.gif I know with the dust that I have it says you can mix it with pure vanilla extract or vodka and it will make a paint. However, I'm not sure if food coloring mixed with those things would work the same....

Do you have a picture of your cake that you could show me?

As for the freezing part, I was sure that the cake couldn't be frozen for the fondant as from what I read, cold and fondant don't mix when brought back out into the normal temps. Just wasn't sure if it should be kept cold after being decorated or it if would be fine for a day or 2 after decorated.

I know I'm still learning and some things I feel stupid asking about, but I think I'd really enjoy doing this once I learn the basics of it.

Thanks again! I just really want to practice with fondant as I love the look of the smoothness of it.

snocilla Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:18pm
post #4 of 21

yes, you can knead in vanilla to add flavoring to the fondant, just as you would knead in color, but I would still recommend making your own. Here is a link to a very easy marshmellow fondant, just in case you decide to make it. http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-7529-ts-marshmallow-fondant.html

I usually bake a cake, freeze it over night and decorate the next day. It definitely makes the cake more moist. I usually take it out of the freezer and let it thaw a bit while I make the icing (maybe a half hour or so). Once you have iced it, the icing or fondant will hold in the moisture, and it won't dry out if you leave it at room temp. Buttercream may be ok, but you do not want to put a fondant covered cake it the refridgerator. It will sweat and get goooey when you take it out.

If you are doing camoflage, I would recommend cutting out fondant pieces right before putting them on the cake. If you let them dry, they won't conform to the curves of the cake as well. If you are making ther fondant figures, then yes, do them ahead of time.

I don't know much about painting, but I hope this helps on your other questions.

snocilla Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:19pm
post #5 of 21

...and don't feel stupid asking questions... none of us knew these things when we first started!

cakemomma7 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:23pm
post #6 of 21

Thank you guys so much for your help! I feel I can now start my cakes! I'm excited and nervous at the same time but more excited! The cake itself is going to be interesting because my dad is a HUGE peanut butter freak and so I am using a peanut butter cake recipe of my mom's. Then the frosting in between the layers is going to be chocolate/peanut butter and also this will be what I crumb coat with. My dad is going to be very happy! icon_smile.gif

snocilla Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:31pm
post #7 of 21

Sounds yummy! Make sure you post a pic so we can see how it turns out.

prterrell Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:50pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

First, I don't want to make my own fondant just yet. I'd rather get a feel for what its like to use it first. However, I hear the stuff you buy in the store is yucky in taste and I want to coat the cake in it and have it also taste decent. Can you add flavoring to the fondant and kneed it into it, like vanilla extract?




The Wilton brand is the brand that tastes awful and there's nothing you can do to improve it. Satin Ice and Pettinice taste like marshmallows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

Second, is about refridgeration or not. Should you always keep your cake refridgerated or is it ok to leave it out till you go to eat it.




The cake only needs to be refrigerated if it has a perishable filling/icing. Fondant covered cakes should not be refrigerated. Buttercream iced and filled cakes do not require refrigeration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

I have read that you should freeze your cakes for overnight before you decorate it. This locks in moisture. How long should I thaw it for before decorating it?




Some people choose to do this, but it is not necessary (I never do and my cakes are plenty moist). The main reason to freeze cake is if you have a large order so you can bake ahead of time. If you do decide to freeze the cake, it needs to be completely thawed before you ice it, otherwise the icing can crack as the cake expands. It typically takes a cake about 30 min at room temp to thaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

Then I was going to start making the fondant decorations to put on the cake tomorrow and let them dry overnight into Friday morning and then assemble the cake on Friday before we leave.




Depending on the thickness/size of the decorations, they can take many days to dry/harden. Where I live it is pretty humid and Ive had figures take over a week to dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

However, I was hoping to fondant the cake and paint it tomorrow. I'm doing a camo theme color over the cake. My dad is a huge hunter and woodsy guy. Should I put the cake back in the refridgerator after decorating the fondant or should I leave it sitting out? I was afraid that if I left it sitting out, it would dry the cake out? Is this true or just me "thinking" it will?




Once a cake is iced, the icing seals in the moisture. If you put the fondant covered cake in the fridge, the fondant will weep and the paint will run. I only put cakes with icings or fillings that will spoil (fresh fruit, mousse, whipped cream) in the fridge. Buttercream, ganache, and fondant iced cakes are fine out on the counter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemomma7

]]One last question..does anyone ever "paint"? For some of the camo coloring I was hoping to "paint" it on. I'm not sure if it will work cause I've read very little on it, but would thinning out Royal Icing work and adding the color I want to it?




Yes, we paint on fondant all the time! No, do NOT try thinning RI to paint on fondant, it dries too hard! All you have to do is mix vodka/everclear/clear vanilla extract/lemon extract with the food dye (a little goes a long way) and use that to paint the fondant. The alcohol will quickly evaporate, leaving just the dried dye behind.

luddroth Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:16pm
post #9 of 21

prterrel -- I was just about to write some answers to cakemomma's questions, but you totally covered it. Thanks for being such a good CC community member! All excellent advice.

cakemomma7 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:18pm
post #10 of 21

OMGOSH, I'm so glad you posted that last comment as I was GOING to try the RI thinned out!! Thank you so much for clearing that up for me before I found out the hard way all over my cake! LOL!

This peanut butter cake recipe is very moist as is and so I'm not sure I really need to freeze it for the moisture part of it. That comment helped alot as well.

If I don't freeze it, should it be refridgerated till I do add the fondant, then leave out for a half hour before adding the fondant? Sorry if that sounds confusing. I've heard it is easier to work with a cold cake when carving and putting on the crumb coating.....is this true? I just don't want it to fall apart on me when I try to ice it and have crumbs pealing up from everywhere if you know what I mean.

I will post a picture when I get it done and I'm hoping its not a complete bomb! LOL! In my head it looks great, but that's a different story then the final product....sometimes.....

snocilla Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:25pm
post #11 of 21

In my experience, it is MUCH easier to carve and crumbcoat when it is cold. I have heard that putting it in the refridgerator can dry it out, but I don't normally do it so I can't verify that. If you are going to store it, I would still recommend wrapping it up and freezing it, for that reason. I normally wrap it in plastic wrap, set it back in the pan and then cover the pan in foil. This keeps anything else in the freezer from hitting it and denting it. It also allows you to set it on the shelf without imprinting the bars into it.

cupcakelady64 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:30pm
post #12 of 21

HI! Welcome to CC!

There are indeed many wise cakers on this site, so i only have one little thing to say:

I, too, was so scared to try the marshmallow fondant. But i finally did, after spending LOTS of money on store bought. It is SO EASY, it's hard to imagine that something that sounded so difficult would be so easy!

Fondant cakes no longer scare the icon_evil.gif out of me! In fact, they are more fun because you can create anything you want!!

Good Luck!!

cakemomma7 Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:51am
post #13 of 21

Here's the finished product!! Trust me, I'm going to have alot of questions to ask after doing this one cause underneath, it's anything but nice! LOL! I would be perfectly happy if someone made the cakes and leveled them and I just decorated them...lol.

But overall, I think it came out like my vision. The pinecones were pretty hard to make! Took me about 4 hours to figure these ones out. I redid them about 4 times!!! I didn't have the ingredients to do BC or I would have probably tries that. However, to get them to stay on the cake cause they were kinda heavy and I didn't have much room, I used toothpicks to hold them into the cake on the angles I wanted.

Everything is fondant but the brown around the bases and that is RI. The pine branches were hard to make and aren't very realistic but if I made them any thinner they would have been breaking even more than they already were. Very fragile....


The camo is all either spray paint food coloring or paint made out of vodka and food coloring. I'm pretty happy with it considering it is my first try at fondant and making the cakes this way!

Any CC is welcome cause I really want to get better at this! I had fun making this cake even though it was some work. Thanks everyone for your help with this project! I appreciate it so much!
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cathyscakes Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:36am
post #14 of 21

wow, awesome job, you have real talent, you should be very proud of yourself.

xstitcher Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 6:17am
post #15 of 21

You did an awesome job. I love how you did the pine cones and I think your camouflage came out really well too. Great job on leveling your cakes, applying fondant and stacking! Bet your dad loved it. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Jeep_girl816 Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 6:31am
post #16 of 21

Wow! very nice (and not just for a first try!).I LOVE the pine cones!

snocilla Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 8:59am
post #17 of 21

I love the pine cones too! The cake looks really good!

luddroth Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 10:32am
post #18 of 21

Nice going! I don't remember you saying that you were going to be stacking cakes as well as trying fondant for the first time. Brave and very well done! The camo looks great! To make the sticks thinner, I think you'll need to go to gumpaste rather than pure fondant. You can make very thin pieces if you have enough time to let them dry completely, then they are lighter and much stronger. It's easy to make gumpaste by adding tylose to commercial fondant. I'm really impressed!

cakemomma7 Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:37pm
post #19 of 21

Thank you all so much for all your kind comments! And thank you for the tip on the gumpaste for the pine needles. I haven't worked with gumpaste yet (figure get accustomed with one thing first icon_smile.gif)

I'll be asking some more questions soon about the whole "cake" part of it though. Still have alot of work to do on that part....luckily the camo and the decorations help hide that they aren't very level.....Not too bad but its not the best underneath the frosting.

Thank you everyone!
BTW - my dad LOVED the cake and was so surprised!

kakeladi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:35pm
post #20 of 21

OOooohhhhh what a super! great job you did on it! icon_smile.gif Ask any ?s you want -- we're here to help icon_smile.gif

KitchenKat Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 12:01am
post #21 of 21

Great job! I would never have guessed this was a first time cake

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