First Time Fondant User - Nee Your Best Tips

Decorating By charleezgal Updated 7 Jan 2010 , 9:52pm by nicki9774

charleezgal Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:17am
post #1 of 30

I will be covering a casket cake for an over the hill birthday cake next week. She wants it black so I was considering doing it in black fondant. I would just use buttercream but I don't like the way it tastes when you make it black, and it takes a ton of color to do it.

I've never used fondant before, but I suppose it's time to branch out and learn something new. So, what are your best tips for a beginner fondant user, and any help on making it black would help.

I've seen so many awesome cakes on CC with fondant, and know that I with your help, I can get the job done.

Thanks a bunch everyone. thumbs_up.gif

29 replies
indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:48am
post #2 of 30

- That it's not NEAR as hard as you think it is to work with fondant. As a matter of fact, I think it's almost sinful to charge more for fondant because it's so dang easy and really fast. (But don't get me wrong ... I DO charge more for fondant! icon_rolleyes.gif )

- I find that dusting the counter with cornstarch instead of p.sugar is better for me. The cornstarch wipes off much easier than p.sugar.

- Break down the project into small components and approach it logically.

- If you played with Play Doh as a kid, you'll do just fine with fondant. thumbs_up.gif

- Don't fret if you mess something up. Just peel it off and do it over again. My first cake, I had to do it 3 times to get the cake covered right. But that's the only cake that took more than once to git-r-dun! icon_biggrin.gif

HowCoolGomo1 Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:56am
post #3 of 30

IndyDebi, you're a bad girl!

charleezgal Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:05am
post #4 of 30

Indy, You and I really click. I bet if I lived back in Indy ( I wish, ) We'd be best buds! LOL Your always here to answer my questions and seem to understand me and my cake woes. You rock! You should check out my gallery sometime. You would see the results of my many questions. They may look familiar to you. ie, scrolls, ribbons, stacking, on and on.

Now, about needing the fondant to be black and not taste so nasty....??

dsilvest Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:08am
post #5 of 30

Either buy ready made black fondant or if you are making it add the black food colouring to the liquids. The colour wil darken as it rests. Too much colour added after the fondant is made will affect the texture, it becomes mealy.

If you roll it out on shortening covered vinyl the fondant will not stick and you will not have a cornstarch or ps mess on the black to deal with.

sugarandslice Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:08am
post #6 of 30

My number one tip would be to use ganache under your fondant rather than BC.
My number two tip would be to watch as many Youtube vids showing covering a cake in fondant as you can.

Good luck!

charleezgal Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:13am
post #7 of 30

Thanks for all the tips. I've never used ganache either. (maybe I should start another forum question for

Great idea for youtube, I do go there a lot.

For making it black, could I use the color mist spray I've seen at Michaels?

If making it black with food coloring, do you put it in a plastic bag and knead the color in? Assuming I buy the already made Wilton white fondant.

I didn't know you could buy already made black fondant. Does Michaels sell that too? Sorry for all of the questions, but thanks for your time.

andpotts Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:22am
post #8 of 30

I'm a fondant newbie as well, but let me tell ya, make your own or buy a better brand because Wilton fondant taste horrible, seriously gag worthy. I only use it for pieces people probably won't put in their mouthes icon_smile.gif

Some of the highly recommended recipes are Michel Fosters Fondant, Jennifer Dontz White Chocolate Fondant (I need this recipe!) and then there are the Marshmallow fondants, but I've read a lot about people having MMF trouble lately. Good luck!

dsilvest Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:23am
post #9 of 30

Here is a recipe for True Black Fondant. You might like the flavour of this better than the Wilton brand. It is also much easier to add the black while making it than to add it to already made fondant.

bobwonderbuns Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:30am
post #10 of 30

I'd buy the Satin Ice black fondant -- that's what I use. It can be a little soft though, so use a puffy mixed with cocoa powder and cornstarch.

Second, get yourself a straight pin -- like a dressmakers pin. You will be AMAZED at how useful that little item will be in popping bubbles, flicking things away, getting fondant out of cutters, etc. etc.

indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:42am
post #11 of 30

Buy the black fondant pre-colored. Trust us. icon_smile.gif

That can of spray mist won't spray enough to make it "black". You'd need to use about 10 cans to get pure black on just a small cake. I use that but just on accent pieces or small areas.

Buy it premade/precolored. You won't be sorry.

tinygoose Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 3:05am
post #12 of 30

My best tips;
Use anything but Wiltons, the stuff is nasty.
Buy black precolored, or use white and paint on black food color. I like to airbrush on my black when I can.
I like Satin Ice brand.
Use cornstarch, not PS, Indy is right it just works better
Use a new paintbrush damp with vodka to get rid of the cornstarch marks.
Work fairly quickly or you'll have elephant skin, don't let fondant sit out, it must be sealed or it will dry out.
Cutting- pizza cutter, ruler, exacto knife
Get a fondant smoother.
Move the fondant around your surface alot as you roll it out so it doesn't stick.
Keep a hat pin nearby to pop airbubbles.
Have fun, fondant is pretty cool to work with.

Sagebrush Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 3:51am
post #13 of 30

If you would rather do buttercream, I have a friend who is a decorator who makes black by doing a chocolate buttercream with Nestle's special dark cocoa powder.

Here's a post from her blog with a picture of a cake she did that way:

(I made chocolate hazelnut buttercream and replaced just half the cocoa called for with the special dark, and the frosting was at least as dark as the chocolate fudge cake)

Even if you didn't think the color was a perfect black, it would take a LOT less black color to get it where you wanted it if you start out with something that's already really dark.

(of course, this assumes that chocolate is an acceptable option for these particular clients)

Loucinda Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 3:16pm
post #14 of 30

Roll it out on a vinyl mat, then lift the mat and all to put the fondant on the cake. I personally use shortning and have never had a problem - helps keep the fondant nice and supple, and no dustiness on it.

I am with Indi - it is so easy to work with, you will love it.

charleezgal Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 4:23pm
post #15 of 30

Thank you all so much. I'm taking it all in and making notes.

So, the consensus seems to be: make your own, or buy Satin Ice pre-colored fondant. Do you all agree that it tastes decent?

Where is the best source to buy it? (cost, fast delivery)

And once the cake is covered in fonant, what is the protocol for keeping it soft/fresh until it reaches customer? Does it need covered?


cookielicious Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 10:30pm
post #16 of 30

Loucinda, do you mean you flip the fondant over onto the cake off of the vinyl mat? Where do you get vinyl mats? Is it just a piece you can buy at a fabric store like Joann's?

luddroth Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 10:45pm
post #17 of 30

Definitely buy the SatinIce or other pre-colored fondant -- it tastes as good as, no -- better than -- anything you can make with black food color, plus it's less likely to leave everybody at the party with black teeth. As for the ganache -- don't start another thread, search for the one in the forum -- tons of great advice. Plus, dark chocolate ganache under that fondant will cut the sweetness a bit and tastes delicious.

nicki9774 Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 10:49pm
post #18 of 30

I made a couple of cakes this last week that needed black fondant. I used the MMF Recipe from the sight and bc frosted each cake and i rolled the fondant out to well exceed the cake, but I believe you need it to be about 1/8 inch thickness or seems to tear. I did use a corsage pin for one of the cakes to get out an air bubble. (My first airbubble ever on a cake). I colored it myself. It depends on you. I wish you the best of luck and when I get my pics off my husbands computer. I will post them ASAP!

uberathlete Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 11:21pm
post #19 of 30

Anyone have thoughts on MMF? I'm contemplating making it for the first time cuz commercial fondant is just too darn expensive. How well does it work in terms of appearance and handleability (lolz that's my new word)?

charleezgal Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 11:56pm
post #20 of 30


Yes, please post them asap. Thanks everyone for your input here. You are all so helpful. I'm going to go buy some Satin Ice in BLACK and give it a try. I will probably just use buttercream underneath for now until I can get a good understanding on the ganache. I've never seen or tasted it before.

Does your buttercream underneath need to be the same thickness as usual?

sweetjan Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 12:06am
post #21 of 30

Here's the best tip you'll ever get on this subject (and any others related to cakes!!) icon_wink.gif Sharon Zambito's instructional DVD, "Flawless Fondant".
She's here on CC as Sugarshack; you can PM her
Have fun!

nicki9774 Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 10:29pm
post #22 of 30

Well, computer crashed and trying to get the pics. I'm going to ask the girl I work with if she can let me borrow her disc to get my pics that she took, but I'm working on it. (Sorry, hubby is working on the computer problem)

nicki9774 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 9:49pm
post #23 of 30

Got the disc will bring to work and download tomorrow. Watch for pics. Won't have all the details like my pics, but its better than not having any pics at all.

My favorite cake so far out of all the ones I've done is this!!

nicki9774 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:52pm
post #24 of 30

Finally, the pic you all wanted to see. Sorry, it took so long! Let me know what you think!!

Mug-a-Bug Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 1:29am
post #25 of 30

#1 Don't apply your icing too thick or you'll get it squishing out the bottom.

#2 Smooth buttercream = smooth fondant. You won't have smooth fondant if you don't have a smooth cake to cover.


FACSlady Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 1:47am
post #26 of 30

Some people seem to like rolling fondant out on crisco covered vinyl and some seem to like to roll it out on cornstarch. Is there a particular reason why you like one better than the other?

nicki9774 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 6:19pm
post #27 of 30

You need to be careful either way. Cornstarch will help dry out fondant, but seems to not stick to the surface as much. Crisco works well, but if you don't have enough and you keep rolling it. It will work into the fondant and your fondant will stick to the mat. If you keep flipping your fondant over so it won't stick to the mat your better off. Wilton says use both, but Wilton now tells you to use 1 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch mix. So when I teach that's what I do, but when I'm home that's another story. I do what I need to get it done. Nobody watching me no concerns, no questions, I'm free to do what I need.

Becky52 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 6:43pm
post #28 of 30
Originally Posted by charleezgal

Thank you all so much. I'm taking it all in and making notes.

So, the consensus seems to be: make your own, or buy pre-colored fondant. Do you all agree that it tastes decent?

Where is the best source to buy it? (cost, fast delivery)

And once the cake is covered in fonant, what is the protocol for keeping it soft/fresh until it reaches customer? Does it need covered?


Yes, Satin Ice has a vanilla flavor and tastes pretty good. The kids think it tastes like marshmellows. I buy mine on the Global Sugar Art website - it arrives pretty quickly - within a week. If you have a specialty Cake and Candy store in your area, they may carry it; otherwise, you'll have to order online. I usually cover my cakes with buttercream, but the few I have done covered in fondant hold up pretty well. I wouldn't seal it in an air tight container, with my experience it got melty/moist/shiny - not sure if that is normal. I put my cakes in the fridge to to make them nice and firm, but I don't think it's necessary. Also, while you are at it, order some white Satin Ice - even if you continue to cover your cakes in buttercream, it's awesome for accents. Yes, Wilton is very yuckyicon_sad.gif But cheaper! thumbs_up.gif

Becky52 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 6:45pm
post #29 of 30

Oh and one more thing. If you put buttercream under the fondant, only do a thin "crumbcoat". If you want the buttercream flavor, maybe torte it with a bunch of will be a buttercream cake that's outside inicon_smile.gif

nicki9774 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:52pm
post #30 of 30

She's right if you use thin bc and a lot of it. It doesn't look right a thin coat is what you need and I like mine more of a medium to stiff consistency so if it tears it don't come off with the fondant.

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