New Decorator Needs Basic Tips

Decorating By msschef2001 Updated 15 Feb 2010 , 7:53am by SpecialtyCakesbyKelli

msschef2001 Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 3:05am
post #1 of 6

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to decorating cakes and need some basic tips without having to search through millions of forum posts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. When rolling out fondant, how do you keep the fondant from sticking to the surface while at the same time not putting too much powdered sugar on your surface? Is there a way to completely remove the sugar once your fondant is rolled out? A dry brush just didn't do the job well enough.

2. When making tiered cakes, do you use cake boards under each tier? I would assume you would to make cutting easier. If you do, do you cover the board with fondant also?

3. When making fondant bows, do you have to add gumpaste to it to make it firmer? My first bows all fell flat.

4. If your fondant cracks, is there anyway to fix it without covering it, or do you have to start over?

Those are just a few of the many questions I have. Thanks again!

5 replies
cakesrock Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 3:22am
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by msschef2001

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to decorating cakes and need some basic tips without having to search through millions of forum posts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. When rolling out fondant, how do you keep the fondant from sticking to the surface while at the same time not putting too much powdered sugar on your surface? Is there a way to completely remove the sugar once your fondant is rolled out? A dry brush just didn't do the job well enough.
I use shortening- I have not had luck with sugar or cornstarch
2. When making tiered cakes, do you use cake boards under each tier? I would assume you would to make cutting easier. If you do, do you cover the board with fondant also?
Yes, you should dowel and use cake boards for each tier. I just cover the cake board a little. You should sharpen and put a centre dowel through the whole thing if transporting.3. When making fondant bows, do you have to add gumpaste to it to make it firmer? My first bows all fell flat.
Yes, I use gumtex or tylose mixed with fondant. It gives you good control and dries nicely. 4. If your fondant cracks, is there anyway to fix it without covering it, or do you have to start over?
I wish I had a solution for that. I sometimes use a bit of BC and have actually been desperate enough to blow dry it so that it blends. Crisco can sometimes help. But a decoration can hide a lot and so can a border of BC.
If it's that dry, you should know before it goes on the cake and add more water. Do you generally use MMF or Satin Ice? Satin ice dries really fast so you have to work quickly.
Those are just a few of the many questions I have. Thanks again!



Good luck and have fun! icon_smile.gif

nicoles0419 Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 3:35am
post #3 of 6

use shortning insted of PS when rolling out fondant, and put some on ur hands so the fondant doesnt stick to you. Use boards under each tier, just make them a little smaller so they dont stick out, then when u put a border around the tier you wont see anything anyways. Use fondant and gumpaste for bows, and when they are drying stick paper towel or foil in the loops to make them dry in place and they wont fall. If your fondant cracks hopefully u will have some design or somthing you can cover it with

tiggy2 Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 3:40am
post #4 of 6

I use cornstarch and whatever can't be brushed off I rub with shortening and it disapears.

zdebssweetsj Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 8:57am
post #5 of 6

If you roll out your fondant on a sheet of lightly greased plastic you can lift the whole thing up and flip it over the cake then peel the plastic off. no excess sugar of cornstach and a perfect finish. I have fixed a crack by turning a piece of the fondant into a paste and piping it into the crack. But I usually go for the decoration cover up. When you remove the plastic you'll need to dust the surface of the fondant to smooth it so your smoother won't stick to the fondant. I use a paper towel core wrapped in plastic wrapand dusted with cornstarch to drape my bow loops overuntil the set. Adding gumpaste and tylose will also give you a faster set up.

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 15 Feb 2010 , 7:53am
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesrock

Quote:
Originally Posted by msschef2001

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to decorating cakes and need some basic tips without having to search through millions of forum posts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. When rolling out fondant, how do you keep the fondant from sticking to the surface while at the same time not putting too much powdered sugar on your surface? Is there a way to completely remove the sugar once your fondant is rolled out? A dry brush just didn't do the job well enough.
I use shortening- I have not had luck with sugar or cornstarch
2. When making tiered cakes, do you use cake boards under each tier? I would assume you would to make cutting easier. If you do, do you cover the board with fondant also?
Yes, you should dowel and use cake boards for each tier. I just cover the cake board a little. You should sharpen and put a centre dowel through the whole thing if transporting.3. When making fondant bows, do you have to add gumpaste to it to make it firmer? My first bows all fell flat.
Yes, I use gumtex or tylose mixed with fondant. It gives you good control and dries nicely. 4. If your fondant cracks, is there anyway to fix it without covering it, or do you have to start over?
I wish I had a solution for that. I sometimes use a bit of BC and have actually been desperate enough to blow dry it so that it blends. Crisco can sometimes help. But a decoration can hide a lot and so can a border of BC.
If it's that dry, you should know before it goes on the cake and add more water. Do you generally use MMF or ? dries really fast so you have to work quickly.
Those are just a few of the many questions I have. Thanks again!


Good luck and have fun! icon_smile.gif




tips I've learned the hard way.
1) I also use shortening to roll out fondant, but be careful not to let your rolling pin slip off into the shortening, it will leave grease marks on your fondant which is a problem for me since I paint my fondant often.
2)before I put the cake on the board, I cut a small x in the center so it's easier for the dowel to go through the whole cake when you are finished stacking. sometimes if you have to put too much pressure to get the dowel through the board, it can bend the board and make your cake unlevel.
3)I just use fondant for my bows, but I've done a good bit of practice to get to the point of not using gumpaste/fondant mix. I also stuff a piece of plastic wrap in the bow to make it hold it's shape until it dries.
4)if the fondant cracks....do you mean after it dries? sometimes I'll put a little royal icing in the crack and smooth it out with a paint brush (has to be a really good quality soft brush)
If you are talking about when you are putting in on the cake, your fondant may be too dry to begin with..add some shortening. If it can't be covered up with a decoration ( my fav trick by the way...lol so I know all of you are probably looking at my cakes for that "random" star or heart LOL) I will take it back off it it's too bad icon_sad.gif best advice is practice enough that you can work fast......the faster you can work the less drying and cracking problems you will have......also be sure you're not rolling your fondant too thin.
Hope this helps.

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