Kelrak Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 8:14am
post #1 of

Well, it's summer and my family has several birthdays coming up, so I always start browsing Cake Central for ideas. The only time of the year I get to bake a lot!

I like that look of a fondant circle on top of an iced cupcake. It looks like a disk on top. I tried to do it last summer but it looked greasy and not pretty at all.

How thick should the marshmallow fondant be when I roll it?

How long to let it sit before putting it on the cupcake?

And I guess I needed a crusting buttercream icing instead of an all butter buttercream. I used the buttercream recipe that's on the powdered sugar box. Bad idea!

Any other tips? Thanks!

29 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 8:24am
post #2 of

When I put fondant on cupcakes, it's about 1/4" thick, or thinner. If the cake is dark and the fondant is light colored, it may need to be a little thicker. Fill the cupcakes if you're going to (use tip 12 and just poke a hole in the top of the cupcake and squeeze the frosting in), then put a little smear of buttercream on top and put the fondant on.

I use Indydebi's buttercream http://cakecentral.com/recipes/6992/indydebis-crisco-based-buttercream-icing

Dayti Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:12am
post #3 of

I make the discs a day or two before decorating. I add some CMC/Tylose to my fondant to make it harden a bit more. I roll out to the thickness I want and cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Leave to dry till you need them. They shouldn't soften too much with the frosting but it will depend on the type of frosting and the temperature.

LindaF144a Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 11:55am
post #4 of

Dayti - I'm assuming that by adding Tylose to make them hard that they are not meant to be eaten with the cake.

I've added Fondant to the tops of cookies. We just tested it and decided to go with RI, so the fondant hadn't hardened yet. So if the fondant was hard, then they would peel it off before they ate the cake.

Kelrak - I don't understand how fondant can look greasy. With the exception of the Crisco that you use on your hands, there is no grease in a fondant. At least not the Wilton one or MMF that I have made. I haven't used any other brand. What kind did you use? Do you know how old it was? Did you use Crisco or something like that on the fondant?

Dayti Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:19pm
post #5 of

The CMC makes the fondant harden a bit more, so the disk doesn't sag on top of the buttercream. But it doesn't get rock hard in a day or so, so you don't have to take it off the cupcake before eating. I guess you could leave the CMC out if you were making the disks a good few days ahead but I am not that organised.
This is what it can look like:
Image

LindaF144a Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:23pm
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Oh Dayti - So pretty! And talk about a duh! moment - For some reason I thought they completely covered the top of the cupcake. I didn't envision the cute little decoration like you have here. Now I can see why you add the powder.

Someday I am going to try fondant on cupcakes. For right now I am still pretty much just experimenting.

Dayti Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:27pm
post #7 of

Thankyou! My buttercream was a bit thin that day though icon_rolleyes.gif
I think that those disks are what the OP is talking about, rather than covering the cupcake with fondant after icing with a little buttercream/ganache, but I might be wrong icon_biggrin.gif

LindaF144a Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:30pm
post #8 of

No, you are probably right. We'll see what she says.

Kelrak - can you give us more details and maybe a link to a photo of what you are talking about?

Kelrak Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 4:25pm
post #9 of

Thanks, everyone. Those are beautiful, Dayti. That's kind of what I have in mind. I've seen flat disks of fondant on top, and soft fondant covering the whole top. I like both looks, but wanted to try the flat disk decoration.

I don't know if my local michaels has CMC or Tylose. I'll have to try the several days in advance method I think.

the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.

I think I did use crisco when I was rolling it out, but it was a year ago so the memory is fuzzy. I had read that some people grease their work surface and some use corn starch or PS. I will skip the grease and try a crusting BC like IndyDebi's.

hollyml Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 8:36pm

All-butter buttercream does crust. It works fine under fondant. (And IMO it tastes a lot better than shortening-based BC.) So that's not the issue. If your earlier attempt looked greasy I would guess it's because you used shortening when you were rolling out your fondant, and ended up with too much shortening still on the finished pieces. Shortening on all involved surfaces is essential when kneading fondant, for making it, coloring it or the beginning stages of modeling with it, to keep it soft enough to work with. But when you go to roll it out flat, you want to knead the shortening into it and use powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the mat -- it works much better than greasing the mat IME. Excess PS at the end can be removed with a pastry brush (dry or damp).

I've never yet tried adding Tylose or gumpaste or whatever to fondant, and for little disks like you're talking about it should be fine to just let your fondant dry for several days. But if you want to try it, Michael's does sell Wilton's Gum-Tex (comes in a little canister) which I understand is functionally the same thing. Either way, the disks will still be edible. But if you've used the gumpaste/Gum-Tex they'll be...crunchier. icon_smile.gif

Kelrak Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:23pm

Thanks again for the great tips. These are very helpful.

Presidential portrait in cupcakes....

http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/11/photo-of-the-day-president-barack-obama-in-12.html

This was the first picture I ever saw of the fondant disks on cupcakes and I was curious how it was done. Now I see them in lots of posts here and on cupcake wars. Now I think I will try some for my own birthday cupcakes.

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:30pm

I have some in my photos if you wanna take a look...I did a few practice ones and then they are fondant covered under my hippos and lions ones. They are more recent, so easy to find.

I just took a large round tip and piped a round flat "plop" of buttercream...then I took a round cookie cutter in the same size as the top of the cupcake....cut out the fondant...and gently smoothed it onto the top of the cupcake. It was about 1/4" thick or slightly less. (The pattern was rolled in using an impression mat before cutting into circles). It was actually alot easier than I thought, as I hadn't done it before.

Texas_Rose Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Dayti - I'm assuming that by adding Tylose to make them hard that they are not meant to be eaten with the cake.

I've added Fondant to the tops of cookies. We just tested it and decided to go with RI, so the fondant hadn't hardened yet. So if the fondant was hard, then they would peel it off before they ate the cake.




When you put fondant on cookies, cut the shapes before you bake the cookies, then put the fondant on when the cookie is hot out if the oven. I loosen the cookies from the baking sheet and then put the fondant on right away, before I take them off the sheet. The heat will melt the underside of the fondant just enough to bond it to the cookie. When the edges start to look a tiny bit shiny, move the cookies to a cooling grid and don't touch the fondant until it hardens a little bit. It will get firm enough to stack within about an hour, and the fondant will stay soft enough to bite through easily with the cookie. I usually flavor the fondant with Lorann's butter rum and then use Lorann's buttery sweet dough emulsion in the dough, and I always get rave reviews on that combination.

CakeRx Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:44pm

I haven't used fondant on cupcakes before, but will try it. I have, however, used round candy molds (2") with white chocolate-based decorations, and it looks great. There is never a question of whether or not they eat the topper! icon_smile.gif

Kelrak Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 9:53pm

Yeah, I thought about that. I've done a little chocolate on cakes before. I'm not a fan of the taste of the candy melts, but my son likes them so they may end up on his cake. He has big ideas about me trying to do Super Mario Galaxy. Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRx

I haven't used fondant on cupcakes before, but will try it. I have, however, used round candy molds (2") with white chocolate-based decorations, and it looks great. There is never a question of whether or not they eat the topper! icon_smile.gif


LindaF144a Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 10:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelrak

Thanks, everyone. Those are beautiful, Dayti. That's kind of what I have in mind. I've seen flat disks of fondant on top, and soft fondant covering the whole top. I like both looks, but wanted to try the flat disk decoration.

I don't know if my local michaels has CMC or Tylose. I'll have to try the several days in advance method I think.

the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.

I think I did use crisco when I was rolling it out, but it was a year ago so the memory is fuzzy. I had read that some people grease their work surface and some use corn starch or PS. I will skip the grease and try a crusting BC like IndyDebi's.




Okay - I am not getting how your buttercream would make the disc look greasy. Am I missing something again. icon_surprised.gif Probably. icon_wink.gif And the last time I worked with fondant and used Crisco to roll it out, it did not keep the greasy look when I was done. It had a nice matte finish to it and it was homemade MMF.

And all buttercream will NOT crust. A crust is a hard like surface, not as hard as fondant, but definitely harder. And it does not look greasy once it crusts. Real buttercream, that is the stuff made of butter, like SMBC, may get a sheen to it, but again not greasy. American buttercream made with butter does not crust and does not look greasy, at least in MHO.

TexasRose - Thanks for the tutorial on putting fondant on cookies, but I already knew how to do it. In fact that is exactly how I did. I said we didn't let the cookie sit long to see if it hardened before we decided to do with RI and that is because I wanted to do something different and the fondant would not work for me. It's not to say it don't like fondant on a cookie, it just did not work for in this instance.

Texas_Rose Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:08am

Not all buttercream is the same. Some of the recipes that are for frosting a cake and not for decorating have twice as much butter as a decorating icing recipe will. If you put fondant on top of one of those softer, more buttery recipes, sometimes the grease will soak into the fondant. That happened the first time that I made fondant. It wasn't MMF. I used powdered sugar to roll it out, dried the pieces that I made for a few days, then put them on the cake. They looked fine that night and then the next day you could see where the grease had soaked into them. The recipe that I used that time had 1 cup of butter to 1 lb of powdered sugar.

American buttercream made with butter does crust. It's the proportion of sugar to fat that makes it crust. That's why some recipes will crust and others will not. You can make frosting with Crisco and not have it crust, if it doesn't have enough sugar.

Texas_Rose Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelrak

the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.




Looking at the picture, it looks more like a moisture issue. If you store fondant-covered cake in an airtight container, the fondant will pull moisture from the cake and end up looking like that.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose



American buttercream made with butter does crust. It's the proportion of sugar to fat that makes it crust. That's why some recipes will crust and others will not. You can make frosting with Crisco and not have it crust, if it doesn't have enough sugar.




Then we are going to have to agree to disagree on this. When I make American Buttercream without Crisco, it does not crust. But I use a higher ratio of butter to sugar than I have seen on other recipes. I also do not believe it is the ratio of sugar to fat that makes it crust or not. I experimented a lot with the ratio before I found one I liked and I never, ever got a crust on butter-made butter cream.

And I know that a Crisco buttercream will not crust. It is the addition of the dry whip topping mix that will make it crust. As a rule I don't use that kind of frosting all the time. But I will be trying Indydeb's recipe soon as I have a hankering to make a cake and want to try this with some new vegetable shortening I just bought.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Not all buttercream is the same. Some of the recipes that are for frosting a cake and not for decorating have twice as much butter as a decorating icing recipe will. If you put fondant on top of one of those softer, more buttery recipes, sometimes the grease will soak into the fondant. That happened the first time that I made fondant. It wasn't MMF. I used powdered sugar to roll it out, dried the pieces that I made for a few days, then put them on the cake. They looked fine that night and then the next day you could see where the grease had soaked into them. The recipe that I used that time had 1 cup of butter to 1 lb of powdered sugar.

American buttercream made with butter does crust. It's the proportion of sugar to fat that makes it crust. That's why some recipes will crust and others will not. You can make frosting with Crisco and not have it crust, if it doesn't have enough sugar.




Now that I think of this more, buttercream under fondant has to work. People on CC put buttercream under fondant all the time and the grease does not seep through. From what I read they have used American Buttercream with Crisco, butter and SMBC and IMBC. I don't believe that this problem would happen. But I will experiment on my own someday and see. In fact I have not read of one instance where the grease from buttercream has seeped through a cake. If it did, then buttercream would not be able to be used under fondant.

I use 3 sticks of butter to one pound of powdered sugar. I got it from Cooks Illustrated. And it is yum, yum and no it does not have a butter taste. It is one of my most requested frostings, other than my vanilla SMBC.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelrak



the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.




Out of curiosity, do you remember how long the fondant sat on the cupcake before you took the photo? Did you put it in the fridge?

Texas_Rose Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:48am

I use 1 1/3 cup butter or shortening to 2 lbs sugar. It will crust, with or without Dream Whip. You can leave the Dream Whip out if you're just practicing with it or covering cake dummies, because the dream whip is for taste, and it still crusts. Wilton's basic recipe will crust too, and it has no dream whip. So does Sugarshack's recipe, and again, no dream whip. It's just chemistry. icon_biggrin.gif

When I had the grease/fondant issue, the fondant was from an old gourmet cookbook and it was sugar, water, corn syrup and egg whites. It wasn't very stretchy or easy to work with, although it was intended to cover a cake. We cut strips to look like blades of grass and let them dry for several days. Then I made a batch of Wilton's buttercream with the old recipe (no meringue powder, which is an emulsifier) and my daughter piled it on her cake and stuck the dried strips of fondant in all over. It looked fine that night, and when she took it to school the next day for her contest, but when it came back that afternoon, the grease had gotten into the dried fondant and made it look darker. I've never used that fondant recipe again...I tried MMF and it was a lot easier to make, plus it didn't do the weird grease thing, so I've used it ever since.

Kelrak Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:59am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelrak



the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.




Out of curiosity, do you remember how long the fondant sat on the cupcake before you took the photo? Did you put it in the fridge?




I am pretty sure I didn't refrigerate them, and they weren't fondant covered for very long. Maybe 4 or 5 hours? I might have put them in a tupperware type container. I am pretty sure my fondant didn't look that wet or oily before I put it on the cupcake. I know it was too thin, after looking at others' photos.

I think it was also the icing. The C&H Basic Buttercreme recipe on the box is a little different than most icings for decorating. It only has 1/3 c butter to 1 lb. of powdered sugar. I won't use it again for decorating, but it is tasty.

I wonder what exactly it is that makes an icing crust. I have made crusting icings that weren't the dream whip type.

hollyml Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 5:31am

I have to wonder if Linda means something different by "crusting" than most of us do? I mean, a crusting BC does not form a thick, hard crust like a breadcrust. It just doesn't stay soft and sticky. The surface of the icing firms up as it dries. The only non-crusting frosting I've ever used was a meringue type (I don't honestly know if it was Swiss or Italian or something else, as the recipe wasn't labelled that way) and I've never used whipped topping. Not once in my life.

And 1 1/2 cups of butter to 1 pound of sugar?! (And it doesn't taste buttery?!!) That's twice the amount of butter I use and I can't imagine working with a frosting that soft. Maybe it wouldn't crust, either, I don't know, but if that's the case it does suggest that the fat-to-sugar ratio explanation is correct.

Kelly, if you put your fondant-covered cupcakes in a Tupperware, then yep. That will make the fondant look wet and oily, and it will soften and get droopy or bumpy too. I don't know why or how that happens but it does. The fondant needs the air exposure to stay dry and firm.

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 1:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyml

I have to wonder if Linda means something different by "crusting" than most of us do? I mean, a crusting BC does not form a thick, hard crust like a breadcrust. It just doesn't stay soft and sticky. The surface of the icing firms up as it dries. The only non-crusting frosting I've ever used was a meringue type (I don't honestly know if it was Swiss or Italian or something else, as the recipe wasn't labelled that way) and I've never used whipped topping. Not once in my life.




That is what I meant. The icing does not firm up as it dries. This is both with my vanilla buttercream and SMBC. The only time I get a crusting "buttercream" is when I use a Crisco based buttercream. I have used Indydeb's buttercream and it crusts, but doesn't dry hard. I have used the Wilton recipe with no Dream Whip and made flowers that I left out to dry for several days. These dry hard enough to handle, but were not as hard as RI. I have never used a butter/crisco combo.

My butter based buttercreams never crust. I have to use the hot knife method to get them smooth. The American buttercream I use on cupcakes only. I prefer to make a SMBC for cakes, or Indydeb's when I need something to crust, or to make flowers.

Quote:
Quote:

And 1 1/2 cups of butter to 1 pound of sugar?! (And it doesn't taste buttery?!!) That's twice the amount of butter I use and I can't imagine working with a frosting that soft. Maybe it wouldn't crust, either, I don't know, but if that's the case it does suggest that the fat-to-sugar ratio explanation is correct.




Nope, it does not taste buttery. The first time I tried American buttercream with the smaller amount of butter it was waaay too sweet and grainy. I found this ratio on a video from Cook's Illustrated and tried this one. I like it better and everybody noticed a smoother consistence immediately. My testers liked it better over the lesser butter ratio frosting.

I personally find American Buttercream to be too sweet. But everybody else loves it, so I capitulated and use it on occasion. I don't use it to frost cakes, just on cupcakes and I pipe it on top of the cupcake. The pirate cupcake in my photo gallery is American buttercream. I don't use it too often because of the sweetness factor. I prefer SMBC more. I just used it with cream cheese to make frosting. I tried adding cream cheese to SMBC but it broke down the meringue every time. So after three tries of varying amounts of cream cheese and butter ratios I gave in and tried adding equal amounts of cream cheese and butter to my american buttercream recipe and it was perfect. I would like to make a meringue based cream cheese recipe, but it didn't work for me. And hours of searching the web found no recipe either. So I concluded it can't be done.

But I still say we will have to agree to disagree. I have not had a butter based buttercream crust on me. Until it does happen I will continue to use shortening when I need this affect. Being I am a hobby baker, that may never happen. I have no problem telling someone that a cake is out of my league. Although my daughter is pushing me towards fondant. We both play with polymer clay and fondant is like using clay except you get to eat it. icon_wink.gif Yum, yum. thumbs_up.gif

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 2:00pm

I forgot to mention that I am going to make cupcakes this week. I am planning on making red velvet and using the cream cheese frosting I made previously. I think I might put some fondant on it and see what happens. Although I don't think this will be fair test because cream cheese is a different base.

I'll be using Wilton fondant is that helps with the test. I'll post my results if I get to them before I leave town.

hollyml Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 11:49pm

Cream cheese frosting doesn't crust. icon_smile.gif At least IME it doesn't. Cream cheese is a lot softer than butter, is how I think of it, but I don't know the scientific explanation. I have no idea how well it works under fondant, as I haven't tried that, but I'm not sure I'd like that flavor combo.

But if you ever feel inspired to try making an American buttercream with a significantly lower proportion of butter (and no shortening or dream whip), I promise you it will crust. icon_smile.gif No, it won't dry hard like RI does, but that's not what "crusting" means. You might want to experiment with flavoring it with lemon or orange juice. (Omit vanilla and milk, or whatever other flavoring and liquid your usual recipe calls for, sub same quantity of juice.) The acidity of the citrus cuts the sweetness quite a bit and you might like it. (Don't know how you got "grainy" BC though. That's never happened to me with PS -- only with failed attempts at cooked frostings that use granulated sugar.)

And yeah, working with fondant is a LOT like working with polymer clay. icon_smile.gif You can do lots of fun things with it. Give it a whirl!

akgirl10 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 2:36am

I do think it's the ratio of fat to sugar that makes a recipe crust. The recipe I use calls for one cup fat to one pound sugar, and it crusts. I usually use half shortening, half butter, but have used all butter and it does crust.

I wish I could find a cream cheese IMBC recipe. I too have had it break down the meringue. There is a decorator's cream cheese frosting here that does crust and it tastes pretty good. I always add a little lemon juice to cut the sweetness of the sugar.

LindaF144a Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:30am

I made two batches of cream cheese frosting tonight, one with a higher sugar to fat ratio than the other. And it did "crust". That is I could touch the frosting and no frosting would come off on my finger. However, it had that gritty powdered sugar feel to it. By feel I meant that grit that you get between your teeth.

The second batch is my favorite with a higher fat ratio to sugar and it did not crust. That is after a half hour I touched the frosting and it still came off on my finger. However, this frosting did not have that gritty powdered sugar feel to it. I believe this means that there was enough fat to dissolved the powdered sugar where the higher sugar to fat recipe that crusts does not.

These were both made with cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar, just different ratios. I believe I said that only Dream Whip would make a frosting crust and TexasRose was correct in saying that it is the sugar to fat ratio that will cause a crust. Although the crust on this was tenuous, and not as "strong" as one that would be made with a Crisco base. It is probably because cream cheese and butter are both so soft.

Thank you TexasRose for your insight. If anybody happens to research this question and comes across this discussion, I wanted to make sure I corrected my stand on this.

LindaF144a Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelrak

the cupcake picture from last year is in my photos--it's the pink one with a pink candle.




Looking at the picture, it looks more like a moisture issue. If you store fondant-covered cake in an airtight container, the fondant will pull moisture from the cake and end up looking like that.




TaxasRose - I guess I learn things the hard way. I put a little fondant flower on some cupcakes and closed them up n an airtight lid. As you have guessed by now, they drooped. I now see what we were talking about and understand better what you were saying, and how to either store cupcakes with fondant decorations or leave them off all together. I prefer taste over look, so I'll need to find another way to decorate my cucpakes.

Thank you very belatedly for your help.

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