Hi everyone! I am very new to decorating cakes, and will be doing my very first fondant covered cake for my father-in-laws wedding at the end of the month (no pressure right?!?) I have been doing lots of research, but I still have a few questions just around the process of preparing/storing the cake before the fondant is put on and after. I want to thank everyone who responds ahead of time! I really appreciate your help
I will be baking the actual cakes and freezing them sometime this week so they are taken care of ahead of time. The wedding is on a Saturday, and I was hoping that I could ice the cake, and cover it with fondant on either the Thursday or Friday (the night before). I just wanted to know how far ahead can you ice the cakes with the buttercream? And should I ice them with the buttercream and then chill the cakes before even trying to put the fondant on them? Also, once the cakes are iced and covered, can they be chilled again? I've heard mixed reviews about putting a fondant covered cake in the fridge but here's my concern. The wedding is over 2 hours away and this is going to be at the end of July so I just have some concerns around meltage!
Any tips of how to prepare a cake for fondant (whether or not to chill it after being filled and crumb coated, etc) and then proper storage of the cake after it does have the fondant on it would be much appreciated!!
I would definately fill & crumbcoat the cakes the night before you are going to cover with fondant, so they settle and you don't get bulges. I always refrigerate my cakes before & after fondant, with no problems. Last time I transfered one a couple hours away I put it in a large box (didn't fit in my cooler) with some icepacks, then cranked the AC in the car. Good luck!
I also would fill and crumbcoat the day before and refrigerate. Then if your frosting is a little dry finely mist with water right before you attach your fondant or it won't stick. I then put them right back in the fridge and wait till I need to deliver before I take them out again. I haven't had any issues with this process yet!
I also live in a small area so the car ride is always short no matter where I'm to deliver it.
Ok, so here is what I do...I bake and cool the cakes. Level and torte them and then wrap each layer in press and seal. Freeze at least overnight. When ready to continue I fill and then crumbcoat and let sit and settle for AT LEAST 3 hours. This is so your cake can settle (up to 1 whole inch!) and expell any gas or air (or filling that feels it needs to sploosh out) and come up to room temperature. You never ever want to put a final coat on a cold cake whether that final coat be buttercream or fondant. This can cause blow outs in buttercream or huge air bubbles in your fondant as the cake warms up to room temperature. You have a lower chance of having these problems if you wait and let your cake come to room temp first. If you are using crusting buttercream, which in summer is a great idea, the you may need to spritz it a bit with a misting of water, not too much, to help the fondant adhere.
Now about the heat and travel. If you are using a heat resistant buttercream, such as IndyDebis recipe here on CC, then you won't have to worry about it melting on the way there. While there is nothing really horrid about refridgerating your cakes (they can have condensation on the cake when you take it out of the fridge but that will evaporate as it comes to room temp in your car) unless you are using RI to decorate..that's because the condensation can make the RI melt and roll down your cake . YOu can, of course, box each tier seperate and then place them inside a cooler (if using actual ice then make sure to put plastic over the ice AND a towel under your cakes so the moisture does not get into the cake box. This will help keep the cakes cool all the way there. Then just let them come up to room temp when you get there and the condensation should evaporate.
Normally you don't need to do a thing except make sure that a fondant covered cake is protected from dust/dirt until delivery. Even in the heat, if you are using the heat resistant buttercream then you won't have much to worry about.
Thank you so much!! This has really helped me out. So apprecited