jdavis22 Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 8:52pm
post #1 of

I have been decorating cakes for about 6 years, but I've never ventured out into the fondant and gum paste. These are so hands on and hand intensive, that I'm wondering if all this is edible, and if so, how do you keep your decorations sanitary? Thanks!

25 replies
sinderella Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:01pm
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easy, keep your hands clean, tools clean, work area clean and wipe down the table before you roll anything out on it just in case the dog licked it when you weren't looking ..LOL

cake-angel Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:02pm
post #3 of

The key is to keep your hands and work surfaces clean. I wash my hands frequently while working on cakes and decorations. Another option would be to use the food safe latex of plastic gloves while working. To me (I don't sell my cakes so far) proper handwashing is key.

HollyPJ Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:02pm
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I just wash my hands a ton. And I keep my nails short. I don't think there's much more you can do than that.

I realize you're touching the fondant a lot, especially since you're kneading it, but people have been doing this for years with breads of every description as well as many other kinds of foods.

As long as you're cleaning dirt and germs off your hands and use sanitary kitchen practices in general, I don't think it's something to think about too much.

You can use gloves, if you want, but they can get in the way.

cordy Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:02pm
post #5 of

Well, I refrain from picking my nose or butt while making a cake for starters. icon_lol.gif But I also use thin rubber gloves. I am also just a hobbyist so my cakes are for friends and family and they eat my cooking etc all the time.

ladybuglau Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:14pm
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fondant is edible, but I don't think it tastes very good. I think it has an odd fake-ish taste that I can't put my finger on. I think most people just peel it away and eat what's inside, but it does look beautiful.

STX44703 Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:30pm
post #7 of


I feel the same way that you do. I just took the 2nd class in Wilton 3 and we did a present cake in fondant. I loved the way it looked but I didn't like the fact that you have to touch all over the fondant. I know it's weird since I was the one touching it but it was just odd to me! I did start out the class wearing gloves but it did get in the way so I ended up taking them off.

But I will use fondant again since it looks sooo sooo nice!

HollyPJ Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:45pm
post #8 of
Originally Posted by ladybuglau

fondant is edible, but I don't think it tastes very good. I think it has an odd fake-ish taste that I can't put my finger on. I think most people just peel it away and eat what's inside, but it does look beautiful.

Fondant is definitely not for everyone, tastewise. Especially Wilton fondant. That stuff is so nasty and tastes like chemicals. There are better-tasting fondants out there, including homemade.
Some people don't like chewy icing, which is understandable.

aundron Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:50pm
post #9 of

When I use fondant, I am washing my hands CONSTANTLY!!! If I go to the stove, throw something away, etc., I wash my hands just in case before I go back to working with the cake.

Now, my table that I roll the fondant on; I wipe it down with bleach and soap & water first; then I wipe it with just water, then I wipe it with a paper towel. I have to do this because you never know what little ones will leave on the table. (with my kids, it's usually spaghetti or Kool-Aid) icon_lol.gif

Sugarbunz Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 9:59pm

I have a mental block against fondant, but not because of cleanliness. It just doesn't LOOK edible so in my mind it is not. Even when I made it and I knew exactly what went into it. My mom and son loved it (he's three, it's sugar, need I say more?); but I can't stand it. I think I will do nothing but fondant cakes for family, that way I won't gain weight off of eating them!

I was wondering about gloves myself, but it does seem it would hamper me more than anything.

aine2 Posted 19 Jan 2007 , 11:42pm

Some of these comments made me laugh! icon_lol.gif What a sense of humour you folks have!

On a serious note, while I agree that some fondants don't have good write up, they are not the only ones available. I do like the taste of the sugarpaste I use and I must be doing something right or else my cakes wouldn't sell! As for all the hands on work, I can understand where you're coming from. It broke my heart to have to cut my nails short after years of polishing and painting them but I got over it fast when I got hooked on my work! thumbs_up.gif I wear gloves when mixing lots of colour but I couldn't wear them to model. I wash my hands ALL the time and wipe my work surface with alcohol. Everything has to be kept so clean basically just as everyone has said. I personally love working with sugarpaste but I couldn't work with marzipan in the same way as I hate the texture and stickiness on my hands...so it's each to their own I think! icon_lol.gif

ladybuglau Posted 22 Jan 2007 , 3:38am

can someone give me a recipe for homemade fondant? I hate the taste of the wilton one

moydear77 Posted 22 Jan 2007 , 3:51am

Well I have to agree that washing is a good idea! But on a serious note here I guarantee that food will be touched. Like ordering a pizza--Granted it is cooked but did you ever think that some hairy armed man was rolling out the pizza dough!

cakenutz Posted 22 Jan 2007 , 3:58am

icon_biggrin.gif hi I'm very happy with homemade marshmellow fondant. I melt 16 oz of mini marshmellows and 4 T water in micro for 30 sec intervals usually takes 2 1/2min. In m eantime i sift a 2 # bag of good powdered sugar. I crisco counter make well in center of sugar and pour hot mixture over sugar and mix together. I use bench scraper to pull it all together then grease hands and knead about 8 min. Taste alot better than alot i've tasted.

christeena Posted 22 Jan 2007 , 4:03am

I work in a restaurant and trust me everyone that handles your food is not going to be wearing gloves!! I even called one of the grill cooks on it as his grill partner was dishing up food with a spoon wearing gloves but he was putting together a HB with no gloves!! He gave me some lame excuse!! Personally I cannot wear gloves when working with fondant - they just cramp my style! But I am a clean freak when I'm doing a cake and make sure I am constnatly washing my hands and work surfaces with an anitbacterial cleaner!!

ladybuglau Posted 22 Jan 2007 , 4:05am

In m eantime i sift a 2 # bag of good powdered sugar

cakenutz- is that a 2 pound bag?

pieceacake830 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:26am

Hi Everyone... as I read all of your responses, one thing hit me... Lots of people mention wearing latex gloves.. But a word of caution from a nurse...If you are going to be using gloves, make sure they are the non-latex kind... You may have someone eating your cake that is allergic to latex... even the tiniest amount can trigger an allergic reaction that can be deadly if un-recognized.

nglez09 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:34am

I hate using those Wilton gloves. . .they always slide off my hands and it makes it hard to work w/ fondant. Anyone have any suggestions for good gloves? icon_cool.gif

Sweetpeeps Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:42am

ewwee hairy armed pizza guys??? gag That really turns me off to pizza. lol!

7yyrt Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 3:12am

Food Service 101; Miss Dirling - always wash your hands up to your elbows.

moydear77 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 5:42am
Originally Posted by Sweetpeeps

ewwee hairy armed pizza guys??? gag That really turns me off to pizza. lol!


jmt1714 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 1:49pm

gloves don't always work either - every see someone at a sandwich shop make the sandwich with gloves on and then turn around and handle the money? ewwww.

Just wash your hands a lot!

pink_ladies Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:12pm

I have an Associates degree in Culinary Arts so I am familiar with sanitation issues and rules. I think that if anyone is selling cakes to the public they should call their local health department for help in sitting up a healthy kitchen. Even if you are not licensed, go to the library and research safe cooking techniques.
Another "pet" peeve of mine is allowing pets into cooking and designing areas. There is no possible way that pet hair doesn't end up in or on your desserts or cakes.
An inexpensive sanitation solution that we used in college is 1 tablespoon of bleach added to 1 gallon of water. Keep this solution in a bucket for wiping your counter tops and tools and or put the solution in a spray bottle.

7yyrt Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 7:30pm

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; Public Health Service; Food and Drug Administration; 2001 Food Code (Updated April 2004*)

moydear77 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:16pm
Originally Posted by pink_ladies

Another "pet" peeve of mine is allowing pets into cooking and designing areas. There is no possible way that pet hair doesn't end up in or on your desserts or cakes.


I used to work with a girl at a restaurant. She pulled her hair back and also had a cat. We were in a restaurant enviroment and she would have cat hair in her clothes. It traveled with her. We found her hair In one of the desserts even though she pulled her hair back and wore a hat.

playingwithsugar Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:32pm

Just an FYI while we are on the subject of food safety and sanitation -

Here in the USA, there is a nationwide program called ServSafe. It is a course that is offered by various institutions, health depts, agricultural extensions, or professional associations.

It is used to train people who work in restaurants about the subjects of food service safety and sanitation, and is used as a standard throughout the country. It is a tested course, with certification given upon completion. Many municipalities, and some states, require this before granting licensing in any food industry.

Contact your health department for a referral to the organization which offers this program in your area.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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