Frustrated With Bubbles In Fondant

Decorating By tsal Updated 1 Sep 2010 , 2:46pm by catlharper

tsal Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:21pm
post #1 of 20


It must be the way I am rolling my fondant (Satin Ice), but I get large bubbles that I can see in the fondant even as I am rolling it out.

I also have realized that I must work *fast* once the fondant is on the cake as bubbles will form if I don't smooth it properly.

So, here are my questions:

1. Is there a particular rolling technique that I should use (or things I should avoid)? I use Crisco on my work surface.

2. Once the fondant is on the cake, is there a technique that would ensure that it is indeed smoothed onto the buttercream so that there are no bubbles under the fondant?

Thanks for the help! I have 3 cakes this week and would love to perfect my fondant!

19 replies
catlharper Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:41pm
post #2 of 20

I have never worked with SI but I know with MMF if there are bubbles then the fondant needs to be kneaded more to make it more smooth. Try kneading it for a few more minutes before trying to cover the cake with it and see if that helps.


Corrie76 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:49pm
post #3 of 20

I'm not super great with fondant, but I've had bubbles on the cake after putting the fondant on and what I did was take a large needle and poke the bubble and VERY SOFTLY smooth the bubble down. It worked for me and was able to smooth the puncture wound down to hardly anything noticable. I still need more time and experience with fondant, I've noticed that most people peel off the fondant from their cake and it's frustrating to me that all this work goes into something thatis pulled off and thrown out right away.

nonilm Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:03pm
post #4 of 20

Have you tried using powdered sugar instead of shortening for rolling out your fondant? I have noticed that satin ice and duff's fondant are a little softer and work better with powdered sugar. You can "polish" it up with shortening once it is on the cake.

tsal Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:07pm
post #5 of 20

I used to use powdered sugar (and I've tried cornstarch), but I got elephant skin whenever I used either.

brincess_b Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:26pm
post #6 of 20

If u get bubbles as you roll it out, it's something in the kneading process. I imagine there's demos on you tube. The important thing is to knead the fondant, not fold it in on it's self, as that will trap air.

When you put it on the cake - assuming you use a rolling pin to lift it - do it slowly and gently to try not to trap air under it. Once it's lying on check the top for air bubbles, if you have any try lifting the fondant at the side, and easing the air out. As you work down the sides, it should remove the air there. But if u have a bubble, the pin trick works great!

Tiffany0481 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:29pm
post #7 of 20

When I first started using MMF, I used powdered sugar all the time, but hated the mess that it made of my kitchen so I switched to shortening. Once I did that, I started to get the bubbles in my fondant. Then, about a month or so ago I read a thread about using parchment paper and another one about if you are going to use shortening only use a very very little bit. I tried parchment paper and love it, but have a hard time getting it held down without moving all over the place. I also tried using a very very little bit of crisco and that worked beautifully. I've also found that if the cake is too cold it will create air bubbles under the fondant. Working with fondant is a lot of trial and error. I make my own MMF and MFF, but SI is great to work with .. it is very soft, though.

step0nmi Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:44pm
post #8 of 20

SI is a funny fondant to work with. yes, you have to work fast with it or you will get elephant skin icon_razz.gif I always mix a bit of Wilton Fondant with it to make it more pliable and allowing it to not dry out as fast. so sorry this is the way the fondant is...not you icon_lol.gif

if you are receiving bubbles under your fondant when smoothing onto the cake then you are probably smoothing from the bottom to the top, you need to go the other way around. Invest in one of those fondant smoothers...they work wonders thumbs_up.gif

IF you do get bubbles under your fondant after you cover and smooth then your cake needed to settle a little longer. just take a needle and prick it and smooth the air out.

Good luck perfecting! thumbs_up.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:46pm
post #9 of 20

Make sure your cake underneath is room temperature. If the cake is cold you will get huge bubbles which develop from the cake thawing. (Go ahead, ask me how I know THAT one!) icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

tsal Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 7:37pm
post #10 of 20

I will be sure to smooth from bottom to top, but the fondant smoother stuck to my fondant one time and I never used it again!! I'm sort of afraid to use it, although everyone swears by it.

Am I supposed to put icing sugar on it? I feel dumb asking this!!

tsal Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 7:39pm
post #11 of 20

Forgot to mention that that little Wilton rolling pin with a handle to smooth my fondant once it's on the cake and I find it does a pretty good job.

catlharper Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:00pm
post #12 of 20

Tsal, smooth from the top to the bottom. Smooth the top surface and then the sides down to the bottom. And yes, you add powdered sugar on the smoother to use it. When it stuck to the fondant it may have had moisture on it so you have to be careful about that.


The_Caketress Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:03pm
post #13 of 20

When kneading the fondant I like to more so push it into each other without pockets of air. When rolling out and your clost to the thickness that you desire , use a thin pin to extract the air bubble. Continue to roll to you desired thickness and any marks should be gone.
-The Caketress

cosmicbear Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:42am
post #14 of 20

i smooth from top to bottom and am sure i didn't trap any bubbles in. after i have smoothed out the fondant on the cake, a bubble starts to form, i guess from inside the cake! i use the pin prick method, all is smooth again, then the bubble forms AGAIN! WHY? and how do i solve this? my theory is that since i put the frosted cake in the freezer prior to covering it with fondant, condensation causes the bubble. that's just my guess but i need someone to tell me what to do about it. please!!!

babapeela Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 9:28am
post #15 of 20

if you put ps on the smoother, don't you get marks all over the fondant? I stopped using ps and cs and switched to shortening because of the little white marks that I couldn't seem to get out.

Caths_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:41am
post #16 of 20

Its nothing to do with the cake, temperature wont make any difference etc, the air bubbles are becoming trapped when your kneading it, you need to make sure that when you do knead it, you dont fold over big pieces . . Its difficult to explain, im sure aine_2 has a video on youtube when she takes you through the process. Il see if i can find the video for you icon_smile.gif x

Caths_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:45am
post #17 of 20

There we go icon_smile.gif she explains a wee bit in that video about not pulling the fondant to far icon_smile.gif x

bethasd Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:48am
post #18 of 20

I use Satin Ice too and bubbles are taunting me in my sleep!

1. Bubbles while rolling. The video posted by Caths_Cakes is very helpful. Good technique. Also want to mention that you should not flip the fondant over while rolling. This contributes to the elephant skin and the smoother sticking. If your rolling pin sticks put a little powdered sugar in the palm of your hand and run it up and down your rolling pin.

2. Bubbles after putting fondant on cake. I have issues with bubbles and have done some sleuthing. Yes, if the cake is too cold, I get bubbles. I still chill the cake to firm up the buttercream but I take it out of the fridge before kneading and rolling the fondant to give it some time to warm up. This seems to help. I've heard instruction about freezing but only for 15 minutes. (Haven't tried this since my freezer is teeny.) I've also gotten bubbles if my kitchen is too hot so I've learned to crank up the air conditioner while caking. I read somewhere that one of the professionals keeps her kitchen at 65-68 degrees.

Somewhere there's a magic formula out there. If anyone has it, please share. icon_wink.gif

cosmicbear Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 2:36pm
post #19 of 20

bethasd, thanks so much! i usually only freeze during the 2 brief summer months (it's longer than that but the sum of days when it actually gets hot seems to be just 60 days or even less). autumn weather has started here in germany, and although i wish it was still summer (brrrr!!! too cold too soon!), this is good for caking. will probably get rid of the freezing practice altogether because that's just the thing, the cake is in the freezer for only as long as it takes me knead the fondant a bit and then roll, then i take the cake out already. but i don't let it sit for a bit either. i think that's key. thanks again for the input!

another theory: does the ingredient cream (whipping cream) in the frosting, have something to do with the bubble formation too? one of the frostings i use is a chocolate ganache and it seems to make bubbles more than buttercream does. i can't tell, it could be that i just had to make cakes using the chocolate frosting more often lately. does anyone have had any experience on this?

catlharper Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 2:46pm
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by cosmicbear

i smooth from top to bottom and am sure i didn't trap any bubbles in. after i have smoothed out the fondant on the cake, a bubble starts to form, i guess from inside the cake! i use the pin prick method, all is smooth again, then the bubble forms AGAIN! WHY? and how do i solve this? my theory is that since i put the frosted cake in the freezer prior to covering it with fondant, condensation causes the bubble. that's just my guess but i need someone to tell me what to do about it. please!!!

Yes, the cold is your enemy. Once you have crumbcoated your cake you can "chill" it for a few minutes in the fridge but you do not want the cake to get cold. What I do is fill and crumbcoat and then let it sit out for at least 3 hours to settle and come to room temp (I start with frozen cake) and then I cover with fondant. Cakes release gas/air as they come to room temperature. Now that can escape from the crumbcoat but it can't from the fondant or final BC coat so it pushes out and creates either a bubble, in fondant, or a blow out in BC.

As for using the smoother, you really don't need that much PS on it to help it along and you can usually brush off the fine powder. There are dusting bags on the market you can fill with PS...just tap one to the smoother and then smooth the cake. Just make sure not to get the smoother wet or it will stick to the cake and take off your fondant too!


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